Sometimes you put yourself into situations that you typically would not put yourself into for a shot that you couldn't normally get. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
On Friday morning I got up at 4:15 to drive 45 minutes to a wildlife preserve northwest of Spooner, WI. It is an area with beautiful valleys and hills surrounded by miles of dirt roads. I have been there several times and have never seen another person. I wanted to get there early for some sunrise shots and then hike to a hill that overlooks a quiet lake surrounded by tall pines. I can barely make out the lake from the road but know it's down there. I figured the hike would be 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile through two valleys and over two hills. I took off with camera, tripod and backpack in tow thinking that although the terrain looked rough I could make it without any problems. Wrong assumption. I figured that if I could get to the top of one of the hills I could shoot down on the lake. The sun had just risen and the morning colors were perfect.
As I progressed through the field I came to realize that the brush was a little heavier than I expected and very wet with the morning dew. I finally got to the top of the hill that I though would give me the best shot but found that the brush was so tall that I could not see down on to the lake so I decided to hike to the lake itself.
That was a poor decision on my part as the bush got thicker and thicker as I walked on, almost to the point where I could no longer move within it. Now I was soaking wet and so deep into the brush that I could not see where I was. After about 45 minutes I finally came to a wet bog that as I took my first step swallowed up my left hiking boot (the laces had come untied walking through the brush).
I recovered my boot, took a standing 10 minute break and deciding that I could go no further turned around and looked for a better path back. It didn't exist so I tried to backtrack but it all looked the same to me so I tied my boots and made my way through that hell that I had just walked out of. Had it been dusk I fear that I would not have found my way out of there.
Obviously I made it back but my arms and legs were scratched and bloody and my stomach was bleeding from a sharp stick that almost impaled me.
Lesson learned....respect nature, it's not forgiving. Last week 3 hikers in