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Summer Snapshots
September 21, 2009
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We had a fun summer with a lot more trips to the outdoors than recent years. I did more fishing than I've done in the last 15 years; I went several times to photograph meteor showers, I tried my hand at firefly pictures, and we squeezed in a couple of camping trips.
I drove down to Lee Creek Park to catch the sunset on Thursday July 2. Right after the sun went down the fireflies came out so I hung around until 10 p.m. trying to get some photos. One composite of several shots turned out kinda interesting.
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The weather was so nice on Saturday, July 19 that we made an unplanned camping trip. We headed up to the Buffalo River and found the Steele Creek campground full, but we got a good site at Kyles Landing. As soon as the tents were up we all walked downstream and fished. Grant and I found a really nice spot with a deep hole of water at the base of this amazing sandstone bluff called the Castle. I caught a smallmouth in the swift current of a tight chute, just like in the good ol' days when I canoed a lot. We had to get up early the next morning to pack up and drive back home so that I could go in to work. While Stacey and Cliff cooked breakfast I walked downstream and took a few photos.
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My desire to get outdoors caught some momentum. I went down to the river for the sunset Sunday evening, then drove to Cove Lake for the moonrise and sunrise Monday morning.
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Two days later, on Wednesday July 22, I drove up to Boxley valley after work hoping to take a photo with a lot of fireflies in it. The settings I used on the camera didn't work out, but I had such a good time I returned the next night, this time with Cliff. We had a great time... the temperature really dropped as soon as the sun set. We had elk and deer grazing nearby, then once it got dark the sky was full of stars and quite a few fireflies flashed in the fields. New camera settings worked a lot better, though my final image uses a lot photographic magic and not something you would see with the naked eye.
The following Sunday afternoon, July 26, Cliff and I headed back up to the Buffalo River area with hopes of sightseeing and fishing. Our intended destination was the mouth of Richland Creek. I'd come up with a route, with the "help" of Google Maps, that took us through the Cave Creek valley then northwest up into the mountains. Two immature elk jumped in front of the Tahoe and scared us half to death. Cliff shouted "What are those!?". They had to be elk, I told him, though I agreed with him that they looked like moose! They were tall and lanky with dark coats.
With a mere 3.5 miles to go, we were stunned to discover that County Road 239 leading down to the historic Point Peter community no longer existed. There was a forest service gate where the turnoff would have been, and the path where the road used to be was covered in vegetation. Poor Cliff; we spent a couple of hours driving in circles trying to find a route down in to Richland Creek valley. My GPS unit also betrayed us, taking us down roads that a two-wheel drive SUV was never meant to travel. I was so afraid we were going to get stuck and spend the night out there. Another young elk crossed in front of us. I think it was laughing at us. Finally we got back on a good road and though my GPS told us exactly where we were, I couldn't trust it to tell me which roads were good enough to drive on. Thankfully we ran into a young family on 4-wheelers who gave us some much-needed human directions out. We were back on Highway 74 a mile north of Bass in no time. Overall we spent 8 hours driving, and didn't get back home til 11:40.
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