Adventure Is On The Horizon

One of my favorite memories of all time involves a week spent with this gal last year. We hiked in Arches and Canyonlands national parks and had all sorts of fun adventures.

We’ll be up to some more shenanigans pretty soon and I’m sure to come home with fun stories and pictures to share.

Until then – Happy Wednesday, friends!

The Year In Pictures (Proof That It Does Get Better)

When the year began, this is is what I was photographing.

As you can probably see, my mood was dark and brooding. I spent hours stomping around in the cold and looking for anything I could find to occupy my mind and camera. My world was quite small too. My adventures took me around my own property and local state parks but not much further. Life was quiet and introspective. It was intensely focused on self betterment and on finding beauty despite the starkness and darkness that seemed to envelope my world both inside and out.

If you’ve been following this blog you know I’ve come a long way since January. In fact, I’ve come a long way since starting this blog over the summer. And I am thankful for that.

This has turned out to be a very good year. A beautiful year, actually. I’ve had so many adventures as well as time with friends and family and have learned a lot.  I’ve traveled near and far, spent countless hours relaxing on the back porch and met some special people along the way.

I still do some black and whites but have come to enjoy more playing with color and light. In fact, most of my recent black and whites exist because the color or light is poor but the conversion salvages the picture. Here’s what I’ve been photographing lately.

My eye reaches for happier things… I call this photographic proof that it does get better.

48416903_10209755131673433_8729230697920724992_nMy life isn’t what I thought it would be a year ago but that’s ok because it has turned out to be great anyway.  In fact, looking back on last January, it’s leaps and bounds more than I could have asked for or imagined.

I am cautiously optimistic that 2019 is going to be even better and I look forward to seeing what life has in store. I’m certain something special is around the next corner.

Happy New Year, my friends. Make 2019 amazing!

The Darkest Skies You’ll Ever See

Arches and Canyonlands (1).JPG

On our first night in Moab we made the journey down to the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. This is a sparsely populated area of the park and considered back country. There are no towns nearby, few houses and consequently, no light pollution.

These are some of the darkest skies in the country. It just so happens that our visit coincided with the Perseid Meteor Shower.

We found a place to park, spread our blankets on the ground and feasted on peanut butter sandwiches and cherries  while enjoying the show in the sky.

We had some really good meals but this was the finest one of the trip. 

We rested for a few restless hours in the car (ahem, next to a sign that said “No camping”) and were up at daybreak in time to see the sun rise.

I took no pictures of the night sky, choosing to just enjoy the experience rather than feel frustrated because my pictures were no good.  But I did take a lot of the sun coming up.

Isn’t it spectacular?


A Big Adventure

I’m home now after a whirlwind adventure out west with a friend. There is so much to say about this trip that I don’t even know where to start.

The trip was to Utah. I flew into Salt Lake City where my friend Johnna picked me up at the airport and we were off and running for the next week. We spent a couple of days in Salt Lake and the rest of the week in Moab where we stayed in a tiny house (that’s what they called it on Airbnb – it was really a very nice house trailer) that was home base for shopping, sightseeing and hiking in the famed Arches National Park and Canyonlands National Park.

I’ve flown over this part of the country before but this was my first time visiting. Let me tell you, friends – coming from the lush, green, overgrown southern part of Ohio, landing in Utah was about like landing on the moon. There’s little vegetation and instead lots of rock. Salt Lake City seems like a never ending sprawl of houses and development rimmed by mountains. To put things into perspective, the county where I live has about 13,000 people and literally more trees than people.

Rather than detail the entire journey in one post, I’ll tell you about a few things over time. Today, we’ll talk about hiking because that was my favorite part.

I went to see the sunrise over the desert and I was not disappointed. There is something magical about the desert around Moab and the way it changes with the light. I loved watching the way the landscaped changed as we stomped around on boulders, through sand and along rocky rim trails.

Starting early accomplished a few goals. Not only did we get to see the gorgeous morning sky, being out early kept us safe. Temperatures can easily rise over 100 degrees by lunchtime and our goal typically was to be back in the car and doing something else by then. I’m a fair complected person but with an early start, a lot of sunscreen and a lot of water, I managed to come home with no burns and no heat stroke!

My pictures don’t do justice to the beauty of this place but I hope you enjoy them anyway.

An aside – I love to hike but abandoned traditional hiking boots years ago. They feel too heavy and bulky for me. Instead, I opt for New Balance trail runners. They feel like a tennis shoe but have great treads that took me everywhere I wanted to go (and a few places I didn’t want to go) out there. I also carried a small day pack with supplies including a couple of extra insulated water bottles. Don’t bother with plain plastic. Your water will be boiling in no time.