New England

Winter is coming! It's currently about 40-degrees outside and I'm sitting in a Starbucks in Burlington, Vermont. I spent the last week exploring around Manhattan, Boston, and Acadia National Park in Maine where, despite the cold temperatures, the fall foliage was peaking with leaves of deep oranges, reds, and yellows. However, now in Vermont, those rich colors are giving way to browns and falling from the trees. I even saw snow for the first time today!

Fall colors outside of Boston

Dreary NYC skyline

Sadly, with the cold of New England, came dreary weather and I spent most of my time in New York navigating around spurts of fierce rain. To compensate for this, I turned my camera away from the skyline and onto the people and sites around me. 

Man walking in Central Park

My Aunt Dawn posing for me in Central Park

Guitar player in Central Park

Girl sleeping on the subway

I thought this was funny. Don't judge me

Fortunately, by my final morning, the weather had cleared up and I was able to get a great shot of the Manhatten skyline from Brooklyn Bridge Park in Brooklyn.

New York Skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn Bridge Park

Freedom Tower

While in New York, I stayed with my Aunt Dawn who is a flight attendant and has lived in Manhattan for almost 30 years. Because I'm an idiot, I forgot to get a photo with her, but I did get some photos of the delicious food she treated me to at Temerario in Midtown including some sauteed grasshoppers with our guacamole. 

Duck Tacos

Guacamole with a side of sautéed grasshoppers

Goodburger

After three nights in New York, I continued north on my way to Boston where I was able to reconnect with an old friend from high school that I hadn't seen in almost a decade. Emily and husband Nate were so accommodating and let me stay with them two nights. Nate, who is studying law at Harvard even let me sit in on one of his classes.

Emily, Nate, and their daughter Tempe at Harvard

Being a Harvard boy

Something that's been high up on my bucket list for a while is to visit Walden Pond. Walden Pond, if you don't know, is where the existentialist writer, Henry David Thoreau, penned his memoirs about living away from modern civilization in the mid-1800's. Thoreau stated that he wished to live 'deliberately' and 'front only the essential facts of life.' I first discovered Walden when I was a teenager and Thoreau's sentiments about living purposefully without all the stifling and oftentimes absurd standards of society deeply resonated with me and helped set me on the path that led me to where I am now.

Walden Pond

Site of the cabin that Thoreau built and lived in for two years

After Walden Pond, I spent the rest of my afternoon strolling around Boston soaking in the historical significance of this ancient town. 

The USS Constitution

Site of the Boston Massacre

Sailboats in Boston Harbor

On Tuesday (10/25), I said goodbye to Emily and her family and began the 4-hour drive to Maine. Acadia National Park located on Mt. Desert Island is a park that I have been especially anxious to see on this trip and it lived up to my expectations in every way. From shooting the famous Bass Harbor lighthouse at sunset to falling asleep in my tent to the sound of buoy's ringing out in the harbor, Acadia National Park is probably my favorite place I've visited so far on this journey. 

Bass Harbor lighthouse at sunset. Two days later a massive storm would blow in and this rock was shooting on would be submerged by the pounding of monstrous Atlantic waves 

Out shooting the Bass Harbor lighthouse

Jordan Pond in the later afternoon. Those two hills in the center are called "The Bubbles," (For obvious reasons). 

A beautiful pond I saw on the way to Bass Harbor. It looked good in color, but even better in Black and White

I loved these tunnels. Each brick is a different size and shape, a true testament to the craftmenship that went into it

New England Coastline in Acadia

On my last (dry) evening, I arrived back at my campground for lunch to find my neighbor Dave had left me all of his firewood before departing. People are nice

On my last day in Acadia, it rained non-stop from morning till night. Obviously, I wasn't able to get many pictures because of this, but I still spent the day exploring and seeing a different side of the park. From the cliffs over the ocean, I watched as massive northeastern waves pummeled the coastline over and over; a powerful reminder of the sheer strength and ambivalence of mother nature. 

Out in the storm - 75% dry, but 100% warm

Thunder Hole during a storm - normally it's safe to walk down there 

After Acadia, I flew home to Houston for barely more than 24-hours for a party in honor of my sister and her husband. Things got a little wild, but it was a nice change from sleeping in the cold and rain. 

My sisters, Taylor & Madison, and my grandmother Mommyanne. They're a fun bunch

I arrived back in Maine late last night and this morning drove to Burlington. It's Halloween too. As of today, I've officially begun my journey westward after seeing both eastern tips of the country in 45-days. I should be in Seattle in about two weeks, but before then I've got a few places to shoot. 

Happy Halloween

-Zak