About two months ago I bought a GoPro Hero 4 Black on a whim as yet-another-way to document my hikes, to compliment my Olympus OM-D E-M5+ M.ZUIKO 12-40mm f/2.8 Pro lens and iPhone 6.
Joe and Katherine pose, Oneonta 2015
I went on a hike in the Columbia Gorge to return to Oneonta falls with friends Joe and Katherine. Words hardly do it justice, so I’ve littered this post with photos from previous hikes. It's an epic short hike down a river. Let me clarify when I say down a river, I mean walking literally in the river, which requires crossing a somewhat dangerous log jam, wading in chest-high water in a slot canyon to arrive at the canyon’s end and river’s headwater, large a waterfall.
David crosses the logjam and treks onward, Oneoneta Gorge 2014
As if the hike isn’t magical enough, the waterfall makes for a great (albeit cold) swimming hole. Its one of those exceptionally rare gems that make Oregon the Pacific Wonderland, and makes for one the most amazing hikes despite its unbecoming ¼ mile length.
Britney jumps, Oneoneta Falls 2014
Surprisingly few people jump in into Oneonta. The brave climb along the rock face on either side of the pool and jump, the end pool which is roughly 10-12 feet deep. This is exactly what I did… and what exactly my friend Joe did with my GoPro.
GoPro goes for a dive
We attempted to look for the sunken camera, but without any mask, the dark murky water made it impossible to see. None of the trio, Katherine, Joe or I would be considered accomplished divers, so we left, and Joe offered to pay for another GoPro, all $500 of it to which he transferred me the money immediately via Square Cash.
Every now and again there’s someone that restores your faith in humanity. Two days later, another hiker recovered it, a certified bad-ass retiree named Terry H. who makes a hobby of diving into Oneonta and recovering objects. He’s recovered two other GoPros to date, returning the previous to a girl in Texas.
Upon recovery, Terry e-mailed the photos from the GoPro to friends who then were posted on a popular Oregon Hiker’s group on facebook.
Screencap from the GoPro by Terry
Joe was informed by a coworker that someone found his camera, and he promptly replied. He proved his identity by using the photo at the top of this post. By the end of the next day, I was in touch with Terry whom I organized to meet./p>
Joe and I were both thrilled, Joe wasn’t out the cost of a brand new GoPro, and I got my GoPro back complete with footage. As a way to say thanks, I rode my bike to REI on my lunch break and picked up a gift card on the correct assumption that Terry was some sort of outdoors guru with an affinity for REI. (Really, what hiker doesn’t love REI?)
I met Terry at his house due east of Portland, where he greeted me instantly without a moment of hesitation and was completely friendly. We talked for about twenty minutes about hiking in the Northwest. Terry refused the gift at first, but I pointed out I had written his name on the card, and explained how Joe was equally as grateful as it meant he wasn’t out the money for a GoPro 4 black, Terry accepted. He mentioned he was debating getting a GoPro himself. I assume after fishing a few out of waterfalls/rivers to find them in working order, he’s well aware of their durability.
Lastly, I ordered a floaty for my GoPro from Amazon. Props to GoPro for making a camera that survives waterfalls, and to all the good people who helped Terry locate Joe.