Saturday, October 6, 2007

Sipsey Wilderness and Winston County 10/6/07

I finally managed to get out to Sipsey for the first time in two years today. The weather was beautiful for being at the beach, but terrible for waterfall photography. The drive is around 1.5-2 hours from my apartment here in Birmingham to the Sipsey Wilderness. I started by checking how crowded the "trailhead" for Caney Creek Falls was, which was where I really wanted to go, but seeing how much foliage was covering the old logging road that forms about 1/2 mile of the 3/4 mile hile, I decided the trail to the falls (the last 1/4 mile) was probably to overgrown to take this little guy through before fall...

I decided to check out Kinlock Falls, which I have listed and pictured on my website, but have never personally visited. Kinlock Falls, due to its close proximity to the road (less than 500ft, but steep), gentle slope, and deep pool is a popular swimming spot. There were many signs of human activity here, beer cans, shoes, cloths, panties, yet thankfully, no signs of human reproduction... The site was once home to a mill, hence the square hole in the rock in this picture.

After following the creek from the bridge to the top of the falls (I missed the easy way down), I was presented with the challenge of finding a route around the top of the falls. Luckily, this area is well visited and I quickly found a well worn path.

I wish the lighting had been better, and I had remembered my tripod, which was resting uselessly in my trunk, about 500ft away, but about 100ft above me... This waterfall type is one of the best for fall waterfall photography, because the relatively shallow slope allows for leaves to accumulate in the non-flowing portions of the slope. It looks really good if the leaf color and lighting are just right.

I only managed one long-exposure shot of the waterfall, accomplished by placing it on my backpack, and running the self-timer. I'm disappointed.

There was still a little bit of interesting plant life in bloom or fruiting in the area. Most of the creeks and streams in Sipsey have massive wildflower blooms along their floodplains every spring. If you can call a canyon a floodplain...

On my way home, I couldn't resist getting a picture of this local landmark. If you've never heard of the Free State of Winston/Republic of Winston, or think that all the South supported the Confederacy, you might want to read a little about it...

This may be the last time I use blogger for one of my adventure posts. I'll probably just go back to putting them on my site. I don't like the way blogger handles pictures.

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