Photostory: Zion’s Canyon Overlook

I have fallen in love with Utah and its many national parks, and I seek to add many more from across the country to my list.  We were in Utah quite recently to explore Arches National Park and Canyonlands, and we couldn’t wait to return.

Photostory: Canyon Overlook | LotsaSmiles Photography | Click through to read all about our exciting adventure hiking in the dark and shooting a Zion sunrise in the rain!

We had arrived in the famed Zion National Park, and we were ready.  After a long, five-hour drive in from the Salt Lake City airport (word to the wise: Las Vegas is actually much closer), our fingers were itching for our shutters.

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WC: A Break in the Weather

This time of year in the Pacific Northwest, it’s typically dreary.  We’ll get nice days as well, but “nice” merely means “not actively raining.”  These days are usually accompanied by a thick blanket of clouds, threatening, but not yet releasing any precipitation.

Every so often, though, we get true sun with bright blue skies.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

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Backpacking Alaska – Returning Home

As we were turning around at the Johnson River to head back to the lodge and our pick-up spot, our early pilot spotted us and touched down in the soft sand.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

Good news: we didn’t have to hike anymore.  Bad news: that sand was really soft.  So much so that the plane got stuck.  Continue reading

Backpacking Alaska – Day 5: Bears

Ordinarily, this post would be for my monthly photo challenge, but that didn’t seem too popular, so I’m tabling that for now.  Perhaps I’ll revive that sometime later.  In the meantime, you get more bears!

In fact, this is the last daily installment of my grand backpacking adventure through the Alaskan bush.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

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Backpacking Alaska – Day 4: Rain

Day 4 of our backpacking bear adventure was a bit damp.  We woke to moisture on the tents, and we really couldn’t avoid packing up wet gear. The tides once more amazed me.  While I had been brushing my teeth fairly close to camp the night before, the morning routine required a decent stroll.  We were in no hurry, so we took our time eating breakfast after sleeping in; we didn’t hit the trail until almost 2pm.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

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Phono Photos: December Challenge

Welcome to the third month of musical photo challenges!  I hope your holidays are shaping up well and you’re a little less busy than I am!

You can see last month’s submissions here.  You’ll have until the end of the month to submit your responses for December’s challenge.

This Month’s Prompt

“Giants” by X Ambassadors
The Reason

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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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WC: Taking a Breather

We lead very busy lives, and I’ve been feeling things have been particularly hectic lately.  With the holidays fast approaching, there are a number of extra items on my to-do list.  Additionally, the weather has been damp and dreary – not very conducive to enjoying the great outdoors.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2017

In short: I’ve been cooped up in front of my computer, work work working, hardly seeing any sunlight and going just a tad bit crazy.

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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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