Week in the North

CWC2016-2When you photograph a certain place so many times, it begins to feel more of a task and less of a creative outlet. Just a day before embarking on our annual cabin trip this year, I realized I hadn’t thought about what camera gear I would pack. Last year I definitely over prepared by bringing 4 lenses and a slew of other accoutrements. This year I hastily stuffed my 70D, 24-70 2.8 lens already affixed, into my bag, made sure the 128GB card was clean, and just for grins, threw in my macro lens and a few filters. I packed the tripod too, in case I wanted to get into some night time photography, but pregnancy has me out these days at about 10:30.

Suffice to say, it was a very quiet week on the photography front. CWC2016-1CWC2016-3And that’s totally fiiiine. Anything I would’ve tried to do this year would’ve just been trying to recreate my photoset from last year’s trip, which in my mind, really told the story of what our cabin trips are like well. I have nothing new to say about the cabin this year. It was insanely quiet. In our cabin, one daughter had just had a baby, and another was on the verge. Not a lot of wild swimming or runs or volleyball. Just straight chillin. I assume next year with a 10 month baby in tow I will have a new story to tell and/or not have any time to take pictures.CWC2016-9CWC2016-10CWC2016-11CWC2016-12CWC2016-13CWC2016-14CWC2016-28CWC2016-29CWC2016-30CWC2016-37CWC2016-38CWC2016-39CWC2016-40CWC2016-44CWC2016-45CWC2016-46For my cabin read this year I have delved back into the A Song of Ice and Fire series. Man. Reading these things with knowledge of what’s to come… It’s so frustrating. Ned Stark is SO STUPID you guys amirite?CWC2016-47I kept envisioning a cool bump photo of myself in my swimsuit with my lady prominently featured but I had yet to show anyone how to take a picture with my camera, so I took one myself. My suit is from ASOS maternity. Also: Rocking the top knot these days! CWC2016-48CWC2016-49Little Hattie is a little older and a little more delightfulCWC2016-50CWC2016-52CWC2016-53SUMMER EVENINGS, right?CWC2016-56We also had a new little niece this year, seen here being cradled by Uncle Alan. Thanks for the infant prep, sis!CWC2016-58CWC2016-64On the last day Alan and I took a walk and I got him to take some pictures of me. He had the hat turned around and everything, and his composition is not bad. Just have to teach him about aperture now! I find it difficult to pose and smile for pictures, as I think I have a super goofy smile when I’m forcing it. So he told me some jokes to get me going. You know, like you might a child. CWC2016-66Since getting tattoos and becoming pregnant, even though I’m not at my ideal weight, I feel a lot more comfortable in my own skin, and this summer especially I have been loving just showing off my arms and belly and legs with no hesitation. Early on, my midwife said “birth will be easy for you, because you’re tall!” I don’t know if that’s actually true, but it did give me a new lens to look at my body through, which I’ve always had a rough relationship with. I was like, hell yeah, I’m tall, I’m solidly built. I will birth the hell out of this baby and it will RULE. It’s so, so cheesy, but I’ve really embraced womanhood and body positivity with this little (super kicky) baby inside me.CWC2016-67I now feel a little better about handing the camera to Alan more often especially once the baby is born because I am poorly represented in my own photography and this blog. CWC2016-72For this one I handed the camera to my sister! And of all the shots she took I like this one of us being goofs. CWC2016-73CWC2016-77CWC2016-78CWC2016-80And the sun sets on another year at our beloved cabin. It really feels like it went too fast, and yet I’m still filled with a sense of renewed energy, like most years when the summer winds down. Must be all that Real Simple and Martha Stewart Living I read Up North. I get home and I’m ready to hit the ground running. Why, just today, I had a doctor appointment (which was very good BTW), went to the bank and the post office, and IKEA. I got a whole to-do list for the coming months, until baby arrives. Vacation as reset is always so positive.


Backpacking Ambitions: John Muir Trail

Happy Thursday! Somehow this week I went down the Thru-Hiking rabbit hole, and now all I can think about is taking a long backpacking trip. I’ve been sort of peripherally interested in long-distance backpacking trips since I read Simon Cook‘s ongoing blog recap of thru-hiking the Continental Divide Trail in 2009 (which, sadly, seems to be a now defunct blog). It seems like difficult goings, but ultimately super rewarding (if you  know what you’re doing). I don’t know if I’ll ever have six months to hike from Mexico to Canada, but Outside has done some features on shorter thru-hikes that don’t take half a year, and I’ve heard great things about the John Muir Trail. In Minnesota we have the Superior Hiking Trail which is also very good, but I’ve been on the North Shore plenty of times (and besides, I probably will hike it too). I want to go get into those Sierras. So I’ve officially added “Thru-Hiking the John Muir Trail” to my Life List. Enjoy some photos from the sublime instagram feed of Simone Anne from her time on the JMT: cameras-simone-anne-john-muir-trailwhile-hiking-simone-anne-john-muir-trailmost-liked-photo-simone-anne-john-muir-trail

Walk in the Woods

CREEK-11The weather is still trying to decide if it’s spring yet. Lately I’ve been taking walks along Minnehaha Creek, which is not far from my house, and quite close to my parents’ house, so it’s always been there. I’ve begun to prefer creek walks, as opposed to lake walks. It’s a little more secluded and wild, especially when it’s blustery and freezing cold, like it has been these many weekends. I especially enjoy throwing on my beloved Skyrim soundtrack and feeling the cold wind on my face as I walk in near isolation. I love these cold walks but I definitely am ready for it to be spring. It’ll be in the 70s by the end of the week, which you’d think would do the trick, but it’s too abrupt. Where are my 55 degree days with mild balminess? The springtime of my childhood is now a myth. As is the Summer, Fall and Winter of my childhood.

Anyway, friends, I took a new buddy out for the first time on Saturday, the Canon 24-70 2.8. I’m pretty pleased with the quality, as this is a lens I’ve been wanting for some time, even before I got my fancy camera. CREEK-1CREEK-5CREEK-4CREEK-6CREEK-2CREEK-7CREEK-12CREEK-9This series is a little more restrained than when I went walkin’ last spring (now that was a fantastic spring evening). Funny story: when I got the Sigma 18-35 1.8, it hadn’t really occurred to me that just because the 1.8 stop was really cool, it didn’t mean I had to use it for everything. Especially landscapes. You really shoot yourself in the foot with that – case in point: my photos from the Appalachians. Luckily, I learned my lesson and I’m now an f-stop master.

Far Horizons


The mountains are calling, and I must go — John Muir

Well hello! How was your weekend? Cool, let me just stop you there. My weekend was EPIC. I’d love to show and tell you all about it. I will try to be as brief as possible, and keep this post to a max… 35 photos*.

I flew to Denver bright and early Friday morning, and picked up my rental car, a Jeep Compass®, which is not the car I reserved BTW. After they were out of the SUV I reserved, “they” offered me a sedan and I’d get a discount, but I wanted an SUV for driving in the mountains, dammit! I drove to Estes Park, the gateway to the Rockies, or something. I couldn’t check into my hotel for a few more hours, so I drove into Rocky Mountain National Park and got started. I had no game plan. Didn’t have on my hiking clothes. I was driving faster than I could plan. Rocky Mountain National Park is loaded with stunning, breathtaking scenery. I knew wherever I found myself, I’d have no shortage of things to do and see.  Read more ›

Colorado Bound


I’m off on a solo-venture tomorrow to Colorado! Why Colorado you ask? Because it’s cheap AF to fly there. I discovered this deal back in May when I was trying to plan a fun anniversary trip for me and Alan. It didn’t work out, but I kept it in my head and tried to find a time all summer when I could fly out there and tramp around in the mountains for a weekend. Then I decided: Fall colors! That would be splendid! And here we are. I’m so nervous! Mountain weather is not like regular weather. What if I get caught in a storm? What if I fall off a cliff? What if I get eaten by a bear? You know, I face danger every day when I drive to work. The trickiest part has been figuring out what to pack. I’m trying to go light, but there’s also a lot I need to be prepared for. PACKLIST

Backpack, Snacks, Book, Hoodie, Fitbit, First Aid, Shoe, Blister, Map, Mug, Tripod, Lens, Camera

I’ll be checking in from my hotel room periodically with (hopefully) ~*stunning*~ photos of mountains, one of my favorite natural features.

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