Hiking With My Bud

The foothills above downtown SLC are kind of a conundrum.  Am I in the mountains?  Am I in the city?  Am I in a freakin park?  Should I ride my bike….or just walk my dog?   For Ryan and me, tonight the answer was to load up our backpacks with 35+ lbs of water bottles and rocks and go for a little training hike of sorts.  Conversation…vistas…movement…sunsets; Wed afternoon on the city side of the Wasatch was awesome….in a simple, everyday kind of way.  Damn, I love living here.

Nearby Yet Far Off

The Great Salt Lake is quickly climbing the ranks of favorite places.  It’s so weird out there.  Stinky.  Dusty. Empty. Vast.  Dynamic.  Every time is different, and even though it’s so close, it feels like you’re on another planet…or at least on the other side of this one.

Back to Back evenings yielded these shots:

Finally got the SUPs out on the salty water

The water is silky

psychedelic

golden

slice of light

the sky was lit

The next evening was out on the salt flats…

salt lines

mad hops

Angie had a shoot….

…then posed for me

My favorite shot of the night

 

Family Freaking Photography??

I’ve always been drawn to shooting landscapes, ’cause taking pics of people is hard!  Especially families.  I kinda cringe at the thought of clichè poses and cheesy smiles.  But I’ve tagged along on a couple professional photo shoots and have been learning/imitating how to combine light, composition, and camera settings.  It’s been fun playing around…and I’m all jazzed up about improving!

 

Park City shoot

Antelope Island shoot

Angie the pro nails another shot

Salt Lake shoot w/Lynn and her girls

 

Then I did a shoot all by myself with the Hatchers! The Great Salt Lake is such an awesome place….

Love these guys!!

Escalante Excursion

Utah’s got slots.  Lot’s of ’em.  Narrow, tight, windy, smooth, slotty little canyons all over the place.  Checked out Peekaboo and Spooky canyons last week.

sharp light
slot bridges

holes in rocks

hole in rock

more holes in rocks

spotsmobile sparkles

sparkletime

steaks 2

ashamed to admit: first time I have ever cooked on an open campfire.

silky slot

silky walls

dipshit yoga

just doing what everyone else does when in nature

The Land Before Time

Hopped in the van and traveled back 149 Million years to Dinosaur National Monument.  Basically a bunch of dinosaurs died in a riverbed and their bodies washed downstream until they created a logjam of bones.  All the fossils are still embedded in the hillside.  It’s quite amazing.  I listened to an audiobook about evolution, which provided an interesting mental backdrop to explore the park.  Ended up camping for 3 nights…solo…the park was empty.  Felt good to get out there and check out a place that seems to be highly underrated.  I tell you what guys, Utah is pretty damn amazing.

these things really existed

colors in the high country

11000 ft campfire

Wasatch Mtns 75 miles away

Utah Moon

The Yampa River.  Camped all the down there by my right elbow.

an old cabin in the middle of nowhere

Van Camp night 2

Steamboat Rock

morning coffee walk

just me and the wildlife

the morning stillness was unforgettable

cottonwoods miiiight be my fav trees

all lit up

down by the river: night 3

alive in a dead way

finally used the fireworks from July 4th

notice the big dipper…such a random, rad shot!

 

Backyard Action

Little stuff going on in my backyard…..

 

 

Big Stuff going on in Utah’s backyard….Canyonlands NP to be exact….

TJ gets super reflective on a cliff

Ry tests out his T4R

sketchball road

the end of Sep 19th

searching for a campsite

rap squats

thumbs up for NPs

Squeezing the Most Out of Summer

August & September have been firing on all cylinders…(which coincidentally happens to be 10 when in the van.)  Prepare for massive photo dump….

 

eclipse base camp

not taking any chances

Totality was totally ridic!

scrambled along the ridge splitting LCC & BCC w/Lish. Pucker Factor: High

ripped up the old front porch…

…turned it into this…

…then added these. Porch Monkey Level: Obscene

pushed peaks w/these posers

pretty worked afterwards

I like to surround myself w/beauty….even at county rodeos

TJ…aka Grill Master Bates…at his family’s new getaway

Sometimes Kyler gets saucy

Alec is a True American

post-20 miler w/Jen

Lone Peak w/J Crews. Such a rad mountain

the Idiot Flotilla on the good old Weber

D-Bomb and her boy gettin’ down at Red Butte.

Rose all day, baby

Wed Night Lights

Bagged Kings in a day! 28 Miles! Highest peak in Utah.

recovery smoothies in the backcountry

caught a lot of these too…and always tried to reflect on how to maximize this short life we’ve been given.

People, Places, & Moments

Summertime and the livin’s easy  …….  Summertime on disability.  (haha…ridiculous)  Been filling my time w/road trips, concerts, family, kids, runs, paddleboarding, naps, porch time, camping, hikes, reading, yoga, beers…..yada yada yada.  I’ve been doing my best to truly being present in each moment, and giving my attention to whatever it is I was doing; at varying levels of success.  It’s so hard ditching the phone!  It’s so easy to distract ourselves with crap that doesn’t matter.  I’m learning that it’s quite a practice to simply be present.

I’ve collected lots of photos of said moments…and other moments slipped right by; let go w/out a shutter snap.

Here’s a hodgepodge of the the people and sights that make my moments matter….

baggin’ peaks & face timin’ chicks

Jen has one speed: FAST. “Gearless and Fearless”

females of all ages are intrigued

Healthy & Happy. So glad Matt ditched the cargo shorts & AE flip flops.

4th of July pilgrimage

poppin’ bottles, cranking bass, & cruisin’ backroads

apparently the devil made this tower

woke up in a bad place

sunrise in a good place

happy hour in a shady place

TJ handling his biz

Ryan handling his biz

Summer bags peak in Utah like she’s a local

bruised & battered

hat swap!

“Let’s go cruise the playground Uncle Josh!”

this place actually exists

pounding the pavement somewhere in Idaho

ran a trail, got the medal

losers

true love

Jen loves choo choos

 

A few things that caught my eye….

I-84 hillside

surface layers

my desk

virga

The clock is ticking.  Savor your moments!!

How to Summarize a Summit?

We climbed Mt Rainier last week, and I’m still digesting the whole experience.  But damn, what a trip!  To say, “It was fun.  We bagged a peak.” would be a huuuge understatement.  The new people we met, time we spent together, stunning views,  physical exertion, crazy weather, lack of cell reception, sketchy “trails”, and achieving a goal that was set almost a year ago; all these aspects added up to an extremely high level of satisfaction on the drive home…and a nagging question of “What the hell just happened?”

In searching for some context,  a quick skim of a Mountaineering book led me to two quotes:

“Security is mostly superstition.  It does not exist in nature, nor do the children of me as a whole experience it.  Avoiding danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure.  Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all.”  -Helen Keller

I choose adventure.  This one digs a bit deeper….

“While seeking the freedom of the hills, we come face to face with ourselves.”

We’re already planning another climb.

 

gear for days

Greg on the Muir Snowfield

Ry and our Lead Guide Dallas above the marine layer

 

chow time

checkin’ out Camp Muir

on the move to high camp

ever had sunburn on the underside of your nose!?

camping on a glacier

crashing out at 6pm

climbing through the wee hours

layering up

the sunrise was insane!

money shot

tagged the summit in 50knot winds. We stayed there for literally 30 seconds.

heading back down

above Ingraham Glacier.  High camp in the background,

most scenic toilet ever

parking lot refreshment

debriefing Rainier w/Rainiers

 

Increasing Potency

Happy Anny to my blog!  …5 Years of droppin’ pics on the masses!  My posting rate has definitely slowed down.  Not because my excitement for photography has waned, but because I don’t necessarily feel the need to share every little camping trip I take or every sunset I catch.  Not everything is post-worthy.

I’m becoming more acutely aware of what people share on social media.  There’s no filter; no thought about creating quality content….just point your phone at anything you see…and post it up.  We’re all turning into Asian Tourists.

I’d like to try keep my blog de-cluttered and clean.  So if I only post once a month, hopefully each one packs more of a punch.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m still gonna vomit up a ton of ski snapshots every winter….it’s just gonna happen every so often instead of every damn day.  I’m aiming for potency.  In a house, one picture on a wall carries more weight than 10.

The other day I had a slow rainy morning at home, and I noticed some water drops on my backyard plants.  Can anyone please explain why those things are so cool?  It sounds goofy, but I love fresh little water drops…make fun of me, but I just do.  So I went out there with a ridiculous coffee buzz and started snapping away.  What I saw in my camera kept getting better and better.  Compositions improved and shots were becoming more abstract.  Before I knew it, I had been out there for an hour totally engrossed by staring at this wet plant.  Here are the results….

 

trying to turn average into awesome

maybe someday this will show up on the wall in a room in the Hampton Inn?

 

less is still more….