Gear used today: Nikon D850 with Nikkor 20mm F1.8.
For quite a long time now, I’ve been wanting to go to Fleetwood Creek to take pictures from the scenic lookout deck. A few weeks ago, on a day that I didn’t have to go to the hospital, I decided to give it a practice run. Practice, because I really want to go in October to shoot the coloured leaves at their peak.
To prepare, I conned the website (I’d practically memorized it by this point), looked it up on the map, planned my route and, early in the morning, set off with my gear and a thermos of tea. What could possibly go wrong?
Everything, as it happens…
The conservation area is located at #902 Ballyduff Road; small problem though, the road ends at eight hundred and ninety something. Beyond that was a very rough (very, very rough) track through the woods. I ventured about a hundred yards down this “Unassumed Road” at which point I was at the top of a very steep hill. Here it narrowed even more, there were rocks and craters galore in the road, and I couldn’t see anything to indicate there was a park with a parking lot further on. Foiled! I did what every self-respecting coward would do – I reversed the hell out of there. There were two other roads close by so I checked them out. One was just the access route for the wind farm (it was beyond cool driving beneath an operating windmill) and the other ended in a rustic track just like Ballyduff Road. Sigh! Foiled again!!!
Today Cam very kindly offered to drive me and see if, together, we could locate the park and the lookout deck. Upon arrival at the end of Ballyduff Road, and without even a scintilla of hesitation, Cam drove down the rocky, rutted, dirt track – in low gear with all-wheel drive. I. Was. Scared. Stiff. I pictured us getting stuck, encountering an on-coming vehicle with no where to turn/pull off, and worst of all, rolling over. ‘Though none of those things happened, it was a hairy experience, let me tell you! At the bottom of the hill, and about five hundred yards along the bottom of the valley, we came to #902 Ballyduff Road and the entrance to the park. Up a slight incline, we came to the parking lot and heaved huge sighs of relief.
Ohmigosh! It was soooooo worth it! The site is meticulously maintained, the paths are easily walkable, and the views… Nothing short of breathtaking!
It was a wonderful outing, Fleetwood Creek Conservation Area is a beautiful location but I doubt I shall ever return (not without a horse to ride on or an off-road vehicle to ride in).
’Til next time, y’all…