My First Time

I can remember the first time I used Impossible Project instant film like it was yesterday. I drove with my Polaroid camera to my favorite vista in Crawford Notch, parked my car at the base and practically ran up the mountain with my camera and film in hand. When I got to the top, I loaded my new-to-me Polaroid SX/70 Sonar camera with film and tentatively pressed the exposure button. I was worried but it was a relief when my Polaroid camera spat out the darkslide and I was able to take my first shot. In those days, you had to keep the film from sunlight and at the perfect temperature or you would be greeted with disaster when you finally looked at your photo. At around $3 a pop a ruined Impossible Project photo hurt. I put my photo under my shirt to keep it warm and ran down the mountain to my car. By the time I reached the safety of my vehicle, enough time had elapsed and I could finally look at my photo. I was in luck. I had a discernable image on my film.

I lost that first photo a long time ago but I remember how great it felt to hold a developed Polaroid in my hand.

It wasn’t until a year or two later that discovered that I had taken my first Impossible Project photo in a place where America’s first landscape photographer had also taken his first photos. That is a lot of firsts in one sentence but it is true. I’ll save you that story for later but I think it is worth mentioning that I now climb that mountain every couple of years to retake the photo to see how the film as advanced.

Travel Tips / Crawford Notch Trivia / Polaroid Camera

  • The hike is called Elephant’s Trunk and from the bottom, it does kind of look like the trunk of an elephant.
  • The Dismal Pool is nearby and is amazing and is not dismal at all.
  • I was almost hit by the tourist train that goes through the mountains and therefore I do not recommend walking line even if you think the train has passed.
  • Crawford Notch is rather remote and I recommend splurging on the Omni Mount Washington, Carlson’s Lodge or staying in North Conway.
  • The Lunch at the AMC Highland Lodge is pretty good.
  • The home of Samuel Bemis is now an inn and you can stay there but it isn’t as close to Crawford Notch as I would like.

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