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Waking up early to go to work after a late night of baseball and fireworks is hard, the solution? Don’t do it!

Instead my wife and I took the day off, slept in a little, and then planned on taking the family on a hike with my brother and his family to a dual waterfall near his home called Battle Creek falls . It’s a short drive from his home in American Fork to nearby Pleasant Grove, and we drove down around 3pm thinking we’d take the hike and some pictures, then have a BBQ at his home for dinner before heading back home. I was really excited to go because despite my plans for this summer we haven’t been hiking at all this year and now summer’s nearly over. Also I had taken all my strobist kit so I could practice some outdoor portraiture with his family and all of our kids, what’s better than a huge waterfall as a backdrop right?

As we left  our home we ran into a thunderstorm but it looked clearer the farther south we drove so we were hoping it would stay clear over the canyon, by the time we collected my brother and his family and drove to the mouth of Battle Creek Canyon it was obvious that the storm had turned towards us and that we were either going hiking in the rain, or waiting it out. I’m not afraid of getting wet, but my gear is so we decided to wait it out at the Kiwanis park at the foot of the trailhead.

The Kiwanis Park at the foot of the Trailhead, the pavilion in the back was our lifesaver

As it started to rain we thought we’d just shelter in the picnic pavilion and wait it out. Most summer thunderstorms in Utah last around 20–30 minutes before moving on. That’s true when you’re in the valley, but we were up against the base of Mt. Timpanogos  a massive 11,000 +ft wall of stone, and the storm just slammed into it and stalled for over an hour puttin us in the middle of a constant downpour, and near constant lightning. I’m seriously amazed that we weren’t fried sitting under that metal roof.

The Kiwanis park area looking northwest - 3 bracket HDR

Battle Creek Canyon was named after a horrible incident in 1849 when Native Americans were murdered by Mormon settlers under some very sad circumstances.

A plaque honoring the slain sits inside the park near where the murders occured - 3 bracket HDR

I was very saddened to learn of this event as I researched the waterfalls, I had never heard about this incident before. I’m a Mormon and to think that our people who strive to live Christian values would do such a thing was very disturbing to say the least.

The rain continued…

One of many roof drains coming off the pavilion

It was raining, and blowing  so hard that I couldn’t even get near the edges because of all the spray coming in under the roof, so I set up my tripod and zoomed in on a few areas of interest.

A locked lock box, for what purpose I have no idea. There must be about 1/4 inch of ugly brown government issue paint on this thing as well - 3 bracket HDR

Rain misting off some stumps and rocks at a fire pit area - 3 bracket HDR

Finally the rain stopped, unfortunately it was now too late, and too muddy for us to hike, so we explored the park a little. We found a path to the north leading up to an overlook on the side of the mountain. It was a short but steep climb to a magnificent view of Utah Valley. Even though it was still extremely windy I set up my tripod, plugged in the Promote Control and snapped off 7 bracket HDR’s in a panorama that used 11 frames for a total of 77 images to make, and it’s huge! I’ve resized it here but the link will take you to a larger version on my flickr page.

11 frames @ 7 brackets each = 77 images HDR Panorama of Utah Valley looking south west. You can see the remnant of the storm on the left side as it slides over Provo

We left for my brothers home and a great dinner that he grilled up for us, but a very nice surprise (sort of) awaited us later that evening, but that’s for the next post!

I’ll leave you with two last images:

The trail head sign for Battle Creek falls a scant 0.5 miles away. This sign was as close as we got.

Battle Creek as it empties from the canyon into a catch basin below the park. It's flowing water so it's almost a water fall right...? 7 bracket HDR with the Promote Control.

Happy Shooting!

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