New Year

It is that time of year when one comes to a close and we begin the next. Goodbye 2014, you hold lots of memories, some good, some bad. But through those experiences that 2014 gave to us, we are better prepared for 2015.
Time for the new year resolutions! Every year we make resolutions, just to usually go a few days before we start breaking those promises to ourselves. Why? Is it our human nature to break down so easily?

This past year was a year of traveling for me, driving across the country 3 times in the course of 2014 proved there are adventures to be had. I started out along the north entrance into Yellowstone National Park  January-March. A winter wonderland for any extreme outdoorsman, experiencing temperatures as low as -28°F.

Then making a run into California through the Redwoods and down the Pacific Coast.

Then Proceeding to the Southwest Desert into Las Vegas before going back to Montana. A month later I need to do that trip again, just because work was not all that busy in Montana. While on this trip I get a phone call that one of my aunts is dying. A true tragedy in my family. Without the finances to cross I start making my across the country, working as I go. As I got the call that she had passed, I had to pull over and let out a few emotions.

This litter critter helped me out a lot in that moment.

And I make my way across the country to Alabama. After that point I had to find a way to finance my way back to traveling all the way down to Ft. Lauderdale and up the east coast into Vermont before heading back home to Montana.

Just to return into Montana finding out that my housing was not as secure as I was lead to believe. A big slap in the face of life. I was then forced to continue this traveling through California and Nevada as this is where my biggest client base is located along with being licensed in the 3 states of Nevada, California and Montana, I needed to continue providing my services in these states. However I did dropped Montana off because of distance, and housing issues, and low client numbers. I circle down the California Coast and over to Las Vegas where I first started my business a few times.

The second trip across the country was to work at Pennsic, which is a place in Pennsylvania. A place I love, with awesome people who attend that event. Two weeks of medieval living, should I say more?

Then I have two-week to get to Black Rock City, NV where I will be spending another two weeks working. Which on Day 3 after arriving on this 14 day venture, I slip while coming out of the showers. I did what I know to do, ignore the pain, push through the pain, continuing to work through the pain because I did not come here and not bring my gift to this community. I did not realize until months later that my pelvis was fractured .

With nowhere to go I continue to work while traveling through California and Nevada. The holidays are approaching and I failed to go home in 2013 so I began my third route across this great nation.  In an effort to get into and through the north-east states before winter really sets in. I failed, sliding over frozen bridges, digging myself out of snow, getting to my clients no matter the risk.

I begin the journey south from New York, as I get another phone call announcing the death of another family member, an uncle this time. Making my self back down into Alabama without haste, where I spend the month with my mother. Knowing that death is a guarantee for each of us, I stride to make every day as enjoyable as can be, in myself and in others continuing to push through the pain of what I now find out is a broken pelvis.

Now being in Baton Rouge on New Years in route back towards Las Vegas and the California coast, I just know I cannot continue bringing the joy I find in life to the people I love with my pelvis being broken. There are just too many questions and not enough answers. But that was an 800 word recap of my year and the time for resolutions has now come, because the New Year is here.

Mine is “Don’t give up”. Make every second count. I have always loved bringing the outdoors to you, previously I brought it through the energy of my work, now it seems like it can only be through photography. In this new year I will stride at building a place where you will have the options of placing any of my photos on a wall in your home.

Christmas

Christmas has many different meanings to a variety of cultures across the globe. Here in America the day is based around consumption. While there are many different views on what this day means, each view has its purpose. I like to look at things from a different perspective than the normal. This is a religious holiday, and I am not religious.
This is a point in time and in history where the sun is rising from the horizon, giving is longer days. The past three days the earth has been at the end of the wobble on its axis. The rise of our sun in the heavens above.
I am not trying to take your Christ out of your Christmas. I just look at the truth, I let you form your own opinions.

Hawk

Broad-winged Hawk or Swainson’s Hawk?

 

Monument Valley

Monument Valley is a region of the Colorado Plateau characterized by a cluster of vast sandstone buttes, the largest reaching 1,000 ft (300 m) above the valley floor. It is located on the Arizona-Utah state line, near the Four Corners area. The valley lies within the range of the Navajo Nation Reservation and is accessible from U.S. Highway 163.

Monument Valley’s sculptures was created through patient and timeless erosion. During the Paleozoic Era (about 570 million years ago) the entire Colorado Plateau was underneath the  Gulf of Mexico, which brushed against the young sediments of the Rocky Mountains. This inland sea withdrew further westward. The mountain chains began to rise along faults accompanied by basins. As the sea dried up, minerals were then buried by shorelines of sands and sediments washed down from the deltas. Materials that eroded from the Rocky Mountains were deposited over earlier layers and cemented into sandstones. An uplift generated by lava pressure from below the Earth’s crust caused the surface to bulge and crack. These cracks deepened and widened into rocky ravines and canyons.

The uplift of the young Colorado Plateau started to develop about 65 million years ago after the collision of the Pacific and North American tectonic plates off the coast of California, sending shock waves eastward. The natural forces still continue to the land today. The changes occur slowly with time through thousands of years unseen by the human eye. Endless erosion by water, wind and ice over millions of years chiseled rock formations into unique shapes of Monument Valley.

Mary Jane Falls

Location: Spring Mountains
Trail length: 1.5 miles (one way)
Trail difficulty: Moderate due to a 1,100 foot elevation change

Finding the Trailhead

From the intersection of US-95 and Interstate 15 in Las Vegas, Nevada travel 16.7 miles north on US-95. Then turn left on Kyle Canyon Road (NV-157). Continue on Kyle Canyon Road for 20.5 miles then turn right onto Echo Road and continue for 0.4 miles then turn left into the parking lot and continue 0.2 miles for parking at the trailhead. Outhouse facilities are located at this trailhead.

The Hike

Mary Jane Falls Trail climbs west up the north side of the broad head of Kyle Canyon, climbing steadily but not too steeply through beautiful stands of ponderosa pine, white fir, Douglas fir, and aspen trees. After about three quarters of a mile watch for the point where the trail abruptly turns right, leaving the canyon bottom beginning the switchbacks up the mountain side. The trail then turns northwest and follows the base of an imposing limestone cliff all the way to the base of Mary Jane Falls. The falls are best in the spring after a snowy winter, but the falls run all year long. It’s  pleasant to climb into the large cave at the base of the falls to cool off. Use care negotiating the mossy, slippery rocks. Continuing past Mary Jane Falls there is a short trail that leads to a small cave overlooking the canyon.

BurningMan 2014

CaravansaryDSC02178

The year of 2014 Black Rock City, Nevada anticipating population of 68,000 I am not sure what the final tally of population is. All leaving a trail of dust as they enter into the city. A city where marketing and vending does not exist. Taking away our wallets, we are given this unique power of individuality. People connect with ease sharing their gifts and talents. As this years theme “Caravansary”, the freedom of expression is in full swing and this community is overflowing with expression and emotion.

As we construct this unique city and build this man of wood we put our bodies through some difficult challenges. In one of the most extreme places on earth, Building a city with an expected population of 68,000 in a week is a collective intention of living in a free world, the extreme levels we will put ourselves through, in order to obtain our satisfaction of freedom can come at a grueling price yet we embrace this idea. Massage therapy can make a huge difference in your experience, and stamina in these physically demanding times.

Here at Center Camp is where I share my gift of Massage Therapy, they know me as Bullseye here, not only because I am a Taurus but because I tend to zero in on targeted areas. The above pictures is center camp the day I arrived August 18,2014 on the left and center camp at sunrise August 31,2014 the day before I left Black Rock City. And the center picture is just one of the many art installations at center camp, it was just the one that seemed to have captured the most emotion with me. In building this structure comes bruises, pulled muscles, aches and pain. Helping your body heal itself faster with massage therapy is the best medicine anyone could ask for.

White out

White out

White outs are fairly common here. They can sometimes come with powerful gust of winds that can take down any un-anchored structure. Over a dry lake bed there is no wind obstruction and winds here have been known to take down anchored structures, the wind does not play here. The winds that came through here actually took out two of our shade structures in camp. As this is a leave no trace event, the wind will try to misplace all of your belongings.

Every year Black Rock City presents new challenges so don’t do stupid sh*t.

Observatory

Observe

Badger

While in route to Black Rock City, NV I end up in Winnemucca, seeing a path, 100 miles of unpaved road to Gerlach, NV. Navigator gives me an approximate 300 miles of paved route…I choose to take the unbeaten path and see what nature will give me on this beautiful route.

I was hoping to see some coyotes and after hours of slow driving, I only capture glimpses of rabbits fleeing the scene as I approach. As I near Gerlach, I can see Black Rock City on my right starting to take shape and this unpaved road is coming to an end I see something ahead. Not wanting to scare this wild animal off I creep slowly, stopping alternately capturing photos. At first I thought this was some type of rodent, then an armadillo came to mind. As I get closer I see cat-like features so I am now clueless on what type of animal is in front of me. With many mis-assumptions I realize that this is a badger as the calmness of his attitude while he starts to approach me. This is a rare sight and an animal that I would never would have guessed on seeing in the high Black Rock Desert. I feel truly blessed. Starting Burning Man off in an epic way.