Always seemed to me that the waterfalls right along Little River and Laurel Creek Rd. were very nice, what with all those parking spots within 100 feet. I also like all the farm buildings along Cades Cove and going to Orchard/Roaring Fork when avoiding that weekend traffic. All with nearby parking.
When your that far in the woods how do you out run the bears with a 20x24?
......He doesn't have to out run the bear. He just has to out run whoever is with him.
Unless changing light is an issue, next time consider doing the hike to check out the scene before hauling all of your gear to the location. I used to hump all of 12x20 gear (100lbs.) on my back without a cart as I searched for a shot including as far as 1/2 mile up a sand beach. (try that some time!). In my youth, my wife and I went on extended canoeing expeditions in Canada on which I carried the 85 lb aluminum canoe and my 25 lb camera pack on the first leg of portages that varied from 100 meters to 7 km while my wife carried the food pack, paddles etc. I never thought twice about it. Last September I did the White Rim Road in Canyonlands National Park with the 12x20. I used a cart to get the gear from the vehicle to the shooting location as you did but first checked out the location before committing to getting the gear there - not a small feat in Canyonlands with only partial use of one leg. A good friend helped me with the gear. Last December I had major back surgery and although I have no regrets of all the adventures I've been on and things I've done, I am now very aware of the impact on my body of my activities over the years – the damage to my lumbar spine was cumulative not a one-time event. Getting all of that gear to the location you mention may make a good story, but it's not worth it if you lose the use of a leg and the ability to walk as what I was dealing with before surgery. The good news is that the surgery was successful and I am now regaining the use of my leg. I've only worked with the 12x20 in the field 3 times since and make multiple trips or have a friend help me with the equipment.
I think about these things every time I see a post like yours or others I've seen on this site about backpacks for 12x20 or larger cameras. Machismo is nothing but bragging rights if you can't walk any more.
"Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth."
From "Desiderata", Max Ehrmann, 1927
Last edited by bobherbst; 09-26-2007 at 10:32 AM. Click to view previous post history.