I recently embarked on a 40 mile backpacking trip during an outdoorsy camp I went to in the heart of the Adirondack’s. While packing various fleece items, bug-spray, assorted mis-matched woolen socks and such, I looked over to my Nikon sitting on a nearby shelf. Do I really need to take this, I thought, looking down to my already overstuffed backpack. Something in me, despite the fact that it could get smashed, permanently lost or just flat out be a waste of space, realized sometimes you need to take opportunities to capture shots that you can only get while being attacked by mosquitos in the middle of the woods. After long days of hiking 7-11 miles, I would sit down in a mess of sleeping bags, dig out my camera and wander about, snapping shots of all the magnificent wilderness that surrounded me. One of the nights we slept on the summit of a mountain and woke up to witness a truly spectacular sunrise that bled stunning oranges and reds all over the neighboring mountain ranges. Thankfully, my Nikon did not get smashed or lost in the process of the trip and I found it to certainly not be a waste of space. Now I can look at this old camera of mine with a new fondness, knowing its traveled with me through the rough and rocky, and collected so many memories along the way. Here are an assortment of shots I took during my time on trail!
At the end of a weekend in Maine, my family and I headed up to serene New Harbor and took a walk down Pemaquid Point. The afternoon had reached a boiling point and my bare feet had to quickly hop from one barnacle covered boulder to the next, as I ventured down the long stretch of rock, rising from the vivid, turquoise water. I had fun experimenting with different shutter speeds on my camera, which gave an ethereal look to the water. Children of all ages enjoyed standing atop the massive slabs of rock as if they ruled the world, and older folk sat in the calm of the afternoon, dipping their feet into title pools. I found pleasure in taking loads of pictures while swiftly moving through the sea breezes with gravel covered feet. It sure proved to be a perfect afternoon!
I recently took a trip down to Northampton MA and strolled through the bustling streets. People were pouring out of shops everywhere as the sunny afternoon seemed to melt into the crooked sidewalks. Street musicians strummed on their guitars with their melancholy songs drifting away into the soft breezes. People of all types were enjoying this gorgeous afternoon. Children and their parents bicycled down the main street alongside groups of serious bikers, equipped in their special bike clothes. My dad and I walked downtown, admiring the architecture and inhaling wafting aromas coming out of little cafes. We later found the Northampton Brewery with a roof deck drenched in sunlight. The staff was pleasant and the food was superb. I have never tasted mussels as delicious and garlicky as the ones we had there. The flatbread was fantastic as well with plump cherry tomatoes bursting at the press of a fork. After our satisfying lunch, we ventured to the center of town were we ambled into little stores filled with nice people and funky finds. After hours of poking about, we found ourselves at the famous Herrell’s Ice Cream. The entire store was bustling with adults and children licking waffle cones and making their way through a maze of others waiting in line. With a floppy hat on my head, a much too large Nikon camera swinging off my neck and dripping cup of dutch orange chocolate ice cream in hand, I found myself in a bit of a pickle at the door. As if communicating that my shoelace was stuck on the door was hard enough with a maraschino cherry in my mouth, people were pouring into the store as I helplessly tugged my foot with ice cream dripping onto my hand. Finally I escaped the clutches of the door and took to cleaning off the chocolate from my hair, arm, hands, shirt and camera. Our last stop was The Hungry Ghost Bread, which had some darn amazing bread. We left Northampton with satisfied stomachs, two loaves of bread and a camera full of pictures!
On my most recent adventure, I traveled with my family to the backroads of southwest Colorado. We embarked on various day trips, such as seeing the ancient cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde, that have survived hundreds of years after their abandonment in 1300 A.D.. Just the 20 mile access road curving treacherously around bends dipping into steep canyons, was a mesmerizing trip of it’s own. Another day, we took a trip to the bustling town of Durango and found all sorts of goodies like a croissant bakery with buttery fruit and chocolate filled croissants coming right out of the oven! Not just the diverse scenery in Colorado is special, but the people as well. From the waitresses and waiters at the restaurants, to a shopkeeper or someone you’re sitting next to at dinner, everyone’ll ask where your from and stir up a lovely chat, just spur of the moment.
Being from out east, I never expected I’d see as many animals in a year, as I encountered on this trip. Plenty of ravens where always to be found, not mention the turkey vultures, buffalos, deer, mountain sheep, elk, coyotes, at least 1000 horses and cows and one suspicious black wolf. It seemed the animals where as relaxed and friendly as the people (minus that one suspicious wolf).
It’s impossible to not come back home without a little country twang in your voice, and whole lot of love for the wild west once you’ve been to southwest Colorado. I highly encourage a trip for you and your camera out there if you get the chance!