By Scott Shephard
This place used to be a local "secret." In fact, it was so secret that we had been staying at cabin only a few miles from here for 20 years before I heard of it. But now, thanks to social media (including blogs like this) the cat is out of the bag. The last time I was near the vehicle access area to the trail that leads down to Big Falls or, more commonly, the Hippy Hole, it was like Grand Central Station. There was even a 9 passenger van from Illinois with kids, parents and grandparents. Good luck Grandpa if you have a heart attack down there . . . .
The difficulty of getting down to the waterfall and then back up are made obvious by this photo, I think. The canyon walls are pretty steep. Those same factors make it challenging to get a good drone shot because the drone loses radio contact with the controller when the walls of the canyon get between the drone and me. In fact, just after taking this photo, I got a "drone disconnected" message and a blank control screen. In theory, the drone will automatically return to where I launched it but I did get a brief unwanted adrenaline rush. A second or two later, I got my signal back and I brought the drone back manually. But I am pleased with this drone's eye view of this amazing place in the Black Hills.
Phantom 4 Pro 1/120s f/5.0 ISO100 8.8mm (35mm eq:24mm) (5 frame HDR composite.)