Down the Laurel Creek

March 05, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

While scouring the maps app on my computer trying to find places to make a short trip out of, I found a neat little spot along the Virginia Creeper Trail to take some photos. Originally, I had planned on photographing the trail and the trestle that crosses the river on a warm winter day. Dropping a pin on the map and getting directions from my location to the spot along the trail, I sent them to my iPhone to start the short trip over the mountains. Loading up the car with the camera and tripod, the wife and I rolled out towards our destination. Driving up Whitetop road towards Konnoarock, passing by Whitetop traveling down 58 towards Damascus. Approaching our final turn off that lead us down a lone gravel road, traveling down this little winding road noticing all the potential spots for some photos that I will return in the Spring for some fishing and photographing. Excited, I knew my idea in my head, I exited the car heading towards the trail with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III with the 24-105 f/4L and 70-200mm f/2.8L lenses in hand.  Unfortunately the wife did not want to walk the half mile to the trail access leaving me with two options, come back some other time or climb the steep embankment up to the trestle. Putting my camera around my neck and grabbing my tripod, I started to climb up using the tripod as a walking stick for stability on the loose gravel and dirt. I snapped a few shots once I got up top. Knowing she was tired and hurting, I walked back down to her and started to head back to the car. Thats when we noticed four folks, three guys and a woman dragging kayaks toward the creek. My wife was excited saying, "Lets watch them launch, that will be so cool!"

 Quickly, I switched from the 24-105mm lens to the 70-200mm. We walked back to a small platform that hung over the river bank as we waited for them to come downstream. An older gentleman who had been biking down the trail stopped and also stepped out onto the deck like platform with a dSLR as well. Unable to actually see them launch into the creek due to the bend, we waited as they started to appear. Entering small rapids, I started shooting as each one passed by while getting as low as I could to get decent shots. It made me think of how cold the water was with ice still on the banks from the freeze the previous week, and that folks actually kayaked down the creek in Southwest Virginia. I really want to try to kayak down the Laurel Creek this summer. Anybody else want to try this? 


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