14 photos
THE STORY BEHIND THE PHOTOS

Just across the New Jersey/New York border, is Bear Mountain State Park. Sitting on the edge of the Hudson River, Bear Mountain State Park is a popular Fall destination for city & country folk alike. One Sunday in October 2012, I made the trek to join the faithful.

Unfortunately I got there too late. By noon there were so many people, that the New York State Police closed the park. What was I to do?

I had a flash of intuition. I decided to turn around and head off, far from the maddening crowds. Deeper and deeper I drove into the local mountains. Eventually I was all alone on an unnamed road. I spotted a small stream churning along the bottom of a ravine that ran parallel to the road. Sensing this might be a good place to take pictures, I looked for a place to park. But the ravine was too deep and the road too narrow. So further into the mountains I drove...

Eventually I found a place to pull off the road. As I gathered my gear, I noticed the walls of the ravine were still pretty steep. Not being an avid hiker or climber, this concerned me. Excitement got the better of me though, and soon I was sliding down the side of the ravine on my rear end. I eventually landed at stream's edge.

My next surprise was the floor of the ravine was actually old river bed. As such, it was littered with dozens of loose rocks and boulders. To make matters worse, the space between the rocks were covered with leaves making it quite difficult to see where I was walking. "What if I twist my ankle?" I thought...

But it gets worse: suddenly a rustling sound came from below the leaves. I WAS NOT ALONE DOWN THERE. My mind raced - chipmunk, rat, SNAKE?!? In a small panic I glanced back from where I came. Too steep to make a speedy retreat. Just in caser, I pulled out my cell phone. I wanted to know I could someone in case of an emergency. Now another surprise: no cell signal. I was too far out from civilization; I felt truly alone.

Again my mind raced. What should I do? Get out now, or complete what I came to do? Right then I glanced up and took in the length of the stream. It was truly amazing. In the distance, I could see the sun, laying heavily in the Fall afternoon sky. The yellow and red foliage burned with the sun's rays. In that moment I knew I had to complete what I came to do. I gathered up my gear and off I went.

These photos tell the rest of the story. It was truly a glorious day.
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