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Highs and Lows ....

The map showed a hike of less than a quarter mile, but there was a drop of more than 400 feet in the last 75 yards. I carefully side stepped and angled my way down the mountainside, sliding at times and trying my best to protect my favorite small stream bamboo rod, my camera and my tripod. Stones rolled downhill ahead of me and I questioned why I was doing this and how the hell I would get back out. The stream I found at the bottom was something that made all of that worth the effort. It was something wild, remote and amazingly beautiful. The fish were as wild as the country they lived in, and I was content to work my way upstream, always pulled by the music of running water and the constant question of what might be further up. I stopped here and there along the way to gather the images I wanted. A sound grew increasingly louder as I worked my way upstream and eventually the source of it came into view. It was a beautiful waterfall that cascaded like stair steps over a high geological formation of tilted bedrock that looked like a part of the earth had broken off millions of years ago. It was incredible. When I got to the pool at the bottom, my heart sank as quickly as it had been lifted. The falls were obviously a popular place as evidenced by the collection of trash, empty cans and bottles littering it. I could have filled two 30 gallon bags with the rubbish left there by people. I hiked back to my car shaking my head in disbelief, sickened by what I saw and feeling helpless that I didn’t have a trash bag with me. I struggle to accept that ignorant people could spoil a remarkable place like that, and that humans can be perfectly insensitive and cool with ruining the environment with their thoughtlessness.

Go explore nature and enjoy it. Take a kid, take a friend, take a hike. Listen and learn from it. Teach those that need teaching. Respect and protect it. Take back photos and memories. Leave only your footprints behind, and please carry out your damn trash! Polluters suck.


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