The Nature Hike

Yesterday, I participated in a Meetup event; a hike and photo shoot at Scotts Run Nature Preserve in McLean, VA.  What’s a Meetup, one may ask?

“A Meetup Group is a local community of people. A Meetup Group hosts Meetups, which are face to face meetings that happen in real life between members and Organizers”

“Helps groups of people with shared interests plan meetings and form offline clubs in local communities around the world.”

I joined the Shutterbugs Excursions photography meetup group (http://www.meetup.com/shutterbugexcursions/?scroll=true )  last year as a way to improve and enhance my skills and to learn from other photographers.  Anyone can establish a Meetup and for just about anything.

Check it out here: http://www.meetup.com.

I hadn’t been on a hike in quite sometime, and I didn’t think about the fact that I am physically out of shape. So when we reached the fork in the road and the host gave us the option of taking the easier or the more challenging route, I chose the challenging route, mainly because that route placed me at the bottom of the waterfall, while the easier route placed me across from the waterfall, meaning the people closest would obstruct the view.

As I was climbing uphill trying to maintain my balance and trekking downhill hanging on to branches and rocks, I thought, “What was I thinking? This better be worth it.”  I was not prepared to hike and I knew that I would be paying for it dearly the next day.  I didn’t have on appropriate hiking shoes, I had no water, and I had no protective gear for my equipment if I’d happened to fall (though I did find a way to protect my camera).

T O T A L L Y unprepared.  However, I didn’t look like a complete novice because over half of the participants were in the same boat.  Clearly, we are not hikers; we were going for the photos.

I woke up this morning afraid to move, in fear of being in pain.  I knew I was going to be in pain, the question was… how much?  I was ready to get up, but I literally just laid in bed for 40 minutes until I mentally prepared myself for what potentially was to come.  When I finally moved, the pain was not what I’d anticipated. Yes, I am in pain, but it is manageable.  I’m not as out of shape as I thought!

I captured really nice photos, so being out of breath climbing rocks and walking on slippery leaves on a 3 1/2 hour hike was worth it! Here they are:

At the waterfall.

At the waterfall.

landscape #!-23

A view from the easy route.

landscape #!-26

A burst of sunlight.

Landscape

Serenity.

A crossing.

A crossing.

Me #1

Me in a photo, in the middle.

landscape #!-19

A stream of rocks.

Below is a picture of me that was captured by another member.  I didn’t know that I was being photographed and that it would later be shared on the Shutterbugs Excursions Meetup website.  I’m not particularly happy with the expression on my face as I take a photo, but I guess its better than being captured holding on to a tree while catching my breath!

Me#2

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