Photos and story by Alexandra Rouse, Salem High School
A heavy jacket, sweat pants, a goofy knit hat and snow boats were only some of the items that were in my survival kit for an annual winter vacation to our family’s camp in New York.
No, not the skyscrapers and Times Square New York, but the all natural Upstate New York.
When we arrived to the isolated camp site in the middle of the woods, my dad, sister and I were left alone with four cabins, a main lodge, an outhouse and – more notably – no electricity.
I expected a foot of snow but ended up with just frigid 19 degree weather. Day by day, I grew accustomed to not only sitting on a frozen outhouse toilet seat, but being at peace with the wilderness.
On Day Two in particular, I decided that I needed to escape the grips of Mother Nature’s cold whispers, so I took a walk up the unpaved road leading into the camp with only my camera in hand.
Bird house. Click. Logs. Click. Dried-out plants. Click. Everything around me began to turn into something simple yet beautiful through my Canon lens. I had forgotten all about the freezing air and focused on each little glimpse of reality that my feet lead me to.
So this trip ended up not only being a simple vacation, but a well-needed spiritual vacation that helped me see that I had to look beyond one bad situation and make even more good situations from it.