Backpacking in Big South Fork One Day… Nature and Travel Field Trip #1 the Next

This past weekend was a really busy one, but fun filled. It started on Saturday by meeting up with Bryan and Meredith, Justin S, Derek, Dale, and Ann for some backpacking in Big South Fork. They all go to Brentwood Hills CoC. It was kind of an interesting itinerary. Dale’s truck was left over near Bandy Creek Campground. We meet up at Leatherwood Ford. The plan was to camp out just below the Angel Falls Overlook, but first do a day hike from Leatherwood Ford to Bandy Creek, stopping by Angel Falls. The length of the Day Hike was right around 10.5 miles. I didn’t take my GPS this time, so about the only thing I really have to go on is estimating by pace and time. Our campsite was two miles in on the trail. We took a couple of tents to claim our spot. We would carry the rest of our gear when we finished the day hike and returned back to Leatherwood Food. It got cold and started to very lightly rain… and I had left my rain jacket in the car, so I was pretty miserable during the day hike and anxious to get back to the car. After getting our gear, we proceeded to hike back to camp. It is a really flat trail, so that helps when carrying a 31 lb pack after hiking 10.5 miles. After we setup, we started cooking dinner. Shortly after dinner, it started raining again. I opted to take shelter in my tent. I usually have trouble falling asleep when I’m out camping, but this time, I was out pretty quickly. I’m sure I was probably the first one out.

My plan was to leave around 8:00 in the morning since I needed to get ready for the Nature and Travel Photography Field trip later in the afternoon. Derek and Ann also had to go back to Nashville and be there in time for a Habitat for Humanity Dedication for a house their group had worked on. When I saw Derek walking around, I went down to see when they had planned on leaving… if soon I’d hike out with them, if not, I’d just hike out alone. Came to find out he had gotten sick. We originally had planned to have a church service, but in Derek’s condition, it was decided that the best thing was to get him back to the car. I helped him pack up his stuff and then went to check on Ann. She had just gotten up and was starting to pack up. However, she really didn’t have a backpack that was big enough for her stuff. On the way in Dale had helped her carry her stuff (I assume), but since Dale wasn’t camping, he left after dinner. What we decided to do was I’d hike out with Derek and carry some of Ann’s stuff and Bryan would hike out with Ann and carry some of Ann and Derek’s stuff. Then Bryan would go back to camp and hike out with Meredith and Justin later.

So that was a long story, with no pictures… but the moral of it is, it helps to have the right gear, whether it be a rain jacket or a large backpack.

Ok we now for the part of this entry that doesn’t require much writing. A few of us meet up at UT before and drove to Townsend. We then meet up with everyone else at the parking lot just before you get to the Y. As part of the field trip, we only went to two places. The first was Middle Prong on the road past Treemont. The second place was one of the first parking areas you come to after you pass the road to Treemont on the way to Cades Cove. Through work, I have access to a couple of pieces of equipment that I probably won’t ever buy. One is a Canon 40D that has been converted to Infrared and the other is a 600mm f4L lens.

http://gallery2.justinacuff.net/v/photography_certificate/nature_and_travel_photography/field_trip_1/

Technorati Tags: , , , , ,

Nature and Travel Photography Assignment 1

I should have posted this last week, but I got kind of busy with the baby day stuff at Laurel, so I didn’t get around to it. In the meantime, I upgraded WordPress to 2.5, which includes a photo gallery. Previously I had experimented with using a plug-in called WPG2. It worked good when I first installed it, but I think and upgrade to Gallery broke it and I don’t really care that much to go in and see what is going wrong.

As with most of the classes I am taking, this assignment was very informal. It was to pick a subject and photograph it many different ways. I actually picked two subjects, but that was just because they are in the same area. On April 13th, we are taking the youth group hiking. I know the Smoky Mountains the best and I am familiar with Big South Fork, but both of those areas are kind of far away and the Smoky Mountains will be crowded. I know there are hiking trails at Norris Dam State Park, so I loaded up my camera gear to run by Norris and pick up a trail map and hope there was something to photograph. In the southeastern part of the park, there is a Rice Grist Mill and the Crosby Threshing Barn in the same area. I chose these as my subjects. Also that weekend, I had a 40D we had modified to make it sensitive to infrared. I’m still trying to learn infrared. These were my first attempts. It was very cloudy and overcast that day, so the infrared pictures aren’t quite as good as they could have been.

Well, I’ve decided I’m not happy with the WordPress Gallery, so I’ve removed the pictures and instead will give you a link to it in my gallery.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , ,