This is probably my favorite image as well as my favorite group shot from last week. I took it toward the end of second day. We were tired and weathered already. We paid for every mile up to this point. The moment captured above we stopped to not only rest in the shade, but take in the vast, beautiful and incredible landscape we were in. I bet each and every one of us at that point had no idea what was in store for us in the final 25 or so miles of the Anza Borrego desert.
As I look at the picture I imagine all the things that led up to this point as well as what came after. What a great group of folks. Each of us on different paths and in different places, yet thanks to bikes, friends, dreams and the internet, each of our paths led us to that exact moment to share together. For me, that is the reward and the dominating memory of this journey. Thank you gents!
Just a very quick update that I have made it home from my little vacation and journey. Off loading pictures as I write this. I went into this trip with a pretty solid plan for the ride and a vision for my images. Despite that, this trip didn’t turn out as planned in terms of the route or the images I captured. Makes me wonder do they ever turn out as planned? Apparently, there was another plan. All that said, it was incredible and just what my body and soul needed. Here is just one quick pic from the Anza Borrego desert to give you an idea of the journey. Enjoy your day. More to come.
My blogs have been kind of short lately. I’d like to tell you what is going on. Besides being busy with home and work, I’ve got two things that are fairly big on the horizon. I expect both to happen here in October. The first is that I have a multi-day bikepacking tour coming up on southern California. This is a full on vacation for me and not related to work. I haven’t done a trip like that in so long as my trips always revolve around work. Not this time. Four of my friends are coming with me and we are doing a 375 mile route with something like 30,000 feet of climbing called the Stagecoach 400. I’m pretty darned excited about it. A little scared too as this hasn’t been my best year for fitness. It’s given me a goal though and I am trying to ride every chance I get. I’ve been shooting quite a bit on those rides. In fact, I have come out of my creative slump and believe I have gotten some amazing stuff lately. Looking forward to sharing it possibly later this week or the next.
Not only am I prepping my body, I am prepping my gear. The above shot was from my last bikepacking tour in California. On that trip I carried a bit too much stuff. This time, in an effort to go further, I’m going to carry less….Except for camera gear. On my last California tour I carried a small point and shoot camera. I had considered shooting this trip on film, but I just can’t imagine carrying film and dealing with film when I am hot, sweaty and dusty. I also don’t have a bit of extra space for the extra film. On this trip, I plan to carry my full size Nikon DSLR with 2 lenses stuffed in my trusty Osprey Talon 22 backpack. I’ve gotten my gear worked out now and I really hope to capture this trip in a way that is both honest, inspiring and breathtaking. Send me good thoughts that I can do all of that.
In addition, I will have a new website up later this month. It will be quite a change and I am looking forward to sharing it. My friend Erik Mathy is helping me build it….OK he is doing the entire build out, but what time I have right now is being used to think about that and create content for the new site. I’m excited as it marks a big step forward for me and my wife. So….If you are wondering why the short posts, that is what is going on in my world.
All that did, I managed to go back through my last California tour pics in search of inspiration. Here’s one last shot. I can’t wait to see what I get on this upcoming trip.
Today’s a big day. Our twins go back to school today. Hard to believe they are in the 4th grade already. They are amazing kids and I thank God everyday for them. They bless our lives more than my wife and I can put into words. So how did we spend our final days of summer break? We spent our final weekend of the summer living life to the fullest. I could go on and on about the farmer’s market, the sleep over, the bike ride, the barbeque, the canoe trip, swimming, etc. Yes, it was a truly full and awesome weekend here in MN.
I could share a 100 pictures of the things we did on summer vacation, but as my kids head off to school today I will think of the following images. To me, they represent living life. Doing something new. Finding a new or unique perspective. Sharing. Learning. Seeing. Feeling.
Lunch break on the St. Croix
X marks the spot
Our final push
I am so glad we ended our summer break this way. One day, I hope our kids remember days like yesterday and how much fun we had. I know my wife and I will.
Last weekend I was down in Dekalb, Illinois on behalf of Salsa Cycles to support North Central Cyclery. That sounds a lot like work and technically it was. However, I try to find time to ride whenever I go on work trips. Makes work not seem as much like work. This past weekend was no exception as I got two good rides in over 3 days. Not bad.
Saturday morning started out cool and early. Our group consisted of 20+ folks and then splintered into a few different groups. I had a blast. Rode pretty hard. It felt good. I am pretty sure I was the only guy on the ride carrying both a digital and film camera. No sympathy though as the tough guy award goes to Andy who rode his single speed Mukluk Ti 38 miles to the event, followed by the gravel ride, and then rode home! Regardless, I think carrying both cameras was worth it though as I got some good shots, at least I think I did.
A few folks that were on the ride expressed an interest in purchasing some prints. Let me just say that Tobie and I working on something pretty cool and you will see some stuff soon in both color and black & white that I will print here in my home and ship off too Dekalb for pick up. Just stay tuned. Both NCC and I will announce how to order prints when it is all ready.
Until then, here are a few pics from the ride.
Yeah, it was really that good. I know I posted a quick pic Monday and said Thank you boys. But I’m going to say it again. Thank you boys for the great morning.
So…About a year ago I was in Alaska on a fatbike beach tour as part of Reveal the Path bicycle film. This past week down in Dekalb, IL I saw the movie again. The Alaska segment of the film made me smile and really got me thinking and remembering my time up in Alaska. Someone asked me after the film what my favorite part of it Alaska was? I said “All of it!” There was not one single part that wasn’t truly incredible.
Last night I looked back over my images and was simply blown away by the beauty and vastness of Alaska. I grabbed just a few pics to share with you. These were all taken at either sunrise or sunset.
Sunrise – Redoubt volcano
Sunset over Iliamna volcano
Sunrise – on the shore – Kenai, Peninsula
These images really make me want to go back to Alaska. I feel like the time there was well spent, but it was too scheduled. I’d like to take a bit more time to really continue on and explore. It has me thinking and dreaming for the future. I doubt I’ll be back for a few years, but I can dream. Alaska. Dream big.
As an added bonus, Eric and I are also bringing a few of Salsa’s cool new bikes along for a little show and tell at NCC on Saturday afternoon. Come on down to check out some of the new rigs.
Lastly, I am prepping a special piece of artwork. I haven’t written about it, but I purchased a high quality printer about a month ago and have been experimenting quite a bit with it. I think I am finally getting the knack with the printing and I plan to bring a big print or two down. I wondered what to bring down but I think I found two to three pieces those guys might like since I have heard a little rumor that they like gravel…..Here is a sneak peek of one of the images I have prepped and printed. It looks simply incredible printed large on high quality matte photo paper.
I’ve got this one pretty dialed in and plan to put some of my imagery for sale in the near future. Until then, let me know if you see an image of mine you’d like a high quality print that I print here in my home, sign, carefully package, and ship to your home. I am still dialing in my rates, but they will be reasonable since I control the entire process and I have several photo paper options ranging from good to great quality.
Anyway, I sure hope to see some of you in Dekalb. It’s gonna be a fun time.
Yesterday was my favorite post of the year and it seemed to have struck a chord with many. I received a quite a few emails & comments as well as a few reposts on Facebook. Thank you all of you. Today I want to share a few less personal images and focus on the beauty of Minnesota’s North Shore, Arrowhead and BWCA. There is something special about the northern part of MN. I spent a lot of time up there when I was younger and each year I try to go back at least once. I love the feel of everything up there. It has it all and for me personally, worth every effort to get up there. I hope you like these images. I also hope that one day many of you can get up there to experience it for yourself. Enjoy.
Big sky and big water – Lake Superior
Our first sunset from our canoe landing – East Bearskin Lake
Fresh raspberries – Our campsite
A mad dash for the fishing hole in golden hour light – East Bearskin
A time to reflect – East Bearskin
Golden Light & Landscape – East Bearskin Lake
Sunset Paddle – East Bearskin Lake
Rushing water – Our lunch stop – BWCA – East Bearskin Lake
And this last one is just one of my favorites. I only shot at night once on the trip as my mind and body just felt like sleeping. I got out to shoot just as the moon peeked over the horizon. It wasn’t long before the moon was hidden by the clouds and leaving behind a dark night for sleeping.
Night from our canoe landing – East Bearskin Lake
I could post picture after picture of the north shore, arrowhead region and the BWCA and all of them would be beautiful. It is just that kind of place and I’m thankful to get to experience it first hand every now and then.
So…That’s it for the non bike related content. Tomorrow I’m back to two wheels with some good stuff.
At some point in each and every one of our lives, we probably get a slap in the face or wake up call that really makes us remember why we are here. Sometimes it is something tragic that shatters your world. Other times it is something so joyous that we are overcome with happiness. It’s those moments that we all remember and learn from. Last week up north with my family was one of those things that brought me such joy and happiness that I want to permanently engrave the memories into my mind.
Today I’d like to share a bit more personally with you. I’d like share with you a few intimate moments of last week in northern Minnesota with my family that really stand out vividly in my mind. These moments make me smile every time I think of them or glance at the images. They are the moments I’m certain I will remember when I am much older and look back at my life’s accomplishments and joyous moments.
This last one I am about to share is my favorite. My wife snapped this pic on the last morning of our trip. We had to paddle back to the lodge/outfitter to return our canoe. We stopped at our favorite spot for some quiet time, reading and reflection. I took the opportunity to hold my kids as they read their books. I hope I never forget the feeling of their little bodies on each side of me. It is that moment and that feeling that I cherish the most.
No matter what it is in your own life, I encourage you to savor every single moment you get. Life is just too short and if you don’t take some time to burn those meaningful moments into your brain, they might just slip by without notice. I know that happens all too often in my life. Thankfully, last week jolted me into a better place.
I finally broke down and put a temporary fix in place for my full hard drive. I just have not had the time to solve my hard drive issue and get my complete data set up the way I wanted it, so I put in a temp solution just so I could get to these images. It’s late so I only uploaded 1 of the 3 memory cards. Here is a first shot that I love because it shows my family all together doing something pretty cool in a stunningly beautiful landscape.
I think by Tuesday I’ll have a nice post with a few images that I think are pretty darn good.