Saturday, June 20, 2015

Travel Summer

It’s going to be a busy summer.

shoot-368After spending the last two weeks traveling by bicycle and train, I’m off by 4Runner this weekend to shoot some abandoned buildings out on the plains. Dan, Craig and I are working on a zine together, and we’re exploring to find new things and places to shoot. Which means by the time you read this Steph and I will be bouncing down the road on the 4Runner en route to the badlands with large format in tow. There are worse ways to spend a Saturday.

I think this summer will be more road time than not. I’ve been slacking, not putting enough effort in to my photography. It’s getting a little stale as a result, my skills are slipping some. This summer will be the time I go out and exercise those muscles and get them back in to shape.

The zine is designed to help with this problem. It will get me out and shooting more. Producing more work for consumption is what I need on more than one level. New stuff for the blog, the zine, and most importantly myself. In addition to honing my craft, it helps with the sanity levels and keeps me focused.

I’m going to be putting a heavy emphasis on large format from here on out. I’ll be shooting more of it, getting better at it, and then printing it. I’m getting a bathroom darkroom set up with an eye towards contact printing negatives. I’ll hang the best of the lot in the apartment until I tire of them, then replace them with new shots.

shoot-369Traveling and widening my horizons on tour made me happy. Hopefully, it made my shooting better as well. I want this to continue. Although shooting downtown Denver is easier and good practice, I need more than that to progress in my work.

So, there are going to be long drives ahead. Nights camping in the back of the 4Runner. Clear, crisp dawns in the badlands, with sunrise silhouetted windmills and all but empty towns. Grain silos, cowboy bars, and pickup trucks to shoot. By fall, I hope to have something to show for my efforts.

There will be interruptions, of course, I need to go back to the south at some point. We should see both of our families. We’ll probably do one more tour before the snow flies. Not as big, but still substantial.

For today, the badlands are calling and we are rattling down gravel roads as I rubberneck looking for abandoned farm houses and businesses. It’s time to get out there and see.

Travel Summer

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Post-Tour Lazies- Tour Tales


The half unpacked panniers are still sitting by the door. The bikes have resumed their usual place in the living room, still wearing traces of the mud that contributed to a bailout on the C & O Canal trail. Film waits patiently on the coffee table for development. My legs have improved from sore to merely stuff, but I still drop off to sleep instead of staying awake watching TV on the couch. 

Welcome to the post tour lazy.

In retrospect there were things that could have gone better. We didn’t have enough time. That got worse when mechanical issues surfaced. But we’d planned and postponed this tour so many times. Deaths in the family, hospitalizations, everything conspired to stop this from happening. We went anyway, on one level just as an act of defiance. It was worth it. We didn’t get the experience I wanted, but I’m glad we got the experience we did.

We’ll go back some day to complete the C & O. I still want the pretty parts. And in spite of our first segment on Amtrak, Stephanie likes train travel enough to give it a second try.  


Life on the back of a bike is too good to stay away from. We can’t wait for the next ride.

The Post-Tour Lazies- Tour Tales

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Going West, back where we belong- Trail Tales

We’re back on the Zephyr, after a day of shopping in Chicago. The Capital Limited was a nice ride, if a little slow.


Going West, back where we belong- Trail Tales

Thursday, June 11, 2015

The Going Got Weird, and the Weird Got Going- Tour Tales

This tour has been challenging. We’ve ridden more miles in a shorter time than any other tour we’ve done. We’ve stayed in some bizarre places and some beautiful ones. But I think this last mechanical issue will get us. 


There’s so many tales I’ll be relating to you all soon. About the kindness of strangers and the willingness to help. About humor and encouragement shouted between strangers at 12 mph climbing mountains. About how trail people are the best people.



This didn’t exactly go as planned. But I keep reminding myself the difference between an ordeal and an adventure is attitude. Parts of this have been kind of an ordeal. But mostly, it’s been a grand adventure that I am glad we took. I have the best adventure partner in the world, and she has made it all bearable and worthwhile. 


The Going Got Weird, and the Weird Got Going- Tour Tales