Yesterday I was out all day, combining a 6 hour East Coast Trail hike with an evening shoot at Signal Hill.

The hike was stunning, in a good and a bad way. The first 2 hours I was out on the headlands east of Torbay and the wind was blowing so hard, it was a stun breeze.

Sustained high winds did not allow any kind of steady-handed photography, so I had to use my heavy-duty tripod for every shot. I even had to hold down my tripod at all times, because it vibrated like a musical instrument in the wind and the gusts were strong enough to knock the whole contraption over, even after I lowered its centre of gravity.

View of Torbay Point – Cobbler Path

As I was hiking alone I had no real reason to speak, but when I opened my mouth to curse the wind, my cheeks flapped around like bloodhound facing a leaf blower. Adding injury to insult, my camera strap was flailing so violently in the wind it knocked me in the face with enough force to leave a mark.

After I left the wide-open headland and entered the sheltered forest, things improved. Still, the forest seemed haunted: all the trees complained with squeaky noises and the forest floor was moving everywhere, stirred by strained roots running underneath the trail:

Into the woods – Cobbler Path

Newly-cut trail at the Cobbler – Cobbler Path

In the afternoon, the winds died down enough to have a conversation with an ECTA crew I ran into. A new trail section was being built in the area I was exploring, about a dozen trailblazers were busy crafting new stairs and clearing the ground for the trail to come through:

ECTA trail builders – Cobbler Path

New stairs on the East Coast Trail – Cobbler Path

The trail is almost finished now, and where it’s not you can just follow the brightly coloured ribbons in the trees or the heath.

In the end this hike led me all the way from Torbay Point up to Torbay Southern Head, then down to sea level at the Cobbler and back up again towards Redcliff Head. Adding my off-trail explorations, I guess about 750 metres of up and down, my knees were a bit shaky by the end of this hike:

Me, near the end of the hike – Torbay Point, Cobbler Path

Evening shoot

Exhausted as I was, there was a moon rising and the skies were fairly clear, I didn’t have a lot of energy left so instead of doing the evening shoot on the trail I took the car and headed for Signal Hill, where I shot light trails coming up the hill:

Light trails on Signal Hill – St. John’s

If you’re familiar with Signal Hill, you’ll notice they’ve just added a sidewalk for all the folks jogging up and down, a big improvement if you ask me.