Backpacking Alaska – Day 3: The Red River

Day 3 was all about the Red River.  This was our major obstacle.  We knew it was coming, and we knew it would pose a challenge.  I’m told when our fearless leader divulged our planned course to a bush plane pilot, his first question was, “do you have a floatation device for crossing the Red River?”  Um…. no?

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

See the black bear just outside the trees on the far side?  This was the only black bear we saw the entire trip.

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Backpacking Alaska – Day 3: Wind

The second night came and went in a blink of exhaustion.  Crawling out of my tent, I found some of our crew were already down on the beach.  They’d spotted a bear out clamming in the receding morning tide.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

This was my first real opportunity for shooting the bears we had come out here to find, and I was stoked, my aching muscles quickly forgotten.

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Backpacking Alaska – Day 2: Rocks

Day 1 was all about distance.  But that turned out being a good thing, because Day 2 rocked.  And sadly, that wasn’t a good thing.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

We woke on Day 2 to find moisture on our tents and moose tracks feet from our camp.  It was fortunate we were so tired; we weren’t kept awake by any unidentifiable noises in the night.  I was also shocked to see the drastic variances in the tide.  The waterlines on the beach came within feet of our tents; we were lucky to have not gotten wet.

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Backpacking Alaska – Day 1: Distance

Who’s ready for backpacking adventures?  I know I’ve been promising them for a long time, and you’ve had a taste here and there, but I’m finally getting into the heart of my epic adventure into the Alaskan wilderness.  I appreciate your patience.  It was truly a remarkable journey, and I’m excited to share it with you.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

After an hour’s bush plane flight out of Anchorage, we found ourselves on the beach in Chinitna Bay, and once our pilot departed, we were on our own.  We had finally arrived, and I was ready.  This was my first time truly backpacking, and I couldn’t wait.

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WC: Helpless

It feels somewhat easy to distance myself from the devastation in Texas, and I turn only a concerned brow toward what lies in wait for Florida.  It’s tragic, and my heart aches for all who have lost their homes and livelihoods (and all this month, I am donating 25% of all proceeds from print sales to Harvey relief efforts).  But once the news is turned off, my personal life creeps back in, pushing the drenched scenes, the tears, the pleas for help – back across the miles from whence they came.

But when tragedy strikes so close to home, I can no longer shut it out – intentionally or otherwise.

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Photostory: Rainy Camping

I’ll be frank.  It’s kind of miserable camping in the rain.

As most of you should know by now, I am preparing for a big backpacking trip in July.  I am going to Alaska to shoot bears (not that kind of shooting – this is a photography blog, folks).  And if you read my post on my first backpacking training hike, you’ll also know that I’ve never done backpacking before.  I refuse to be the one holding everyone else up; I’m dedicated to getting my weak butt trained and prepped for this thing.

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