I went to the small town of Strafford to see if their cool church had any foliage around it. It is a unique, picturesque church but this isn’t the year for foliage. Just before I got to town I saw a road called Old City Falls Road. After looking at the church and deciding it was worth stopping for a photo, I drove up the road. Driving along I saw a little open gate that look like one used by park people. I backed up and noticed a park-looking sign. I pulled in and the sign welcomed me to the park and said I should enjoy the falls and the gorge. I like gorges and falls, so I stopped.
The park didn’t have any maps or anything to tell me where to go but I could hear the falls. I walked toward the noise and saw a small trail and could see a big falls. The trail lead to a ledge that looked down on the falls, so I followed the trail. It was very steep and I went down a little ways to see there was a much larger falls than I had originally seen. This is cool but the trail got steeper, smaller and slicker. I went about half way down and stopped to think about whether climbing down this ridge was smart. It wasn’t just a hike, it was slipping and sliding down wet, loose dirt and rocks. It took a while but I made it to the bottom and then saw a sign facing the other way saying it was the end of the trail. Great, I climb down the scary, hard way and there is a trail.
The falls were great. There was a large falls and then a smaller one below. To get a photo of the large falls I needed to be on the other side of the river. There wasn’t any way to cross without getting really wet so I followed the trail back to the top to get my waders. The hike up the trail was much easier than scrambling down the rocks and I put on my waders and went back down to the river.
When I got to the other side the shot at river level was nice but a huge boulder blocked seeing the bottom of the big falls. I climbed up the bank a little and it was better but I could tell that I really needed to climb higher. This side was steeper than the other side I climbed down. I climbed up 20 feet but it wasn’t high enough. The ground was wet, loose and steep and there wasn’t anything to hold on to. I was carrying a tripod and camera, so I pushed them up the hill and then climbed up to them. It took a couple of times and I ended up climbing about 50 feet to be where I wanted to be.
After all the climbing there was a small tree between me and the falls. I wished I had my 20-foot trimmer but I didn’t have any choice but to shoot through the tree. There is a saying that photographers like their photos based on how much work it took to get the shot. I like this shot a lot based on that but I sure wish that tree wasn’t there. But I still had to climb down. At least I had my waders on and didn’t have to worry about getting my butt wet.
Walking back down the trail I stopped to get a long shot of the stream. After all the work climbing and sliding, the easy shot may be my favorite.