August 22, 2012

Beaver Brook Cascades


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I spent this past weekend in the White Mountains of New Hampshire on a little hiking getaway with two of my sons (ages 22 and 15). We didn’t intend to hike anything too long or too challenging, we just wanted to spend 2-3 hours on the trails, enjoy the fresh air and (for me, anyway) get some decent shooting in. With that in mind, waterfall hikes seemed a logical choice. Yes. Fresh air and the sound of rushing water. Its all good.

After hiking a familiar trail on Saturday, we went off the board on Sunday.

Flipping through a guide book claiming “100 waterfalls in 30 hikes” Beaver Brook Trail caught my attention. It was close to Woodstock center, where we were staying, and was only about a mile long. It boasted waterfalls along the trail and it’s level of difficulty was rated “moderate.” Sold.

As it turned out, “moderate” was more wishful thinking. At the trail head, we were greeted with a sign declaring that the Beaver Brook Trail is “extremely steep and treacherous when wet.” The mile long trail gains over 1,000 feet in elevation, over some pretty rough ground. Aided in part by railroad ties and iron rungs embedded in the rocks, it is a rough climb.

Luckily, I had the excuse of photography to hold me from completing the hike. I stopped two or three times to shoot while my sons kept plugging along. They picked me up on the way back.

This shot is my favorite from the weekend, and it is a little deceptive. What might look like a gentle stream is actually a respite of relatively flat ground along that 1000 foot vertical over which waters of the Cascades flow gently to violently, depending on the grade.  This point on the trail provided enough “level” ground and dry rocks for me to work pretty freely.

In fact, I shot here the most. I have 3-4 distinctly different compositions from this little plateau. This was the last one I shot. While waiting for a long exposure of a tighter shot to finish, my attention was drawn to the lush green moss and foliage on the left of the frame. Thought it deserved a wider view.

Hope you like it.

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  1. Ah, yes… I remember this place well. I once took poor Susan — an rookie hiker at that point — on this path to introduce her to climbing in the Whites. After 20 years, she has almost gotten over her anger with me. Almost…

    Fantastic image, Bob. It captures the scene perfectly.