Bent Creek Experimental Forest

Chip Oglesby bio photo By Chip Oglesby

Show, Don’t tell!” Back when I was working full time as a photojournalist this was a quote that was often thrown around in our A.P.A.D (A Photo A Day) group. Bent Creek Experimental Forest

Lately though, I’ve been traveling less and less with my camera. Instead of always capturing photos, I’ve been training myself to enjoy things without the incessant need to document things with cameras or social media.

I’ve become more withdrawn from my social media presence because I find less value in the connections I use to have. Maybe it’s because things have changed or the 5 W’s of what I consume is different.

Recently we went on vacation in Charleston and this was the first time I’ve left my camera at home. I wanted to enjoy a sunrise walk on the beach with my wife without worrying about what f-stop to use. I wanted to sit on the beach with a book without getting notifications for email, Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and whatever else. I have a Kindle, but you can only read one book at a time, so why do I need 35,000 books at my fingertips?

And you know what? It was really nice.

I think about Bent Creek a lot. Did you know that Bent Creek is nearly 6,000 acres within Pisgah National Forest? That’s huge! I would say that at least 50% of the people who go to Bent Creek go to ride their mountain bikes, but I really like walking along the same roads towards Lake Powhatan. It’s not a very long road but there are some nice areas to sit and reflect on life, something else that I’m trying to do more of lately.

Sometimes I think about Walden and what solitude in present day life looks like. Doing research today I found that the median home price in Asheville is around $350,000. This blows my mind. I think about what it would be like to be in an undiscovered area that know one knows about yet, that would be nice.

I’ll leave you with something that I jotted down on my recent trek into the experimental forest.

The wind whispers secrets through the leaves to those who listen. Humidity doesn't hang over your head like a stifling blanket. The stream babbles through the rocks in a methodical tone. The birds serenade the trees, singing songs of praise. I always imagined that I would look down and find gold. What I didn't realize is that the gold was right in front of me. I know I am home.