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Oct. 31, 2004

There was this place I found about three or four years ago, and I always had in mind that I would go there again some time when the time was right. Sunday morning as I was driving along the forest road along Falling Water Creek just after dawn mulling over several ideas about where we should hike that day, I thought it would be exciting to be able to get to an overlook, since I noticed the rain was causing all sorts of cloud and fog formations in the valley and the surrounding hills. So it occurred to me that this was the right time to head back to that rock outcrop with views all up and down the Falling Water and Richland Creek valleys.

But before that I stopped and took a few quick snaps of Falling Water Falls.

Up on top of that ridge is a wonderland of moss, lichen, old cedars, and boulders. Most of the time we were up there it was raining, which is good, because the rain was the engine of cloud creation, but it also meant that I was shooting from under an umbrella, which slowed me down, as did having to line up shots in between the trees and having to take care where I stepped and where I set up the tripod in order to avoid damaging the delicate mosses and lichens. Since the cloud formations were continuously changing, I'm sure for every shot I got there were dozens as good or better that I missed. Still, that particular spot on that particular morning is something photographers live for, with its opportunity take pictures of one fantastic scene after another, pretty much as fast as you can line them up, for hours.
After a few hours of fighting the rain, I was for the most part still winning the battle to keep the equipment dry but had been completely routed in the battle to keep myself dry. I was pretty much soaked, as was Junie, although after a while she found herself a small dry spot under a ledge. I no longer had any dry places on my shirt to wipe splatter from the camera and lenses, and when there was a lull in the action, we decided to beat a retreat back to the car, head off to our next destination, and hope we could get sort of dry on the way. I routinely carry dry shoes and socks in the car, but it finally occurred to me that taking a full change of clothes might not be a bad idea either.

I believe it was Ansel Adams who said that ninety percent of photography is knowing where to stand. This little ridge is a pretty good place to stand.

As we were rolling up Highway 7 to Jasper to nab a little lunch, the views of the Arkansas Grand Canyon proved tempting enough for an unscheduled stop and photo shoot from one of the overlooks.
And finally that afternoon after the rain had stopped we took a short hike and finished up the day's photography with this shot at a little creek near the Buffalo.