I met Roman over 10 years ago in Orlando, Florida. Since we first met, he’s always had a camera in his hand. Last year, we reconnected in a little town named Brevard, North Carolina (you’ve probably never heard of it), and we’ve been riding together since. He’s still living in Central Florida but comes up every month to take a break from the humidity to bike WNC’s legendary trails.
During a recent trip to Asheville, I had the chance to sit down with Roman, ask him a couple of questions, and talk him into an Instagram Takeover for Blue Ridge Outdoors.
"Greetings from The Blue Ridge Mountains" . Photo and story by @rusinov.ro for this month’s #instagramtakeover . . After a 3 hour climb from the North Mills campground via Laurel Mtn trail, the views from the parkway make all of the effort worth it. I went a bit heavy on the processing of this photo to give it an old post card look, you can almost imagine the title written over it in a vintage cursive font. . #blueridgemountains #gooutsideandplay #myblueridge
It’s not everyday you run into someone with a Russian accent in these mountains. Tell us a little about where you’re from and where you live.
My name is Roman Rusinov, I’m an émigré from small town in Siberia—yup, you heard it right. And yes, it gets cold, but not always. Funny enough, I currently reside in Orlando, Fla. which is quite opposite form the place I grew up. From weather to culture, it’s all different.
“Downpour” If you haven't been in the forest in the rain, you are missing out, a lot. Creeks turn to rivers in a matter of minutes. The sounds, the smells, and the light. It is all very different and in some ways magical. . Photo and story by @rusinov.ro for this month’s #instagramtakeover . #blueridgemountains #myblueridge #gooutsideandplay
So you come up here a lot to ride. How did you discover WNC?
My introduction to the Blue Ridge mountains began in North Georgia. Then I visited Boone, NC and eventually made it to the Pisgah National Forest area and Brevard. It wasn’t too long ago either, in 2015. I got hooked right away, and me and my wife have been coming here quite often.
When are you finally going to move up here and leave that humid swamp hole (Florida) behind?
Haha, it’s not all that bad at all. In fact, there are a lot of trails and parks that are very nice. Summers are brutal though—you got that right. But I’m working hard on making something happen. I love to build and make stuff, so the idea of crafting something from scratch or fixing up an ol’ home is in the air. Trying to make it happen sooner rather than later.
"Crisp morning" Photos are meant to portray a feeling, capture a moment and somewhat transcend you into that moment. No filters or fancy effects here. You can feel the crisp, chilly morning air and slivers of sunrise that just started to hit the ground. . Photo and story by @rusinov.ro for this month’s #instagramtakeover #gooutsideandplay #myblueridge #blueridgemountains #blueridgeoutdoors
Best trail to shoot a view?
All of them really. They all have views. Even if it doesn’t have panoramic mountain ridges, you can find something interesting and unique inside the tree canopy. But if I’d pick one, perhaps the top of Laurel Mountain by the parkway.
"Layers" There is something about mountains. They make you put things in perspective. You have a sense of scale and they keep you grounded. Every sunset fades layer by layer until the night skies and stars take over. Live in the moment, experience as much as you can around you, and don't take it for granted. Pause, take a deep breath and carry on. . Photo and story by @rusinov.ro for this month’s #instagramtakeover #gooutsideandplay #myblueridge #blueridgeoutdoors #blueridgemountains
Best trail to shoot waterfalls?
I like smaller, tucked-away waterfalls. The one right off Butter Gap is one of my favorites.
Do you think Putin would like to ride horses shirtless out here?
Oh, the stereotypes…I sure hope not.
What are you currently shooting with? Selfie Sticks?
Whatever I have handy. Mostly it’s my iPhone and Fujifilm x-pro 2. Both are pretty light and easy enough to bring on the rides.
Dream place to go shoot?
British Columbia, hands down. There is something special happening over there.