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Posted by on Feb 14, 2017 in 2017 Weekly Recaps | 0 comments

Rusty’s Weekly Recap 2.13.2017

Self-portrait along the Gore Draft, Quehanna Wild Area, Cameron County

New for 2017, this weekly recap highlights some of the photography-related road trips I took and projects I worked on the prior week.

As always, click on the photos and/or videos to view in full screen mode.

I spent much of the eary part of last week close to home in State College, in anticipation of a weekend road trip to New York.

Monday was a beautiful, sunny day, so I decided to hike the entire length of the Sevinsky Trail in the Quehanna Wild Area.  Parking along Wykoff Run Road at the trail head, I hiked upstream to where the Gore Draft intersects with the trail, only stopping a few minutes to shoot a small waterfall I had photographed there once before (though not with all the snow and ice).

Snow and Ice along the Gore Draft, Quehanna Wild Area, Cameron County.

Continuing up the Sevinsky Trail, the scene was one of seemingly endless small cascades and towering hemlock groves.

Sevinsky Draft Trail, Quehanna Wild Area, Cameron County
Small waterfall along the Sevinsky Draft, Quehanna Wild Area, Cameron County

I hiked to the western end of the trail, then doubled-back to my vehicle, another new-to-me section of trail under my belt.

Wednesday was the next day I got out, 10 minutes from my house at Shingletown Gap in the Rothrock State Forest. Roaring Run is a small stream that cuts through the heart of the gap, and I stopped at a few small trail-side cascades  to shoot them.

Roaring Run at Shingletown Gap, Rothrock State Forest, Centre County

Thursday was a snow day in State College, so with Hailee off from school, I took her out to Shingletown Gap, where I had hiked 24 hours before. On this day it was more like a winter wonderland.

The Shingletown Gap Trail, Rothrock State Forest - February 2017.
Snow at Roaring Run - Shingletown Gap, Rothrock State Forest

Friday was a road trip day for me - my first visit to Lecthworth State Park near Castile, NY.  Letchworth was voted the best state park in the United States in 2015, so with that kind of reputation and 3 large waterfalls within its boundaries, I had to see it.

Hogs Back Vista, Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY

My navigation system brought me in on the northern end of the park, and my first glimpse of the "Grand Canyon of the East" was from the Hogs Back Overlook. This river gorge (the Genesee River to be specific) really does resemble the Grand Canyon.

View from Inspiration Point at Letchworth State Park - Castile, NY

From the Hogs Back Overlook, I made my way south towards the waterfall portion of the park. The first spot I stopped at there was Inspiration Point, the name being self explanatory as you stand there in person. The photo here was my view of the Middle and Upper Falls on the Genesee River.

Middle Falls on the Genesee River - Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY

Departing Inspiration Point, I drove to a parking area roughly half-way between the Upper and Middle Falls. I visited the Middle Falls first. This is the tallest of the 3 main waterfalls in the park at 107 feet. Everything around the viewing area was a solid sheet of ice, from all the spray freezing on contact. I had my microspikes on though, so footing was not an issue.

The Portage Viaduct and Upper Falls - Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY

From the Middle Falls I hiked the short distance (maybe 5 minutes) to a viewing area for the Upper Falls and the Portage Viaduct that stands over it. Even though it is not half as tall as the Middle Falls (40 ft.), the downstream vantage point seemed to be the best angle due to all the spray coming off of it, making it difficult to photograph close-up.

Stairway above Upper Falls at Letchworth State Park - Castile, NY
Small waterfall on tributary to the Genesee River - Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY

Ascending a stone staircase next to the Upper Falls, I encountered a small waterfall on a tributary to the Genesee River. I got a few shots in as the light was fading on Friday evening.

Stone Bridge over the Genesee River at the Lower Falls - Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY.

Saturday I attended a photography workshop at the park, and the highlight for me was photographing the famous stone bridge downstream from the Lower Falls. Built in 1935 by the Civilian Conservation Corps, on this day it looked more like it had been built by dwarves or maybe even a wizard - truly a scene straight out of Lord of the Rings.

Photographers on the Stone Bridge, Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY.

Making my way back across the bridge, I got a shot of some of the other workshop attendees still standing on it, to give a sense of scale not only to the bridge, but the icicles hanging precariously above it.

Portage Viaduct and Upper Falls - Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY
The Archery Fields Overlook - Letchworth State Park, Castile, NY

Some of the other spots we photographed that day included the Upper Falls (where I had gone on my own the previous day) and the Archery Field Overlook.

An old roadside rust rod I encountered near Castile, NY while visiting Letchworth State Park.

On my way back to my hotel, I spied an old car sitting next to an equally old looking garage that appeared to have gone out of business long ago. I had to stop and snap a few frames.

Behind the wheel of an old roadside car I encountered  somewhere near Castile, NY over the weekend.

Looking back on the week, it was filled with several remarkable new experiences and some exceptional new photos as well. Here's to more of the same this week.

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