Perseverance

I woke up this morning (August 18) to thick clouds hanging low, dark and ready to open up. But I was determined. It was 6.45 AM and there was no way I was going back to sleep. For a few minutes – around a half hour actually – I stayed in bed, waking myself up and checking social media. By 7.25 I was downstairs, heating up a bagel and making sure I had everything I needed in order for this trip to go well. In a matter of minutes the bagel was traveling down to my stomach and I to Salt Springs State Park in Northern Pennsylvania.

On the 2.5 hour drive I listened to almost three full albums of music as I witnessed the scenery before me change in drastic ways. Well, in Pennsylvania you do not get very drastic change, but still. This was my first solo adventure up north…I cannot say the first solo adventure for I have gone to the beach by myself for photographs, but that was a complete bust. No documented proof means it didn’t happen, right? In hindsight, I wish I would have stopped at Hickory Run State Park or even Glen Onoko, for the fog was thick and beautiful around that area. Whether a good choice or not, I trekked on another hour and a half to my destination, fingers crossed that the fog would still be as deliciously thick.

It was not.

When I arrived at the parking lot, the rain was dancing atop my car, puddling on the ground outside. Although this may have stopped some people, I was not about to drive another 2.5 hours without getting at least one image. Hell, I did not give a care in the world if the image was any good or if it was just a simple snapshot. Regardless, I was going to get an image.

Of course when I began walking to the trail, I found myself to be going the wrong way and had to turn around, which didn’t help the fact that my clothing was beginning to get very, very wet. The trees – hemlocks? – did not make for good cover from the rain. By the time I got to my first composition, and after sliding down the hill to it, my clothes were not only drenched in rainwater but they were also dirty. As if that was not bad enough, I had just done laundry the other day so my attire was freshly cleaned. Back in the washer they must go.

Like a switch, the moment I walked from the forest into a small clearing, the rain stopped completely and the humidity settled in. Oh yeah and the bugs came with the humidity. It was awesome. That was around 11.00 AM by the way – a half hour after I stepped out of my car. I wish I would have waited and saved my clothes from getting so wet. Such is life…

I managed to walk a few short miles, snagging five photographs along the way before the rain set back in yet again as I made my way to my car. 12.45 PM or so I was heading back home. 3.10 PM I walked through the door of my house and took a shower shortly thereafter.

The point of me telling you all of this is not to make you jealous of my amazing day out in the wet wilderness, nor is it to make you think I have nothing better to do with my life than adventure in the pouring rain and complain about it on here (which is 100% true, just so you know).

Perseverance.

That is the point of this article. That single P word that is written above this line. I even bolded it for you so you do not get confused as to what I am talking about right this second.

I did not plan on today going as it had. I had high hopes of a beautiful yet overcast day full of the soft light all us landscape photographers oogle and drool over. A little bit of rain on the ride up only gave me higher hopes for the waterfalls would be looking stunning. And they did look pretty pretty. Is that grammatically correct?

When the rain decided it was not about to let up, I had two choices playing out in my tiny brain: I could either sit in my car and continue listening to my music until the rain lets up, or I could get out of my comfortable car and tackle the rain.

I chose a combination of sorts.

For about a half hour I waited for the rain to settle down, to ease up so I was not getting pummeled by hard teardrops from the sky. And when it had settled down for a moment, I chose to get out and see what I could do with what nature was handing to me.

If I would have just let nature get the best of me, let the bad weather bring down my spirits, I would have traveled almost 3 hours for nothing. No nice hike, no half-decent images. Nothing. And there was no way in hell I was about to let that happen. Maybe it would have been different if I was not so far away but I would like to think I would have persevered either way.

That’s what I am trying to do more of lately.

Push past the hard parts of life and go make a light in your tunnel if you cannot find one.

I hope you enjoyed my little story.

Never give up.

Thank You

Cody Schultz

2017