As I've mentioned before, one of the travel goals I'm working steadily toward is a trip to New Zealand sometime in the next four years. I'll tramp the Milford Track, learn to say "cool" as the Kiwis do, visit a Maori Village, immerse myself in mountains, shoot a lot of film, and hope to come back a better person than I left.
New Zealand aside, I found a new entanglement. About a week ago, I was delving deep into the World Waterfall Database. I visited continents, explored the backcountry, drooled at various points, and generally made a mess out of myself. Most of the waterfalls I'd be happy to visit, but wouldn't feel horrible if I just didn't get around to in the hopefully 70+ years left to me (life gets a little short when you start planning out adventures). I did find one, however, that jumped right up there with New Zealand.
Ever heard of the Iron Hole or Trou de Fer on Reunion Island? If you've even heard of Reunion Island, you're ahead of me. I was a huge geography buff as a kid and mastered many a remote island name, but I'd never heard of this little blip off the coast of Madagascar. The island itself has several volcanoes, big flat plains, forests, etc. and is a French colony. It sounds like a fun place to visit, but the Iron Hole put me over the edge (take a look here). Who can resist a big crater surrounded by trees and dropping deep below to a chasm of dozens of waterfalls pouring into a soup bowl? Not I! Canyoneering is required to get down (or a helicopter), but it's doable.
I spoke to a co-worker of mine about it, and we were laughing about this little island and how outwardly unachievable it is. Still, we both agreed that you can make your crazy fantasies come true if you dedicate yourself enough. I truly believe I can make these journeys, and can't wait to experience the mad adventures yet to come in my life.
So--rack another one up on the checklist of where I'll go before I get too old to rappel down canyon walls.
As for the picture above, it is part of Big Spring Falls up by Mount Adams--a rather large roadside waterfall that is difficult to find even when you're looking for it. Mom and I went up there yesterday since it was so bloody hot here in Portland, and water sounded nice. I really like this waterfall, along with Middle Falls and Langfield Falls (the other two on the menu for the day). We also found an awesome campground I will (god willing) be able to use this weekend if work doesn't throw me another hardball for the fourth week in a row.
I made frequent use of my Hoya Moose Polarizer and 3-Stop Soft GND filter due to the blazing sun. This was a 10-second exposure, thanks to the shade.