Westport Barbara Richards, of Salt Lake City, Ut., always wanted to visit the Adirondacks but she didn’t know anybody there.
That didn’t deter her from hopping on a train, getting off in Port Henry and walking into the Collins Motel bar where she met Janet Denney, Rita Collins, and Lynda Smythe.
Several days later, these new friends hiked the nearby Cheney Mountain Trail where Janet took a picture that tied for first place in Champlain Area Trails first Photo and Caption Contest winner. Her picture shows the beautiful view and her caption describes a chance encounter which allowed a, “stranger to become a friend.”
The other first place winner was Aran Voss Hutchins of Westport, who captured an intricately detailed Snowberry Clearwing Moth on the Black Kettle Nature Trail in Essex. She first thought the moth was the largest bumblebee she had ever seen. It was three-to-four inches long, perched in the grass, and was just, “one of these little jewels we are so lucky to have all around us if we take the time to look.” The two winners split the $250 first place prize.
Chris Maron, executive director for CATS, awarded the prizes to these two winners along with the People’s Choice prize of $100 to Melissa Maki, of Willsboro. Her photo of her three dogs, perched on a log along a CATS trail was accompanied by a poem describing how people and their pets can enjoy exploring the area’s woods and meadows.
CATS held the photo contest, along with the previous travel writing contests with the purpose of promoting economic vitality through outdoor recreation based tourism.
“People research vacation destinations online, so as they look into visiting the northeast, we want them to see articles and pictures about New York’s Champlain Valley and get inspired to come here, enjoy the outdoors, patronize local businesses, and tell others about this beautiful area,” said Maron. “We are grateful to the J.C. Kellogg Foundation for underwriting this contest.”
Plans are underway for the next CATS Photo and Caption Contest. Visitchamplainareatrails.com to see the winners, other entries, and details for upcoming contests.