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Topic: Playing tourist in Blackwater Canyon, WV, Trip report (9/22/13)< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 23 2013, 10:40 am  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My Saturday was rough - we had over a hundred people invited for an "end of summer barbecue". It rained buckets all day. I spent more than 3hrs standing in the rain, over two smoking grills, all the while holding an umbrella.

To recover, on Sunday I tottered off to West Virginia's Canaan Valley. At 9:30am I parked at the Lindy Point Overlook trailhead, where I also planned to catch the sunset, later on in the day. I had not hiked the majority of the trails in the Canaan Valley area; I wanted to try out some of these, starting with the Lindy Run trail, a short 0.7mi up the gravel road from my parking spot. Unfortunately, I missed the turnoff for the Lindy Run trail and ended up losing an hour due to my mistake as well as all motivation for hiking. On the plus side, I did see a nice meadow and startled some deer which sprang up from it like magic. However, less said about this part of the day the better!

Canaan Valley is full of beautiful features. Blackwater Canyon runs along one edge and is home to some stunning waterfalls and classic mid-Atlantic vistas. More than enough stuff to keep me entertained for the rest of the day.

I began with the tough off-trail hike into Blackwater Canyon and upstream to the jewel of the park, the impressive Blackwater Falls. I had done this once before, but had either blocked the difficult approach from my memory, or the recently downed trees and high water level of the river had made the approach that much more difficult. A couple of times I had to crawl full length along a short ledge on a cliff above the river, with an overhang scraping my pack. All worth it of course!

Blackwater Falls: Head on

Blackwater Falls: Around the rock

Blackwater Falls: Water everywhere

Blackwater Falls: Downstream

Next, I made my way to the serene upper Elakala Falls, the perfect way to decompress after the sound and fury of Blackwater Falls. I was sad to see that Elakala Falls #2, the next one downstream, was now buried under fallen trees. I did not venture past it.

Elakala Falls: Mossy rocks

I still had some time before my sunset date with the Lindy Point overlook, so I headed to the other side of Blackwater Falls and joined the tourists to visit the regular overlook. Oddly, Blackwater Falls looked more impressive from here than from my earlier view from down in the gorge.

Blackwater Falls: Parting the waters

Finally, I returned to the Lindy Point Overlook trailhead and walked the short trail to the vista. I spent a happy two hours watching the clouds stream across the sky, and captivated by the resulting play of sunshine on the Blackwater Canyon hillsides.

Lindy Point: Red maple
A hint of fall color

Lindy Point: Forest

Lindy Point: Beam of light


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 23 2013, 11:02 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Now there's a book cover for you. It almost looks like God is in it.

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"Red is the color of the sun with my eyes closed." - Dave Matthews

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 23 2013, 11:11 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(MRHyker @ Sep. 23 2013, 11:02 am)
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Now there's a book cover for you. It almost looks like God is in it.

Amen, +1, or any desirable equivalent!
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 23 2013, 1:02 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My wife is quite fond of poetry. I always tell her I prefer the poetry of nature to the one of words.

MRHyker, how about writing another guidebook on West Virginia...? :D (PS. Sorry I couldn't help you on the Maryland guidebook, since I've yet to hike in that State.)


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 23 2013, 1:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Maybe we can use it on the 2nd printing of the current one.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 23 2013, 1:12 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

(PS. Sorry I couldn't help you on the Maryland guidebook, since I've yet to hike in that State.)


So what's the hold up?


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 23 2013, 1:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just laziness, I guess.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 23 2013, 1:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I've met you. You're way too young for laziness.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 23 2013, 1:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

How about a suggestion for the best fall viewpoint (mountains, lakes or waterfalls will all work) in Maryland, with a preference for spots closer to Pittsburgh?

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 23 2013, 2:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

This would be out of the range of my book and I've never been there but I've been told Swallow Falls (SP) is nice. It's probably the closest MD park to you.

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 23 2013, 4:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Wow.  Incredible pics.

Swallow Falls SP is very beautiful.  MD's Youghiogheny River is among the most scenic in the Appalachians.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 23 2013, 5:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

The last pic is magic!
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 23 2013, 8:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks guys. I got lucky with that final shot: The light hadn't been that good. I was messing about with the camera getting ready for the grand finale, wondering if I'd come away with anything nice, when I noticed a glimmer in the corner of my eye. I looked up and saw the shaft of sunlight. I fired off a few shots just before it disappeared for good.

MR, thanks for the Swallow Falls SP. Looks really nice! On the list.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 25 2013, 11:27 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(GaliWalker @ Sep. 23 2013, 8:57 pm)
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I was messing about with the camera getting ready for the grand finale, wondering if I'd come away with anything nice ...

Here's the "grand finale" shot:

Lindy Point: Last light


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 25 2013, 12:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Come on now ... That's gotta be photoshopped?

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 25 2013, 1:33 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yes, it is.

Here's what was done: The eye saw what you see in the photo but no camera has the dynamic range needed to handle the shadowy hills as well as the bright sky. I attempted to control the latter with a graduated neutral density filter, which darkens the top half of the sky by 8 times, but even then was off by another 8 times. So, I took three rapid shots, one after the other, spanning the exposure range. I ended up using two of the shots and blended them together in Photoshop. Initially, I'd used all three shots but the end result seemed a bit off from reality, so I went back last night and redid it. If I'd had a second GND filter, I wouldn't have had to resort to blends.

This is pretty much how I remember the scene. The only thing which I don't remember seeing was the sunburst - this is an artifact of the blades of the camera's shutter, not a photoshop artifact. Light reflects off the blades in a starburst pattern, when using a small aperture. You can simulate this somewhat when you gaze at the sun through partly shut eyelids; sunlight will reflect off your eyelashes in a similar style.


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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 25 2013, 1:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

... and if you close your eyes all the way and look at the sun .....

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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 25 2013, 8:01 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

How about sending GaliWalker to the Long Pond Trail in Green Ridge SF? I bet he could do a lot with the Long Pond campsite area where Fifteenmile Creek cuts through the tiltrock. Would probably extend the leaf season vs. higher up areas so not an either or proposition.
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PostIcon Posted on: Sep. 26 2013, 3:43 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Fifteen Mile Creek tends to have very low water levels this time of year.

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18 replies since Sep. 23 2013, 10:40 am < Next Oldest | Next Newest >

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