An Almost Perfect Evening - Out In the Wilds

15th April 2017
There is NO better feeling as a landscape photographer than pouring over a map of an area you don't know, working out the best time to visit, hiking up to it knowing that it is "not known" by the masses and possible even by other toggers, getting there in plenty of time, finding the composition just as you had envisaged it and then... finding a rock that is shaped like the best ergonomic chair ever, that you can park yourself on while taking the shot.

Sunbathing on a rock in the middle of a river, watching the shadows lengthen and the sun moving round to provide side lighting, completely alone, a couple of miles from a remote road, nothing to do but wait and chill out. Giving yourself permission to slow down, do nothing and just relax. If you’re like me you CAN'T sit still, so I got my compass and map out and practiced some map reading. Then I just sat again, waiting. Blooming bliss it was.

I got my shot and the results were good (studium, but happy studium). I packed up with a 45 minute walk ahead of me and 25 minutes of daylight left. But I am a prepared togger and have a head torch, which is just as well as Torridon has some of the darkest skies in Europe and I had an ancient forest to go through. It's a good head torch, a Petzl. I used it in the autumn to climb Stac Pollaidh at night.

Unfortunately, although I have a good head torch, in fact I have 2, I'd left them on the kitchen table. I am a prepared togger. But I am also a careless idiot. You can't really plan for that.

My serenity vanished, I wasn't in any danger as the path was very, very easy and clear, but a night walk through ancient forest in the middle of nowhere - one whiff of ginger bread and I knew I'd be having palpitations. I checked, I wasn't wearing a little red hood, so that was OK. But a further check of my Fitbit watch showed that my lovely calm 56 heart beats per minute were suddenly 92. I don't like giving in to irrational fear, so to prevent me from having to do that, I took to my heels and power walked off the hill in 25 minutes.

A "warm" photographer sat in his car, eating a chocolate brownie and chuckling at himself like a lunatic. ALMOST a perfect evening.

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