It’s unexpected, fairly rare, yet wholly welcome. The chance encounter that leads to opportunity to explore and experience that which we may have never otherwise had the opportunity to explore. So we’d be wise to keep our eyes and ears open and stay ready to leap to action whenever they present themselves.
Last fall I was out cruising some of my favorite local backroads, enjoying one of the few days I had available to get out and spend time getting lost with my camera. It was a busy time, but that day I had no schedule to meet. As such, I was meandering and wandering here and there wherever my curiosity led me.
I had stopped to step off in the woods to pee, and then was photographing the dirt road I was on as it wound its way through a canopy of red and orange maple trees, when a beat up old pickup came puttering up the hill towards me.
As I waited for him to pass, and admittedly hoping they would drive on by without stopping to talk, the old truck did the exact opposite. The older guy driving pulled up, stopped with his window down, and asked if everything was ok. Assuring him it was, I hoped he’d move on… but… nope. He was a chatty one.
Told me he had just bagged a few birds a little ways back, asked what I was doing, and then once I told him I was just out making photos and enjoying a fall morning, he asked if I wanted to go check out his hunting camp.
He said it was an old cabin/shack just up ahead, I just had to pull off the road where it curved to the right up ahead and then walk the trail in… so I said sure, why not.
A few minutes later he drove off and I got back in my car and hiked into check out his shack and hunting camp. What I found was a weathered, beat down, and glorious collection of years of history. Old signs that mysteriously disappeared from road construction sites, remnants of history and memorabilia that now formed the character and story of this shack.
It was terrific and I never would have had the opportunity to see and photograph it if not for a chance encounter on a quiet little backroad one fall morning.