Star Trails at Saville Dam in Barkhamsted, CT

Ok, storytime… I had been thinking about this spot in Barkhamsted I wanted to check out recently. I’ve known about it for years, but just felt uncontrollably drawn to it lately. As it was getting closer to the new moon this month, I was legitimately laying awake in bed with no desire to sleep, just yearning to get out and go on this mission!

Sunday night’s weather looked mint and I had everything packed up for a fun-filled night of shooting! I headed across I-691, to 84, to 72, and up 177 to the bridge in Unionville.

I haven’t been able to see this bridge without thinking about my brother’s accident when we were on our way to Ski Sundown that fateful morning 17 years ago. We came up to this same intersection where a friend who was driving realized he was in the left turn lane and needed to go straight, thus starting the chain of road-rage events with another vehicle that ultimately resulted in my brother’s traumatic brain injury.

“Huh, I guess it’s taking me right past Kevin’s accident…” I muttered to myself as I was getting closer. Nope, the GPS had me take a left on 202 instead of continuing north on Lovely St.

“How appropriate,” I thought as it was the eve of January 11th, the 17th anniversary of the accident… I figured I may stop back in the morning if I was still around and check out the huge mark up in the tree. I do that sometimes.

I kept driving for a while thinking about the accident, the years and years of Kev’s recovery, and then where we are now. I wear it well, but I hate wearing it.

It’s been brutal on my family, especially my mother. We’ve been dealing with a mixture of emotions ranging from gratefulness to anger and just about everything in between.


When I was about 3 minutes away from Saville Dam, I saw the sign for Ski Sundown. Wierd. Then, the GPS had me turn right onto Ratum Rd, and I literally drove past the entrance…

“We could have just taken a left.”

I spent way more time working on this one image than I want to admit. It’s a combination of over 300 images shot over 3.5 hours. I guess someone up there thought I needed the lesson, the time to reflect, and maybe there was a reason I felt so drawn to do this.

“A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor”, and it’s the hard knocks in life that soften out our rough edges. Shape us into something more refined and resilient. We grow in times of trouble, we grow in our faith (sometimes we lose it), we grow in experience, we grow in maturity and we grow in our relationships.

All of these things help mold us into the people we were meant to be. I believe we get tested and put into situations so that when we meet someone, or when God places us in someone’s life who is going through the same or similar situation, we will be able to help them. To be a beacon for others.

In the wise words of my childhood heroes Bill & Ted, “Be excellent to each other!”

…and when that isn’t an option… take a left!

Let your light shine on.