Thursday, April 06, 2006

Into the Wild

Walk in the Woods
What better way to clear my head than a mid-morning traipse through North Carolina's newest state park? Well there has to be something better, but since Weaver beat me to the psycho rooster story, I didn't have much of a choice. Not that it mattered. I'm always up for exploring the many pockets of wilderness that dot the Piedmont - though I prefer to do so on the back of my mid-range mountain bike, not under the thud of an 18 pound fancy-cam. Still, it is my cross to bear, so I took to the woods in search of apostles. When none emerged from the shimmering distance, I settled for close-ups of spiders and such.

Flower PowerLong heralded as an environmental learning center of untapped potential, The Summit Conference Center boasts the kind of rolling topography I moved to the Piedmont for in the first place. Pristine wetlands, unfettered wildlife, a cascading network of root-infested trails - no wonder the wonks in Raleigh decided to make it Guilford County's first state park. It's already the site of family reunions, youth retreats and assorted feel-good gatherings. Now the well-kept secret is poised to becoming a statewide mecca for the tree-hugging set. All that's needed is a little publicity, something to let Sally Joe Housecoat know there's a slice of Eden right in their own backyard. That's where I come in.

Fence Post TripodWhen executive director Jonathan Frederick (who deserves his own reality show) suggested we walk through the park before I started shooting, I shrugged it off, grabbed my camera and followed him into the woods. A few minutes later I found myself in a love embrace with a fence post, sweating lightly and regretting the fact that my battered tripod was back in the car. Sure, a half-cocked shoulder-cam packs more swagger, but the pros know the power is in the sticks. That's why I was so eager to get back to Unit 4. No matter how I tried to slow my breathing, the flutter of the butterflies and the ripples of the creekwater were shirking the crosshairs of my heaving lens. After leaving the fence post my phone number, I shuffled uphill toward the car, all the while checking my person for splinters, ticks or any other embedded journalistic insects.

I'd tell ya what I found, but it's not that kind of blog. Get your mind out of the creek-bed, would ya?


Colonel Corn's Camera said...

Dude, if you have writers block come help me out. It's been a heck of a week down here in Charlotte with a cop shot and the prez in town. I can't find the time to get it all down on paper. I sit behind the camera thinking I could be writing but if I wasn't behind the camera I wouldn't have anything to write. What a Catch 22.

I only give credit where credit is due and you are due for your share. If it wasn't for the free add space on your blog I wouldn't have any readers at all. Thanks for all you have done for me.

We need to get together some time soon and have a beer. Cheers Slinger!

Roch101 said...

I didn't even know about this place -- right in our backyard. Thanks for letting us know, it looks fantastic.

Laurie said...

What Roch said - Thanks!

Joel said...

Roch and Laurie...Not know? Does nobody read my blogs! Seriously, Slinger, thanks for the good promo for the park. This bona fide tree hugger can't wait until the Haw River State Park is a reality.

Jonathan said...

Listen: The fencepost can't get signal up here in the boonies, so it wanted me to tell you that it's probably not going to work out. You seem far too attached to your tripod.

Thanks for the story and keep on keepin on. Jonathan