Colton, New York’s hydroelectric dam brings together dark, deep, deceptively passive water on one side and a raging torrent on the other. It’s perhaps a useful metaphor for the experience of preparing to leave a place one has lived for a decade. Visiting sites like this is also a reminder that sometimes I avoid exploring the interesting places near me until I’m preparing to leave the area; something analogous happened near the end of my sabbatical.
Sunset on the Vltava River
Town by the Dam
In the foothills of the Adirondacks, the Raquette River was dammed for hydroelectric power. The town of Colton, New York sits on the resulting reservoir; the rapids in the foreground are the beginning of Stone Valley, an area of trails that I’ve photographed extensively in the past. The contrast between placid reflections in the reservoir and the dark currents of the river proper stand out during the blue hour.
Dam in the Mist
This was one of those moments of pure chance. I was just coming back from a long weekend and hit rain just outside of the Tri-Cities while on some winding mountain roads. Then all of a sudden the rain let up just as I was passing Watauga Lake just in time to see this incredible mist coming off the lake. Within 10 minutes of taking this shot the mist had completely dissipated.
Watauga Dam, Front and Back
It’s hard to tell from looking at the lake, even with the plaque in front of you, just how massive the Watauga Dam is… until you turn around. It’s actually pretty disorienting to look at what looks like a normal lake, then turn around and see the valley that the lake used to be. And when you look down the slope at the valley floor below you really start to understand how deep the lake really is.