This past Saturday was one of those days that never starts like it was supposed to. We'd planned to visit Western North Carolina for my birthday for a waterfall shooting and hiking trip. To get an early start my lovely family did the celebration thing on Friday night. Lots of cool stuff and excellent dinner, but then as I was putting my Atlanta Falcons (Go Birds!) license plate frame on the car (Thanks, son), I realized that I had not paid our car tags fees for the year!
In Georgia, you pay by the birthday of the first person listed on the title. Moi! And the next day was my birthday. Since it was now well after 7:00, there was no chance of getting the emissions done. Fortunately we can pay online, but I would have to wait until Saturday to get our emissions tested on the two cars. Which of course led to other delays.
After a late lunch (and expert driving by my learners permit holding daughter) we get to the mountains about 4:30 or so and start following directions given to me by CliffB from onlinephotographers.com
(excellent forum, highly recommended). He's shot some great waterfalls and knew the good spots. We made it to Silver Run Falls, but I forgot my tripod in the car, so those shots aren't nearly so good. Silver Run you can get right up to the falls as well. I'll get to some of those shots soon. As we were in the woods however, we turned around and someone else had sorta snuck up on his. Felt very creepy as he was just standing there looking at the falls. But he turned out to be a nice guy so all was good.
After Silver Run, we headed to Whitewater Falls, a "can't miss" according to Cliff. He was right, they are gorgeous. But with the good comes the bad. The viewing sites are in a public park and while that's good, it means there are limited places to get shots. The first point is up a 1/2 mile trail. So you can console yourself with "it's all downhill back to the car". But no. To get to the second (and best) observation deck, you have to head down 174 steps. Not too bad getting down, but will wind you coming up -- especially if you just turned 40 and aren't in great shape. The other "bad" is that this is a shot everyone can get to -- so as beautiful as the 400'+ cascade is, it's not so special as hiking through the woods to "boldly go where noone has gone before." But it was still a great site to see.
I'll let you all decide if the view was worth it.
By this point, the sun was fading fast. Fortunately this is only about two hours from home and we love it up there. So we will be back more often.