Monday, October 12, 2009

My horrible, terrible, really bad, no good day!

There are no photos to accompany this entry, I'll explain why later. Kenny and I went to Piney River, near Spring City, yesterday to hike. It was an OK day weather-wise, no rain, but cloudy most of the hike. We saw lots of pretty mushrooms and puffballs, even a mature Stalked Puffball-in-Aspic. I'd never seen one past the "slimy" stage, they are really weird looking fungi. One large fallen tree next to the trail was covered with thousands of small brown mushrooms growing on the roots and lower trunk. The trail follows a steep gorge, so there are quite a few fallen trees along the way. We could tell where the trail crews had been cutting trail-obstructing trunks recently. The river level was the highest we had ever seen. This time last year we were able to walk across it at the 100' bridge (3 miles in), yesterday we could not even go down to the rock outcropping that we like to watch the fish from because it was covered with water. After lunch we hiked up to an area that we hadn't been to before, Pine Branch Falls. Just before we got to the falls, I adjusted my tripod strap and felt something snap; it was my necklace chain! My jewelry isn't worth a lot monetarily, but it does have a lot of sentimental value. Fortunately, I found the blue topaz pendant my parents gave me for my 30th birthday (a "few" years ago!) and the little gold seahorse Kenny got for me in the Virgin Islands for our 15th anniversary. Unfortunately, although we searched and searched for 1/2 an hour in the fallen leaves, we never found my tiny gold porpoise charm I got on our 25th anniversary trip to Alaska. Finally, we had to head back before it started to get dark.

I wanted to get some final shots of the whitewater in the river when we got back to the parking area. I went out on a rock and set up the tripod and got some very nice photos of the river with the fall folaige in the background. As I was walking back across the stones I took one misstep and found myself AND my camera in the water! I've had lots of close calls on our hikes with slips and stumbles, but this was a major catastrophe! Water and the electronics in cameras don't mix very well. The only good thing is that I did insure my camera equipment in case of some type of disaster, so later today I'll find out if the company will back it up. I was glad it wasn't freezing cold and I was wearing fast-drying clothes, it was a long drive back to Oak Ridge! A hot meal and some hot decaf coffee at the Cracker Barrel helped too! I sure didn't enjoy wearing soggy hiking boots in the restaurant though!

Last night I ordered a new Nikon D90, so I won't be without a camera for long! Hopefully, the SD card with my hike photos survived so I can download the photos as soon as the new camera arrives.

I must have fallen into the river harder than I thought, during the night I woke up with so much pain in my wrist I was afraid I had fractured it. It is feeling a bit better now, I guess I sprained it when I caught myself on the rocks. My left knee took a beating on the rocks too, it has a knot and a bruise. Ah, the trials and tribulations of hiking and nature photography! But, I sure wouldn't want to give it up!