3.5.14 : rafting westwater canyon.

Last week, I was lucky enough to get to accompany my boyfriend and three of his buddies on a two-day rafting trip on the Colorado River through Westwater Canyon in Moab, Utah. Being very early in the season, we couldn't have asked for better conditions. The sun was shining brightly during the 60º day we ran the rapids and despite there still being snow on the banks of the river, the water wasn't nearly as cold as we'd feared it would be.

We all work together on the mountain, so we hit the road as soon as we could on Tuesday evening  after we were off to go set up camp at the put-in site and prepare to hit the water on Wednesday morning. We had the place to ourselves and enjoyed a nice fire before hitting the sack with intentions of getting an early start.

The next morning, two of us set shuttle (took one vehicle to the take-out location so we'd have transportation when we finished) while the others got the boats inflated and began loading and packing things up.

Christian and I R2'd a 10.5 foot raft while our friend Wolk went in a kayak and our other two buddies, Bjorn and Dan decided to see how effective two grown men would be in a one-man inflatable ducky.

It was an absolute blast spending two days on the water and camping in the canyon. Being my first rafting experience, I got very lucky and Christian and I managed to keep our boat upright and avoid swimming. The other guys were not as lucky, but it would've been no small task to avoid it given the circumstances.

It'd be hard to really sum up the trip in writing without making this the longest post ever, so I'll leave it up to the massive amount of photos below to give you a better idea of the experience. It was absolutely beautiful in the canyon and I can't wait to go back and experience it again.

9.6.13 : russian gulch state park.

I'd set my sights on Russian Gulch State Park after seeing photos online of a beautiful beach and bridge adjacent to the campground. I always made it a goal to get to wherever I was camping before sundown to have sufficient time to set up my hammock and cook my dinner before it got too dark, but this time I had gotten it into my head that I'd walk down to the beach to watch the sunset while enjoying my dinner, so it was of the utmost importance that I met my goal on this particular evening.

I made it to the park just in the nick of time to pick a spot that would work with my hammock and then walk down to the beach. As I walked down the trail towards the ocean, I envisioned a perfect sunset dinner on the beach. I got exactly opposite that. A stream ran down the beach into the ocean that let off the faint but apparent smell of sewage. In addition to the less-than-ideal stench, the beach itself was covered in horrid little jumping bugs (think about half the size of grasshoppers) that got everywhere  (seriously…in my clothes, shoes, hair…it was a mess). I tried to stay positive and walked down to the water and over to some rocks only to find myself even more swarmed by the pesky little insects. Defeated, I went back to my camp and emptied my shoes of the now squished critters before eating my dinner by my fire.

The evening was quickly redeemed when the clear night sky revealed one of the most spectacular stargazing opportunities I'd had on the trip so far. Since my sunset photo plans had been dashed to pieces, I set up my tripod to experiment with the stars. None of the photos were perfect (if you zoom in you can see some blur in the stars), but they definitely capture the beauty of the evening. I even did some experimenting with the red light of my headlamp, which I thought made for a cool effect. 


super moon.

I usually don't rush out to take a photo of things like the moon, but I know I need to be pushing myself to take photos of anything and everything around me, whether it's a giant moon or some exciting photo story subject. It's all an exercise in motivation for me, and it doesn't hurt that it helps you grow and learn as a photographer to shoot all sorts of different subjects. So, without further ado…the Super Moon of June 23, 2013.