Monday, March 31, 2008

Waterfalls

West Virginia. I love driving through this state - the roads wind through mountains and along rivers, and the landscape is gorgeous. We spent a couple of days near Beckley, WV - visiting (and photographing) Pipestem, Babcock, and Twin Falls State Parks. Babcock has a beautiful grist mill that stands over Glade Creek. We photographed the mill and the nearby falls in pouring rain - and then returned the following morning for a drier shoot. :) We'd like to shoot this location in Autumn - the trees will be fantastically beautiful when the leaves change. This was a scouting trip - it's still early in the year, and the trees are still leafless - so we weren't expecting to get fantastic photographs. Still - we're happy with the images we got.

Our next stop was Blackwater Falls State Park. We've been to this location before. Last time, we photographed Elekala Falls - and climbed down through thick forest to photograph several lower falls as well.
This shot is from our last trip to West Virginia - which was later in the Spring. We didn't visit this falls this time around. Instead, we photographed Blackwater Falls and explored more of the park. We'd like to shoot this area when the rodedendron bloom. So far, we haven't been able to get there at the right time. We also visited Canaan Valley State Park, and Dolly Sods.

On our last day, we took a look at the various pamphlets near the front desk at the Blackwater Falls Lodge. We had never heard of Holly River State Park - but the waterfall on the cover of the pamphlet looked promising (and it was located near our homeward route) so we hopped in the car and headed West.

Wow.

The park is fantastic. We didn't have time to explore all of it, of course, but we did visit the falls along the Left Fork of the Holly River. We spent several hours in the wilderness taking photos. The lower falls were particularly impressive, and I'll get a shot up as soon as I finish processing.

We were also lucky enough to meet some great people at the Holly River State Park Restaurant. They knew the park intimately and were able to tell us where to find the most beautiful locations - and they were incredibly friendly as well. After photographing the falls they suggested, we returned to the restaurant for a very late lunch - delicious. We ended up staying for quite a while - just talking. They introduced us to the work of some excellent local artists - a photographer, a potter, and a historical writer. We're looking forward to returning in the Fall - we will definitely look them up again. Debby and Jeff - if you are reading this - thanks so much for the wonderful conversation (and the delicious cake). I hope you will pass on our thanks to your staff as well - we had a great time talking with all of you. And please tell the beautiful young waitress that we hope all goes well with her baby. We wish her - and all of you - all the best. I will send along some photographs once they've been processed.

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