Flume Covered Bridge – Flume Gorge, New Hampshire
2021 Year in Review, White Mountains – As the year comes to an end, I don't have much to say. And like many of you, I am looking forward to the start of the new year. What a year it has been! This year I am going to keep it short and just make a handful of comments about my favorite images of 2021.
Over the last few years, all we have heard about is how overrun the White Mountains are now. And I agree it is an issue that needs to be addressed. Our trailheads are overflowing into the streets, mountains summits are overcrowded with peakbaggers looking for the perfect selfie, and campgrounds are beyond capacity. But because of the "off the beaten path" locations I have been documenting over the last two years, I have seen almost no one in the White Mountains. Serenity still can be found in the White Mountains.
Axe Head – Livermore, New Hampshire
Identifying Historical Artifacts, White Mountains – If you are picking up trash in the New Hampshire White Mountains during the current human impact issue, please educate yourself about historical artifacts and the laws that protect them. I now know of two instances where do-gooders picking up trash removed artifacts, thinking they were trash, from the White Mountain National Forest.
Many of the metal objects (horseshoes, metal strapping, railroad spikes, stoves, tins, etc.), glass bottles, trestle remains, and numerous other objects along the White Mountains trail system are protected artifacts. These artifacts should be left where you found them; they help tell the story of the early settlers, farming communities, and logging railroads that once were in the White Mountains. The included photos show some of the various artifacts you could come across while out hiking.
Darby Field, First Ascent – Mount Washington, New Hampshire
Random History, White Mountains – My work as a photographer has allowed me to explore and document many historical sites in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. And it really has changed the way I view the White Mountains. It amazes me that Darby Field made the first ascent of Mount Washington in 1642. And farming settlements and grand resorts were scattered throughout the region in the 1800s.
With outdoor recreation at an all-time high in the White Mountains, it is important to create awareness for the region's history. The more history we outdoor enthusiasts know about an area, the more attached we become to the area. And because of this connection, it inspires us to get involved with conservation. And yes, there will always be some that feel the history is insignificant, but that is for another day. Today’s blog article consists of a few random tidbits of history.
July 2014, Fresh Cutting – Mt Tecumseh, New Hampshire
Mount Tecumseh Vandalism, Illegal Cutting – When I first went public with the environmental issues on Mount Tecumseh, I was warned that my business would become the focal point of a smear campaign if I continued to cover the issues. After years of covering issues on this mountain, I can say that the harassment I have received has not deterred me from creating awareness for the human impact on Mount Tecumseh.*
According to Forest Service, the cutting on New Hampshire's Mount Tecumseh is illegal, and is considered vandalism to National Forest land. As far as I know, Forest Service's law enforcement division is still actively investigating the cutting. For my involvement, as a photographer, I have been unofficially volunteering my time to document the cutting. I am against this type of vandalism, and report any findings to Forest Service.
New Staircase (2016) – Mt Tecumseh Trail, New Hampshire
Mt Tecumseh Trail, New Hampshire – For five years (2011-2016), I documented issues on Mt Tecumseh in New Hampshire. In my opinion, what has happened to the Mt Tecumseh Trail over the last few years is a disgusting display of conservation and trail stewardship. The new stonework built along this trail is all about quantity, not quality, and I question what low impact, sustainable, trail work is.
In August 2016, for the second time since 2012, the Pemigewasset District of Forest Service, at the request of the Washington Office, inspected the ongoing stonework along the Mt Tecumseh Trail. According to a letter I received from Forest Service Supervisor, Tom Wagner, the stonework is “satisfactory” for Forest Service Trail construction standards. And they did find issues that would be taken care of in the future. The definition of satisfactory is “fulfilling expectations or needs; acceptable, though not outstanding or perfect.”
Shell Cascade – Waterville Valley, New Hampshire
Shell Cascade, Waterville Valley – Located on Hardy Brook, a tributary of the Mad River, in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire is a small, but unique, cascade known as Shell Cascade. Because of its location, this cascade isn’t visited much. It is not in a remote area by any means, but no official trail leads to it, and during times of high water it can be difficult to reach Hardy Brook. And for these reasons, its considered to be a forgotten waterfall.
Visitors to Waterville Valley and the White Mountains region have been visiting Shell Cascade since the 1800s. And reference to Shell Cascade can be found in the 1892 book “The Waterville Valley: A History, Description, and Guide” By Arthur Lewis Goodrich, and on A.L Goodrich’s 1904 map of Waterville Valley.