It was a dark night, such as the one pictured above. Three irresponsible college males with a less-than-thought-out notion, conceived about ten minutes previous to the odyssey, set out on their trek.
Their destination was Amburgey Rock, a ledge atop Clack Mountain outside of Morehead, KY. Their goal was to take night photos of the town of Morehead.
As you may have guessed, I was one of these adventurous lads. The other photographer was a friend of mine. We both worked in the Morehead State University Public Relations Department as student photographers. We were freshmen at the time and living in Alumni Tower.
All well-planned expeditions seem to have a capable driver or guide…we had neither. Our “capable” driver was a friend, worldly and well-traveled, who was bored one mid-week evening. To us, a capable driver meant someone with a working automobile. Our driver’s price…a night out of his dorm room. He assured us his VW Bug would be able to traverse the terrain of the rain-soaked off-roads of Rowan County.
The next hurdle was to actually get some photography equipment.
Naturally, we assumed the university would have no problem with us borrowing $2,000 worth of their best equipment to take out into the wilds. We were so confident, we didn’t even ask. So at about ten o’clock in the black of night, we were off…
Our trip was uneventful until we encountered a rather large mud hole about a half-mile from Amburgey Rock. Our driver navigated this with some difficulty. But with the will of Washington and his men forging the Delaware, we made it across. Our driver assured us that this would not be a problem on our way out, since he already figured out the best way to get through this potential snare.
After about an hour on the ledge, taking what we thought would be Pulitzer-winning shots and reveling in the thrill of the hunt, we decided to return to the reality of our college lives and 8:00 AM classes. We loaded up our, excuse me, the university’s equipment, thankful that we didn’t drop any of it off the one hundred-foot cliff, and headed back to Morehead.
We shortly encountered the large mud hole again. There was no trepidation since our driver knew how to steer his car around the large muddy obstacle.
There was trepidation, however, when he thought the best away around this was to speed through the center and part it like the Red Sea.
After about an hour of pushing and pulling, we were able to free the car from the quagmire. Unfortunately, the only way we could free it was to push the Bug back out of the mud hole where we would have to re-navigate it. We scavenged the area and found some boards and rocks. We placed them in the mud so he would have a dry path to drive across.
This brilliant plan was predicated on only one thing, the driver had to actually drive across the makeshift bridge we built…he missed.
After another hour of pulling and pushing on a car that was buried deeper in the mud than the previous hour, we decided it was useless. We grabbed our, er the university’s equipment, and headed out on foot. We felt that the car was as secure as Excalibur stuck in the stone. It was after midnight and we had a five or six-mile hike ahead of us.
As we entered Morehead from Clearfield, a city policeman stopped us. I’m sure we looked a little suspicious at 2:00 AM, covered in mud and carrying bags of camera equipment, walking along the road. He inquired as to our situation and we were happy to regale him with our saga.
Finally, he said ,”College boys, huh?”. Then he drove off into the night without offering us a ride for the final two miles of our journey.
I don’t recall being in attendance for the 8:00 AM roll call.
I took this picture of one of the trees in the Old Mill Park in West Liberty one foggy night. It gives an eerie effect.
Night photography is very cool but takes a little more effort. You need a tripod, a flashlight to see the settings and a camera with the ability to shoot long exposures, and as always… a capable driver.
If you like this photo, you can see more of my pictures here.