California Dreaming

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California Dreaming

My tribe and I decided a quick easy-going getaway to California was exactly what we needed.  If you know anything about us, the words easy-going really aren’t in our vocabulary.  As you’ll see below…we did a few things on this trip!  

Getting 5 peeps to the airport for a 7am is no easy task.  We did it, even with a Starbucks run!

First up:  drove across Cali to Sequoia National Park.  Fun fact:  Sequoia’s are wider around and Redwoods are taller.  You are welcome.  

So we took the General Sherman Trail down to see its namesake.  None of the pictures you’ll see will even give you the full scope of how magnificent these trees are.  



Next:  Yosemite National Park.  I would really like to come back here when 1) it’s off season 2) I have more time.  Trying to navigate around the park was difficult when you had 5 opinions as to where you should go and millions of other visitors in your way.  Despite all of the that we had an incredible day/night there!

We came back and did some night photography


Unfortunately there was a pretty bright moon that night…however I was able to get a shadow from the trees, almost looked like daylight!


This next picture was purely by accident.  I was a second or two into a long exposure.  Park rangers pulled someone over to the left of the picture and I was peeved because I thought that pic was now ruined.  It actually turned out pretty cool, it looks like an infrared filter or something but it’s just the red & blue lights flashing together 


Next up:  Lake Tahoe.  This was the most beautiful lake I’ve ever been to.  If it weren’t for all the tourists (haha…like us) I’d love to live there.  

We decided this day would be an all water day, so we got an earlier start and somehow managed to find a little private cove that became ours for the day.  


Next up:  the coast/Point Reyes National Seashore/Cypress tree tunnel. 

The Cypress Tree tunnel is something I had found on instagram and have always wanted to go there.  It’s not even a point of interest per say it’s off the beaten path! 

We set up the tripod and spent a lot of time playing.  

From there we drove on to Point Reyes 


Next up:  Muir Woods.  This was perfect after many days of going going.  It was full of trees and was so peaceful.  


And then last but certainly not least…San Fran!


So…there you have it.  It was an amazing trip!

Magic

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“I want to be magic.  I want to touch the heart of the world and make it smile.  I want to be a friend of Elves and live in a tree.  Or under a hill.  I want to marry a moonbeam and hear the stars sing.  I don’t want to pretend at magic anymore.  I want to be magic.” –Charles De Lint

{no butterflies were hurt making this photo.  In fact, I saved this little butterfly’s life.  He had gotten blown into the lake, so I scooped him out of there.    Here I was drying his little wings. So yea, I’m a magical hero, damnit!} 

Carnival 

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Carnival 

One of my photography bucket list items has been carnival rides.  There’s a mix of nostalgia for my childhood and a love of juxtaposition between lights and sky.  
So, the county fair has come to town.  And it’s summer in Colorado…which leads to stormy/amazing skies.  And boom…magic happened.

As you’ll see…the Ferris Wheel was clearly the winner, but the swings were fun too.  


June already?

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June already?

How did it get to be the middle of June already?  Living for adventure everyday!  Enjoy my journeys🙂

i feel like this looks like a person laying in the water…or i could be crazy!

playing down by the water

elise viewing the mountains

Boulder Theater!

just me and sparkly converse by the river!

my attempt at merging pictures

my spirit chocolate

raindrops on the sunroof

FocoMx!

Slow Caves

In the Whale

Denver Art Museum

being fancy with bottomless mimosa’s

Zion & Bryce Canyon National Park

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Zion & Bryce Canyon National Park

In the beginning of April, 5 friends piled into two cars and headed west.  We stayed in a very interesting airb&b, which was on a farm.  There were turkeys and peacocks that we got to listen to at all hours of the day and night.  In fact, we developed a  high pitched call of our own to communicate with them.  We had a random dance party (Celtic dancers would be so jealous!), and so much laughter.  

We also visited two of the most amazing National Parks I’ve ever seen.  Three days of hiking, exploring, being stuck in mud, subsequently falling in mud, and lots of picture taking later, we had a fantastic trip.  Here are some pictures from our adventure!

Our home for three days:


We bundled up and played under the stars:





The crew. They put up with my photo shenanigans!  

“Let’s do a sad face pic”. Not sure why I go all gangsta in the back?

Oh what a year thus far

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Oh what a year thus far

As you can imagine, adventures have been had since the Oregon trip.  Here’s a re-cap of what I’ve seen so far.  Enjoy!

  

  Seamen’s Reservoir

  Rocky Mountain National Park

  Vance Joy concert

 Rocky Mountain National Park  

Horsetooth Reservoir

  

Vail, Co

  

Hanging Lake.  The most challenging hike I’ve ever done…because of the snow & ice.  There were many moments I felt as though I might tumble off a cliff or break myself (I did fracture a tailbone…but that was nothing compared to what could’ve been!), but I’m damn proud of achieving another bucket list item.  
  

Horsetooth Reservoir

  

Hanging Lake Glenwood Springs, Co
  

This looks like a waterfall…but no, this was a small Avalanche I somehow managed to snap.  It sounded like a train, I can’t imagine if I had been close.  Glen wood Springs, Co

  
    

Driving Poudre Canyon
  

I bet that was a hell of a sunset down there!

  

I love these driving pics!  Left that shutter open really long!
  

FINALLY!  Capturing a Moose was on my list and I found a lady Moose who was willing to pause for just a second

  
  

Cameron Pass

  
  

Garden of the Gods  
    
    

Rock Mountain National Park 
    
  

  

Alluvial Fan, Rocky Mountain National Park
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
         
 
And last but certainly not least:

  

Oregon Explored

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Oregon Explored

My tribe and I decided on a Wednesday to fly to Oregon the following Thursday.  Very last minute, but exciting nonetheless.  Within a couple of hours the technological wizards that we are had booked two different places to stay, a car rental, plane tickets and had developed a quasi itinerary.  

Our rental car was an olive green Jeep.  Could that BE anymore Pacific Northwest?!  

First impressions…Oregon was so green!  Colorado has green for a little bit, but certainly not in January! It was 20 degrees warmer than Colorado, so that was nice.  

We stayed on the coast for two nights, and spent those two days driving Highway 101 (Pacific Coast Highway), and drinking copious amounts of coffee.  We cooked dinner together, we snuggled on the couch watching Golden girls, ran from waves, we risked our lives several times by hanging a tad too close on the rocks during rough seas (sorry Mom!), we sang in the car (mostly me), we had wardrobe changes many times in the car due to being completely soaked, we daringly walked through a dark abandoned train tunnel, learned how cheese was made at the Tillamook Cheese factory, and never found Exit 19 (that one is an inside joke).  

On top of all of that, I got to take pictures of some amazingly beautiful places. Enjoy🙂

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

 


 The tribe:

  
  

Attempting to use a selfie stick.  This is the only picture taken with it:

  

 
     
Wolf Creek Trestle hike.  We were completely soaked.  My boots died there, may they rest in peace in the Oregon Wilderness.  

   
  Creepiest picture I think I’ve ever taken!  
 

What I’ve learned…

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As my recent 38th birthday and the end of 2015 have passed, I’m left with some lessons that these years have taught me.

You learn that fear is your greatest enemy, and is often your greatest illusion.

You learn to pick your battles and realize that having the last word doesn’t mean you won.

You learn that listening is one of the greatest gifts you can give.

You learn that you teach people how to treat you.  And if they fail the lesson more than a couple times, its time to let them have a new teacher.

You learn that if someone belittles you, they have no room in your life. End of story.

You learn that perfectionism & control are painfully overrated.

You learn to hang on to good memories and let the rest go.  Only so much grey matter for storage.

You learn who your real friends are.  Hint:  they’re the ones who walk through life with you, give you the freedom to mess up royally, and then throw you a party when you reach the other side.  YOU SHOULD DO EVERYTHING POSSIBLE TO FIND THESE FRIENDS AND TO BECOME ONE YOURSELF.

You learn how incredibly blessed you are & to not only count your blessings, but to outright wallow in them.

You learn to appreciate what you’ve been given, and to not find your identity in externals.

You learn that–at the end of the day–diplomas, status, and zip codes don’t mean a thing.  At the end, you’ll be remembered not for your professional accomplishments, but for the way you made people feel.

Goodbye 2015

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Here’s a wrap up of all the beauty and adventures I’ve encountered this year.  Here’s to the next year that will be filled with so much more.    

 

Flying into Salt Lake City

  

Reflecting pool in Salt Lake City

  

Poudre Canyon

  

Erie, Co balloon festival

  

Clouds reflecting onto water

  

Evergreen, Co

  

Rocky Mountain National Park

  

Poudre Canyon

  

Alex & Jo engagement

  

Alex & Jo

  

Alex & Jo

  

Alex & Jo

  

Alex & Jo

  
    

Shirley, Poudre Canyon

    
    
    

Poudre Canyon

  

Poudre Canyon

  

Poudre Canyon

  

Lory State Park

  

Lory State Park

  

Lory State Park

 

    
    
    
    
     
    
    
    
   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
     

   
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    
    

Looking inside the balloon

  

Salt Lake Temple

 

Playing catch up…

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Playing catch up…

Oh the adventures I’ve been on!  I’ve taken full advantage of this beautiful state.  Here’s some more beauty to stare at!