Whilst my last post demonstrated the upside of allowing the rules of creativity to guide your behaviour, this one certainly features some downs; quite literally.
After a week of continuous rain I hadn’t shot any pictures, and so made plans to photograph the outgoing tide at Sandsend near Whitby where old timbers create interesting patterns in the waters. I’d checked tide times, light direction and weather forecast so was all set…. but at the back of my mind I was also aware that all of this rain might make a slight detour worthwhile.
If I visited Falling Foss first I should get some shots of the waterfall in full flow and make it to Sandsend for high tide. My first mistake was parking in an overflow car park rather than the real thing, but this just meant a stretch of walking downhill to the waterfall. I found a small fenced-off viewing area and took some shots of the cascade which is anywhere between 10 and 20 metres high, depending on which website you consult. I even climbed over that fence to move a few yards to one side, trying to get a view without trees obstructing the view, but in truth I wasn’t really satisfied and felt that I had wasted my time coming. I looked for a safe way down the cliff but the only possibility seemed to involve a substantial jump into a quagmire so returned to the fence, hoping that Sandsend would be more productive.
That was when I met a young couple and was asked by the man whether there was a way down that his partner could manage. My decision not to proceed had been governed slightly by 15kg of equipment, but given that the lady in question was carrying a papoose with a small baby I was clear in warning against it. We talked for a while about the waterfalls in the area (he had swum in the pool below Thomason Foss) and then went our separate ways. He had reminded me however of something I’d read that declared Falling Foss to be one of the best UK waterfalls for swimming.
Connect, and be receptive – there must be a way down!
And so I followed another path which was heading downstream in the hope that there may be some steps down the cliff to the riverside. I didn’t find any, but after a while there was a less dangerous looking slope, with enough trees dotted about to break one’s momentum if a footing slipped, which it did, several times. Nevertheless I made it down to the riverside and was rewarded with this cascade pouring over a fallen log.
A passing dog walker who told me that there was a route to the falls from here, but that it was a bit muddy. She’d given up because her small daughter had lost heart. I shouldered my bag and set off.
Her definition of “a bit muddy” and mine clearly differed, especially when my shoe was sucked off and forward momentum planted my sock-clad foot shin-deep in more of the stuff. I made it to the base of the fall, but I’m not sure it was worth the trouble. Trying to find a shorter way back I was within a few feet of the viewing area but the last stretch of rock offered no purchase so it was back to the original slope and more of the mud.
Not being blessed with much upper body strength, having to haul my way back up that incline by tree roots and saplings was a challenge, so I was really glad to have that uphill walk back to the car when I finally made it.
Why had I brought so many lenses and added all that weight to my bag? The answer was in the boot of my car…
Being receptive means being ready when the opportunity arises.