My stubbornness got the best of me – and sometimes that is a good thing in photography!
When I left on my trip to Scotland, it was with a slight sense of disappointment since I knew my knee troubles would prevent me from doing the hiking I wanted to do. I wasn’t going to be able to get that one shot I wanted the most. But I decided to go anyway and make the best of it.
After a few days on the Isle of Skye, there was a surprise hurricane! At least it was a surprise to me, I had no idea they get hurricanes in Scotland. The sideways rain and high winds prevented me from shooting for an entire day, but it was enough time to get me thinking. And my mind kept thinking the same thing:
“The morning after the hurricane.”
I just had a feeling it would be special. So I decided that I could at least try. With the potential of good clouds after the hurricane passed through, I couldn’t help myself. Knees be damned, I decided to try the hike up to the Old Man of Storr in an attempt to get that one shot I wanted the most. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t make it, but thought I would try and maybe I might at least get something worthwhile.
The view of the Old Man of Storr isn’t very good from the road. Here is a shot I got a couple of days earlier. Storr is the small pinnacle you can see on the right side of the mountain. As you get closer, you cannot see Storr at all.
I arrived at the trailhead in pitch black, about an hour an a half before sunrise. There was one car in the lot before me. What a difference between this and mid-day when the lot is crammed with cars that spill out onto the side of the road for half a mile. I can’t imagine what it must be like in summer. An empty lot is always a good sign!
I donned my headlamp and started making my way up the trail. At the beginning, the trail was perfect, nice and wide, with absolutely no obstacles and continued that way until I was about two thirds of the way along.
Then everything changed. The last third of the trail was more difficult and required careful steps since I wasn’t very sure-footed. I had to scramble over rocks, through some mud puddles, and along some slippery sections.
One slow step at a time … and I made it!!!!!!
I got the shots, the ones I wanted and didn’t think it would be possible for me to get. There were even clouds and colours in the sky.
I was so pleased with myself. It took me 45 minutes to go up to the Old Man of Storr and a little longer to go beyond it for the composition I wanted. But I got there before sunrise. I was one happy photographer that morning.
Until I tried to get down…
What took most people about 15 minutes took me an hour and a half!! Ouch!! Ugh. I was inching my way down using my tripod as a walking stick. There were people that passed me when they were going up and again when they were going back down all the while I was still going down.
But it was all worth it.
I felt like I had earned the title: Old Lady of Storr. Yes, my knees were pretty painful for a couple of days afterwards, but I can remember thinking that if that was my last hike it was worth it.
It wasn’t my last hike thankfully 🙂