North Country explorer from Deerfield, New Hampshire
Your alarm blares at 4:55 am and you zombie walk through the motions, counting down the hours until you will be reunited with your bed again. On the bus to the river, you try to sleep but open your eyes periodically to see the changing light that silhouettes the passing trees. Once you reach the boathouse you must be awake, and you shuffle around with your teammates to get ready for a productive practice. By 6:15 you're in the boat and you start to feel alive again as you propel the water back with your oar and the shell cuts through the glassy water like a knife. Ten minutes into practice there is a break and you glance around. As far as you can see, a layer of mist hovers over the expanse of water like snow. It appears as if the boat is floating on a field of fresh powder. For a moment you don't hear the motor of your coach's launch or the voices of your teammates. A flock of geese emerge from the mist and fly upriver, off to find another patch of snow that won't be interrupted by some crazy rowing team. As soon as the geese are gone, you turn back around and remember you are here to row. But one magical moment with nature reminds you of one of the many reasons it's worth it.
This photo was captured by George Repicky, Head Coach for the St. Lawrence University Men's Rowing Team, approximately 20 minutes before the encounter above occurred.