08 May 2021
Moments To Remember
Stephens Falls and Parfrey's Glen
Because it was Spring I wanted to return to Stephen's Falls. I asked Suze if she wanted to join me. She agreed. We arrived around 10:00 or 10:30. Wasn't exactly keeping track of time.
A moment to remember. In my excitement to get going and make sure I had the gear I wanted, I forgot the most important object for this excursion. My camera.
My iPhone 8 Plus was recruited as a suitable replacement. Funny thing, I acknowledged my forgetfulness and moved on without beating myself up about it. A step forward in looking at the situation and not letting emotion envelope my thoughts and actions.
It's a short walk to the falls. Suze mentioned she felt wobbly. Her walk down the precarious steps to the waterfall was laced with caution and regret.
She did soldier on tough though and sat and rested, recording a few videos of the falls. I looked for new angles and once again focused too much attention on the falls and not enough on the surroundings. I did offer a family the benefit of taking a family picture for them with the wife's phone/camera.
The iPhone worked of course and Suze and I made our way back to the parking area. By then we were thirsty, and sat in the car and drank our water. Of course, we needed to go back to Madison and pick up my camera.
Click the link to see: Stephens Falls
Suze decided not to continue with me to the next stop. Not having a decent breakfast she was shaky and thought it best to return, eat something, and rest. No worries were the first two words out of my mouth and after picking up my camera and dropping her off at her place I drove on into an unexpected encounter.
I enjoy the word encounter, it has such a mysterious connotation, no matter what the context. I punched in the directions on Maps in my phone and headed out. By the time I reached Prairie de Sac, a detour caused some consternation.
I started following the detour signs but soon realized this was going to take me too far out of my way. Turning back to Hwy 78 the road closed signs were pulled over onto the shoulder of the road where the road was previously blocked. That was a sure sign the road ahead was open.
Crossed my fingers, pressed my foot to the pedal, and drove on without a hitch. Parfrey's Glen was only about twelve more miles and it was reached without further incident. The parking lot, of course, was full.
Left my monopod in the car, shouldered the camera bag, strapped hat to head, and shuffled along the road to the trail. The hike to rushing water began, and not knowing what to expect loomed up a slightly inclining trail. Mostly families with young children and bored young couples with nothing to do were coming and going in both directions.
The paved trail soon surrendered to gravel, to rocky dirt. Several couples passed me by on their way to this escarpment of boulders and rushing water. I began to tire. It was hot and humid but refusing to rest became a mantra.
I did stop several times and shot a few images of the small creek running down the hill. Crossing a creek with logs and rocks for stepping stones while shouldering a backpack tends to throw my balance off. I slipped and landed in the creek without falling.
Now that my feet secured a baptism there wasn't much reason to attempt any more log and or rock crossings. When needed, I just stepped into the water and crossed over to the other side. The hike up to the rushing waterfalls area is about a mile and a half.
Another map states it is 1.7 miles. Either way, it was a roughshod hike over some boulders, through the water, and on to a declined area that passes for falls. Climbing over huge boulders with a pack tends to be intimidating. If a person loses their balance and falls, injury to one's camera could be serious.
Once again having expectations cause disappointments. The glen is not a waterfall in the expected description of a waterfall. You know, water rushing over a cliff and dropping down at the least a few feet and continuing on as a stream.
Not here. The water does rush, gush, and becomes white with foam. There is, however, no drop. There are two points where the stream pours overextended rock formations and drops to the next lower level.
Still, it is a beautiful area. It is also one of the most visited areas in the state. At least for those individuals who like this sort of adventure. I raise my hand, I'm one of 'em.
For the first few moments I'm there, it is quiet, peaceful, and filled with solitude which enriches my soul. The wonderful thought that I'm the only person in this world crosses my mind. I sigh in relief.
Way too soon. Families perk up over the rocks just as I am relaxing into a zone of comfort. Children ask parents if they can wade in the water by the shallow pool below the 'falls.' Couples take selfies, and admire their images with broad smiles and kisses.
I watch and shoot. The photojournalist in me will never leave. Once a person becomes an observer of people who captures their intimate moments the desire, the compulsion, the thirst to encapsulate humans as their relaxed selves is a rewarding imperative.
Standing as still as possible my aching hips, and wobbly legs realize it is time for a return trip to the oasis of my vehicle. Being this tired there is more of a risk of losing my balance and finding disaster on the way down. Carefully engaged boulders, dead slippery leaves, and the shallow creek allow me passage as I hobble down to safer ground.
Was it worth it? Absolutely. Will there be more like this? Of course.
I am grateful for your visit. Thank you.