The Intrepid and I spent one summer exposing ourselves to the elements in the Adirondacks off northern New York. This particular job posed a fair bit of risk of the Intrepid and I permanently separated from one another, because I would park it in the woods and come back to it five days later. Yes, I know that sounds nuts. And I suppose it was. But despite the risk of the car being stolen or broken into it never was.
Just what sort of job was it you ask? Well, I was what they called a “Back Country Steward”, which is similar to a Forest Ranger without arrest powers or training in firefighting. I would drive the Intrepid as far as the car could make it into the woods without getting it stuck on a single lane fire road. From there I would carry everything I’d need for the next five days. Food in a bear can, my tent, sleeping bag, clothing, first aid kit, raingear, one or two paperback novels, a headlamp and of course my water purifier and small stove. I also carried the tools I needed to do the job, a pair of loppers, site survey equipment, GPS unit, maps, and a brick of a radio to contact the dispatch office.
There were weeks where I would go the whole five days without seeing a person after leaving the trail head. Other weeks I would see several hundred people, it depended a great deal on what part of my area I was working in. I saw sunsets and sunrises from the top of mountains, followed trails no one had been on in more than a year, camped beside half-forgotten ponds, and prevented night hikers from falling to their deaths in a dense fog above Lake George. I got bit by mosquitos gnats and black flies. I got leaches at least twice. I balanced on the edge of beaver dams to cross their ponds without having to wade in belly deep water. I documented damage to lean-tos and outhouses, signs and docks. I photographed Palmer Pond which has been developed to be accessible for people with disabilities.
To see more of my work from the Adirondacks please follow the link below.