We had just crossed Nolands Ferry during our walk last weekend, and we were about to enter the section lined with Virginia Bluebells. Towards our left, between the branches of the now greening trees, one could see the Potomac river in the distance. Further off in the distance, in the direction of the river, I noticed what looked like an island lit up by the rays of the rising sun. (It might have been the opposite shore of the river that I had sighted, but that was not what I was imagining at that point.) I was thinking about how this could have been the opportunity for the perfect picture.
I had seen this picture before, in reality and my mind, during past walks, and I had thought even then about trying to take advantage of a perfect picture opportunity – if only there was a way to get down to the river from the towpath that we were walking along. There were too many visual obstacles to taking the picture from where we were. I had found no such path to the river in the past, only hints of places where some (a few) people might have forced their way to the river over the vegetation and the mud. This was the case once again last Sunday. I could not find an easy way to the shore of the river. If I had found such a trail, I would have been down there in a jiffy.
As we continued on the towpath in the general direction of my island in the sun, I continued to keep a lookout the photo opportunity I had in mind. Pretty soon this opportunity for The Picture had vanished. Things looked more ordinary on the river from the newer perspectives, and I suspect that we even walked past my real or imaginary island at some point.
Eventually, it was time to return to the Monocacy Aqueduct, the starting point for our walk. We were going to, once again, attempt to find a detour to the river at the point of the picture opportunity. This time we were going to be more adventurous in trying to find a way to our destination. We stepped off the towpath and stepped into the woods. We picked a spot where there were no obvious obstacles in our path. It was somewhat rough going. Certain sections were quite muddy. The caking pattern of drying mud indicated that the river had risen to the levels that we were walking at.
The picture below shows how close we managed to get to the riverside. There was no easy way to get all the way down to the river itself. This was not exactly what I had hoped for. The lighting had changed from earlier in the morning, and this was not the picture I had imagined. The angles seemed to be different, and despite our valiant efforts, we could not avoid the foliage in the way of the view. Nevertheless, I had to take the picture because I come down all this way from the towpath. And that is the story of how this particular picture came to be.
We actually tried to continue walking along the side of the river at the level that we were at for some additional distance – to see if we could get to a place which might offer a better view. We could not get too far, and had to return to the towpath.
That is the way it goes!