Sunday, October 16, 2016

Dawson Creek Park

Since last year, I've been reflecting a lot on "what was I doing ten years ago." While looking at old blog posts from 2006, on this old blog which I use about once a year, anymore, something occurred to me. As of this past August, it's been ten years since I first visited Dawson Creek Park. Over the years, it's a place where I have gone frequently to walk, or reflect, and a majority of my photography has come from there. I have a lot of history with that park.

When I first moved into the area, I would drive by this park on the way to work. I had heard it was a wetlands area, and had walking trails. The little bit I could see from the road looked nice. I had always meant to stop there sometime, and look around. The apartment I lived in previously, had a nice lake area behind it, with a walking path. This lake, like Dawson Creek, also served as a habitat to migrating Canada Geese. (I just found out a few months ago that the lake has been totally destroyed. But that's another story.) I thought Dawson Creek could make a nice replacement for that lake. It took a couple years for me to finally do it, though.


 There was a vacant building next to the park. My dad used to muse that he would like to live in it. After a while, however, his dreams were shattered, when it became the Hillsboro Public Library.

In 2006, I was taking Summer classes, and experiencing a lot of anxiety. A couple of times, I had begun to drive to my Statistics class, when the anxiety would build up. So I ended up detouring, and taking a drive, rather than going to class. One day, amidst one of these drives, I decided to finally visit Dawson Creek. Seeing it for the first time, I thought it was the most beautiful thing. There were lakes surrounded by reeds, and teeming with water foul. There were walkways lined with trees, and wooden footbridges, and tunnels. There was a marshy area, covered with lily pads, and a fountain area behind the building that would become the library. Dawson Creek became a regular place for me to go to unwind, or clear my head.

Shortly after, I brought this little "spy cam" to the park, which I had ordered from a Jonson and Smith novelty magazine for five dollars. It was my first digital camera, a tiny thing, with a little viewfinder, which also functioned as my first webcam. I took my first pictures of this park. Anyone who follows me on Facebook today, knows that this is my most common place to take pictures now.

 In 2007, I began uploading videos to my YouTube channel. This park became a common place for me to film outdoor scenes.


In 2008, I took pictures at Dawson Creek with a camera phone for the first time. My friend, Jon, had been given an iPhone, whose phone function was broken, but it still had internet access, and he was still able to text images. He enjoyed taking pictures with it and sending them to his friends. Around that time, I upgraded from a flip phone with a pullout antenna, to a new slider phone. This was my first phone with a camera, and so I joined Jon, and began taking pictures and texting them. One day, as I was taking a walk around the park, I decided to text pictures of my walk. This began a tradition of taking pictures on my phone while at the park.


One of these pictures became a scene, which I have taken a picture of once a month for the past eight years. At the end of each year, I make a slideshow.
 

After finishing school, I freelanced as a web designer for a couple years while looking for a full time job. Dawson Creek became a place to go, just to have a place to go, and get out of the house during the day. Sometimes I would  go in the mornings, when the park was inhabited by cheerful retired people who would greet passersby, and stay at home moms pushing strollers. Or, I would go later, when people were starting to get off work, and would look at you funny if you tried to greet them like the morning crowd. I typically avoided lunch time, because the place where I liked to park was often full during that time. When it rained, the park was braved by just a few slicker-wearing people.

There have been changes over the span of the decade. Trees have been taken down, or knocked down by storms. Small trees have grown larger. And new trees have been planted. The fauna has changed, for instance, there was a pair of African geese in 2008, that had appeared there, lived there for a while, and then disappeared. And now, there's a muscovy who appears every now and then.

In 2008, one day, I noticed that all the foot bridges were fenced up. After months, towards the end of the year, work crews finally came out to tear down the old bridges and build up new ones. When the new bridges seemed to be finished, there was a snow storm. This seemed to delay whatever the final finishing of the bridges actually was, before opening them up. I couldn't find any information on what was going on with the bridges. I took some pictures to blog about it, but before I could write the post, the fences were suddenly down.


The old bridges had metal railings, but the new one's have wood railings.


Now, the "new" bridges are aged and graying.


In 2012, I posted pictures from Dawson Creek to Instagram for the first time.


In the beginning of 2014, I began taking Spenser there for walks.


One day in 2014, I was walking across a footbridge, which had a tunnel of trees surrounding it. A large branch cracked and fell in front of my face.


Shortly after, the tree which provided the majority of the tunnel effect was taken down. Now, it's more of a tree arch.


It was kind of disappointing to lose the tree-covered bridge effect.


 Now Days, I enjoy going there with Chau-Anh. Over the years, I've rarely ever gone there with someone else; only a few times. It was sort of, my personal time. It was a time to reflect on things. Now, I enjoy bringing her into something which has been a personal part of my life throughout the last ten years.


To visit my Instagram page, go to https://www.instagram.com/jdubbstheatre/