So, when Mr. Schad puts in his book things like “moderately strenuous” and “this 4-mile round-trip hike will take you 3 hours”, we’ve discovered today that he fucking means it.
There were a couple of good photographic opportunities, today:
The tree does a good framing job, but as we finished the hike and wandered back towards the car, the pinks and oranges were just too good to miss:
So, ok, enough with the sunsets (altho I did get some panoramic attempts, which will go up later)…
This slightly fuzzy picture of me shows our intended goal, Three Sisters Waterfall:
I’d like to say that my gut really is as small as it seems, but I’m sucking it in. Anyway, here’s a better view of the falls on our approach:
You can see pretty clearly why they’re called the 3 Sisters–there’s three different major falls in the complex, with the middle one being the tallest (at over 50′).
Here’s Sunshine from where she’d shot the picture of me (above):
And here’s a view from behind–look!? She’s managed to acquire an ass!
So, that’s really all the good news about the hike. It seriously kicked our asses. Of course, it didn’t help that we left far too late in the day (we didn’t actually get to the trailhead until almost 2:30), and we were not really prepared for the effort the 4,000 feet in elevation gain/loss we had to deal with on the hike.
The lateness of our start, and a couple of other issues, conspired to keep us from actually achieving the finish to the hike. Partially, it just plain old kicked our asses. The other part was us being cautious about not getting caught in the middle of nowhere in the dark (we weren’t prepared for the high desert cold, so we needed to get out of the valley before the sun got seriously down). We also hadn’t accounted for the strenuous hike up the river to get to the falls–it would probably make sense to at least do the hike with hiking poles.
However, we’ve pretty much decided that the next time we go back to 3 Sisters (and we are definitely going back), we’re taking camping gear and staying the night. That’s especially important to me, as there were many cool photographic opportunities like the following that I just never got the time to focus on–we sat and ate our lunch in front of this wonderful little rock fall:
Of course, this kind of scene begs to have a long exposure (small aperture) shot taken of it, to try and get that milky-smooth look to the whitewater. I almost got there, but really need a small gorilla-pod to stabilize the camera, and of course, a lot more time to consider the angle and the light and the framing. This I took pretty much because I was there:
So, after we got to this point, we turned around, and threw ourselves against the sheer 500′ wall that one must climb to get out of the valley–I think I’ve already said this, but it kicked our asses. No doubt, the 3 Sisters are a family of bitches that played hard to get with us.
Next time, we’ll be armed and ready.
Here’s a last shot for the day, taken this morning while the goggies ran amok at Dog Beach:
I’ve been trying to get a similar shot since these two were puppies. I’d had long-term editing plans for this setup, where I want to digitally map in reflections of them running as puppies, so the above-ground adults reflect their inner pups. But I never got the original shot I needed, so this will just to have to serve as a reminder…
All in all, an awesome day!? 4 miles, lots of elevation gain/loss and some great sunset shots. Not a lot to argue with that, is there?