For my very first day on the trails at Hocking Hills, I end up photographing Cedar Falls at morning.
Later in the morning and afternoon is where I pre-scouted the trails around the state park, made a stop in the wonderful Visitor Center, and photographed the Upper and Lower Falls, as well as Old Man’s Cave.
Here is the first journal excerpt from my first two nights and day out photographing under the stars and hiking around the state park.
*Page breaks and certain sentences edited for structure and clarity.*
“9/25/21 & 9/26/21: First trip to the Hocking Hills region and it seems to be everything I’d imagine. Both good and not as good. The sorta eh is just how much crowds this one place can draw in. Midday of the weekend is a spell for disaster when it comes to truly focusing and being with the flow state of mind.
Nonetheless, I was persistent in nailing down compositions for several (or all?) of the main state park waterfalls in the morning (Cedar Falls) and the evening (Upper and Lower Falls of Old Man’s Cave.) I then got a couple of compositions of the aforementioned cave itself.
The crowds thinned out almost completely by the time the Golden Hour moved in. This meant I had the entire one-way trail to myself!
Off-topic but this three-day trip has already taught me how easy it is to be self-sustainable despite having to pack out all my trash. It really puts into perspective how we must carry the weight of all the waste and refuse when ‘out there.’ Not only that but just how much can one person conjure up too. Now think about that single person to the entire humanity on the planet.
Even after consolidating all my refuse, it still seems like so much food and other miscellaneous packaging from just three days total.”
As you can see, my initial frustrations became very apparent as the state park portion of the area was very crowded. However no one was to blame but myself for being there during the middle of a Sunday.
Some slight arrogance shone through (in a Chris McCandless way) where I seem to be able to take on this self-sustaining traveling thing a lot more. In hindsight this would be more true if I cooked or practiced bushcraft out in the field, etc.
The second half of this writing also served as an “aside” to where my journal entry was going, almost to show my excited but scatterbrained mindset from finally being at the location for over 24 hours.
Anyways, this wraps up the first journal entry from my in-the-moment reactions to this state park and region.
If you’ve ever been here before, let me know what your initial or even later impressions were of your experiences here!
Stay tuned for Parts 2 and 3 and happy hiking!
The ‘All Outdoors Photography Podcast‘ is a show where we discuss stories from out in the field, techniques and gear with two outdoor photographers and various guests.
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