Field Trip

Today, I went on my first field trip with the photography club I recently joined.  We went to Gibbs Gardens in Ball Ground, Georgia.

While it was quite a drive (2 hours), driving in this part of the country is always scenic, which makes the time pass quickly.  Today’s drive was no exception, although I did feel a bit guilty for not riding with someone else to limit gas consumption.  But, I’m having some back issues and thought I might need to leave early.  Fortunately for me, my back made it until 3:30.

Gibbs Gardens is a private garden created by someone who owns a landscape company and recently opened to the public (for a price).

Getting there was interesting.  As has often happened when I’ve ventured out with a group, I ended up on what seemed like remote, two-lane highways that go from 55 to 45 to 35 mph as they pass through small . . . let’s say “villages,” these places are too small to call towns.

And, another common occurrence, I inevitably find myself behind someone who wants to go at least 10 mph slower than the speed limit.  Today, I was afraid I was going to end up going 35 mph for 30 miles.  Fortunately, the very sweet looking little old lady ahead of me turned after only a few miles.

As I accelerated back to the speed limit and entered some sharp turns, I found myself wishing I’d driven our old BMW instead of the mini-van.  Let’s face it, even a bicycle would be more fun to drive than a mini-van.

When everyone arrived, we gathered and posed for a group photo and then scattered to go shoot.  Luckily, one of the guys I’d met before was company-tolerant and we ended up shooting together.  Otherwise, besides the $2 discount on the entry price by coming as a group, there wouldn’t have been any advantage to going with the group.

The one big disadvantage was that we didn’t get started until after 10AM by the time everyone arrived.  The light was already starting to get bad.  That is the one thing I would suggest to Gibbs Gardens–they should offer early or late entry to photography groups.

We headed up to the Manor House first, hoping to get to see the view of the mountain before it got hazy.  We didn’t immediately figure out where the mountain was visible from, so it was quite hazy by the time we found the view.

Regardless of the less than optimal time of day, the manor house and its surrounding gardens were amazing.  There is so much stone in the garden walls and walkways that I have to wonder how they got it all there.  The pool was so inviting, it’s a good thing we didn’t go there latter in the day–I probably would have jumped in.  I’m pretty sure they kick you out if you start swimming in the pool.