Walking quietly down the highway minding my own business on a short, pleasurable jaunt with the tall forest of North Idaho rising all around and the ribbon of road stretching ahead, I began to notice in the distance a cheering crowd of people with their brightly painted cars and flowing colored ribbons, apparently encouraging me ever onward. The crowd was ringing bells, whooping and howling for, what was apparently, me to hurry on to the finish line. As I picked up my step and moved on more quickly towards what I thought was to be glory at the finish line, I was tempted to put my arms up in the victory sign and say things like, “thank you, thank you very much, I appreciate your encouragement.” But, was I dreaming or was I part of a Chevy Chase movie or what?
As I was preparing to raise my hands in the victory salute, to bask in the glory of a triumphant task accomplished and become immortalized, two runners I hadn’t realized were behind me, came bursting by and the crowd’s attention was suddenly riveted on them and I became invisible to the hordes of admirers I thought I had. The runners surged across the finish line and fell into the arms and embraces of the mob. I continued unnoticed on my walk and was real happy I hadn’t embarrassed myself by raising my arms in victory. I had been puzzled and was contemplating why they would be cheering on a slow walking photographer with his camera hanging around his neck. Obviously they weren’t whooping for this fella but for the racers that had been silently sprinting up behind me. Now I could sulk off quietly and take my snap shots.
We were spending a few days with our son, Scott, his wife, Tonya, and their new baby, Clara (one of our new grandbabies). We had driven and walked by this very pretty scene on Lake Pend Oreille several times. There were all kinds of tall, beautiful, yellow flowers with the lake and sky showing blue in the distance. I knew from the moment I saw the scene I wanted to come back with my camera. It was not far from Scott’s house so one morning I decided to make the short hike. I walked through the woods, just outside their door, down the trail to the highway, turned left onto the tree lined road and noticed the assemblage of people and cars just past the point I planned to take pictures. I figured to find out more of what was happening as I ambled closer and closer. That’s when the cheering started of which I had no idea why they were cheering for me. Of course they weren’t but for awhile it sure felt like it.
After my near embarrassment, I just traipsed anonymously right on over to the spot I wanted to shoot pictures and went about my business. I viewed the scene, focused on the flowers in the foreground (which I think are the Common Tansy), composed, set the camera for the proper lighting and shot away. The the previously excited crowd ignoring me and me ignoring them. They continued with their congratulations of the runners, slapping them on the back, giving them big bear hugs and high fives and generally making them seem like they must have accomplished bringing world peace instead of winning a race.
The photos above are two of several from just below the crowd on the highway. Even though I was not being cheered by the crowd nor was I part of a Chevy Chase movie, Chevy would have felt right at home in my shoes but I suspect he would have been raising his arms in victory and finding lots of embarrassment. For me it turned into a pleasant photo shoot.
Please take a look at some more of my photography at http://samsherman.imagekind.com/