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Tread Lightly by LAlight Tread Lightly by LAlight
Three years ago, when Addam and I first visited this fall, we were both astounded by the uniqueness of the falls and the lushness of the moss. Thick, green moss carpeted every inch of the area right around the creek. We explored the creek upstream, admired the falls from the overlook deck, and then made our way down over the cliffs to the bottom of the falls. It was difficult to get down, since I'm short and there's quite the little cliff to navigate. But I did it with Addam's help and encouragement. This became a very special place to us, since we saw it for the first time together, and since I conquered a few fears here with the descent over the cliff. And we had this awesome place all to ourselves that day.

The second time, we ran into a couple of other guys down at the falls below the main drop. Still mossy, still gorgeous. 

On our third visit a few weeks ago, we were floored by how much the place had changed. The first thing we noticed immediately was that there were lots of people there already at the base of the falls. I was shocked, honestly, because it's not easy to get down there at all, at least not for me. On our way down, I realized that it likely hadn't been easy for everyone else who makes there way down there, either. There was now rope anchored to a rock at the top of the cliff. Despite the rope, this was, by far, my most difficult trip down to the falls. Due to the number of people who must have been slip-sliding down the rock wall since this place gained popularity, there was so much erosion of the earth around the rocks that my previous footholds had been destroyed. I just had to let myself drop this time, as my legs weren't long enough to reach the ground I was trying to land on. I don't remember having that problem before. 

Then, there was the moss. Or, should I say, there wasn't. Much of the moss that had once carpeted the hillside was gone. Just gone. Mud is all that remained, with telltale footprints of people slipping down the hill. My stomach sank when I saw how much people have destroyed the hillside at this beautiful place. 

I would never discourage anyone from visiting this amazing place, as photos really don't do it justice. But please, as you head out to these places this weekend and in the future, just watch your step. Truly try to leave no trace. I know it's just some moss and dirt, but it's part of the experience of being there, and I'm sad that people who go there now don't get to see that part. We need to stop being so focused and obsessed with what we're looking at through our lenses and remember that these are real, live landscapes that we are visiting.

Out of respect for the land, we have decided that this will be our last visit here for a long, long time. Hopefully, if people will just be mindful of what their feet are doing, this and other trampled places may begin to recover from the effects of their popularity.

Please, show some respect.
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:icondinapopo:
dinapopo Featured By Owner May 30, 2017
beautiful shot
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:iconalejandrocastillo:
AlejandroCastillo Featured By Owner Jul 13, 2016
Beautiful LE shot! Great composition.  =)
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:iconlalight:
LAlight Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2016  Professional Photographer
Thank you. :)
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:iconalejandrocastillo:
AlejandroCastillo Featured By Owner Jul 28, 2016
My pleasure. =)
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:iconblueshiranui:
BlueShiranui Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2015  Hobbyist Writer
Wowo... breath taking
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:iconslowdog294:
slowdog294 Featured By Owner Jul 9, 2015  Professional Photographer
Joyously beautiful. :winnner:
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:iconnwunseen:
NWunseen Featured By Owner May 31, 2015  Professional Photographer
:faint: such a jaw dropping take from here, sweetie..unique perspective..awesome greens..your beautiful touch in processing..sublime. and a perfect picture to get out such a strong and important message..is sad to see these places get misused and disrespected, you couldnt have said it better. is a little sad knowing that i wont see this place for quite some time if ever again, but if that is what its takes to spread awareness and do my part in protecting the beauty of the NW, really is a small price to pay to save a life. #respectnotrace 

<3
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:iconlalight:
LAlight Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2015  Professional Photographer
thanks so very much for all the great words, sweetie. more importantly, thanks for being so respectful of the beautiful places we visit..they will all benefit from you sharing your knowledge and reverence for the land. :heart:
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:iconnwunseen:
NWunseen Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2015  Professional Photographer
very welcome, sweetie! :hug: so glad that we can share the beauty we see together and have the same values for respecting nature while doing so :heart:
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:iconlalight:
LAlight Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2015  Professional Photographer
:heart: :nod: 
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:iconcorvidae65:
Corvidae65 Featured By Owner May 31, 2015
:no:  One day there may be barricades to keep people back.  It's happened here in the Black Hills at Roughlock Falls.  The new 'viewing areas' provide a view, sure but nothing inspiring.  Spearfish Falls is more approachable from a photographers standpoint but where others see a photographer they must tread also.
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:iconlalight:
LAlight Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2015  Professional Photographer
You're probably very correct there, John. :(
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:iconmecengineer:
mecengineer Featured By Owner May 31, 2015
superb
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:iconlalight:
LAlight Featured By Owner Jun 5, 2015  Professional Photographer
Thanks!
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:iconargolith:
Argolith Featured By Owner May 25, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Simply amazing.
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:iconlalight:
LAlight Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  Professional Photographer
Thank you. :)
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:icondanuk86:
danUK86 Featured By Owner May 24, 2015   General Artist
Beautiful shot and wise words :)
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:iconlalight:
LAlight Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  Professional Photographer
Thanks Dan...hopefully people will listen! :)
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:icondanuk86:
danUK86 Featured By Owner May 28, 2015   General Artist
no problem :) and yeah hopefully!
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:icono0oluxo0o:
o0oLUXo0o Featured By Owner May 24, 2015
Stunning Image and Sad Story! Its sad how getting the Shot to some people is more important than leaving the location beautiful for the rest of the world to see. I'm so glad I got to see some of those places in Oregon.. I may never go back but I got shots and I feel Like we left it just the way we found it. Thanks for coming and showing me around! 
Hope to Shoot again Soon! 
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:iconlalight:
LAlight Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  Professional Photographer
You'd be shocked at the difference in the place since you visited. :(
Appreciate the kind words, Brian...and I feel like we did a pretty good job leaving things as they were too! So glad we had some of those adventures with you guys. So much fun! :) 
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:iconlaskanwlf:
LASKANWLF Featured By Owner May 24, 2015  Professional Photographer
Love this LeeAnne!! :love: Great shot my friend!
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:iconlalight:
LAlight Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  Professional Photographer
Thanks Michael! :)
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:iconlaskanwlf:
LASKANWLF Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  Professional Photographer
My pleasure LeeAnne! :)
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:iconunkopierbar:
Unkopierbar Featured By Owner May 24, 2015   Photographer
Good capture and nice editing. It looks like you add a slight blur to most of your photos, which makes them even more magical. I especially wrote this comment to thank you for the respect you were showing to nature. This world needs a lot more people like you.
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:iconlalight:
LAlight Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  Professional Photographer
Thanks so much. I appreciate that others feel the same way. :)
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:icondominique-merot:
dominique-merot Featured By Owner May 23, 2015
Beautiful composition for a gorgeous place
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:iconlalight:
LAlight Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  Professional Photographer
Thanks Dominique!
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:iconpinedrop:
Pinedrop Featured By Owner May 23, 2015
Absolutely gorgeous image!  And kudos to you for saying it like it is.  We all need to respect our subjects, whether flora or fauna.  It is the very least we can do.
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:iconlalight:
LAlight Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  Professional Photographer
Thanks Tris...I agree. We just need to pay attention to what we're doing. :)
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:iconzarabardes:
Zarabardes Featured By Owner May 22, 2015
Awesome place. While it's a pity that the visitors spoiled it, it's a good thing that you preserved the fairytale appearance of the mossy landscape in your picture.
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:iconlalight:
LAlight Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  Professional Photographer
Thanks! Hopefully nature will do her thing and reclaim the land for herself at some point. :)
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:iconlost-nomad07:
lost-nomad07 Featured By Owner May 22, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Beautiful!
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:iconlalight:
LAlight Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  Professional Photographer
Thanks!
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:iconrhunel:
rhunel Featured By Owner May 22, 2015   General Artist
Beautiful!  Sorry to hear the trampling...perhaps this is only because it rained recently before numerous people visited and the plants will grow back over the tracks??
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:iconlalight:
LAlight Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  Professional Photographer
Nah, no rain to speak of recently. I was actually wondering if the lack of snow this past winter meant that these areas didn't get the usual hiatus in foot traffic that they usually do. Who knows. 
Thanks for your kind words. :)
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:iconvideodude1961:
videodude1961 Featured By Owner May 22, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Thank you for the wonderful image, and sharing your thoughts on the human impact on such places.  With more care, and more thought, more traffic does not have to be nearly so destructive.  I try to stick to the path, which has already made a scar on the landscape, rather than create a new scar.  On a similar note, many places I visit there are small bits of trash carelessly left behind.  I pick them up, my son has also learned to pick them up.  It's a good habit to practice.
Take only memories and leave no footprints if possible.
Rich T.
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:iconlalight:
LAlight Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  Professional Photographer
Thanks Rich, so happy to hear that you are careful and take extra measures to clean up while you're out. It's so nice that there are people like you! :)
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:icontrunna:
TRunna Featured By Owner May 22, 2015
That is a beautiful place.
I have often wondered what people could be thinking when they leave the kind of footprint you describe on a beautiful place.  
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:iconlalight:
LAlight Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  Professional Photographer
I think they're not thinking at all and just looking through their lenses. That has to be the case. I just can't accept that they are aware of what they're doing and just don't care. 
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:iconmarcoheisler:
MarcoHeisler Featured By Owner May 22, 2015   Photographer
Wonderful composition, love that perspective! :clap:
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:iconlalight:
LAlight Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  Professional Photographer
Thanks Marco!
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:iconmarcoheisler:
MarcoHeisler Featured By Owner May 29, 2015   Photographer
Welcome! :aww:
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:iconx-faktur:
X-FaKtUr Featured By Owner May 22, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
Some / Most people dont realize or care what their presence can to to a beautiful place like this, hopefully when / if you ever return there it will look more like it did originally.  Unfortunately, the more people who find out about it, chances are it will get worse.  Really great shot, though.
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:iconlalight:
LAlight Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  Professional Photographer
That's what's going on already. Its popularity has just exploded in recent years. 

And thank you. :)
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:iconx-faktur:
X-FaKtUr Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  Hobbyist Photographer
You're Welcome. Hope people will realize what a treasure a place like that is.
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:icon1001g:
1001G Featured By Owner May 22, 2015
what a wonderful place
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:iconlalight:
LAlight Featured By Owner May 28, 2015  Professional Photographer
:nod: Thanks!
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