down a waterfall, lightly

The first Gallery I have finished in the last few months is one about my trip with Susan up to play in the waterfalls and pools of the Seven Teacups up in the eastern Sierra off the Kern River. We had done this canyon last year and had about as much fun as you could possibly have in a day, so we were eager to go back. An opportunity opened up as I finished “Tangled” and we took it. Since it was late notice we didn’t manage to find anyone else who could join us so we headed up the night before and camped out beside the car near the start of the hike.

Sunday morning we got up, drove down to the bridge and locked up a bike there, then drove back up to the start of the hike and started in. The hike in from the top is very pleasant. You go up to the top of a ridge then drop into an arroyo with very soft grass, stroll through some sparsely treed wilderness and then you come to the beginning of the watershed, where you find some beautifully sculpted slickrock. We continued down on whichever side of the stream seemed right and found the end of a road where some hunters were camped. It seems to us that this would be another way in, which would drop us a mere 1/2 hour from the top of the teacups. Anyhow, we followed the path down until we finally reached the Seven Teacups.

Once there we stopped int he shade for a little lunch. This was the weekend of the record high temperatures in LA, and it was getting pretty hot on the Kern as well. Despite this we suited up because we knew the water was going to be shockingly cold, and we weren’t wrong.

This, unfortunately was the beginning of the last chapter of my Nikon D3’s illustrious career. I have a waterproof housing which I use for canyons which has performed spectacularly well until this day. It worked fine during the canyon itself, but when we swam down the rapids in the Kern, it banged against a rock and one of the latches was damaged letting water in. Cameras, unfortunately even weather sealed cameras, don’t like being immersed in water. I sent it in to Nikon, but they sent it back saying there was nothing they could do. Requiescat in pace my wonderful D3 😦

Anyhow, we jumped and slid and rappelled through the frigid water, enjoying the warm air and bright sun, and thanking god for our wetsuits. An it was good … great actually. This place makes you feel just like a kid in a theme park. By the time we reached the last swim our faces were tired from grinning like madmen, and we were disappointed that it was over. We checked out the level of the Kern, which you have to ford to get to the hike out and it was pretty low, which was why we decided to float a couple of rapids. The first one was nice and gentle, but the second one was a little rougher, and that is where my camera met its ultimate fate. After the second rapid we forded the river and got changed into our hiking clothes, letting everything dry out for a while. A long hike down the river, a strenuous bike ride up the hill to get the car and it was time to drive home, worn out but happy.

Anyhow, here is the final gallery from my D3 and a video to boot (please click through to go to the gallery):

Seven Teacups

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