Well, here we are in the middle of spring in the Adirondacks again. For many of us who aren’t fly fishermen, this season represents a seemingly endless transition between the last bit of skiable snow and the onset of mud-free mountain biking trails. So, while we wait for the trails to firm up, I’ve got a challenge for you.
Now, I know that it’s easy to get distracted by those pesky dramatic mountain views and the mesmerizing flow of the rushing Ausable River, but this challenge requires more of a macro lens, close-up focus. I call it the Whiteface Region Springtime Selfie Scavenger Hunt. All you need is a camera/phone and a way to get there.
Where to start
I suggest beginning in the metropolitan center of Wilmington. There are a few selfies to collect here.
1 - Bronze bears
During busy times, you might have to stand in line to get a selfie at this popular photo spot located at the entrance to the Wilmington Heritage Park. (You’ll also find the friendly, knowledgeable folks at the Visitors Bureau here.)
2 - Giant Flies
A remembrance of Adirondack fly fishing legend Francis Betters who died in 2009, these giant tied flies are located at the west end of the Route 86 bridge. You can read more about Fran Betters and his fly-tying genius in this great blog.
3 - The Big Chair
At the junction of Route 86, Bonnieview Road, and route 431 (which goes to Santa’s Workshop and the Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway), look toward the Candy Man/Ausable Two Fly shop parking area. There’s a big chair over there, and when I last checked, a snowman sitting in it.
4 - Ralphie
If you take Springfield Road toward Upper Jay, there’s a selfie opportunity hiding on the left as you depart Wilmington. This one requires some careful negotiation with traffic, as there is no official parking area. Ralphie sits on an old ski lift and is typically dressed for the season. (Selfie shown: Ski Season Ralphie.)
5 - More bear
At the Upper Jay end of Springfield Road, look to the right for another exciting bear selfie opportunity. This one is located in front of the Brookside Motor Inn, across the street from the famous Recovery Lounge.
6 - Shark fin
Keep an eye out for this Jaws-esque remnant of an old bridge crossing over the Ausable as you drive from Upper Jay to Jay. Bonus points for fearful selfie face-making.
7 - Mountain range
OK - it’s ok to capture SOME of those pesky dramatic mountain views. There are a couple of pull-offs between Upper Jay and Jay, and the one closest to the latter offers an awesome view of the Jay Range. Picnic optional.
8 - Jay Covered Bridge
Well, this is a no-brainer. A stop at the 1857 Wooden Howe Truss Bridge (the last of its kind in the Adirondacks) in Jay is a must-selfie.
9 - Spectacular Whiteface view
This is not a selfie opportunity. Do not take a picture of this view. Don’t even look at this view. This photo from route 86 between Jay and Wilmington must have been taken by an irresponsible commuter, as there is no official place to pull over at this location. Repeat: this view is not part of this challenge. Nothing to see here.
10 - No swimming
This selfie subject is rated Most Difficult. Do not attempt to acquire this selfie selfishly yourself. Capturing this obscure sign requires a shot by a car passenger - typically in profile - with their seat belt fully fastened.
Rules and Regulations
This challenge includes subjects accessible by automobile in the “off season,” so iconic items like the summit sign on Whiteface Mountain are not included. In addition, this challenge is not sanctioned by any official selfie scavenger hunt authorities, and does not offer any prizes for completion.
This challenge is also subject to additional photo spot suggestions - so bring them on. Comment below!
This week in related Spring Happenings: