Tuesday, October 19, 2010

SSPBDT Mancation Day 2 - Friday, October 15th, 2010

The 5th Annual SSPBDT Mancation

Mortimer Campground
Wilson Creek, NC
Thursday, October 14th thru Sunday October 17th, 2010

Day 2 – Friday, October 15th, 2010

Day 2 Photos are posted here:
http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/578814341XZuBfC

Skip, Johnny, and I planned to get up early to take advantage of the morning light. However, due to certain events the previous evening, none of us emerged from our tents as early as planned.

We still managed to make it to a couple of spots along Wilson Creek during prime morning light.

Wilson Creek

Wilson Creek

Once the sun rose above the ridge, any further photography attempts proved to be futile. Plus, we were all getting hungry. So we returned to camp to join the others and fix up some breakfast.

After breakfast we decided to do a couple of nearby waterfall hikes located off of FR464 a few miles from the campground.

First up was Hunt Fish Falls, which is about a 1.5 mile round trip hike. The trail is down hill all the way to the waterfall, meaning it will be all uphill on the way out.

This is a nice little waterfall, but it could definitely use a bit more flow! We spent a good bit of time hanging out and waiting for the occasional stray cloud to block the harsh sunlight for a few seconds!

Hunt Fish Falls

Next we decided to visit Little Lost Cove Creek Falls. The area is so dry now, even a 2WD vehicle can make it all the way down FR464A, making for a much shorter hike. However, if there has been some rain, I would only attempt driving FR464A with 4-Wheel Drive!

Just before the last downhill grade leading to a campsite at the end of FR464A, we parked and picked up the path to the left. It is a very easy and gradually downhill grade for a little over a half mile.

From there we picked up the not very obvious side path on the right which takes you very steeply down the bank to the base of Upper Little Lost Cove Creek Falls. This path is extremely steep, but fortunately there are plenty of trees to grab on to for balance.

For even more of an adventure, we continued on to Lower Little Lost Cove Creek Falls a short distance downstream. I almost recommended skipping this one as it is not as nice as the upper falls, conditions were not good (too much sun and not enough water), and it is one heck of a tough climb.

Lower Little Lost Creek Falls (low flow and lousy light)

Just as I expected, conditions were horrible and I believe Johnny and Skip thought about killing me for dragging them down here! Skip and Johnny did not even bother pulling out their cameras as the water flow was pitiful and the sunlight through the trees would ruin any attempt at a good shot.

The worst part was that we now had to climb back up to the Upper Falls.

I started to get a little worried as I watched Johnny attempt to make his way upstream via a very questionable route. He was belly crawling on a combination of slick rocks and wet leaves.

In the end, all three of us chose a different route to the Upper Falls and we all made it safely! However, I would definitely not recommend doing this on a solo hike. If you injure yourself here, you might never be rescued!

The good news is that even with low water flow, Upper Little Lost Cove Creek Falls still makes for a nice shot. This waterfall is so deep into the cove, that even during the middle of the day; it is entirely in the shade making for an excellent photo subject.


Upper Little Lost Cove Creek Falls

With the low water, there were no problems working our way back and forth across the creek for endless photographic compositions.

Skip and Johnny at Upper Little Lost Cove Creek Falls

After the climb back out of the gorge, we drove on back to the campground. By now the Friday arrivals (Scott R, Trey, and Blair) had showed up at the campground.

This was Blair’s first time here, and had never seen Thorps Creek Falls, so I used him as an excuse to make another visit.

Thorps Creek Falls

Back at camp the drinking had kicked into full gear and the campfire cooking had commenced. Various rounds of delicious grub was prepared and shared along with several different varieties of Mason Jar Elixirs!

Once full darkness hit, a group of us went for another night time tour of the Mortimer Graveyard. Night time photography is a lot of trial and error. Hopefully the more I try the better I’ll get.

The Mortimer Graveyard made for the perfect setting to attempt some night photography.

Full Moon over the Mortimer Graveyard

I am not sure if having a bunch of drunk buddies with flash lights along helped or hindered the situation?

Drinking Buddies with Flash Lights

After the Graveyard Tour we went in search of Extreme Darkness. Finding Extreme Darkness involves walking up the road until you can no longer see the lights from the campground. Once satisfied that we were away from any source of man-made light, we checked out the amazing starry sky! The only light preventing Extreme Extreme darkness was from the moon!

Extreme Darkness (the focus is way off, but you get the idea)

The remainder of the evening was spent hanging out around the campfire. At one point Johnny and Skip mentioned trying to get up early for a sunrise, but I was pretty sure I would not be up for any early morning photography!

Additional photos from Mancation Day 2 are located here:
http://outdoors.webshots.com/album/578814341XZuBfC

1 comment:

zod said...

There is actually an easier trail to get to Lower Little Lost Creek Falls that comes in from below....it's just farther down the 464A trail.