September 21, 2013

Bushkill weekend

I recently went up to Bushkill with my cousin for the weekend.  Bushkill is in the Delaware Water Gap.  It's a beautiful area where the Delaware River cuts through the mountains on the border between Pennsylvania and New Jersey.  We drove up on Saturday and headed to Childs Park to hike.  My cousin and I are both photographers, so we brought along cameras and tripods to capture the waterfalls.  Hiking up and down steep slopes, rocky terrain, and endless stairs over two days with both a camera bag and a tripod bag slung across my body was certainly motivation to work out more.  

At the entrance to Childs Park was this sign:

Try to look large??
I had laughed off the bear warnings said to me before I left, so I was amused that there was a big bear warning sign right at the front of the trail.  My cousin suggested taking the above photo.  We hit the restrooms before going out on the trails.  I say restrooms, but they were more like giant, permanent porta potties.  I had never seen bathrooms like these.  I looked down into the toilet, and it was like looking into the abyss.  It was deep, like the oubliette from Labyrinth.  Weird.  We didn't have all that much time before it got dark, but we managed to see the three waterfalls of Childs Park with time to photograph Deer Leap Falls, the farthest of the waterfalls from the entrance, before having to leave.  

We had dinner at a pub and headed back to the house.  By this time, the temperature had dropped.  It was a nice, chilly evening.  It was the kind of night that makes me want to sit outside by a fire.  There weren't many lights, so the sky was filled with stars.  It was beautiful.  Arriving at the house, we frightened a deer and her fawn who were hanging out in the front yard.  My cousin and I are also both equestrians, so she had to show me that the cable at the house had a horse channel.  A HORSE CHANNEL.  Our local cable company doesn't have this channel.  We stayed up late watching eventing.  It was the cross country phase, and it was fantastic.  

The next day we got up early because we wanted to pack in a lot of stuff.  We ended up only getting a few hours of sleep because we had stayed up so late watching eventing.  My cousin and I went to Childs Park again to explore different trails from the day before and take more photos.  We climbed out on some rocks and took photos of Factory Falls, the biggest waterfall of the park.  

Factory Falls
Photographing waterfalls can be tricky because they reflect a lot of light, especially when it is sunny.  Also, the best time of year to shoot them is really in the spring, when the snow melt off of the mountains makes them gush with more water.  

It was time to leave Childs Park and go to the stable, where my cousin had scheduled a lunchtime ride for the two of us.  Although I used to ride all the time, it had been quite some time since I had been on a horse.  I rode Johnny.  The trail was hilly and rocky, and we crossed through a couple of streams.  

Riding a horse is like riding a bike- it all comes back once you're in the saddle.  How could I forget that riding is the greatest thing in the world?  How could I forget that being on a horse makes me happier than just about anything else possibly could?  Riding is pure bliss.  It goes without saying that I had a great time on this trail ride, right?  

After our ride, it was time to hike Bushkill Falls.  Bushkill Falls is a huge park with a handful of waterfalls and several trails.  The trails are rated by intensity, so of course we chose the most difficult trail that had warning signs about how difficult it was.  However, going on the most difficult trail meant that we were rewarded with sights like this:

Bridal Veil Falls
Bridal Veil Falls was my favorite of all the waterfalls I saw that weekend, and it could only be seen from the "Red Trail."  My cousin pointed out that they sell shirts in the gift shop that say "I survived the Red Trail at Bushkill Falls."  Truthfully, it wasn't that bad, but with all the hiking we had done the previous day as well as that morning plus the additional weight of camera bag and tripod, we were beat once we got back to the entrance.  We were there until the park closed that evening.  The Red Trail had the advantage of being far less crowded than the other trails.  A strange thing happens when you have a nice camera and there are groups of people around.  They ask you to use their cameras or phones to take pictures of their group.  I took at least five pictures for different groups of people.  My cousin was asked to take photos, too.  I don't mind at all, I just think it's funny.  

Bushkill Falls was gorgeous- not just the waterfalls, but the streams and the woods and all of the scenery.  I could have stayed longer.  My cousin wants us to go back soon.  I'm in.  


  1. Okay, I will always think you're awesome and my daughter considers you the feminine ideal to which she she should aspire.

    You used oubliette in a sentence and you are going to be my role model for the next 50 years.


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