Part 1 [HERE]
As I straightened up after having just crawled through a tangled mess of downed trees, I at long last got my first glimpse of the Eternal Flame. With profound disappointment and shock evident on my face I turned to my husband and shouted, “Expletive … We came all this way for this?!?! This little tiny flicker???? This is it?!”
OK. OK. B-b-b-b-but I really was expecting something bigger with more drama, more jazz. All the pictures I saw made that flame look bigger. Surprise number two …
That tiny little orange flicker you see above is a natural methane gas flame that sits behind waterfalls in a grove known as the Eternal Flame. [The link is the map showing you the trail we hiked and just how dangerous this trail is.] Even though profoundly disappointed, having come all this way, I was not about to be deterred so I began to look for a dry and safe place to put my backpack and tripod case on. Ah, yes, I found just the place!
After unstrapping my backpack and carefully placing it on the dry shale shelf, I began to walk around to assess where best to set my tripod up. Holding my camera with the 17-55mm lens attached, taking pictures as I went along, my third surprise occurred. Go figure. Since I didn’t find the drama I “expected” it seems I had to create some.
My worst nightmare became a reality. I fell. My right foot slipped on the slippery wet shale and as it did I knew in that moment I was going down. All I could think of was to fall as lightly as I could and to save my camera from getting wet.
Down I went as if in slow motion hitting the shale creek with my right backside and right forearm all along keeping my camera high and dry in the air with my left hand. I laid there a moment stunned and it finally dawned on me …. where was my husband? I fell so gracefully and quietly my husband a few feet away never heard or saw me fall as he was busy clicking with his camera. Not wanting to speak or lie in the position I was in for fear of falling further down the shale decline I was sprawled on, I knew I had to turn over to get to my knees.
Without having to think, I just instinctively got ready to brace myself with my right hand and turning swiftly to the right got to my knees within one second. And the whole time I made darn sure my left hand gripping my camera never came near water! I’ve never been so happy to have Yoga training as in that moment.
Realizing something was wrong, (I was just too quiet LOL) hubby finally turned, saw me now on my knees and right hand in water (one handed Cat Asana) and flew over to help me up.
“Honey, are you all right?”, he asked. Quietly I answered, “I think so.” I knew I was soaking wet, covered in slime and mud, but miraculously I was not hurt. Friends, it was chilly that day, a mere 50º F so being wet would have had anyone packing to go back but not me. Are you serious? I risked my life to get to this spot and I was darned if being cold and wet would have me running with my tail between my legs. Not this woman!
The picture below is where I fell … right where that tree is with the bright orange tag on it. Attempting to get down that shale shelf is when my foot when out from under me. It doesn’t look like much but take my word for it there was enough water where I fell to get totally soaked. In looking closer, it is a real miracle I did not get hurt! Surprise number three …
The three remaining pictures are of the falls and the Eternal Flame. I actually shot only ten frames while using my tripod but I am so glad I did because the shots I did get with a long exposure frame seen below were so worth bringing that awkward, heavy piece of equipment! This next image is not actually of the Eternal Flame but I was just fascinated with the striations of the slate and how this water just fell as if bejeweled.
These two are of the Eternal Flame. [Long Exposures]
Part 3 will entail our journey on the way back to my husband’s truck. The show is not over yet so don’t miss out. I promise you, your eyes will not believe what we saw on the way up out of that deep ravine. To be con’t.
For more images of the Eternal Flame see [HERE].
Photography/ “The Eternal Flame” 2016©AmyRose