One of the things I love the most about hiking is the solitude. There is nothing like hearing only the wind whistling quietly through the trees. It’s like the secrets of the universe being spoken quietly in your ear.
When we did the Stone Door hike, we were surprised at the solitude we found. In spite of it being a short, easy trail that started out with a paved segment, we only saw people going the opposite direction. At the top of Stone Door, a breeze blew through the pines and we enjoyed that hard-to-find solitude that usually only less accessible wilderness offers.
For me, this sense of solitude somehow always generates a wondrous feeling of connectedness in what might be one of life’s great paradoxes. It was so palpable at the top of Stone Door that I had to set my camera aside for 10 minutes and just sit and listen to the wind and feel part of life.
When we decided to walk at least part of the Savage Gulch Day Loop trail, we thought we might see even fewer people–it’s more remote.
When we arrived at the parking lot, another couple was getting ready to head down the trail. I overheard the man ask the woman, “Got what’cha need? Need what’cha got?” What a profound question. One of the greatest mistakes I’ve made in my lifetime is not asking the second question. But I digress.
Tisen has been limping and so have we, so we didn’t expect to make it all the way around the 5 mile loop trail. We also got a bit confused because there are about 5 trails that converge with the loop trail. So, we didn’t start out with the intention of going to Savage Falls, but that’s where we ended up. But we were OK with having gotten slightly lost–who can resist a waterfall?
When we arrived at Savage falls, we were a little jealous of the people swimming in the water. We contemplated getting in, but we didn’t see a good path for Tisen to get down to the water and Tisen has put on a few too many pounds to be carried easily. So, we sat in the shade and watched.
I attempted to shoot with my 100-400mm lens since there was enough of a crowd that my 24-70mm wasn’t giving me tight enough compositions. Plus, I was shooting for a lot of depth of field, so I figured my faster lens wasn’t doing me that much good anyway.
There were two wrong assumptions about this. First, the faster lens has an easier time focusing no matter what aperture I have it set on. Second, the shorter focal length is easier to hold still even though that lens lacks Image Stabilization.
But, I did my best to steady the lens. If only my subjects would have held still–I had to refrain from yelling “freeze!” at the couple under the water fall.