October 5, 2017
It was a Thursday morning, and I had plans to hike. I knew I needed to make it count because it was the only free day I had that week. The problem was, when I woke up I did not want to go.
The sky that morning was cloudy, which is exactly how I felt. I had no motivation to be creative. I wrestled with the idea of just not going, but the knowledge that I wouldn’t have another chance to go for a week gave me the push I needed. Optimistic that I would feel better when I got started I grabbed some coffee and drove to Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial State Park.
Babler Memorial SP is a popular park outside of Wildwood, MO. It was named in honor of a Saint Louis surgeon who devoted much of his time to charity cases. The land was donated by his brothers, Jacob and Henry Babler. Jacob was an advocate of the young state park system, and was integral to the founding of many parks earning him the title “father of Missouri’s State Parks”. I chose to visit Babler SP because I had heard good things about it, and I thought it would be a great addition to my state park project.
Before beginning my hike in earnest I made a stop at a restroom in the park. The sun had come out by this point, and I was feeling much better as I began to look around the area. The park has a lot to offer, so in an effort to experience as much as possible I followed the equestrian trail, the longest trail in the park.
The trail was beautiful, but I had to wave a stick in front of me as I walked in an attempt to knock down the spider webs strung across the path. This trail is in my top five worst for spiders in your face.
As the trail wore on I began to feel tired, and I was getting annoyed with all the webs clinging to my arms and head. I pushed on and continued photographing if something really caught my attention, but by the time I reached 5.5 miles I was fed up and walked the last half mile back on the road.
While this hike was not the best I have been on, I am glad that I decided to go. It would have been easy to talk myself out of it, but I would have missed out on the period of creativity I had. I am happy with the work I produced, even the work I created while I was not feeling great.
On this trip being tired actually helped me in a way. Because I was wanting to get back to my car quickly I took fewer frivolous photos, which meant I had more that I wanted to keep.
I am disappointed my experience of Edmund Babler State Park was not better, but the experience reminded me of an important lesson. It is easy to be creative when you are feeling good, but it is important to explore your art through different emotional perspectives. Doing this not only helps you understand how your mood can affect your process, but also adds a layer of depth to your art and can help you grow as an artist
Thank you for reading! I really enjoy exploring all of the different parks and conservation areas I go to (even when it’s not the best experience), and having the ability to share my travels with you. If you enjoy my work, and want to help support me, please take a look at my store, and consider purchasing a print or two! Also, follow me on Facebook and Instagram to keep up to date on where I am, and to see more photographs from my adventures.