Friday, July 28, 2017

NECT: The Webcams

The NCMCS was the main point and definitely a high point in the trip, but the entire trip was epic. Five days traveling from Niagara to Boston, Springfield to Providence via Hartford. Salem and Portsmouth and Kittery and Bennington. Our itinerary was a combination of webcams, high favorites, Roadside America and AtlasObscura. 

Our trip started early Friday as ShelleyJean and I departed from Detroit to Hudson, Massachusetts via Niagara Falls. To our delight, we found 2 Mountain Warehouses still had free promotional trackables and acquired a complete set on the way. On the down side, no stop at Niagara due to poor weather and huge holiday crowds. On the plus side, since everyone was at the falls, we had Power Vista to ourselves!

Power Vista - Niagara Falls, NY

Niagara Power Project Power Vista has 50 interactive exhibits about hydroelectricity and an observation deck perched 350 feet above the Niagara River Gorge.

It's a free museum that was as engrossing for adults as kids. If you are visiting Niagara and wish to get away from the crowds, it's a fascinating stop.

It also had a very unusual webcam. It all begins with a little card. When you walk into the museum, a volunteer shows you how to power up your Power Player card and setup your free account. You use this card to activate exhibits, score your stay, and...


It took us a bit to locate the camera. It took us longer to select a background and settle on a pose that we liked. Afterwards you visit a website and save your picture. Pretty cool concept and a new twist on the webcam cache!

We were actually pretty lucky - we crossed paths with five webcams and all of them were functioning! The twist here (for all but Power Vista) is the CO did not give you exact coordinates to stand. And, in some cases, didn't supply a webcam URL either. They made you hunt for it. Luckily there were plenty of earlier logs with clues.

University of Rochester - New York

Rochester was sorta-ish on our way to Massachusetts. It ate a lot more time than expected due to construction, but the campus was lovely.  Biggest surprise here is they had these neat 15 minute parking spots - just enough time to run over to a common, snap a webcam photo, and hoof it back.

And there we are! Now to make our way back to the main road and head East. We stopped at all the 'text stops' along the way for some extra caching and our Massachusetts souvenir!

Since I'm sharing webcam photos from the first day, I might as well include the remaining three. All of them were fun stops that allowed us to slow down and enjoy a brief silly break.

University of Connecticut - "Who are you calling Husky?!"

Day #3 of our trip found us in Hartford, Connecticut. Since we were so close and new we would collect additional states the next day, we decided to drop in on Rhode Island and collected this webcam on the way. The traffic cop must've thought we were screwballs with all our comings and goings. This was a prime example of a webcam with no specified coordinates or posted URL.

As they are the U-Conn Huskies, the CO asks for you to pose in the form of a Y. (Ok, not kidding. It took us TOO long to realize why. U-Conn Huskies =Yukon Huskies). For some reason, SJ decided to cheer on the Maryland Terrapins!

University of New Hampshire

Admittedly, if TaGeez had been there to share it with us (he, alas, had to work), this may've topped my all-time favorite webcam. I agree with SJ - the image is SO clear! Love hanging with the cat!

Added bonus? This webcam was just a few miles from Kittery, Maine and the Warren Lobster House!

Yankee Magazine - Dublin, NH

For such a small state, New Hampshire has 4 webcams, but two were too far North. Yankee Ingenuity is on the way to Bennington, Vermont. We were luck enough to arrive while it was still daylight. As we were standing there, refreshing our screens, an older gentleman walking into the Keene Fire Department shouted out, "Make sure you get your good side!"

Be very, very careful if you ever stop at this webcam. If you click the page supplied by the CO, there are actually 3 webcams here, two pointing at this same strip of grass. He is very insistent that you use the one he specifies (which, IMO, was a little hidden down on the page). I couldn't use this image above in my log (wrong camera), but luckily SJ grabbed a screenshot from the right one.

This makes 27 webcams for me. With each one, I keep thinking this may be the last. I see a good percentage of my webcam finds have been archived to date. I try not to dwell on the eventual demise of this cache type - it's so much fun! Instead, I'm hopeful that will one day create a new cache type that generates as much loyalty as Webcams and Virtuals do.

Next up is our Springfield > Hartford > Providence adventure. 

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