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I feel like I was shooting the photos for those motivational posters…

October 25, 2015, 11:12 PM

This past Thursday, I went up to High Rock, which is a rock outcropping on South Mountain in Pen Mar, Maryland, in Washington County near the Pennsylvania border.  It reminds me a little bit of both Humpback Rock in Virginia, and the Aqueduct Bridge stub in DC.  Like Humpback Rock, it’s high on a mountaintop, however, unlike Humpback Rock, you can drive up to it and park right next to it, rather than parking down below and then hiking a mile straight uphill.  Like the Aqueduct Bridge, it’s covered in graffiti and a popular overlook point, but unlike the Aqueduct Bridge, it’s a natural feature rather than manmade.  I went up there with the intent of scouting out the location for a potential future set for the Photography section on Schumin Web.  I knew it had a view, but I wasn’t so sure about it.  I arrived just before 5:00 PM, and stayed for about an hour and a half.  While there, I let my curiosity lead the way, as I checked things out at the site and just kind of followed what I found interesting.  I don’t know which intrigued me more: the formation itself, the view, or the graffiti.

So here’s what some of the take from this outing looked like:

View from High Rock facing approximately north, towards Waynesboro, Pennsylvania. The bit of stone in the foreground is actually manmade. As much as I can tell, this is some of what remains of an observatory that once stood at this site.
View from High Rock facing approximately north, towards Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.  The bit of stone in the foreground is actually manmade.  As much as I can tell, this is some of what remains of an observatory that once stood at this site.

View facing approximately west, plus peace sign graffiti.
View facing approximately west, plus peace sign graffiti.

View facing approximately southwest, with some of the lower rocks visible.
View facing approximately southwest, with some of the lower rocks visible.

Four teens sitting on High Rock, all checking their phones.
Four teens sitting on High Rock, all checking their phones.

A couple takes photos of the view with their respective phones. View facing approximately northwest.
A couple takes photos of the view with their respective phones.  View facing approximately northwest.

Two people stand on High Rock, looking out over the landscape. View facing west.
Two people stand on High Rock, looking out over the landscape.  View facing west.

Sunset. View facing southwest.
Sunset.  View facing southwest.

Sunset. View facing southwest.
Sunset.  View facing southwest.

However, as the sun started to go down, I realized something: I was shooting photos very similar to the ones that they use on those “motivational posters” that were so popular in the 1990s and 2000s.  Suddenly, my mind started coming up with inspirational and/or motivational captions for my photos.  And for some, I came up with parody captions, like those “demotivational posters” that you’ve probably seen around.

Here are some examples of what I was thinking about.  First the motivational ones:

Opportunity: Opportunity lies ahead for those who seek it.

Perspective: Never forget the big picture.

Sunset: Tomorrow is a brand new day.

And then that photo of the four teens on their phones became a parody one:

Smartphones: Because nothing beats traveling to a scenic overlook and then spending the whole time sitting and staring down at your phone.

I don’t think I could pull off a line of Schumin Web motivational posters, but the photos certainly work for the concept.  I still can’t get over that those teenagers drove all the way up to High Rock only to, you know, fumble around on their smartphones.  After all, you can do that anywhere.

And lastly, I got a photo of the Waynesboro Walmart while I was up there:

Walmart in Waynesboro

Mind you, the Walmart in Waynesboro, Pennsylvania.  However, it is possible to get a similar photo of the Walmart in Waynesboro, Virginia, i.e. my ex-store, as well.  You do it from the Raven’s Roost overlook up on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Next time I’m down that way, I’ll see about getting a photo.  Funny to go to a mountain almost in Pennsylvania, and grab a photo of a Walmart in a town called Waynesboro, though.  In any case, this Walmart and adjacent Lowe’s store are really the only major commercial structures that you can make out really well from this overlook.  Most of the view is forest and farmland, as Waynesboro, Pennsylvania is a much smaller town than Waynesboro, Virginia.

In any case, I definitely want to come back here again some time and explore the area a bit more thoroughly.