2017 Favorite Images, White Mountains

2017, reflection of mountains in a beaver Pond along Franconia Brook Trail in the Pemigewasset Wilderness of New Hampshire during the summer months. This trail follows the Franconia Branch of the old East Branch & Lincoln Railroad.
Franconia Brook Trail – Pemigewasset Wilderness, New Hampshire
 

2017 Favorite Images, White Mountains – Another year is coming to an end. Can you believe it! It is that time of year when I look back on a year's worth of photography and share with you the images that stand out to me from 2017. But instead of doing my "ten favorite images of the year", like in previous years, I am going to do a year in review this year.

It has been a great year both in my professional life and personal life. But 2017 has been one of the strangest years I have ever had as a photographer. Over the last few years, I have been working on a few long-term photography projects. And one of these projects that focuses on the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad is currently being put into book format and will be published in the summer of 2018. And because of this the bulk of my field time this year didn’t involve photography, it involved mostly verifying information for the book.

Cloudland Falls along Dry Brook in Franconia Notch of the New Hampshire White Mountains after a dusting of snow during the spring months. The Falling Waters Trail passes by this scenic waterfall.
Cloudland Falls – Franconia Notch, New Hampshire
 

When not working on my current book project, I spent time shooting and doing research for another long-term project I am working on. It involves Franconia Notch, and I spent a few days shooting in the area of Falling Waters Trail and Cloudland Falls (above). The history surrounding Franconia Notch is amazing!

Cascade along the Pemigewasset River near the Flume Visitor Center in Franconia Notch State Park of Lincoln, New Hampshire during the spring months.
Pemigewasset River – Franconia Notch, New Hampshire
 

Here in the White Mountains, we had an awesome 2017 spring waterfall season. Many of the cascades and waterfalls in the region were breathtaking. The Pemigewasset River (above), near the Flume Visitor Center, in Franconia Notch State Park was an impressive site during the spring.

Fleming Flume on Elephant Head Brook in Carroll, New Hampshire during the spring months. This brook is near the Webster-Jackson Trail.
Fleming Flume – Carroll, New Hampshire
 

Last year, while doing some research on Crawford Notch, I came across a water feature in the 1907 Guide to the Paths and Camps in the White Mountains referred to as Fleming Flume in Carroll, New Hampshire. I visited the Flume back then, but the water level was dreadfully low. So this year I revisited the Flume (above) during the spring season. The Flume looks great when the water is flowing.

Smoke from a forest fire on Dilly Cliff in Kinsman Notch, New Hampshire in October 2017. These cliffs are located behind the Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves on Route 112 in North Woodstock.
Dilly Cliff Forest Fire – Kinsman Notch, New Hampshire
 

In October 2017, crews were fighting a human-caused forest fire on Dilly Cliff in Kinsman Notch. These cliffs are behind the Lost River Gorge and Boulder Caves on Route 112. The smoke (above) made for an interesting scene, beautiful and scary at the same time. Days before this forest fire was discovered, I put out an unattended campfire along the Carrigain Notch Trail in the Pemigewasset Wilderness.

Cascade Brook in Lincoln, New Hampshire on a rainy spring day. This brook is located along the Basin-Cascades Trail.
Cascade Brook – Lincoln, New Hampshire
 

As you can see from the images included with this blog article, I did photograph waterfalls in 2017. The above image shows the top section of Walton's Cascade (some refer to this section as Cascade Brook Falls) on Cascade Brook in Lincoln. There are a handful of waterfalls on Cascade Brook, and the Basin-Cascades Trail travels by most of them. This is a beautiful brook to explore.

Location of where the Number 1 Dam was on the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River in Lincoln, New Hampshire. Built in the early 1900s, this dam was located downstream from today’s Loon Mt. Bridge. Historical references refer to this dam by different names, but the No. 1 Dam seems to be the name most used.
No.1 Dam Site – East Branch of the Pemigewasset River, Lincoln
 

My landscape work in 2017 was almost nonexistent. And the landscape scenes that I did create were mainly created to show where historical features of the White Mountains once were. An example of this is the above scene of the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River. During the early years of the Lincoln Mill era, this was the location of the Number 1 Dam. Today, little remains of the dam.

Thirteen Falls along Franconia Brook in the Pemigewasset Wilderness of Franconia, New Hampshire during the summer months. These remote waterfalls are located near Thirteen Falls Tentsite.
Thirteen Falls – Pemigewasset Wilderness, New Hampshire
 

During the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad era, the Franconia branch of the railroad ended at Thirteen Falls (above). And outdoor enthusiasts could hitch a ride on the log train to these falls. During this era, the area known today as the Pemigewasset Wilderness was privately owned and the mountainsides were stripped of timber for profit. Now in the 21st century, the railroad is long gone, and Thirteen Falls is now public land, part of the 45,000-acre Pemigewasset Wilderness. And year after year, outdoor enthusiasts of all ages explore this one of a kind wilderness. The Pemigewasset Wilderness is an exemplary example of wilderness preservation.

Greed and selfishness are hampering conservation efforts in the White Mountains. And I think it is has become critical to educate the young and old on the importance of wilderness preservation. Some of my focus this year has been to create awareness for the definition of Wilderness per section 2(c) of the Wilderness Act of 1964.

Built in the early 1900s, Trestle No. 16 crosses Black Brook along the old East Branch & Lincoln Railroad (1893-1948) in the Pemigewasset Wilderness of Lincoln, New Hampshire. This image shows how the trestle looked shortly after the October 29-30, 2017 heavy rain and wind storm. The support timbers on the left have been down for some years. But this section of trestle that crosses the brook looks to have shifted some. And more of the stone abutment in the foreground washed away.
Trestle No. 16 – East Branch & Lincoln Railroad, New Hampshire
 

As 2017 comes to an end, I am thinking about Trestle No. 16 (above) along the abandoned East Branch & Lincoln Railroad. While verifying information for my book this year, I passed this trestle a bunch of times. Built in the early 1900s (1908 or earlier) the last log train rolled over this trestle in the 1940s. It is rotten beyond belief, but its survival is amazing. When it falls, a significant piece of logging railroad history will be lost.

Lincoln Woods Trail during a winter day in the New Hampshire White Mountains. This trail utilizes the old railroad bed of the the East Branch & Lincoln Railroad.
Lincoln Woods Trail – Lincoln, New Hampshire
 

As we move into the new year, I have just about closed the books on 2017. My 2018 schedule is ready and waiting, and at this point, it is time to shut down for a few days. December is the best time to shut down, so I will be taking time off to spend with family and friends, and of course to do some hiking.

If you haven’t purchased one of my 2018 White Mountains calendars yet, I do still have some available. Be safe on the trails and Happy Holidays to all of you. It has been a great year!

Happy image making..


 

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Erin Paul is a professional photographer who specializes in the environment and historic preservation of New Hampshire. His work is published worldwide, and credits include; Backpacker Magazine, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and The Wilderness Society. His blog articles are intended to create awareness for historic preservation and land conservation.

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2 Responses to “2017 Favorite Images, White Mountains”

  1. Mike Saltmarsh

    Excellent post and I'm greatly looking forward to the EB&L book! Merry Christmas Erin.

    Reply

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