"What d'ya think you're doing? Can't you read?" We turned to see an irate man in a bath robe charging towards us, a one man stampede, wielding his coffee cup like a truncheon. "You can't park here", he bellowed. "Didn't you see the signs? This is private property and you are trespassing." As Ammi politely tried to explain that we meant no harm and just needed a place to park to save us miles of lugging our equipment up the trail, i found myself wondering how threatening two blonde haired, blue eyed ladies must appear to this man who feels the need to brandish his coffee cup to protect his land. Clearly, the days of "This land is your land. This land is my land", are over. That land was his land and despite our excessive loveliness and gentle entreaties he remained unmoved and we loaded up our gear, mountain bike and all and drove to a more "legal", less guarded spot. Thus began my first adventure-sports photo shoot.
A few months back, my family jumped in the car in Georgia and stopped driving in Sandpoint, Idaho. It didn't take long to decide to stay as we met people that resonated with our personalities, values and hopes. Ammi Midstokke is one of those people. Did I mention I was 7 1/2 months pregnant when we moved to Sandpoint? Visiting my midwife's office in August, i discovered her daughter and business manager, Ammi Midstokke of the fabulously written and hilarious laugh-out-loud blog, "The Brazen Apron" which i highly recommend you checking out. Ammi is not only a great business manager and amazing cook but a mama, an outdoor sports fanatic and an incredible writer. When i heard about her passion for climbing, mountain biking, and oh pretty much anything with an element of danger in it, i was super excited to find a like- minded lady. When she offered me the chance to take some photos for an article she was writing, i was ecstatic. And that's how we ended up warding off a local grump and trying to capture the fun and spirit of mountain biking for a blog Ammi was writing for Mountain Gear.
The fact that I was eight months and three weeks pregnant just added to the fun. My ideal of what a heavily pregnant woman should be able to do has always been shaped by the woman in that movie Apocalypto, where she is not only chased by Mayan warriors through the jungle with a toddler in tow, but gives birth in a deep pit that is quickly filling up with water, while standing on a tiny ledge and balancing the toddler on her shoulders. So lying on a path trying to capture Ammi's bike jumps or climbing trees to get a good angle, barely tested the limits of my imagined pregnant ability! At the same time, it made me happy to be active and doing something so fun while the thought rattled in the distant recesses of my mind, "You know, you could go into labor up in this tree!"
We had so much fun working with the light and the trail shapes and chatting constantly and Ammi never tired of riding the same sections of trails over and over for me to get the right shot. Or if she did, she was very patient and gracious about it. And i discovered what I had always expected and hoped that I LOVE shooting adventure sports. Ammi got my pictures published on the Mountain Gear blog and I gained a new friend. A perfect way to start on a trail that I hope never ends.