Tuesday, January 6, 2015

My 15 Favorite Images of 2014

Like many people, I like to spend some time reflecting on the past year and looking forward.  2014 was a good year.  The older I get the more I appreciate the experiences I have in life.  I tend to savor it all now, rather than just look for its faults.

We began the year with our own Winter Olympics, where Anatalya came up the winner with the most Golds.   I headed to California for 2 weeks and backpacked the PCT with my good friend Erik Fosshage.   Then the family snuck away to Disney World without me, but fortunately I was able to join them for some beach time in June.  In August, I returned to the Leadville 100 to go after some unfinished business.  My good friend Kurt, Aaron and Luke helped me get me my missing buckle.   I wrapped the year up with a long weekend backpacking in the Boundary Waters with my long-time MN outdoor adventure friend, Chad Stone.  Of course throughout the whole year we had plenty of adventures from Family camping to a day at the Wisconsin Dells.

While my camera was not out as much as I would like in 2014, I peered back at my work and these are my favorite images of the year.

Just after waking one morning on the PCT, I snapped my favorite self-portrait to Date.

One of my favorite views of southern California, the rolling hills.

After enduring, 24 hours of high winds and driving rain/snow Erik and I broke free to return to civilization for a night.

In late June, I headed out to the Black Hills to help crew and pace Minnesota running legend, Kurt Decker at the Black Hills 100.

While acclimatizing for Leadville 100, I worked my way across the US camping and taking in the sights.   Here is a classic Badlands image.

Just after sunrise, fog enveloped South Dakota Hills.

Mountain Flowers in Southern Wyoming.

A surprise find on my trip west, Medicine Bow National Forest.

In September, I helped crew my good running friend Aaron Ehlers at the Superior 100.  In the midst of the race, he crosses one of the many rivers.

In between aid stations, I managed to sneak off and snap a picture of Palisade Head at Tetteguche State Park.  

 My last voyage to the wilderness was a 32 mile overnight backpacking trip.  A stand of pines caught my eye, midway through the first day.

My good friend Chad Stone admiring the fall foliage.

My fabulous Wife Cindy

Cadel in the annual Bike Parade.

Anatalya looking forward to 2015.    

I look forward to many great moments in the future.   Thanks to everyone who made 2014 such a fabulous year.   

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Few of my Favorite Images

Last month, I journeyed out west to run the Leadville 100.   In order to survive the race, I went out 9 days early to acclimatize to the altitude.   There I was afforded the opportunity to get reconnected with my camera.   Here are my four of my favorite photos from the initial glance.

I awoke early one morning after camping in the badlands to find the landscape filled with fog.   Just as I arrived in the park, I caught this lone tree at sunrise.   

Inside the badlands, I noticed this one area of the park a year ago, but did not have the opportunity to photograph it.   I came back and the time was right.   I was fortunate that it was wet this year and caught a small stream flowing forth.

As I headed west, I opened up my old Rand McNally Road Map and looked for green.  I spotted Medicine Bow National Forest in Southern Wyoming.  I had never been there, so off I went.  I found a perfect camping spot and after a good night sleep, I was treated to a wonderful sunrise.

Finally, I leave you with this, the mountain wildflowers of Medicine Bow National Forest.


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Relentless, Rugged and Remote - the Superior Trail 100

This past weekend, I journeyed north to the relentless, rugged and remote Superior Trail 100 Run.  This race while living in Minnesota and only reaches a maximum height of 1830 feet, it has more elevation gain then Big Horn 100, Leadville 100, and Western States 100.  And very similar gain to Run Rabbit Run 100, Black Hills 100 and the Bear 100.   All these mountain races are well known and tough, but most have forgotten one of the oldest 100's in the world and arguably harder.   What makes this race a challenge is not the altitude, not the multiple hour climbs, but instead the non-stop ups and downs that never allow your body to rest.  A constant battle of the body and the spirit.

I was to crew Aaron Ehlers in his quest to complete the race for the first time.  Since his wife, Mary would be along for the first 10 hours, I managed to sneak out and get a few photos on the course for the first 50 miles.   Interspersed among the race photos are some of my favorite shots taken nearby.   If you want more, be sure to check out Ian Corless's Photos, host of Talk Ultra and renowned photographer shots.

The Superior Hiking Trail - 304 miles of wild and wonderful Minnesota.  100 miles of it are given up to the runners for 38 hours or less.

Aaron's intensity sets in 15 minutes before the start of the race.

Just to the right of the runners on the starting line, Lake Superior peaks through the trees.

The runners will soon run beside and over the cascades of Gooseberry State Park.

The early crowds from the 200 plus runners heading over their first bridge.

A perfect north woods stream and patches of birch line many miles of the trail.

Before the first crew accessible aid station at mile 20.1, lies Split Rock Lighthouse State Park.

An early runner in a tunnel of trees.

A runner in good form rocking it out along the boardwalks over swampy trail sections.

Shimmering birch in the early light.

The peal of birch bark, a perfect fire-starter.

Aaron makes his way into the Silver Bay aid station.

More Cowbell!

Leaving Silver Bay a short rise makes good use of the magic sticks.

Palisade Head - A perfect spot for a 30 min crew pit Stop.

Views of Lake Superior at another time of day.

Wet Superior Rocks.

Descending down stairs near High Falls in Tetteguche State Park.

More fun with stairs.

The lead woman in the early stages of the race, passing over the Baptism River.

Aaron running just above the baptism River.

Aaron on his way to the half way point in Finland.   

The trail continues on through Crosby Manitou State Park, past Temperance River State Park, scrambles up Carlton peak, rounds Oberg Mountain and up and over Mystery and Moose Mountain before finishing in Lutsen.   

Congrats to all the runners - that course is a beast.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Black Hills 100 Mile Ultra Run

In June of this year, I headed out to the Black Hills to help crew and pace a friend of mine, Kurt Decker during the Black Hills 100 mile Ultra.   Along for the ride were ultra legend Paul Holovnia and the owner of TCRC Adam Lindahl.   While I was not able to capture the entire story of the race, I managed to sneak out a few times early on to capture the beauty of the Centennial Trail.    Here is an assortment of the story.

The Black Hills 100 Logo.

The crew gets ready to do battle after a pre race shake out run.

Packet Pick-Up.

Some of the best awards on the ultra scene.

Adam and Kurt face off before the start of the 100.

Adam Lindahl, Kurt Decker and Paul Holovnia await the start.

Kurt looking solid in the early miles.

Kurt descends to the second aid station.

Adam looking fresh and wondering why he can't run faster.

Paul crosses one of many rivers on a wet morning.

Kurt nears the halfway.

Rock Country.

Kurt grabs the poles on a mud soaked trail.

Paul hydrates preparing for the long road ahead.

The trail continues on.