Thursday, July 17, 2014

Two Sliced Up Legs and A Black Eye

Every once in a while it gets a little tricky to "get the shot".  That was the case this past weekend.  I'd read about a waterfall in Keene, New Hampshire.  We were staying there after attending a conference in the area.  Only problem was that no one in town seemed to know where this waterfall was.  Asked the grizzled old timer at the gas station that was right out of the movie Deliverance.  Even he didn't know what the heck I was talking about.  Asked a cop.  "No such place." I was told.  Of course he looked like a high school kid, so tromping around the woods probably took a backseat to video games as he was growing up.  We finally tracked it down.  The access was at the end of a residential road.  There was a trail marker with some information.  The falls was about three quarters of a mile up an abandoned section of the road.  So off we went with a pair of cargo shorts stuffed to the gills with filters, accessories, a cable release, $3.86 worth of change, packets of powdered lemonade (no water) and assorted items designed to weigh me down.  To learn what today's title refers to, hit the "Read More".

The walk was about fifteen minutes of lugging two tripods up (and I mean up) what used to be the main road in the area.  It was one of those clearly marked two lane one lane roads.  Anyone traveling on this thing in its hay day took the life in their hands.  Even one of today's compact cars would have a hard time passing someone going in the opposite direction.  I flashed back to a tour bus in Jamaica.  They tend to drive down the center of the roads there and swerve, with about five feet remaining, to avoid oncoming traffic.  I'd guess it was the same situation here and that would explain abandoning the road.

It was pretty easy to see that we had reached the falls.  In addition to the sound there was a cooler, the remains of a camp fire and a couch at the side of the trail/road.  Now, I can see the cooler.  I can picture teenagers building a campfire.  But a couch?  Someone carried, dragged, hauled (maybe helicoptered in) a couch for the better part of a mile?  And they say today's kids aren't ambitious.

The description of the falls says its a twelve foot double drop.  What the guidebook doesn't say is that the top of the falls is set down about six feet from the surrounding area.  That makes it twenty feet from road level to the base of the falls.  I could see what someone had used as a trail to get to the bottom.  It looked doable.  About forty years ago I could have bounced down it like a gazelle.  This time it was more like a scene out of "Romancing The Stone".  At one point Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner are standing on the side of a mountain road and the road gives way.  Turner goes first and slides down the mountain landing in a stream.  Douglas looks aghast and quickly follows, slipping, sliding and tumbling.  The "trip" to the bottom of the gorge looked just about the same.  My foot slipped out from under me and I was then sliding down the "trail", bouncing off boulders and trees, careening out of control almost to the base.  My wife really tends not to see the humor in these types of situations.  At least she waited until I came to a stop before asking if everything was okay.  (She's probably learned from past experience.)  I checked the vital things and called back up "no problem, it's a Nikon".  Expressively acknowledging that I was indeed alive, she wasn't impressed that my first concern was for the camera and tripod.  I was pretty scraped up, but everything functioned and nothing was broken.  I figured I was good, so I setup the tripod and starting shooting.  That explains the legs looking a lot like hamburger. 

The black eye was another story.  Once we got back to the car it was getting late and started raining.  We figured we'd go to a movie.  When the coming attractions started I let Doris know I was going to run out to the men's room before the movie started.  Back home they show about twenty minutes worth of upcoming movies,  Everything from what's starting next week to what's coming up next year.  Not so much in Keene. NH.  As I walked back into the theater the previews had end and there was that thirty second gap before the movie starts.  Pitch blackness was what I found.  No problem.  In my mind we had gone through the door and turned left.  Nope!  The cement block wall and my face let me know I had erred.  How my face got to the wall before either my hands or feet I'll never know, but the frame of my glasses got smashed into my left eye socket giving me about a one inch gash above my left eyebrow.  After bouncing off the wall I did a 180 and found my seat.  I asked Doris if she had any tissues (she always carries a small packet) and started soaking up the blood that was (not so slowing) running down the side of my head.  It's three days later and my shiner is looking good.  A regular badge of courage (or something).

Over the weekend we got a few interesting images, but from the looks of me we should have gotten a lot more.  Oh well.