No Substitute for Planning

Rockhouse Falls - Toby Gant -2783

I broke from recent process of planning my shoots over the weekend. I made no advance plan and talked the family into a “quick” excursion up to Fall Creek Falls State Park near Pikesville, Tennessee. I checked their website and there was no mention of closures. We loaded up and headed north. Everyone enjoyed watching snow fall on the way to the park. The “snow thing” is still new to them. I was mostly excited about shooting the six falls that the park has to offer. I had left our park maps on the printer at home and we just followed the signs when we arrived. When we finally arrived at the “gorge scenic drive motor nature trail” we found that it was barricaded and closed. We followed the main road to the inn in order to freshen up and grab some snacks after our journey. I asked the cashier if the falls were closed for the season and she quickly retorted that the roads are sometimes closed due to poor weather conditions. But, that the ranger had just called her and let her know the road had just been reopened. She also interjected that the falls were just a short walk from the gate and if we were to ever find the gate closed we should just park and walk in. We raced back to the car and to the nature trail where we once again found it barricaded and closed. So, either they opened and closed them in the 5 minutes since we had talked to her or I suspect she may just say that to people when they start to ask questions. We had less than an hour of light left in our day. Since the cashier said it was a short walk we decided to tough it out. I put my pack on and we walked for about a mile and a half when we determined that her idea of a short walk and ours may have been different. We did not have enough light left to proceed. We went back to the car and in search of the access area to Rockhouse Falls on the other side of the park. The sun had long set behind the mountains. I struggled to capture a couple of images in the dark. But, it was too dark for me to get critical focus through the viewfinder and too dark for my D300s to autofocus. (It was too dark for photography altogether.) There is, however, enough of an image to get some idea of what the falls look like. I will definitely be planning my next shoot there well in advance.


This image of Rockhouse Falls was captured with my 16-35mm f/4 tripod mounted. You can find my gallery images on my site at:



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