|Hiking||8.00 Miles|| || |
|200 ft AEG|| || || |
Drove into a sleeping Sedona at 4 am, to the Black Crowes singing prophetically on the radio: Clouds conspire...above my head.... Into the darkness of Oak Creek Canyon and on the West Fork trail by 5. I don't know Haz's own Nighthiker, but I do have a profound respect for his method of hiking- even this common and well used trail looks ominous by the faint blue glow of a Tikka headlamp. It was rather balmy, and the rain began immediately. It never really ended the entire day. Rain and rain..and then more rain...
After the turnaround point, I was, frankly, tired of hiking in the rain and being the quickdraw with the camera, so I crawled under an overhang to wait it out. Nothing doing, as the storm only blew heavier, pushing the rain horizontal and spraying the forest with clouds of dying leaves. After a half an hour, I shrugged, tightened the rain jacket, covered my camera equipment and did a beeline for the trailhead. And then slowed in awe at the incredible waterfalls pouring over the rim! One was at least 30-40 feet! Just beautiful, and I decided then and there I could not miss this photogenic opportunity. So I hiked back to the "smokehouse" cave and stood dripping, hoping the rain would cease. It slowed a bit, and I went back and tried my best to get a shot. I used some quite Kamikaze methods as the rain fell harder and harder, and as I hoped and prayed at least one frame would come out (and my equipment wouldn't be ruined). I also forgot the centerpost to my tripod when I left, prompting me to return for...
What a difference. A cold morning, clear and beautiful. Hiked in for numerous photo opportunities, and recovered my missing centerpost. A perfect day on the West Fork trail. Many standing puddles of water on the trail, but not nearly the flowing river it was yesterday. Many people, all enjoying the fall color.
|A true outdoorsman, when treed by a bear, sits back and enjoys the view.
Lost? Hell, I ain't never been lost. But I have been a mite confused for a week or two.
-The Mountain Men