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This Shot Cost Me a Pair of Pants


A perfect October day in the Adirondacks. The fall colors were at peak and just enough clouds to keep the blue sky interesting. I had spent several quiet days alone at Forever Wild camp, tending to a few chores and partaking of the occasional adult beverage. Or two. But now it was time to go home and get back to work; up early, hit the road, be in the office by noon and then home for dinner. Ah, things don’t always work out according to plan.

It was such a beautiful day I decided to take a slight detour and make one more stop at Browns Tract Pond for a few quick shots. Then one more quick stop at the lower pond. Well as long as I’m this far I might as well head over Fox Mountain and swing by Raquette Lake. And the inlet along Route 28. And so it went until I got to Old Forge and passed by Bald Mountain Pond. Except I didn’t pass by. There were already four other photographers working away so I had to make this one last stop.

It was already past 12:30. As I was arranging my gear, I received a text message from my wife. “Are you at your office yet?”

“No, still in Old Forge. Every time I turn around there’s another picture that needs to be taken.”

“Okay, be careful.”

Parking along this section of Route 28 is not user-friendly, so I always park about a quarter of a mile down the road and walk back. Walking along this section of Route 28 is also not user-friendly, so I always walk inside the guard rail where I can maintain my false sense of security from any out-of-control semi-trucks barreling around the curve. I was in no hurry (did you pick up on that?) and the footing was lass than ideal. But I didn’t trip or stumble or fall, and yet in a flash my pants caught on a guardrail post and ripped. Not just a little tear mind you, but a full-fledged gaping L-shaped perforation eight inches up and across. Ragged but unbroken, I continued on my way until I found the right location for the shot I wanted. The others had finished and gone so I was left all alone with no interference or obstructions. I worked the scene before me for close to an hour before I turned back towards my truck. Only then did I peek into my newly air-conditioned pant leg to see the blood trickling from a lovely scratch on my thigh. Some quick mental figuring reassured me that my tetanus shot was up to date, so no worries. And one less piece of laundry.

This shot cost me a pair of pants. It was worth it.

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