What would make a person want to hike for six months along the spine of the Appalachians? Were they seeking anything from their experience, and if so, what?
Perhaps it is the physical challenge that drives them? The men and women who attempt this hike are walking along one of the world’s longest marked footpaths, running roughly 2,200 miles (depending on annual trail variations) from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine. The trail climbs a staggering 515,000 feet from beginning to end over the Smokies, the Shenandoah’s, New Hampshire’s rugged White Mountains, and Maine’s craggy wilderness. For some perspective, that's like climbing Mount Everest eighteen times, an astounding feat even when spread out over more than 2,000 miles. Add to that the rocky, muddy, and switchback-less trails of the East Coast and the thru-hikers face a truly grueling adventure. Read More
Amy and I get stir crazy. We can’t go a couple weeks without thinking of some place exotic to go and explore. Such was the case when we thought of renting a desert modified Land Rover and driving it across southern Africa. This was the kind of trip we knew would be hard work. No piña coladas on the beach with this trip. This was going to be rough roads, sketchy boarder crossings and lots of language barriers. This is the type if travel we dream of.
Within a period of a month we had bought maps, plane tickets and booked the reservation for the Land Rover. We were on our way. Read More
The last few weeks have been tough. I've been feeling a little stir crazy. This winter was filled with some pretty big adventures, I went out to Steamboat, Colorado, explored and photographed around Salt Lake City and Boise, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and spent several days skiing on Mount Katahdin in addition to numerous big days on skis in the White Mountains. The shoulder season brings with it mud and bugs and a lack of motivation to get out and take pictures. As a self employed freelance photographer, not taking pictures means not getting a paycheck. I've recently spent long hours doing the unglamorous side of being an adventure photographer, writing emails, researching potential clients and spending lots of time in front of a screen. Enough was enough
It has now been several weeks since I have returned from photographing a trip to summit the world's highest freestanding mountain, Kilimanjaro. Standing 19,341 feet above the surrounding Tanzanian plains, Kili is a towering beacon, daring adventurous travelers to climb it's snow covered flanks.
I've had several weeks to think and rethink about the trip, why did I go, what did I get from it? For seven days my eight companions and I slept in the pouring rain, endured thin high altitude air, sizzling hot jungle and bitterly cold alpine tundra for a chance to stand on the highest point in Africa. Many of my friends thought I was crazy for going. "Why would you want to go to Africa and catch Malaria and shit in a bucket?" they asked. We spent thousands of dollars on a goal that we weren't 100% sure was achievable but we knew would be extremely painful both mentally and physically. Now that we're back we can't wait for the next self flagellating adventure. Read More
Last fall, my friend Collin from The Wild Outsiders got in touch with me about an idea he had. Over drinks at a Portland bar, he talked about wanting to traverse the Allagash Wilderness Waterway on foot, documenting the journey the whole time. In winter. It would be the first known journey of its kind.
As an adventure photographer, how could I say no? Read More
In my previous post I talked about my quarter life crisis and decision to hit the road. That road trip in the fall of 2015 was to test the waters, to see if I could actually live out of my car as a full time freelance photographer and be alone for long stretches of time. I considered it to be a success and decided to hit the road full time that spring. Read More
Between the fall of 2015 and the fall of 2016 I drove across the country five times. Leading up to those five trips, my life, more specifically my mind had been in a state of limbo and uncertainty. In 2012 I was married at the age of 27, by 2015 that had ended in divorce and I was struggling to make sense of what had happened the previous three years. It was an odd situation because my photography business was doing well and financially I was better off than I had ever been... a perfect example of money not buying happiness. I did not feel grounded. I didn't feel like I had a purpose. I had been through four different therapists and was finally seeing someone whose methods I liked and felt like we were getting somewhere.
Then I saw the craigslist ad. It was for a Little Guy teardrop trailer. $3000. Barely used. I did a little research, made sure my car could tow the 8oo pound camper, and then went to check it out. I ended up coming home with a new trailer and a new idea. A road trip. Read More
Mount Washington has been in the news lately. Last week it was the coldest place on earth with a wind chill of 93 degrees below zero. Supposedly it was colder than the surface of Mars. Washington is also notable for having recorded the fastest windspeed on earth, 231mph in 1934. And for having the worst weather in the world. And for being one of the deadliest mountains in the US. (almost 150 souls have perished on it's slopes)
Despite all of these less than desirable traits, I often find myself on Mount Washington's slopes. My love affair with the mountain began in 2007 when I was guided up the Mountain in the winter for the first time. The weather was crummy and we stopped just short of the summit due to deteriorating weather, but I was hooked. After several more guided trips and a three day mountaineering course and three day avalanche course under my belt I started going by myself to the mountain. I've been back probably thirty times since 2007. My guess is that due to the extreme cold and weather, I've only made it to the top sixteen or seventeen times in those thirty attempts. Read More