Thursday, May 31, 2012

Great Western Trail to Long Willow Bottom Lake, Boulder Mountain- Dixie National Forest, Utah- May 2012

All I can say is I have been waiting for this trip for a long time now. This was the kick off to the 2012 backpacking season. We departed Salt Lake City on Friday, and made our way south. We were a little worried the farther we went, the winds were howling, and the dust was getting kicked up everywhere. We pushed on and about five hours later, we found ourselves at Barker Reservoir. We set up shop for the night, made some tin foil stuffed portobello's and wedged yukon golds that we put on the fire and ate up under the stars. After the long drive, good meal, and some beverages, we turned in. The next day we awoke with some serious clouds in camp. We started to think that maybe we were going to be stormed out, but we waited, and it snowed for about 2 hours, then just cleared out. The temps were really cold though. We made our way to the trail head and threw on the packs and started our walk in. This hike is extremely beautiful, with a mix of Aspen and Engelmann Spruce with huge meadows to boot.

What a nice walk it was. We took our time, had a few log hurdles to cross from downed trees, then headed up the junction to Round Willow Bottom Lake. This is a very nice size lake, and saw fish right off the bat. We decided because of the holiday weekend, we would continue up to Long Willow Bottom Lake and stay there to get some peace and quite. The first night up there was very strong winds and really cold temps. We tried to have a fire, but the wind was just so bad, you could not even feel the heat from it. We ended up turning in early because it was just too hard to stay warm and enjoy yourself with those conditions. Morning came and we got up and got the coffee going to warm us up. We decided to go fishing to get in the sun. After a what seemed to be all my flies that I had brought in, I moved to a spinner and finally caught a nice Tiger Trout. Nabbed a few more as we explored the area. It was a much more pleasant day, but still chilly in the shade. About mid day, the winds just died. Leaving the lake to turn to glass. As evening set in, we had zero wind, and much warmer air. We could actually have a fire and a fish cookout! After a great meal, and some beverages, midnight soon came, and it was time to turn in. Monday seemed to come way too fast, and we got up and fished the lake for a while, then broke camp and headed down to Round Willow Bottom Lake to give it a shot there.

After fishing for quite a while, we decided to head for the car as we had a long drive home. This was a great kick off to the backpacking season for 2012. We had so much different weather in a span of a few days, it made shooting a challenge at times, but got some nice night photography, and it was nice to hear the sound of silence once more. Enjoy the pics, more adventures to come.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Arches National Park/Moab Trip- May 2012

I have wanted to take my daughter to Arches National Park for a while now. So I had finished up school, and we had a weekend free, so we planned a family trip to Moab. Friday was a pretty smooth drive in. We stopped at the CEU Dinosaur Museum in Price, Utah, which is on HWY 6, so we figured our daughter would love to see it. After taking a step back millions of years in time, seeing the Mammoth they have there, and the Utah Raptor which was found near there, we headed on to our camp in Moab. A pretty nice drive in, not too much traffic for the construction that was on HWY 191. Arrived at our camp, and were greeted with fierce winds, which were creating a small dust storm. My wife's parents rented a cabin near our camp, so we dropped off our daughter and headed over to fight the winds setting up our camp. Building a tent in 50 mph winds is not treat. After getting everything up and tied down, we retreated to the cabin until the winds died down. Sunset came and the last of the micro-burst moved out of the area and the skies cleared. I think after 4 hours on the road and all the excitement of the day, we were all tired, and we all wanted to rest.

Saturday morning was a mild one, and the sun was out, not a cloud in the sky. The ladies were taking a boat trip on the Colorado to start the day, and so me and my father in law decided to go on a hike. Several places were discussed, but we finally decided on Corona Arch. At the trail head, there was a guy flying parrots around the area. It was crazy, these birds were awesome, something you don't see often in the desert. The hike was nice on the way in, a bit hot in the sun, but some nice shade, and no wind, which I was happy about. My father in law was really fun to hike with, we had never gone on one together. That evening we had dinner, and went and got shirts made which was a tradition with my wife's father. I got the wise men from Horseshoe Canyon pictograph on a shirt, was pretty happy about that. After dinner, everyone was tired, but I was in need of shooting some night photography.

I settled on a star trail image of Skyline Arch in Arches National Park. It was pretty awesome in there, to be all alone in that section, not another person around. It was like you could hear the fins slowly crumbling away to make more arches. Sunday was break camp and head back in the park so my daughter could finish her Jr. Ranger badge she was trying to do. I figured the best place for this was the Devils Garden Trail. We took her into the first section of the trail, not going past Landscape Arch. We did not have a lot of time, and we wanted her to get her badge before we did the long drive back to Salt Lake. It was a hot one, no clouds and how I remember Moab. My daughter loved the place, she was just in awe of what she was seeing. She especially loved Pine Tree Arch, because there was lots of sand, and that you could be in the arch. Alas as every fun weekend does, this one came to an end. But a good one, my daughter earned her Jr. Ranger badge, and even stumped the Ranger who swore her in with a flower she found in the park. Family trips are fun, not as extreme as most of my adventures go, but just as fun. More family fun to come this summer.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Closing Weekend- Snowbird, Utah- 5/9.11.13/2012

Well, it had to come to an end, as everything does. This was the fourth driest winter on record for the Wasatch. We had very few big storms this season, and it was a year of just making the best of it, regardless of the lack of snowfall. I got 63 days snowboarding, which is really about 75% of normal for me in time spent on the mountain. We just did not get the snow, and I spent my energies finishing my degree, so I think this season is more a reflection of quality over quantity. I feel I had the best this season offered, riding every storm we did get, and being at the Bird! So long for now Little Cottonwood Canyon, be up hiking this sumnmer, and for sure will be back at it when the snow flies in the fall.

Playschool 20 yr Anniversary- 05/12/2012

How does time fly? It almost seems a blur to me, like it was just yesterday that I used to play and Dj at Salt Lake City's first EDM club. It was an amazing evening, being able to play the music from that era, and seeing all my fellow Playschoolers show up and lay it down proper on the turntables and the dancefloor. Salt Lake City for sure has one of the strongest dace music scenes on the planet. And to have the original Dj's Chris Sick, Dazy, Dopey, Stimey, Bobby Reno, Superfly, VJ Lextacy, San Diego's finest Dj Myxzlplix and your truly Dj Nebula throw down all the classics was a long awaited treat! All the people who were involved with the original club that was magical to say the least were in attendance. It was like being able to time travel for one evening back to the days of good music, positive energy, and a tight knit group who were more than club people, they were famliy. What is really most amazing, was to see that everyone still have that love for the music, which is what brought us all together. Enjoy the slideshow, and it looks like this may happen again next year. Thanks to Chris Sick for making the magic happen again!

Commencement- Salt Lake Community College- 05.03.2012

After three years, countless days of hard work, determination, and commitment to finish this program, I graduated from Salt Lake Community College with my AAS in Photography. It has been a work intensive, challenging, and a growing experience to say the least. I managed to graduate with honors from the photography program. I think there are a million things I could say about my time as a student there, but this is how I sum it up- so many times with all the trials and tribulations I faced since I began school, I wanted to quit- but I didn't. I stuck with it, learned so much, and had an experience that was huge in excersizing the mind and in problem solving. I have to toot my own horn and say that I am very happy I finished strong. Thanks to all of my friends and family who supported me all the way through.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

May Days-

Well, it is getting down to it. The snow is melting, the temps are warm, and the season is about over. But these two days we had a small cold front move through, and it kept the snow not sticky for the most part. It was fun to be cruising the mountain, slashing the corn and mashed potatoes. It is times like these that you want to just ride all day, but alas, they are closing at 2:00 PM these days, so last Tram is about the best you can get. Still a hell of a lot of fun, and for the lack of snow we have had this season, things could be a lot worse. This will be the last week of the original Little Cloud Chair, they are putting in a new high speed quad for the 2012/2013 season. Ride it while you can, closing day is May 13th.