According to the TPE we should have a killer sunrise tomorrow utters the words of Andy, a good photographer friend of mine. I had just got done checking that out. Sounds promising, and worth of an early rise. Headlamp is charged, unlike the last time. This won’t be one of those times to have a dead headlamp.
Its Saturday morning and the heated seats are crankin warming things up. Headed to Mcdonald’s to meet my fellow comrade Andrew Sambuceto for the traditional weekend pre photo trip breakfast of champions, Sausage muffins and a large coffee. February 22nd brings a chilly morning and many thoughts on what Misery Ridge at Smith Rock will bring. Low light to start the accent, narrow loose footed trails and stairs as far as one could see line the rock cliffs. Careful footing is a must with this trip as any kind of careless steps could lead to certain disaster in this area.
Breath seen all too easily as we part from the truck. Backpacks tied on tight, headlamps firing hot. Visibility no further than the headlamps allow. We start the hike into the canyon. This is what excites us. The journey for the next world class sunrise photo. Thats what we tell ourselves anyhow. 75 yards into the climb the cold is replaced with sweat and exhaustion as we take it one stair step at a time. “what the hell was I thinking!” were just some of thoughts that came to mind at 5:30am on the side of a ridge. Sharing some laughs and comments regarding age and how fat and out of shape we were filled the morning air next to the continuous heavy breathing between the two of us. After at least 8000 switchbacks 6747 stairs 800 slips and 2 quads that were literally smoking and on fire we reached the top.
Taking in the morning view as the sun showed first signs of life on the horizon. We immediately set path to our shooting spot, or scouting for a new spot that is. After many spots along the backside of the state park we landed back toward the peak that overlooks some of gods greatest creations one could view. There wasn’t the sunrise color that we hoped for but the experiences we gathered from another great morning holding a camera, taking in the peaceful silence and views while the sun smacked the rocks deflecting heavily shadowed pockets along the rock cliffs made it all worth while. Conversations with Andrew sharing the same love and excitement for even the smallest event that will create an interesting image are the main topic as this trip comes to a close. Back down the mountain we travel. Another great weekend morning.