Gnat’s Ozark Ramble

As I write this, I am buried in work.  Not caught up on my fall home owner chores. We had our first dinner as our family unit in two weeks and only the second or third in the past 6 weeks.  Life. Is. Nuts.  But…..I find myself energized, inspired and at peace.

Why?  Aside from the obvious of my incredible family, I am feeling all these things because of last week. Last week I spent an entire week rambling through northwest Arkansas with many friends.  I spent last week out there in the world. I wasn’t in an office with days filled with meetings. I wasn’t locked to a computer.  Thanks to my incredible wife, I wasn’t at home juggling all the kid duties, pet duties and home duties.

Nope.  I was hanging out with like minded folks that I have the pleasure to know and call friends.  We were riding bikes, taking pictures, laughing until our guts hurt, wandering, rambling, drinking incredible coffee, eating fine foods, sampling brown liquids,  expanding our minds and exploring.  I planned this trip starting many months ago. It was exactly what I wanted for the milestone birthday I had just a few weeks ago.

I just want to say thanks to my family for supporting me on this fun filled week as well as all my friends that took their own PTO, took time away from their family, spent their own money to make my birthday special.  I also want to thank those friends that just couldn’t make it and sent me good vibes and support too.  We’ll see you soon and we’ll share a trail or gravel road sometime!  Love you all!

And with that, here are a few pics.  If you would like to know more about a picture or place, please leave a comment with a question and I’ll message you back.   Hope you enjoy!

Until next time friends.  More to come as I prepare for the coming year.

A Good Start and a Focused Month

As I wrote in my last post, January 2018 started out in a blur. I am one of those folks that really love to take December to think and January to kick off the new year. I like resolutions that give me direction. I like the challenge.

This year, my resolutions are a bit private and not for public consumption. They are personal to me and for me. But they involve living life. Removing burdens. Simplification. Focus.

And with that, here are pics from the month. All taken at either 28mm or 90mm.  My two favorite focal lengths. The lengths I will likely shoot more than any in 2018.  They just work for me.

As I head into February 2018, I feel good and refreshed on the year. I feel like I am making changes that are positively impacting me and those around me. Stoked.

So here are some pics in no particular order. Please click any picture to go to slideshow mode.  Enjoy!

Dirt in the morning. Dirt in the evening.

If I can ignore just for a moment the why behind how incredible our fall has been, I must say that our warmish and beautiful fall has been a huge boon to my riding. There is nothing I like more than cool riding with wool and knickers, especially when you couple it with autumn colors, cameras, and coffee.

Yesterday was one of those days. It was a dirt in the morning and a dirt in the evening kind of day. Coffee in the morning. Beer in the evening. Stunning light and good friends on both ends. Just too good to ignore and too good not to share. Hope you all got out too.

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My new Salsa Cycles Deadwood. The best darn river bottoms, monster truck, ramblin and Jammin bike I have built yet. I can’t even tell you how good this bike feels. 

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Pretty darned excited about my new coffee cup I got from Onyx Coffee Lab in Fayettville, AR last weekend.

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It’s got to be the shoes. Barry joined us as well. He’s got nice shoes.

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Motion, color and incredible light. Bummed I missed critical focus on this but I liked the shot anyway. Still tells a story.

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Our ride ended in perfect light and a quick beer stop before heading home.

So. So. Good.

I Need More Mornings Like This

Sometimes things work out the way they were supposed to work out.  I had a dirt to work plus coffee ride planned for this AM but due to rain and muddy conditions, I cancelled. Bummer. I later texted my friend Ben and asked him if he had any ideas for a shorter gravel ride as I had to be at work for a meeting and since I wasn’t riding to work, I didn’t have as much time. He texted me back that he had not been to the rock for coffee.  “Whaaaaattttt? Really?”. I can’t believe that. I quickly texted another friend that lives near our starting point and he responded with “I’ll be there.” I had forgotten that after this weekend, he was moving west to a new house and new neighborhood and that this ride to the rock would be his last as a resident. Crazy. It just worked out. A first timer and a last timer.  Perfect.

To say this ride and conditions and morning was anything but perfect is a lie. It was just what I needed too. A few good laughs with friends. A few good hard miles on my bike. A few good sips of good coffee from my favorite cup.  Yes, really, it was that good.

And with that, here are a few pics. I got a few good pics too! Click on any image for slideshow.

Have a great weekend folks! I know we will here.

First Tracks

Our winter here in MN hasn’t been great if you like snow. Thankfully we got a dusting on Christmas night. I made plans to ride in the morning, well below first light, as I knew the trees and the ground would be covered in soft snow. The beauty did not disappoint.

But the real beauty and surprise was the fact that we got first tracks on the route. In a city filled with fatbikes and the fact that we’ve had a crappy snow season, any snow means people get out right away. Somehow with the holidays John and I managed to make first tracks. That is a special treat and we took the opportunity to fully enjoy it.

I am sharing some images today and straying a bit from my personal preferences. Typically, I prefer black and white images. Typically I do not mix color and B & W in the same post. Typically I don’t like over processed images. Personally, I like to try to present a set of images with a common look, feel and viewpoint. Well….Today I am breaking all those rules and putting them all in one post.

I shot all of these images in extreme darkness and really high ISO’s, either 3200 or 6400. At these ISO’s my 5 year old camera breaks down a bit and shows grain and color artifacts. Oh well….I just made stuff work and here are some images I really like.  Hope you got out too and I hope you enjoy them.