Sunday, August 23, 2009

Our Dog Is Prettier Than Yours, Mr. Photographer

How sweet it is, taking off on a fall-like day with no real time constraints and a familiar destination at hand. Today, with the weather mild and the temps barely cresting the eighties, we wanted to get outdoors of course! We opted for our favorite park, Frozen Head State Natural Area, because we wanted the kids (Ashby & Clover) to be able to play in the creek. That's their favorite thing to do after a nice trail hike. We also didn't want to travel too far, nor did we want to brave the unknown today.

It's always nice visiting a park you are familiar with. It's comfortable, relaxing, and you don't have to constantly worry about what's around the next bend. This is exactly what we had in mind when we set foot on the Debord Falls trail head. What we found at the falls, however, was far from comfortable, relaxing, or familiar.

We hiked up the ridge following the creek for the .6 mile to the falls. Upon arrival, we encountered something we had never before encountered on the trail. No, not a bear, nor a snake; not even a bobcat (all of which make us nervous at just the thought). No, what we encountered was a photo shoot, and a very odd photo shoot indeed.

We stood at the overlook for a little while, contemplating if we should even venture down to the falls. The photographer, if you could call him that, kept looking up at us, obviously contemplating the same thing. It was then I noticed that, what appeared to be, a teenage girl was the single subject of his portraits (unless you count the small amount of Class I Natural Area making it into the shot). We watched as a few other people braved to go down there, and they had a dog, too. Clover gets a little nervous around other dogs, so we waited........ and watched. **Although, I think Tim was feeling a little uncomfortable watching an old man wearing only swimming trunks photograph a teenage girl wearing what could have been last night's used dental floss.**

The man with the dog finally came up out of the falls area, and I made the executive decision to go down anyway. By this time, the girl was changing clothes behind towels underneath the overlook (thank God we moved when we did). This gave the kids a little time to play in the falls cove while the photographer readied himself for their next.... whatever they were doing. But it was all too soon that they were back, and this time, it was worse.

I'm not going to go into detail, but imagine an old man ogling at a young girl in a wet t-shirt contest. Believe me, we tried to block them out. We tried to let the kids play. We tried to admire the congregations of butterflies. We TRIED to enjoy the relaxing sound of the rushing falls. But all that is pretty hard to do when, in the background, someone is shouting, "Work it! Ah Yeah! You're the best! That's HOT! Let's see it, baby!"


Needless to say, we didn't stick around as long as we would have liked, and I was getting pretty perturbed at the whole situation (not being able to capture the photos I wanted because they were in the way constantly). Begrudgingly, we left our beloved falls behind, and opted for a picnic by the creek in its stead. Things got much better from there.

Tim cooked us yum-dogs on the charcoal grill, while Ashby played in the creek below us. Clover took a nap while waiting on food, and I took lots of photos - most turning out blurry though for reasons unbeknown to me -- I thought I did all the camera stuff right. *sad face*

After filling our bellies with outdoor vittles and playing the TAKE A CROOKED PHOTO game (pics attached), we took the kids to play at the playground. To Ashby's dismay, the swings had been taken down, and she had no further interest in playing there. So we walked around the campground loop instead, letting the fall camping bug bite us hard. Ashby was practically begging to go camping before we were even halfway around the loop while Tim was looking for a good spot to put up an antenna when we go camping next.

We let Ashby play on the gigantic rock (another favorite pastime at Frozen Head), and walked Clover (or did she walk us?) around the upper portion of the campground. We finished our walk at the car, and promptly pulled out for home. The kids had a ton of fun, played hard, and were both tuckered out. They slept good on the way home.

And Tim and I? Well, we were tired, too, but we left with memories of a trip we will likely never forget.

Now for the pics...

Eww.. What is this? Swimsuit Illustrated?

Uuummmmm.... Okay....
My dog is prettier than yours mister.

The real beauty in the woods.
One of God's masterpieces, Debord Falls.

Ashby (The Rugrat) and Trusty Sidekick Clover Beene

The Goblin Behind the Falls

Some Call Him Tim

The Grill Master
Cookin' the Chili

Ashby on a Rock

Tim Tending the Yum-Dogs

Yum-Dogs and Chili Spells YUMMY in Our Tummies

Yum-Dogs Ready to Eat

There was a Crooked Man...

Who had a Crooked Wife...

They had a crooked kid,

But the Dog, she was not Crooked.