Recycle Now!

Lately I’ve notice a lot of web articles that shamelessly recycle earlier material. “Ten Best Widgets of 2010!” will invariably be composed of ten snippets  culled from  the original pieces trumpeting the arrival of each fabulous bit of  gear published months and months ago. Cut & Paste is a powerful too; think what Shakespeare could have done with it.

Not to be outdone, this post recycles a post I originally wrote in June of 2007. Why? I think its a funny description of one of the joys, for me, of photography. And, yeah, I’m also pretty lazy  and cutting and pasting is much easier than having to actually, you know, write something new….


It was Saturday at six am and I knew precisely where I was going. Yes, sir – I had a plan. A precise plan. A very precise plan. I would drive south on US 411, then east and into the Cherokee National Forest where my intended objectives were several unsuspecting waterfalls located at strategic points along the Bald River.

Last night, in preparation for my invasion of the national forest, I reviewed the map. “Ah, yes,” I said to myself as I skillfully plotted my route and reviewed the potential obstacles, “those waterfalls won’t know what hit them.” I’d have the element of early morning surprise and be carrying the best equipment: my murderously effective Nikon D50 6.1 megapixel digital single lens reflex with five and a half gigabytes of Lexar SD memory and loaded with the finest glass money could buy (well, my money, anyway). I even had an exit strategy. I was ready. It would be a turkey shoot.

In combat they call it the “fog of war”. For me, it was the actual fog that proved my undoing. Yes, certainly, I could make excuses: it was too dark; I was up too late; they make the road signs too small for late middle-aged vision. I was driving the car I had and not the car I wished I had. It doesn’t matter. The buck stops here. I blew it. It was my fault. I took the wrong turn…

I turned off 411 several miles too early at the “wrong” Shell minimart and, instead of going southeast, went mostly north and ended up back near Maryville, at Dude Cooper’s, at Six Mile. Now, if I still wanted to stalk that falling water, I’d be too late to get good “slow water” photos. “Oh, shit,” I sighed as the significance of my blunder sunk in. I pulled out the the first of the two mixed berry fruit and grain cereal bars I carried to ward of hunger. I refused to panic. What would Ansel do?

I went due east, on Montvale, heading toward US 129. Maybe those puny little waterfalls had escaped me, but there was also water along 129. Big water. Really big water: a whole damn river!!

What was it Napoleon said? (Googling….) “The torment of precautions often exceeds the dangers to be avoided. It is sometimes better to abandon one’s self to destiny.” That wrong turn led to a day long odyssey covering two states and 260 miles. It was one of the best and most enjoyable days in photography I’ve ever had. Here are the images…

Just for fun, here’s a bit of Latin Temptation, remixed  by me, thanks to a creative commons license

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