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I used to hate hiking.  Perhaps it was too grueling for someone out of shape.  Perhaps I didn’t like always being left behind because I walked slowly.  Perhaps it was because a “hike” meant an arduous vertical ascent for two thousand feet, collapsing at the top with water that tastes like plastic and a squashed sandwich somewhat reminiscent of ham and cheese (though tasting like a gourmet meal to my starving stomach), enjoying the lofty view for a short time, then racing down the mountain (trying to not kill myself on the scree) before the ominous thunderstorms hit.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

Then I started bringing my camera with me.  I still got left behind (probably even more so), but I didn’t mind so much.  I could blame it on something having caught my attention.  And the 360 view was all the more rewarding when I could show it off later as a 4×6 badge of honor.

Then I moved to Oregon, and hikes became more explorations than chores.  Where does that little path go?  I want to scramble on top of those rocks and see the view!  Give me a minute; I see a waterfall – a flower – a fascinating bug.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

Now, hiking is so much more than a simple destination; it’s the journey.. and the myriad discoveries along the way.  And with a group of equally slow photographers, I’m no longer last on the trail.

© LotsaSmiles Photography 2016

Now that I’ve found a purpose behind my hikes, I crave them.  And fortunately, hiking season is upon us!

See more photos from this hike here.


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  1. Oh my goodness, those photos are beautiful. As someone who has lived in the Midwest most of his life, scenes like this seem like they are straight out of some kind of fantasy tale!

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