Reaching out to some new people on instagram, I got in touch with @_jonathanaguirre. He got some others together and planned this hike at Emery Creek Falls. My first mistake was when packing I didn't really take a good look at the weather forecast. I heard that it was going to be slightly rainy on and off throughout the day but this proved to be wrong.
My kit for this shoot
(Links to everything can be found on my "about" page)
My adventure started when I was about to arrive to the trailhead when I was greeted with a road block. Sitting there for a few minutes I realized that the other guys were probably coming from the other direction and with no phone service I had to make a decision. It was only 1.7miles to the trailhead from the road block where I was or over an hours drive to backtrack and go around to the other side. I decided to walk it, adding 3.4 miles to my day. The trail itself is measured at 6.2 miles. Once we finally got together we headed out on the trail. We quickly realized that there were going to be river crossings, bringing me to mistake #2. I should have went super light on gear and put it in dry bags. I never damaged anything though. The river crossing were tough, the trail got a little technical with steep cliffs and finding an alternative river crossing in an attempt to stay dry. We eventually made it up to the falls and relaxed for a bit. We made a small fire and I watched as Jonathan did his thing jumping in the water. After letting him dry off and realizing we only had 2 hours of daylight left we headed back out. I eventually just pulled up my pants and dipped my whole shoe in the freezing river to cross faster and easier. During our hike back it started to rain harder and harder. Making it back to the car I had 30 more minutes of daylight left and still that last 1.7mile hike back to my car. At this point I also discovered that my rain jacket wasn't actually waterproof. Luckily it wasn't really cold out despite it being late January. The last hike was mostly uphill and my legs were cramping up. I never stopped walking out of fear of being on a closed road with no one around in the dark and rain. I eventually made it back and drove to the first gas station and changed out of my wet clothes. Other than the last hike back to my car, this was a solid 10/10 day. I've never been on such a fun and challenging hike and I definitely look forward to more adventures in the Cohutta Wilderness and with Jonathan.