On my way to Ithaca I found myself on a small back road, away from the frenetic highway. The roadway cut through the mountains, and meandered it's way through snowy and sleepy small towns that hadn't fully awakened to the cold day.
Up and down the roadway coursed and weaved, meandering past countless snowy barns and ruins of a time when this road was the lifeline of the area, a time before the highways, a time that had long since passed.
This barn whirled by as I rounded the bend, the sun and the creek catching my eye, and called me back. I pulled over, did a quick u-turn, and headed back to the barn. I parked on the shoulder of the road, grabbed my camera, and flung open the car door and stepped out in the frozen world.
The cold hit me like a physical force; the hair in my nose froze instantly, making it hard to breath. The contacts on my eyes froze, and tightened, creating a very odd sensation as I looked around, like my eyes had weights attached to them. My lips went numb, and I could feel my hands stiffening. The air from my lungs hit the cold, turned to vapor, and then froze on my beard. The cold felt like a malicious creature, snapping and clawing at me, ripping and tearing the heat from my bones and replacing it with a painful hollowness.
I stumbled down the hill, my toes already numb in my boots, and tried to capture as many shots as I could before my hands stopped working, and before the biting cold stole the life from my batteries.
The snow was mostly solid, frozen in a thick layer. The creek flowed past, gurgling and cracking as it shifted the ice, as the cold air met the warmer water and turned to smoke, roiling off into the air and mingling with the frigid day. The sun was shining over the small creek, doing it's best to push back the cold, the rays of light dancing and shimmering along the water and through the smoke, and sparkling against the snow.
It was 6° F, but I didn't mind the cold. It wasn't a bad price to pay to stumble onto a scene like this. I was cackling out loud as I hurriedly stumbled around this barn; giddy from the sheer thrill of finding this unexpected frozen barn along the creek, as the sun began to rise.