Some time off before starting a new job afforded me a rare opportunity for a weekday jaunt, with the intrepid (read: crazy) TJ Thorne making my exploits look downright pedestrian in comparison as he scaled sheer canyon walls and waded thigh-deep in bone-chilling water looking for shots. It was his first time here, and he described the goosebumps that developed as he neared the amphitheater and listened to Abiqua's purr crescendo into a roar before the falls finally rounded into view beyond the final corner. I must admit that for me the goosebumps have faded a bit over time owing to my familiarity with the locale, but the amphitheater's magic and majesty remain undeniable. I hope what I may have lost in the 'goosebump factor' I've gained in growing intimacy with the place, and an unhurried approach lets me study the landscape in ways I may not have looked before. On this occasion, the disappointment of missing out on the ice formations we were hoping to photograph befittingly melted away in the serenity of this vestigial ephemeral pool.