Last week was a bit of a crazy week for me as I was out of town visiting the in-laws over Labor Day weekend.  Once back home on Monday, I had Tuesday to do laundry, re-pack, and get ready for another trip to see the other set of folks before starting a new gig this week!  So, off I went on Wed. to the upstate hills of NY (small area near Cooperstown).  It’s a gorgeous area, and heading into fall, I was really hoping for some nice opportunities to shoot the fall foliage, perhaps some nice New England-esque type scenes with barns, horses, and the whole nine yards that we just can’t get in Colorado (the greens and colors really are different from one region to another…trust me!)

Well, my travel plans notwithstanding, Hurricane Irene saturated the area pretty nicely, so by the time tropical storm Lee dumped it’s load of water in NY, PA, and the northeast in general, I was met with a wet reception.  Part A:  Denver to Philly – no problems  Part B:   Philadelphia to Albany – canceled…re-booked me to Binghamton! Part C:  Philadelphia to Binghamton – canceled.

Part D:  Driving!  I finally said to heck with flying, I can drive there from here in 4 hours, so off into a rental car I went…thinking “How bad can it be?”  The answer:  pretty bad!  As it turns out, every road east of the Susquehanna River was either flooded, washed out, or otherwise impassable.  If you look at a map of Upstate NY, the two cities nearest my ultimate destination of Oneonta were Albany and Binghamton – which we knew had cancelled flights.  As you’ll notice from Map 1:



There’s only one Interstate between B and O – I88…and guess what was closed due to flooding:  yep, the entrance to I88.  Okay, well I went to school at Cortland so knew of a few roads up that direction that cut across.  The best is state highway 206, which turns off at Whitney Point and brings you back to I88 at Bainbridge.  Take a look at the closed roads I encountered in that area:

Whitney Point 206

So, with both Greene (the midway point across 206 closed and (from what I heard) the Main street at Bainbridge before the Interstate, that was out of the question, so I tried going south to Chenango Forks and cut over at 79.  Turns out that even after a local road loop around some washed out road on highway 79, I still wasn’t able to get over because of the flooding right in Chenango Forks.

When I finally called in reinforcements to help me scout out flooded areas, I learned that most points north of me were out of commission too – all the way up to Albany across the Thruway! (Yes, even Albany had flooded areas).  Suffice to say, Mother Nature was telling me that I just couldn’t get to Oneonta.  So, I stopped trying and returned to the dry and non-flooded confines of Colorado a day early.  But, since I had my camera with me, I was able to stop at one place (Chenango Forks) and get a few shots of the flooding typical to the area:

Flooding on NYS 79

Highway DOT officials told me the depth was about two feet, and that several pickups without a decent clearance were already prohibited from getting through.  Suffice to say, my Chevy Aveo rental was not up to the challenge!  So, home I went, anxious to get out of the flood zone, and having not seen one family member in 3000 miles of flying and probably 500 miles of driving!  It was a crazy week last week, which is also a partial explanation as to why I was not posting or really plugged in that much.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go work off the cholesterol I inhaled from those three travel days and meals at diners and Wafflehouses! 🙂

Happy shooting, and we’ll see you back here again tomorrow!

Oh yeah, one last thing – don’t forget that today is the last day to register for your chance to win a Drobo from me and the folks at Data Robotics!  Hit the Monday post for specifics, and we’ll announce the winner next week!

One thought on “You Can’t Get There from Here!

  1. Shame Irene put a spanner in the works for your travel plans, at least you got some good shots of the flooding and got to stop in a few waffle houses…not bad at all.

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