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Wedding photos lost and found in the High Peaks

November 23, 2017
By GRIFFIN KELLY - Staff Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - This past summer, Henry Liebers of Schenectady worked as a hut crew member for the Adirondack Mountain Club at Johns Brook Lodge. That meant he was equal parts pack mule, cook, maintenance staff and information center.

Every so often, Liebers would have to hike down the mountain and fill up his external-frame backpack with food, supplies and personal goods. Each trip was a different load, with his lightest haul being 53 pounds and his heaviest 105 pounds.

After leaving the lodge one day for some time off, Liebers hiked down the South Meadow trail. He carried his pack, which stored some trash and a few personal items. When he got to the intersection of South Meadow Road and Adirondack Loj Road, he added one more thing to his baggage - a roll of Kodak Portra 400 Professional film he found sitting on a concrete pylon.

Article Photos

Craig and Nikki Motz were married this past summer in Lake Placid. Henry Liebers found a film roll of their wedding photos while hiking along South Meadow Road.
(Photo provided — Lawrence Braun)

"I thought, 'Wow, that's kind of a cool mystery,'" Liebers said. "I'd like to see where this takes me."

Two weeks ago, he finally got a chance to see what was on the roll.

Liebers brought it to the Photo-Lab, a camera and film shop in his hometown, to get photos developed. The clerk cautioned him, saying he gets mystery rolls of film all the time and sometimes they turn out to be something creepy or weird. That wasn't the case this time around, though.

"They turned out to be these really beautiful shots of this newlywed couple."

They were professionally done wedding photos shot in the Lake Placid area.

Liebers could tell they were taken in Lake Placid because the ski jumps and some notable mountains were present in the backgrounds.

Liebers then posted the photos to Facebook in hopes of finding the mystery couple. He also brought the search to Schenectady's local newspaper, the Daily Gazette.

The search didn't take long. Three days and 355 Facebook shares later, Liebers had found his couple.

Their names are Craig and Nikki Motz. They live on Long Island but had their wedding Lake Placid this past summer.

A friend from college and a friend from high school both reposted the Gazette article on Craig's Facebook page.

"I thought it was some type of virus at first," Craig said.

But after going on the Gazette's website, Craig discovered that the article really was talking about him and his wife.

"We were elated." Craig said. "It's a great story for what was an incredible day for us. It's like the power of the internet brought people together to solve a mystery. I appreciate Henry's and everyone's efforts."

Craig is originally from Buffalo and Nikki is from Fishkill, but they both have a love for nature, especially Lake Placid, where Craig competed in the 2009 Ironman triathlon.

"We love hiking," Craig said. "We love the outdoors, and we love Lake Placid. It holds a special place in our hearts."

After Craig and Nikki received their photos from professional photographer Lawrence Braun of Meadowlark Stills, Craig thought a few were missing but still enjoyed the finished product.

Braun said he's happy Liebers was interested and knew enough about high-grade photos to get them properly developed and that Craig and Nikki have a few more for their album.

Craig wanted to make it very clear that he and Nikki are extremely pleased with the work done by Braun and that having these photos find their way back to them later only adds to the magic of their special day.

"Not a lot of stories bring such happiness like this one does," Craig said.



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