Tag Archive | Ithaca

Falling for Taughannock ~

This past Monday (my day off) I decided to take the day and make a photo excursion of it… all by myself.  I’ve been wanting to try new ways of capturing waterfalls using various shutter speeds and aperture settings, and I thought the always-intriguing Taughannock Falls near Ithaca, NY, would be a nice challenge.  I’m looking to get that slowed motion look rather than stop-action, so off I went with camera bag full of everything I have, plus my tripod to help me get those special effects.  It was nearly 50 miles to the Taughannock Falls State Park, and I enjoyed the ride through wine country and along Cayuga Lake as the sun shone brightly at 8:30 a.m. when I left on my journey.  Even though I knew in the back of my head that I needed more cloudy conditions for what I was looking for, I hoped for the best and headed south.

Before heading to the falls area, I visited the “lake side” area of the park, across the street from the falls (across Highway Route 89).  There were the offices there, and a much-needed restroom before I would start my “journey” to the falls.  But there were also photo opportunities that I took advantage of.  Then I re-parked in the falls lot and loaded myself up for the walk.

Mind you, it’s “only” 3/4 of a mile back to the falls along very nicely kept trails.  I stopped at the lower falls first and tried taking some of my “specialty shots”, to no avail.  I think it was too sunny.  But I spent several minutes trying many different settings before I lost faith and turned to go to the main falls.  I knew, for me, this would be a challenging walk, as I’m not in ideal physical condition ~ being well overweight, bad knees, bad back… but I had a good attitude, and was looking forward to going at my own pace for a change, and enjoying the woodsy outdoors after being cooped up all winter.  I had nothing else on my agenda for the day, and decided to take my time and moreso.  (if you click on a pic, it’ll bring it up to full size)

There were few people and far between during my journey.  But I enjoyed the solace and just the sounds of the rushing waters and some birds of prey circling and flying over the water far above.  I did have to stop at several strategically-placed benches for a brief rest, then I continuted on and finally reached my destination.  I was the only one there.  I walked as far up the trail as I could until there was no trail left, but the roaring falls right in front of me.  Click – click, more pictures.  I surveyed the gorge around me and noticed those raptors were nesting in the sides of the cliffs.  I sat in silence for awhile, then gathered up my things and headed back the 3/4 mile from which I’d come.

I don’t think I’d even gotten out of sight of the falls when I misstepped on a small rock and almost fell on my face on the trail.  I heard this LOUD crunching in my foot and then the shooting pain that accompanied and immediately I jumped onto my left foot to take the weight off the pain.  I’ll never forget that sound!  Loud enough so I heard it over the falls!  I quickly looked for someplace to sit, but the nearest bench was maybe a few hundred feet down the path.  I tried to put my foot down, but it was futile.  I steadied myself enough to get my tripod into position to be used as a walking stick, then I set off  v-e-r-y    s-l-o-w-l-y taking tiny, baby steps and just dealing with the pain.  What else was I going to do?  No cell service.  There had been a couple of couples and a pair of women with some toddler children come and gone.  I didn’t figure there was anyone to help, so I just sucked it up and walked imperceptably slow.  It was going to be a LONG walk back.

And, indeed, it was!  It took me 75 minutes to limp that 3/4 mile!  But I was never so happy to see those lower falls and the highway, then the parking lot and my car!  After all is said and done, it was not so bad as a sprain, but I just seemingly tore all or most of the tendons in the top of my foot.  Two days later, with the help of an Ace bandage, I’m still limping but well on the mend.  I did stop and sit in the car for a bit, and I prayed and thanked God that I’d made it back and that it wasn’t so serious.  And I thanked Him for giving me the opportunity to see all that I did and enjoy what He’d created.  Something so simple as looking up at the blue sky through the trees has new meaning for me.  It’s amazing the life lessons you can get out of an injured foot!

Thanks for visiting!  Until next time… TTFN ~ Tamara Eckstadt