I'm worried. I'm worried that the biggest obstacle with this 73in73 challenge is something that is completely out of our control and that's the weather. Usually with landscape photography you spend time scouting a location, visit it a few times and then, when the time and weather is right, you take the shot. We don't have that luxury and it's proving to be very frustrating. Weekends are our biggest asset as we can potentially do a sunrise and a sunset in the same day, not something that's easily achievable in the week because of work. This weekend though has been overcast and fairly miserable, certainly around the golden hours of the day. We had to use one of our limited backup options... waterfalls, brooks and cascades.
Water features in landscapes are usually best captured during overcast days, there are about 7 or 8 locations in Through The Lens (the book we are using for all 73 locations) which we can utilise during poor weather. So that's what we did. We spent 11 hours in the Peak District which added 89.8 miles driven, 13.7 miles of walking/hiking and 181585 steps taken to our 73in73 statistics. We visited 3 different locations in one day; the first of which was Grindsbrook Clough which is location number 33. The hike up to this location was a lot tougher than it appeared, the further we got, the steeper it became. Tracy's injured ankle was starting to swell again, she soldiered on for as long as she possibly could but it was becoming far too painful. I could see it in her face, every time she had to step up or down a rock she was grimacing. She had made it about 80% of the way but she had to stop. We talked about it and decided that I should do the last bit with Grace on my own whilst she tended to her ankle.
I secured Grace to my backpack and quickly ascended to the water cascade. It was pleasant but I couldn't help but feel guilty that I had left Tracy behind. I hurriedly took the shot I needed, packed my things away and headed back down to her, this was the photo we left with:
Tracy's ankle was a little better, but if I'm being honest, I think it may stop her from being able to do some of the more advanced and difficult locations in the near future. We will have to see how it goes. We had a quick bit to eat, some pain killers and then headed to our next location; Middle Black Clough, which is location number 28. The initial part of the route was much easier than Grindsbrook, however that soon changed when we approached the waterfall. We had to cross the river which even I found tricky, there was absolutely no way that Tracy would be able to safely make it across. It was Groundhog Day all over again, I had to do the last bit on my own (with Grace). Tracy patiently waited for about 45 minutes whilst I climbed my way to the waterfall. It was more difficult than it looked and extremely slippy due to the previous nights rain. The waterfall its self was quite impressive, one of the largest in the Peak District. I set up my tripod and camera very carefully as there was little room on the bolder I was using. I took the shot I needed and then headed back. We were both very relieved to see each other!
By this time we were both tired and aching, we wanted to fit one more in if we could. The clouds were becoming increasingly threatening but so far the rain had held off. We headed to Three Shires Head which is location 69. On any other day the walk would have been fine but we both really struggled. As we got to the packhorse bridge it started to rain, we had to be quick. I didn't have time for the composition I had originally planned so we went with something simpler. There was one thing we had both forgotten for today and that was the anti-midge spray, there were millions of the damn things and they were eating us alive. We only stayed at Three Shires Head for about 15 minutes which was a shame as it's a really lovely location and very popular with wild swimmers and the like.
We headed back to the car, got home, had a quick takeaway and went straight to bed. It had been a long day and tiring day.