But I don't fish... and I don't hunt.
So I've had to find another way to get away, find some solitude and enjoy a hobby. I do take pictures, so I've come up with another way: I call it "Pho-shing". Perhaps you are smart enough to see the combination of Photography and Fishing there - clever eh?
A couple of weeks back, I did just that. I put a cot in the back of my mini van, loaded up the cooler and my camera bag and headed east through New York state to the tip of Seneca lake and a place called Watkins Glen. I had seen a picture of the place on the internet and I was intrigued. Was it as beautiful as it seemed in the pictures?
Since it was the end of September, the colors were just starting to come out on the trees. That wasn't the target of my interest, but it made for a beautiful trip. I sometimes stop on the way to where I want to "phosh" but I've found it's usually better to just get there and then take the time to get some really good photos.
The state park is a great place to camp. The grounds are kept well and the facilities are very clean. Getting there later on the second day, I grabbed my little mirror-less camera and headed for the Glen. And I wasn't disappointed. I spent hours walking and took hundreds of pictures. It was like walking through Rivendale in Lord of the Rings. I half expected to run into elves, rather than the few dozen people who were also making the trek.
Afternoons I usually try to find some WiFi - the sun is high and pictures aren't always the greatest at that time of day, so it's a good time to kick back, review photos and possibly even post a few.
The next day, I took along my Canon 5D to grab some nice shots in the early morning light of spots I liked the day before. I took a flash too, with a remote trigger because I was hoping to back light some of the waterfalls. Unfortunately the batteries were dead and I didn't check the flash before leaving! I had batteries back in the van, but it was too far to walk back. Lesson learned: always check your gear before trekking!
Watkins Glen isn't only known for it's beautiful canyon. It's also known for racing. On an off day, you might catch a race happening and be able to go into the grandstand for free. It's not a great view for photography, but it's pretty cool watching - and listening - to the powerful cars speeding by you on the track. A good opportunity to see how quick you are with the shutter release and catch those cars in the frame as they fly by.
It seems like the light from cities and towns flood the night sky almost everywhere these days, and the Watkins Glen area was no exception, but up by the race track was not too bad a spot. The night sky was very clear the few days I was there and I was able to clearly see the Milky Way Galaxy. The light from nearby towns bled into the bottom of my photographs, but I as still able to get some reasonable astral photography and make out the dense clusters of stars in the night sky.
|Atlantica by Sidney Waugh|
With plenty of other attractions in the area, including the wine region, there are lots of things to do and see and of course plenty of things to photograph.
So, if you are looking for a great place to take some pictures or just a trip out with the family, consider Watkins Glen. It is beautiful enough that I think it should be on the list of wonders of the world, or at least on your bucket list - and it's a great phoshing location.