A pinhole adventure to a secret location 

Travel and Other Adventures

Yesterday the Mr and I went on a impromptu adventure with my brother-in-law. Originally we were going to go to the zoo but his brother called us in the morning and invited us to go hiking with him.

I decided to (finally) pick up a camera. Two, actually. My zero 2000 pinhole camera and my Olympus Trip. It had been a very long time since I used either one and thought I should give them both some love. The Trip I loaded with a roll of Fuji Superia and offered it up for a film swap on the Double Exposure and Film Swap Group.

I’ve only used the Trip once about a year ago, and it was a very rainy day so I was a bit distracted by the rain at the time. This time I really got a chance to enjoy it. What a fantastic little camera! I kind of love that you don’t really have to worry about focusing, aside from choosing a general idea of how far away the subject is. I also love that there is a little window that you can see through the viewfinder that shows what “distance graphic” you are on. It’s such an easy and fun little camera! I want to try shooting some street photography with it.

While we were at my brother-in-law’s house I was admiring his small collection of vintage cameras he had displayed on the shelf. He mentioned that he was going to sell all of them and offered to give me one as a Christmas present. I chose this really cool little Brownie Reflex! It’s awesome!  nice and compact. I even have some 127 film to load into it. I kind of also think this might make an interesting street photography camera, as well.

When we opened the camera up we found an ancient roll of exposed b&w film. I think I will develop it myself. I will have to resort to using my plastic reel though (ugh).

We ended up going to a super secret location and hiked to a waterfall. I have been told not to disclose the location of this place because it is a secret swimming/fishing hole.

It was really quite awesome though. There were two waterfalls, a bigger one and a smaller one. Here are a few photos I took on the scene. They really don’t do the place justice. Hopefully my pinhole shots are better.

On waterfalls and not giving a f*ck

Thoughts and Opinions

 

Last night at my meditation group we read a passage from Zen Mind Beginner’s Mind* called Nirvana And The Waterfall. Suzuki presents an image of a waterfall at Yosemite National Park:

The highest one there is 1,340 feet high, and from it the water comes down like a curtain thrown from the top of the mountain. It does not seem to come down swiftly, as you might expect; it seems to come down very slowly because of the distance. And the water does not come down as one stream, but is separated into many tiny streams. From a distance it looks like a curtain. And I thought it must be a very difficult experience for each drop of water to come down from the top of such a high mountain. It takes time, you know, a long time, for the water finally to reach the bottom of the waterfall. And it seems to me that our human life may be like this. We have many difficult experiences in our life. But at the same time, I thought, the water was not originally separated, but was one whole river. Only when it is separated does it have some difficulty in falling. It is as if the water does not have any feeling when it is one whole river. Only when separated into many drops can it begin to have or to express some feeling.
-Suzuki, Shunryu; David Chadwick (2011-03-10). Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind (pp. 82-83). Shambhala Publications. Kindle Edition.

I was reading the passage out loud to the group and it almost brought me to tears. It touched me in such a profound and beautiful way. I love this metaphor, that our lives are the water droplets falling, violently it seems, down a waterfall. Feeling each rock we hit as we fall. There is some peace in knowing the reality which is that we are also the river. Water is water, whether is it flowing calmly down the river, or separated into droplets falling down the side of the mountain. When the droplets find the bottom of the cliff they are the river again.

We are  all connected to each other. We are one with each other. We are all falling down this waterfall together. This is a comforting thought. One that I know deep down inside, but it is nice to be reminded of it. And in beautiful ways such as this waterfall metaphor.

Yesterday I was driving home from a meeting in Portland.  I haven’t been able to sleep for a few weeks and I think I reached a point of complete exhaustion. I was thinking about my troubles and my worries and about the very emotional weekend I had just gone through.  I was driving through a rural area along the Clackamas River and it reminded me of the week before Doug died. There was something about where I was that caused me to make a decision about my life at that moment. I decided to just not give a fuck. And by that I mean I decided to let go of the stuff I have no control over. Which is pretty much everything. What I can focus on is what is right in front of me at this moment. That is really all I have.

I am the water droplet falling down the side of the mountain. I can panic and flail about and freak out. Or I can enjoy the ride down knowing that I am not the only water droplet in the waterfall.

*If you are interested in Buddhism and have never read Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind, I would encourage you to run out to your nearest library and check it out. You might actually even want to buy it because it is one of these books you will want to read again and again.

3 waterfalls

Photography

If you ever find yourself at Multnomah Falls and are irritated by the large crowds, might I suggest a  prettier location, not too far away? If you drive a mile or so East on the Historic Columbia River Highway you will find Horsetail Falls. There you will find a trail-head for a really easy, fun, beautiful hike that will take you to some gorgeous, of-the-beaten-path waterfalls.

behind Ponytail FallsThis is exactly what we did yesterday. We decided to try the Columbia Gorge again, forgoing Multnomah for one of the lesser-known spots. The trail switched up a hill giving us really pretty views of the Autumn foliage along the Columbia River. The trail itself was nice and wide and very well kept. I loved the mossy wall of lava rock that lined it on the way up. The hill climbed higher and higher and my fear response to heights started to kick in slightly but, as I said, the path was wide enough to settle me a bit. we continued to wind around until we came to Ponytail Falls, otherwise known as Upper Horsetail Falls. As we hiked along we were delighted to find that the trail takes you behind the actual waterfall! How fun! You can see the picture that I took to the left.
We continued on our way around a few bends and I heard Raf laughing loudly. He shouted back to me, “Your not going to find this very comforting.” As I reached him I saw what he was talking about. It was a small placard that said,

In Memory of Glen W. Replogle. He fell from a cliff East of Horsetail Falls.

Yikes.

I prowled around the area, wondering whether or not this was, indeed, the cliff in which Mr. Replogle met his untimely demise. And then Rafael reminded me that I was standing on a cliff soaked with water and mud and that I should probably not stand on the edge of it. And I backed onto the main trail.

Oneonta FallsWe continued on our way and found ourselves nearing Oneonta Bridge Falls. We saw a weeping cliff on the approach to it, which I thought was kind of interesting. We got down to the bridge and Raf said, You aren’t going to like this bridge, he just having crossed it before me (since he tends to wander ahead). He was kind of right because you could see right down through it and that tends to freak me out a bit (with my fear of heights and all). So I crossed the bridge without looking down and that worked just fine. When I got to the end of the bridge I managed to use it as a makeshift tripod so I could take a picture of it.

The rest of the hike was rather uneventful. Well, except for the beautiful flowers and ferns that we saw. We switched back down the hill, back to the old Columbia Highway, and walked the road to the parking lot where our car was parked. Along the way we crossed the Oneonta Gorge and found a really cool tunnel that was once part of the highway.

We had a great time! We plan to explore more of the Historic Columbia River Highway in the near future.