My exploration of a 14-mile stretch of road (Route 199) got me into a linear landscape groove. I decided to elongate my travelway, change the medium to liquid and take on the 410 miles of the Connecticut River. I was making my home in the Connecticut River valley in western Massachusetts, and the school at which I taught had a dock right on the river.
The river starts as a series of small ponds on the Canadian border and empties into Long Island Sound. At it’s beginning, I could straddle the river as it ran between the ponds, and at its conclusion I could watch ocean vessels traverse its mouth. Everything in between was so plain or so odd that it never failed to captivate me. I bought a kayak and a canoe so I could get to where I needed to be, and over the five years that I photographed the water, I developed a close, strangely personal relationship with it. The Connecticut River is the longest in New England, and used to be wild, with class 5 rapids and waterfalls and spirit. Now it is dammed up and down its entire length. Sometimes I could sense the real river under the seemingly placid lake humans had made. I’m not sure that version of the river made it into my photographs, but it was never out of my mind.
The camera was the Deardorff with a 5 X 7 back. The film was Kodak Tri-X pan.