I am so excited! I mountain biked for the first time this weekend! Hi, I am Ardath Waller. I love to bicycle but I had never attempted a mountain bike trail. I found myself with nothing to do on Sunday afternoon and thought why not! It was a gorgeous sunny 80 degree day and I have a hybrid bicycle. So I packed up my golden retriever, Baxter, and my bicycle and headed to Brown County State Park. It is the largest park in Indiana and draws big crowds. In fact, this Memorial Day Weekend the campgrounds and the Abe Martin Lodge were full. But the trails were open!
Now, I will admit that I had no idea what I was in for. Was I going to break a bone, fall down a hill, get gashed by my bicycle, or was Baxter going to run over me if he got spooked…. there were so many scenarios running thru my head. And also, were the trails going to be very high up? I am scared to death of heights and I was concerned. But I need not be…we took the easiest trail available. There were bridges, hills, and wonderful greenery everywhere. We were in the shade from the beautiful forest most of the way. There were also turns on hills and wet mud in places (yuk) but we persevered! And after two miles of twists and turns up and down we made it! What an accomplishment! I think both Baxter and I were very excited to see the trail head
This experience kind of correlates to what is happening in my life with photography. My love of photography has been re-discovered as my love of bicycling has. When did all of this start? For bicycling I can remember always riding my bicycle when I was little. I am an Air Force brat who moved every other year and I remember particularly when we lived in Matiland, Fl. I was in 2nd grade and we rode our bicycles to school past orange groves. I loved riding as fast as possible and creating my own wind. When riding my bicycle I had feeling of being free from everything – chores, homework…all those things a 2nd grader needs to be free of. 🙂 Mountain bicycling requires your full focus. No distractions are allowed therefore I felt free for two whole miles.
Photography gives me a similar feeling. I have always enjoyed being behind the camera and getting THE shot that expresses the emotions or captures the beauty in front of me. My parents gave me a camera when I was young and I remember getting the biggest kick out of finding THE perfect photo in the group of photos. I am always taking photos of my family, flowers, landscapes, and waterscapes. My passions are in portraiture, lifestyle, and street photography. Before digital came along I worked many of the photos into scrapbooks which helped tell the story behind the photos. And today I am discovering a new medium (to me) to telling the story – this blog. Photography takes my full focus from the point of taking the photo to editing it – total freedom doing what I enjoy.
Back to my exciting mountain biking day…..although I absolutely love both bicycling and photography, I have to admit they clashed quite a bit on my inaugural mountain bicycling ride. I stopped frequently to take photos. It was not a fast ride at all but I did enjoy watching the other bicyclers cycle past. And I when I got home and looked at the photos I realized Baxter probably did not share in my love of mountain bicycling as he hung his tongue out in pure exhaustion in every single photo. Poor guy. But that’s ok – I know he shares my love of editing photos because he is usually on the floor by my feet the whole time. 🙂