In mid-July, my boyfriend and I drove to the Grand Canyon. It was a two-part trip. The first part was to go camping and to see the Grand Canyon. I've seen it once, but when I was very small and my boyfriend, never. The second part was to see off one of my best friends and her lovely roommate as they move across the country.
After many stops to use the restrooms and eat food, many hours of trying to figure out the best way to block the noon sun from shining directly on us in the car, and after many more miles of the desert landscape, we reached the trees and arrived at our forest campground. We got there in the mid-afternoon and had long since decided to wait and see the canyon the next morning, once Hillary and Leah arrive. Our campground being less than a mile away, we planned to hike there early before dawn and watch as the sun rose over the Grand Canyon. Matt and I set up our campsite and walked around the campground locating the various necessities. We saw on the map that there was a general store down the road so we walked there and found a giant grocery store that had anything we could possibly need. On the way, we past shuttle stops and learned that there's a free shuttle that circles around at 30 minute intervals and included a stop at the nearest viewpoint starting at 4:15 am. I set my alarm for 4:15 am with the plan to drive to the general store and catch the 4:45 shuttle to the viewpoint.
Hillary and Leah called us in the evening to let us know their progress. They had guessed they weren't going to be there until late but when they called, there had been a set back. They had been driving in the wrong direction for an hour. I gave them our campsite number and Matt's license plate number and told them, we were going to be asleep but once you arrive, just hop in the tent. They got in a little after midnight.
At 4:15 my alarm went off. I turned on the flashlight and everyone quickly woke up. "Good morning happy campers." We felt around for our shoes and jackets and managed to stumble our way out of the tent. We through some water and donuts in a backpack and got in our respective cars. It was almost 4:40. We drove to the empty general store parking lot and got out of our cars just as the shuttle was turning the corner. We started walking towards the shuttle stop as we see it drive straight through without stopping. Well... we weren't going to take that shuttle. We checked the map and the viewpoint was only half of a mile away so we decided to walk it. We went to the trailhead and saw a few trails stemming from it in various directions. We knew from the map that the viewpoint was dead north. We did our best to try to pick out the trail pointing north but, after about thirty minutes of walking and no giant canyon, we became worried. There was another trail map ahead and we soon found ourselves on it dead west of where we had started. Improvising our own trail, we cut through some trees and came to a long and very steep driveway. As we were half way up it we saw it led to a very fancy looking lodge. A lodge this fancy has to have a good view, right? After many laborious steps, the exhaustion from a much longer than anticipated hike before sunrise (and before breakfast) melted away as it was unveiled. With a few tired steps left until the top of the driveway, the Grand Canyon emerged. The scale of it seemed like it was only yards away and soon filled our sight line encompassing the entire horizon. From a ledge in front of a lodge, we watched as the sun rose over the Grand Canyon slowly flooding across every peak.
Later in the day, we successfully caught the shuttle and went to the previously intended view point. It was just as spectacular.
I know in this last picture she doesn't look the happiest but she had just woken up and she really didn't like being unswaddled and she was mostly just stretching. Anyways, I think it is the cutest and I love the fact that she's looking at the camera. It's a hard feat at two weeks old. Also, I love her sheet wrinkles.
In July, I went on vacation (a raw image can be seen below). It was inconceivably large. And from a photography standpoint, I took so many photos that choosing between them became overwhelming. But it was an amazing trip and, two months later, I am beginning to edit.
Sorry for the delay, please stay tuned.
We took an evening trip to the beach yesterday.
Sometimes you just need to let the ocean wash over your feet.
I recently finished reading a book called Bird by Bird by Annie Lamott. It is a wonderful book about writing and life and I can't say enough good things about it. In it, on page 205, she tells a story that I continue to reread and retell over and over again. It is so heartbreaking and beautiful, perfectly capturing the innocence of a child.
Here is that story:
Here is the best true story on giving I know, and it was told by Jack Kornfield of the Spirit Rock Meditation Center in Woodacre. An eight-year-old boy had a younger sister who was dying of leukemia, and he was told that without a blood transfusion she would die. His parents explained to him that his blood was probably compatible with hers, and if so, he could be the blood donor. They asked him if they could test his blood. He said sure. So they did and it was a good match. Then they asked if he would give his sister a pint of blood, that it could be her only chance of living. He said he would have to think about it overnight.
The next day he went to his parents and said he was willing to donate the blood. So they took him to the hospital where he was put on a gurney beside his six-year-old sister. Both of them were hooked up to IVs. A nurse withdrew a pint of blood from the boy, which was then put in the girl's IV. The boy lay on his gurney in silence while the blood dripped into his sister, until the doctor came over to see how he was doing. Then the boy opened his eyes and asked, "How soon until I start to die?"
Last weekend, I taught one of my coworkers how to use her DSLR in manual mode. We went to Balboa Park for about an hour and walked around the rose garden practicing how to adjust the light. By the end of it she was snapping away all kinds of properly exposed pictures.
Are you interested in learning how to shoot in Manual mode? Or maybe how to work your DLSR a bit better? Let me know, I think I might start offering little tutoring sessions.
I made him a card. On the inside, I wrote:
I love you like
Ron Swanson loves
meat, hunting, and breakfast foods.
Do you like Parks and Recreation too?
I got curtains yesterday and it inspired me to photograph some things that I love in my living room.
My Yashica TLR used in previous posts.
My new favorite coffee mug. (I buy way too many coffee mugs.)
My Kindle Fire and its case. (And the designer shares my name!)
My beautiful vintage lamp.
A sleepy Brek.
And my curtains again! I love them. They are so much better than my old, broken vertical blinds. And now I can appreciate the view.
(Spoiler alert: they are really shower curtains.)