Saturday, December 10, 2016

Little Stony National Recreation Trail 12/10/16

Sometimes I get overwhelmed by being around people all the time and need a day alone in the woods to recharge my mental batteries.  Not long ago I was thinking that it had been awhile since my last photo adventure, and soon after that I realized a photo adventure was exactly what I needed.  Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love my job, the people I work with, and my running group.  But life is busy and sometimes I forget how important it is to step back and find time for myself that doesn't involve sitting on the couch.  By Wednesday evening I knew I was going to spend Saturday adventuring, and started searching for a destination.  I remembered someone mentioning "Devil's Bathtub" to me, so I searched for that.  Because of course my favorite part of hiking/adventuring is taking photos of water.  But a quick internet search told me that the road to Devil's Bathtub is not recommended for 2 wheel drive cars.  Last thing I want to do is get my car stuck somewhere in the middle of nowhere with no cell service, so that location was out.  However, the website recommended some more car-friendly hiking locations in the area, so I picked two of them that were very close together.  (Although in the end I decided to leave the second one for a later trip.)

It was about 12 degrees out this morning, and the frost on my car was some very serious ice crystals that stood about a centimeter tall, but I wasn't going to let that stop me.  I put on my fleece lined running shirt, followed by two other thin but warm layers, put tights on under my jeans, wore a pair of thick socks in my boots, and grabbed a windbreaker to keep out the chill.  I hit the road at 9 and arrived at the Little Stony trailhead shortly after 10.  The gate was shut for the winter, but there were a few pull-offs to choose from outside the gate.

The view from where I parked

Taking in the view before hiking up the road to the trail

A glance back at the gate before heading out on the trail

2.6?  My garmin begs to differ.  More like 3+.  
Not that I minded the extra walk of course...but it is nice to know so I can budget my time.

The hike.

Had some fun with the frost and my macro lens.

It was hard to get a good photo of this water spray, but I gave it my best try! 
I had to use my longer zoom lens to get a close enough shot, and the weight of the lens made it unstable for long exposure shots.  Just the motion of me pressing the shutter button was blurring the image.  In the end, I ended up using the self timer, so that the shake from pushing the button wouldn't blur the image.  This is one of the best ones I got. 

It took me just under 2 hours to reach this spot.  The trail continued on, but this is where I turned around.  Turns out there's 2 more waterfalls after this one, but they will be something new the next time I go!  There's also another parking lot closer to them, so that is where I will park next time.  

We all know it's not a true photo adventure without a jumping shot!

I had a great time out in the woods for 4 hours today. I never saw another person, or any animals for that matter.  I was probably too loud through the leaves and scared away any wildlife.  I wouldn't have minded a chance to get some shots of wildlife, but I certainly didn't mind the lack of people!
A day alone in the woods with my camera was exactly what I wanted.
The only downside to the adventure was on my way back through the water crossing my left foot started to feel wet, and I discovered a tear in my boot.  These boots have been on a lot of adventures with me! I was sad to see the tear, but when I got home I looked at my Amazon history, and discovered I bought them just under 3 years ago, for only $24!  These boots have been through rain, snow, mud, and mid-winter streams deeper than my ankles.  And they have kept my feet completely dry until now.  I'm pretty sure I got more than my money's worth out of them!  And I just ordered an identical pair to replace them.  I hope I can get another awesome 3 years out of the new pair!

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