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A blog for the decades by M. Scott Smith

Shot of the Day: Shenandoah 🔗

&I take a lot of photos each year, and plan on using this Weblog as an evolving photo album. So I'm starting a new series: Shot of the Day. When I don't have anything particularly interesting to write, I'll grab a shot or two from iPhoto and post it here.



This photo was taken at Shenandoah National Park on October 22, 2003 at 1:54 p.m. I drove down to Shenandoah on a Wednesday, hoping to capture some fall foliage (without the crowds) in its prime while camping one last time before the campgrounds closed for the season. The leaves were past their peak in the northern section of the Park (where this shot was taken), but still had some good color. Later that afternoon, I hiked the Whiteoak Canyon trail and took a lot of waterfall shots. (You can view some of them in two earlier blog entries: here and here.)

I camped at the Big Meadows campground that night. The campground was desolate, and for good reason -- temperatures dipped down into the teens that night. I nearly froze. I spent half an hour making a fire (successfully), which was difficult to do with damp wood and strong winds, but the wind was so strong that I couldn't even feel the heat from the fire unless I was standing so close that I was in the path of the shifting flames. I really don't think I slept at all -- between the shivering, the sleet that began pelting the top of my tent in the middle of the night, and the blowing wind that violently shook the nylon walls of my tent. Of course, inevitably, once you start to warm up, all the Gatorade you drank begins to come back and haunt you. It takes a lot of nerve to venture back out into the cold to find the restroom. This all may sound rough, but I still love camping. (I'm not complaining, I'm reminiscing.)

(Photo exposure: 1 second. Aperture: f 29.0. Focal length: 50.00 mm.)

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