The Road Trip

After a September where I didn’t pick up my camera in any meaningful way at all I decided I needed to do something different to kick start the creative process and get me out of my photographic funk…..but what to do? The situation reminded me of a very inspirational movie I once saw many years ago….. it was time to….. ROAD TRIP!

I’d been researching possible locations that might afford both good fall foliage and the opportunity to photograph waterfalls – always a favorite subject of mine. I looked at my not so organized notes and mapped out a route from home in Westchester County NY through North Central Massachusetts. Three stops, two waterfalls, an 18th century grist mill and 270 miles of driving…Oh Boy!

Yes I’m well aware that there are things, even waterfalls, closer to home to photograph but I knew I needed something really different to get me going.

I’m a big believer in sun rise/set light for landscapes but the weather on the appointed morning (thankfully) was forecast to be rain early followed by clearing and sunny skies by mid day. Not ideal but manageable with the added benefit that I could sleep in a bit and might even get some “dramatic sky” early on.

My first stop Moore State Park in Paxton Mass was an unexpected cornucopia of photographic opportunities! The small, 400 acre park had no less than four different shooting environments and I ended up spending much more time than anticipated. My original objective was only the colonial grist mill. I had to fight my usual tendency to “stick to the schedule” as I explored the park and found worthwhile subjects in unexpected locations. I’ll be heading back in the spring to capture the many flowering shrubs as they come into bloom.

(Yes, that’s as dramatic as the sky got that day.)


Next up was Royalston Falls in Royalston MA. I opted for the shorter hike by driving the “unimproved” road (they weren’t kidding) in my Jeep. It got so bad I stopped and asked a gentleman walking down the path if I was in the right place. As my wife can attest this too is very much against my nature but again it paid dividends. Andy was kind enough to climb aboard and serve as my guide as we navigated the goat path road to the trail head and then (hiked) down to the falls. My thanks to Andy for taking the time and having the courage to guide me to the falls I don’t think I would have stuck with it based on the directions I had in hand.


I found myself heading out to my final stop Bear’s Den Falls in New Salem in fading light. (I love my GPS) A very short hike had me at this very unique location where legend has it  Native Americans gathered in 1675 to plan attacks on local settlements during King Phillips War.

So, the four  main “take aways” are: 

1.      its good for the creative process to shake things up from time to time

2.      it’s sometimes good to deviate from “the plan”

3.      the internet is good but locals always know a heck of a lot more

4.      time for the gym Andy was retired (I assume) and kicked my butt on the trail


More Images from “The Road Trip” can be found at my “Recent Work Gallery

Resources used in planning this trip included the following web sites:

A really neat site with 360 degree panoramas of many water falls by Jan and Christy Butler

The Trustees of Reservations

The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation


This entry was posted in Blog Post, Photo Locations.

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