One Waterfall Down Eight to Go!

One Down and Eight to go

Saturday afternoon the sun came out and I ran for the car. I had several different options but would only have time for one. A drive to Royalston MA to visit Doane’s Falls was the winner. There are 9 waterfalls on the Ultimate Massachusetts Waterfall Road trip. Doane’s Falls was my number one choice. It was close (2 hours). A doable afternoon trip.

What Waterfalls are on the list?

  1. Doane’s Falls, Royalston, MA
  2. The Cascade, North Adams Ma
  3. Wahconah Falls, Dalton, MA
  4. March Cataract Falls, Williamstown, MA
  5. Bash Bish Falls, Mt Washington State Park, MA
  6. Race Brook Falls, Sheffield, MA
  7. Umpachene Falls, New Marlborough, MA
  8. Campbell Falls, New Marlborough, MA
  9. Glendale Falls, Middlefield, MA

Stone Bridge and Waterfall

I found the Falls with little trouble. The roads are paved and easy to navigate. No need for off-roading or mudding  here. There is limited parking but if you can park in the little lot the Falls start right there. The water spills out of the culvert under a lovely stone bridge. You probably just drove over the bridge to get to the parking lot.

You can hear the falls before you see them. Just a few steps onto the trail and you can see the racing water poring out of the culvert. When I walked back to the road and looked on the other side of the bridge the brook was quite calm. It’s an amazing contrast.

Doane’s Falls Recap

The drive to Doane’s Falls was pretty easy. I only made one wrong turn and that was quickly corrected. Once on the right road the falls themselves are clearly marked. It’s warming up ans the flying, biting  critters are starting to come out. I hadn’t thought of that. Next trip to a waterfall will mean bug spray (extra strength), a hat, and snacks. Fast food  and lunch places are few and far between  once you leave Framingham behind.

I didn’t get all  the way to the bottom of the trail. I think there are more falls and rapids further down but the giant mosquitoes drove me back. This will be really pretty in the fall. With a little less water and the colored leaves. I definitely need to plan a return trip.

 

Happy Weekend

I made it to Saratoga, NY last weekend where I caught up with my Mom and my sister. It was about a 4 hour drive both ways but it was worth it. I’m not allowed to say how old my Mom is but she is holding strong in her 9th decade so I think every year older deserves a celebration.

The drive was pretty uneventful driving  up. I always watch for wildlife but mostly I saw the usual carnage of dead animal carcasses along the sides of the road. The exception was the gang of turkeys that grazed by the side of the highway.

After an enjoyable lunch at the 99 Restaurant I headed back to Taunton, MA. It was now later in the day so there was a bit more animal life. I saw 3 deer, several turkey vultures, more turkeys and a rabbit. Too bad you can’t stop on the interstate for pictures.

deer

This weekend I did get out briefly so I made a return trip to the sanctuary where I saw the fox a few weeks ago. It was later in the day so I hoped he’d be out and about if indeed he had a den nearby.

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I lugged 2 lenses with me a zoom 24-300 and my big telephoto 300-500, in case he was farther away. I’m thrilled to announce that I was successful, at least in part. He is a fast little bugger so I only got a glimpse of him.

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A Murphy’s Law kind of day

Well here I am heading back up north to Maine. Twice in one season! Actually this trip was planned before JR suggested we go to Bar Harbor and Acadia. This trip is a totally “working” vacation. By that I mean I am heading  north to take photos that I hope will be good enough to sell.

Twice each year the lighthouse at Cape Neddick is adorned with white lights, outlining the houses and tower. The first event is known as “Christmas in July” and the second is the Annual Lighting of the Nubble at Christmas time in December. When I heard about that I thought WOW…that would be really cool to take pictures of and it will be a lot nicer in July than December with the cold winds blowing off the ocean. You see, I am a wimpy photographer. I wonder if there’d be a market for “Diary of a Wimpy Photographer”? Just joking.

Another iconic lighthouse that I keep hearing about is Pemaquid Lighthouse so I thought I could set up a little trip that would let me take in both locations.

I checked mapquest for locations of each  lighthouse and of course, they are nowhere near each other . I decided to compromise by staying in a location mid way between the two…Portland.

A search of motels through Hotels .com snagged me a good deal at the Super 8 in Westbrook, a suburb of Portland. This was all done weeks before I planned to go so the motel was all paid for. I only had to worry about gas, meals and any extras I might want to do.

It seemed like everything that could go wrong did on the morning of my departure. I finally threw my hands in the air and said I’m done, I’m out of here. So what if the kitchen floor didn’t get mopped . It will still be there when I get home. I put all my stuff from my messy desk in a pile, tossed some treats to the cats and ran before I got side tracked with something more that screamed for my attention.

As I went out the door I realized I didn’t have the power cord for my laptop and the battery was dead…see what I mean? The power cord was at the office in Plymouth so I decided to detour to the office and then head up RT 3 through Boston to pick up RT 95 N. On the way I would stop at Ritz Camera in Hingham (It’s right off one of the exits on RT 3) and pick up some pictures I’d ordered so I wouldn’t have to stop there when I came home.

Well the power cord was quick enough. I got in and out with minimal explanation and in less than 10 minutes. Next stop Ritz Camera.

Now you have to understand that I love the Ritz Camera Store in Hingham. I think every one of the people who work there are great and I recommend them every chance I get. I can see huge improvements in my pictures with their guidance and support so I am not being critical when I tell you what happened next. I share this only as an example of how my day was going.

First I had a terrible time finding a parking spot. The store is in a mall but it felt like the whole mall was slammed. When I got into the store it was wall to wall with people. All of the picture kiosks were taken and every associate was helping customers. They all waved but they are used to me “hanging out” so there was no urgency on their part to get to me. Besides , I should wait my turn. Finally one  person broke free long enough to ask me if I wanted help. While they were looking for the pictures I ordered  another associate called out that they weren’t ready. Could I wait an hour? They were really backed up!

I told them no I was leaving for Maine and I’d get them on the way back. Well now everyone wanted to know where in Maine, what pictures did I plan to take and so on. I finally got out and back on the road. The pictures will be waiting for me on my return but guess what…a fender bender had traffic at a stand- still and I wasn’t even in Boston!

Eventually I got through the traffic jam and maybe since traffic was so slow south of the city, it made for pretty clear sailing through Boston proper. I made good time the rest of the way arriving in Portland about an hour after I planned, 3pm instead of 2pm. Not bad considering.

The Super 8 was right off the highway. Perfect! The desk clerk was really nice and friendly. The motel was undergoing some renovation but they still had a pool, offered a continental breakfast and had fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies right there when I came in! Fresh coffee was brewing all day.

The room was nice too. It was fairly large with a king sized bed right at the end of the hall so it was pretty quiet. Only one other room near me.

I picked up some maps of the area tossed my suitcase down, grabbed the camera  and headed out to explore a little and find someplace for dinner. My “working” vacation was officially underway.