Sometimes happy accidents have the best results.
I was waiting for a group to arrive to paddle around the Wills Creek area. It was early June, and a major storm had come through the night before; at one point, it flooded out a decent portion of Cumberland, MD. I arrived early, driving around between streams to see what was running. We had agreed to meet at 9:30am at the park that serves as the takeout for Wills, but, it was nearly 10am, and there was nobody around. Cell reception is non-existent in that area, so I drove back into town looking. Still, no other boaters. So I headed to Brush Creek to run a few laps of the drop below the Packsaddle Covered Bridge. I had done it a few years prior, and knew it was both fun and easy to get to. I set up my camera before running, hoping to capture a picture of myself in the process.
The first round was unsuccessful, I had set the timer too long and all it captured was me walking my boat back across the bridge. Laps 2 and 3 were better, but I still wasnt fully happy with the photo. I moved the camera to the other shore, and in the process of laps 4 and 5, captured a photo that stood out. It’s the photo that eventually won me third place in the Laurel Highlands Visitor Bureau photo contest.
As I left Brush Creek and headed back towards Wills Creek, I ran into the group I had been waiting for. It was now a little after 11am, and we decided to run the entirety of Brush Creek into Wills. The water was high, but the run was fun. A smaller group of us eventually decided to run Wills Creek at high water, which was even more fun. As the others started the run on Brush Creek, I too captured their runs under the covered bridge.
And just last week, I found out that my photo is on the front cover of the Destination Guide for 2015. So now thousands of people will see the photo I took while waiting for my friends to arrive, on a day spent chasing water.