Recently, on the final shooting trip for this book, I was traveling on New York Highway 14 along the western flank of the Finger Lakes on my way to Watkins Glen. It had been a very long day, starting at five a.m. back in Pennsylvania, then up to Buffalo and on to Niagara Falls, which turned out to be a jarring experience. This is a place I’d always wanted to visit, and like the Grand Canyon it’s challenging to describe adequately in words or pictures. Surrounding the falls on both the U.S. and Canadian side is a tourist-trap riot of motels and fast-food joints and lame attractions, and most people seemed more interested in taking back-dropped “selfies” than in this powerful scene that nature had displayed before them. Although the falls are truly spectacular, the overwhelming crowds and runaway commercialism were so unsettling that I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

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