Rusty’s Weekly Recap – 3.31.2017
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The past 2 weeks have been fairly hectic for me, so I apologize for slacking on my weekly updates. This post will summarize my photo adventures from the past 14 days, in between speaking engagements at 2 different photography club events AND having my primary photo editing PC crash on me.
I was scheduled to give a waterfall photography presentation to the Laurel Highlands Camera Club in Somerset on March 21, so I headed down a day early and hit a few of my favorite familiar spots. Of course the Pack Saddle Bridge is high up on that list.
I also made a quick trip to Cole Run Falls the same day. I took my Dad along with me to this one - despite having lived his entire life in Somerset County he had never been to Cole Run Falls before.
I spent the morning of Tuesday the 21st at Ohiopyle State Park. I saw no one was at Cucumber Falls as I drove by so I stopped off and snapped a few quick frames.
My main goal that day was to do the 4 mile out-and-back hike to some of the waterfalls along the Jonathan Run Trail and the Great Allegheny Passage. First stop was Fechter Run Falls, just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Jonathan Run Trail along the Sugar Run Trail.
From Fechter Run Falls I backtracked to the Jonathan Run Trail and hiked a few minutes to reach Upper Jonathan Run Falls.
From Upper Jonathan Run Falls I hiked down the Jonathan Run Trail, temporarily bypassing Lower Jonathan Run Falls, to reach the GAP. I then hung a left to hike the bike path approx. 10 minutes west to reach Sugar Run Falls (visible from the GAP). I shot a few frames there, then descended the bank below the bike path bridge to reach Lower Sugar Run Falls (pictured below).
From Sugar Run I started my loop back to the Jonathan Run Trail, hiking upstream along that trail to reach Lower Jonathan Run Falls.
I wrapped up my day at Ohiopyle by taking advantage of the fact that Bruner Road was open to traffic on that day (normally open only to the rafter/kayaker shuttle buses during the tourist season). I drove down the road to where it dead-ends at the GAP and the Yough River, stopping to photograph a few of the small unnamed waterfalls along that portion of Bruner Run.
On Friday the 24th I headed east to Reading, PA to give a waterfall photography presentation at the Dynamic Images Conference (thanks to the Berks Photographic Society for inviting me!). So of course I had to try and photograph at least one waterfall while in the area. I met up with Jim Cheney of UncoveringPA.com on Saturday morning to visit Swatara Falls in nearby Schuylkill County. Despite its close proximity to Route 81, this waterfall and surround area made for a pleasant visit.
We photographed the main falls from several angles, and also hit a smaller waterfall upstream from that, along Swatara Creek.
As if I hadn't spent enough time in the car already that week, I took a 2 1/2 hour trip (one-way) to Wyoming County with my friend Steve Rubano in the infamous "Baja Camry" on Sunday. That car has probably seen more off-road action than half the lifted pick-up trucks you'll see in a Wal-Mart parking lot.
Our target on this day was State Game Lands 57, a place neither of us had been before. There was still a good amount of snow and ice hanging around in the gorges we explored that day, basically all unnamed tributaries of Mehoopany Creek.
We only scratched the surface of what promises to be a fertile spot for further exploration this spring. I can also confirm the bears are no longer hibernating as we spotted a small yearling black bear about 50 yards in front of us at one point in the afternoon. Fortunately he/she beat feet in the opposite direction and that was the extent of our interaction.
We wrapped up our Sunday shoot by stopping off at Dutchman Falls in Sullivan County, on our way back to State College. Located just off Route 220 at the eastern end of the Loyalsock Trail, this one always lends itself to nice photos. We got there about 30 minutes before sunset, so we had the place to ourselves.
While Steve was still shooting the larger bottom tier of the falls and climbed up around and shot the smaller upper tier.
All in all, it was a really great couple of weeks. Met some new folks, saw some new waterfalls, traveled some new roads.
Hope you enjoyed this look-back with me - so long until next week!