2011/02/03

Middle Creek Trail, Big South Fork

Josh Meyer, Stephanie Smith and my girlfriend Alexis Lienhart went hiking on January 27th in the Big South Fork on Middle Creek Nature Loop Trail. The trail is around 3.5 miles long, and not terribly strenious.
Map, Middle Creek Nature Loop Trail, BSF NRRA, Fentress Co, TN
As we drove into Jamestown via Highway 52, the world was perfectly frosted. Tree limbs hung low with the weight of snow, icicles several feet long hung from every ledge and large amorphous mounds of ice sat below. It brought the feel of the underworld to the surface; cold, lifeless.

After briefly going the wrong way, we found the trailhead. The path was difficult to distinguish at first with the 1/2 - 1 inch of snow covering the ground. But it didn't take long to get the feel for where we were going.

The sun came out and things started to warm up. Then, something amazing happened. It started raining without a cloud in the sky. For the next hour and a half a mixture of slush and water rained down on us. I tucked my camera safely under my waterproof jacket to protect it and sludged along.

Virtually every shot I setup was rushed to prevent waterlogging my camera. My shots are typically complex, taking upwards of 5 minutes to plan and execute. As a result of being rushed, I made many mistakes along the way. There were several problems associated with the precipitation that I didn't anticipate, or notice, as the photo shoot came along.

The most obvious problem was that my lens remained fogged for the latter half of the trip. I wiped it down before every shot, but it would re-fog so quickly that my auto-focus was being thrown off as well. In all, I deleted over 100 photos due to focus and fog related errors.

Furthermore, at the beginning of the trip, I mistakenly set my ISO to 1600. I intentionally set it at 100, but I must have pressed up once more without noticing and it cycled back to the bottom. So, my first pictures at the waterfall just outside Jamestown were awfully grainy.

Here are a few thumbnails to my favorite photos:
Unnamed waterfall, Jamestown, TN
Rockcastle rockhouse 3, Middle Creek Nature Loop Trail, BSF NRRA, Fentress Co, TNRockcastle cliff, Middle Creek Nature Loop Trail, BSF NRRA, Fentress Co, TN
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