Laurelville is a place that my family enjoys spending time at. My wife grew up going to camp there and now we are Association Members. Twice a year, the members go and visit the grounds and spend time together and help out with volunteer projects. It’s always a wonderful weekend of fellowship and slowing down. I normally try to sneak in a quick hike to revel in the nature of it all.
Near the high point of the property is Split Rock, which can be reached by following a trail to the top. Coming back down to Jacob’s Creek, a small waterfall rushes. This trip was preceded by an abundance of rain, so the creek was quite high.
There is also a kiln on the property which was in use for the entire weekend. There was a crew from a local class that were stoking the fires every hour of the day and night. I stopped down Saturday night to check it out.
The temperature was roughly 1,600 degree’s at this point, and they still wanted to take it even higher to around 2,500. The heat output was intense and getting close was quite hot. It seemed like the kiln’s appetite for wood never let up, every few minutes, more logs would be tossed into the inferno within.
The weekend came to an end and my family and I are back at home. Now we have to go back to the real world.
Today was our 2nd full day in Austin, Texas, and despite a weather report full of rain and thunderstorms, the day turned out surprisingly well. After a quick stop to get an exterior shot of the Driskill Hotel in the rain, I took another long walk and ended up at Rose Bud Isle park, which ended up having large parts underwater from the flooding. It wasn’t a total wash though, as the dam above the park was cool sight with all of the water being let go.
After some relaxing in the hotel room, my wife and I headed out for dinner and ended up walking around a bit before waiting for the bats to wake up and fly out from the Congress Avenue bridge. There are apparently a million of them living under the bridge and every night they fly out to go hunting.
The weather was cloudy with chances of rain, but that didn’t dissuade me from loading up my mountain bike and a backpack full of camera kit and heading out into the woods. Wanting to spend as much time pedaling as photographing, I opted to drive to the Jonathan Run trailhead in Ohiopyle. This trail is about a mile and a half long and runs to the main biking trail. Almost to the main trail, another trail branches off called Sugar Run. Both of these trails are mostly nice singletrack with some sprinkling of technical rocky sections, some nice flowy up and downs along with a few climbing sections. The scenery is top notch and there was no one around. I saw a single group of hikers all 3 hours I was on the trail.
Since we’ve had some rain the past few days and I was in the woods, the camera and tripod came along for the ride. I brought only a prime lens kit which consisted of a 12mm, 23mm, 35mm and my 56mm. The most used was my 12mm and 56mm. Having only primes was a nice change of pace and made me think more about the shots I wanted and the angles. I brought a variable neutral density filter and a circular polarizer as well to help with the colors and exposure times. All in all, it was a great morning of riding and picture taking.
Even though most of the leaves are down around here and the weather is getting colder, there is still plenty to do outside. Some friends rented a house at Deep Creek for the weekend and invited me to visit. So I spent Friday night and in the morning we rode the train from Cumberland to Frostburg and then biked the 16 miles back. We stopped at one point on the trail to wait for the steam engine to come through a tunnel. After we completed the ride, we drove over to Swallow Falls State Park for the afternoon. Being there a few weeks earlier would have been spectacular.