Took a Hike out to La Chua

Today, Sarah and I had the day off together for the first time in, well… what seemed like FOREVER. So, instead of just sitting around the house, we decided to get out and enjoy the warmer weather and go for a hike. This time, we went a little north to Paynes Prarie and hiked the La Chua Trail. 

When we arrived, to the entrance to the trailhead parking lot, it became apparent that all of Gainesville had the same idea. Cars were lined up all along the road, parked in every last bit of available space. I get it, though, it’s the first day of spring, completely understandable. We were lucky enough to get a parking spot, strapped on our (highly unnecessary, but incredibly comfortable) hiking boots, and headed off for the three mile hike.

It was neat to see so many different animals in their natural habitat. Although, it was pretty odd to see wild horses and Bison in Florida, but that’s what happened after the Spanish settled here all that time ago. As a photographer, this is a good place to get some excellent wildlife shots. There were three or four photographers there with immense lenses strictly to get those crazy close-up shots of the birds, gators, and more.

While we were there, I shot a little bit of video on the Fujifilm X-T2, which I’ll edit together eventually, probably. Unfortunately, tragedy struck my favorite camera. After folding my tripod back up and flipping the screen back into place, I noticed that the screen looked blank. I thought it was maybe because the camera had gone into standby, and I woke it back up. Nope. I guess as a direct result of the tilting screen, I can no longer use the screen when it’s flush to the camera. It still works great in ANY OTHER POSITION, but no, not in the standard alignment. I’ve already fired off an email to Fujifilm USA to see what they have to say about it. It is a little worrisome that after about seven months of use, I’m having problems. Maybe I’ll try to upgrade to the GFX 50s. Who knows! I’ll keep you all updated, because I know you’ll be waiting with bated breath.

Overall, despite the crowds, despite the technical difficulties, we both had a good time, and that’s all that really matters. 10/10 I would recommend this little walk to anyone wanting to just get out for a couple hours with the chance of wildlife interaction.

All photos shot with the Fujifilm X-T2 with the XF 16-55mm f/2.8 Lens and edited in Lightroom CC, except the monochrome photos, which are straight off the camera from the Fujifilm X-T10.

NC Trip – Day Two

Today was a little more rough on our bodies than yesterday. First, not only did we take the walk up to the top of Mount Mitchell, but we also did the three mile hike to Mount Craig and back.

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By the time we reached Craig, we were definitely tired. Somehow, there was a man who was actually running the trail. Crazy! He was nice enough to take a photo of Sarah and I, and I took one of him in return. He said that he’s lived here for three years and had not ever been on the trail before.

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On our way back, another lone hiker asked if she could join us on the way back. We all talked about various things, especially mushrooms. Apparently, there’s a type of mushroom that actually lactates, crazy! Unfortunately, she couldn’t find an example on the trail to show us, but it definitely made for good conversation and helped make the hike back go by faster.

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By the time we got to the trailhead, we were starving, and got in the car and drove to the little restaurant in the park. There, we both went simple and had burgers, and watched as the clouds rolled over the mountains.

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NC Trip Day One

We’ve been planning this trip for years, now. I literally mean years. Sarah and I started dating five years ago, and we eventually wanted to go to North Carolina for our honeymoon. Well, this year, as we celebrate our 3rd anniversary, we’ve finally made it our little cabin in the woods.

After our 9 hour drive, we made it, and immediately slept in until about noon today. Once we got moving about we laced up our hiking boots and headed for Roaring Fork Falls.

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It was a nice little hike that we both enjoyed, and definitely got us ready for the rest of the adventures that are ahead of us for the next few days. From a photo gear standpoint, I’m glad I brought the Fujifilm X-T2 along. With its compact and light weight body and incredible image quality, it’s the best camera I’ve ever had on a hike.