Friday, August 10, 2012

Broken Camera, Broken Campaign..Healed Soul: A story of Murhut Falls and Politics

A great day hike!

Sometimes, when you aren’t expecting it, an incident on a climb can be insight on future events on your life. The following tale is exactly that. A great idea, derailed by unforeseen reasons that I still can’t comprehend.

A few weeks ago, I took a well-deserved day off from my other job and took a day trip to take some pictures. I only had an afternoon, so I drove along Highway 101 and went to Murhut Falls. Having never been there in the summer, I was eager to finally climb around on the rocks and not have to worry about the ice killing me. I was also eager to get away and be calm, because the job in politics I was working was just about giving my 31 year old body a heart attack.

Behind Murhut Falls
Hopping in my car, loaded up three different cameras, I drove as fast as I could to get to the trail head. I was excited because I had a plan that I had been dreaming about for months. I was going to get footage and pictures of my GoPro waterproof camera going over the waterfall and had just the plan. Using a carabineer, climbing rope and a GoPro Head mount, I was going to set it for time lapse and allow the water to carry it over the edge. To me, this was sound logic, considering these cameras and used on all sorts of crazy, dangerous adventures.

Sex and Meth at the Falls...or so I read
I arrived at the trailhead and pretty much jogged the ¾ of a mile it took to get to the falls. I signed in (and saw some amazing sign-in comments) and worked my way down to the falls. Wearing my minimalist shoes, or toes shoes as I call them, I climbed down to the water and waded in. Months of snow run off had cooled the water, numbing my usually sore ankle. I took some pictures from water level and then started to accomplish my goal. I took pictures behind the falls, under the water looking up at the falls, and even pictures of me, being showered on by the upper falls. It was incredible and I was excited to see the uploaded result. However, I still had a mission to accomplish.

Shattered Case...thanks GoPro
Where the best pictures were coming from
Hooking the head mount to a climbing rope, thanks to a fantastic carabineer, I soon had the ability to have a camera dangling over the lower terrace of the waterfall. With the rocks along the edge of the falls somewhat (read as VERY) slick, I decided to gently toss the camera in the upper area and have it get swept over the edge. The first gentle toss, and I mean gentle in the way that you toss a kitten onto your bed from a few feet away, landed perfectly, getting swept away and over the edge, falling with the water until the rope it was attached to got tight. I pulled in the rope, noted that it had taken 15 pictures and decided to try it again. This time, it went even better and I could see the light on the camera flash as it was in the tumbling falls. Pulling it back up, I figured I would do it one more time and call it a day. I tossed the camera gently, just like the other 2 times, but this time, the corner of the shatterproof, waterproof case the camera was in split open. Watching in horror, the camera went over the edge, matching what might stomach was doing in my body. I pulled the rope back up, expecting a miracle, but soon saw that a $300 camera with some amazing pictures was now at the bottom of a waterfall. I climbed down, hoping maybe it would float up. I saw Nothing, Nada, Zilch. Beyond distraught and nearly crying, I ended up copying a scene from the movie A Christmas Story. Swearing loudly and drawn out, I was crushed.

Me, after seeing my camera go bye bye
Lower Murhut Falls
I ended up taking more pictures with the other 2 cameras I brought and called it a day. Driving home I called GoPro to complain, but since it was no longer under warranty, I would have to buy a new one. I went online, cried to my friends and followers and ended up receiving a donation to cover the cost of a new one. The day that had all the potential in the world, ruined by who knows what, was turning out to be ok. This is how the rest of my life has been.

A great day Campaigning
For the past few months, I have been busy trying to help a man get elected who I feel would be an amazing representative. We slaved away for months, doing things that no other campaign had done and breaking records in contacting individuals at an unprecedented level. We had all the hope in the world for this Tuesday’s primary elections in the state of Washington. We knew we wouldn’t win, but all we needed was second place. We had planned so well, met our goals and now it was up to the people, the voters, to tell us what was going to happen. Just like my shatterproof camera case, my dreams that night were broken. The hope of a better tomorrow faded away, and just like my camera, my stomach again sunk to a new low. The feeling of not reaching a peak, the feeling of shattering my shoulder while walking my dog during a wind storm, the feeling of knowing that no matter what the victory, a victory feels good still evades me. The election and the camera were totally unrelated events, yet, I find similarities in both. Losing the camera made me realize that my supports for this company are amazing and wonderful. Losing the campaign made me realize that I have a new family and that no matter what, I believed. In both events, the picture of everything in my head is much more beautiful than it would have been with my camera or with a win. These events allow me to still say what if, to still imagine, and to still dream and set goals to make them a reality.

Thanks for reading and now, back to the hiking and trail guides.

Douglas Scott
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