Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Blurry Distance

In an effort to procrastinate on some writing projects I've got on my list, I'm writing here instead. I work extremely well under pressure and have so conditioned myself to not lift a finger until that do-or-die moment and well, that moment is still off in the blurry distance, kind of like this photo. This was the first shot off the third roll of b/w that I've run through my Diana. On a gloomy, not yet done with winter Sunday, my husband and I drove out to Antelope Island in Great Salt Lake. As far as photography goes, the trip was more or less a bust, but we had a fine afternoon together while we munched on Canadian Smarties (kind of like American M&Ms but in my opinion, just plain nasty, sorry northerners!) and sang aloud to our Big Head Todd and the Monsters car concert. We finished the day with some delicious chile verde and a pizza from Roosters, a local brew pub with its roots right here in Ogden. Fine food, brew and atmosphere, so if you're ever in Ogden...

Sunday, April 23, 2006


No wordy tangent tonight. It's late (for me) and I just wanted to share this shot of the tumbled pebbles on Willard Bay's eastern shore. Holga/Fuji Superia 100 and a stack of close-up filters.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Beartooth Pass

Well, today we're back to winter. Four inches of unwelcome white came down this morning. I swear I didn't intend to talk so much about the weather in this blog, but when it starts consuming your life, what else is there to discuss? Springtime becomes something of a delusion of grandeur here in Utah's north. It toys with us for weeks, 70 and sunny one day, four inches of snow the next and the very next day, it's summer, 95 and dry. End of the great soggy sog. Bu-bye Spring. I say all of this because just last Sunday, we spent a grand afternoon christening our new orange kayaks (soon to be in many of my photos, I'm sure), a Christmas gift from my mom and dad. We floated carelessly in the sunshine on the only completely thawed reservoir around, Willard Bay. Normally it's populated by bugs and hillbillies but lucky for us, we had the place to ourselves, save for a few fishermen. It was heaven. The only part of the day that I regret was when I took off my favorite hat (a Shred Alert Hippie beanie), tucked it behind me and then managed to knock it out of my boat and into the water, somewhere. I searched the internet in vain for a replacement, but no one has it in brown. I guess I'll have to wait until next winter. Aside from that, the day couldn't have been better. This Saturday, when it's 70 and the snow is gone again, we'll be bobbing along in our boats, dipping our hands in the cool water and just enjoying the company of fish.

Here are two Spring shots I took about five years ago over Memorial weekend on Beartooth Pass in Montana, "America's most scenic highway" according to the venerable ol' Charles Kuralt. My dad and I were in Yellowstone, taking pictures for my Photographing the West class (he drove, I snapped) and took a side trip up over the pass and down into Red Lodge, Montana. The Beartooths are stunning. With 20 peaks over 12000' and countless pristine lakes and streams, it's paradise. The pass is 45 miles long, with the first half passing through snow-covered meadows and frozen lakes, and a rambling little establishment aptly named "Top of the World," where in the summertime, you can buy overpriced Ritz crackers, Montana state flags and "I survived Beartooth Pass" patches complete with a stitched road curving into a grizzly's gnarled mouth. Fun stuff. They've even got outhouses. But the day we drove through, everything was boarded up tight, still slumbering under ten feet of snow. Farther up, you'll pass (again in the summer) numerous sparkling tarns and mossy alpine tundra, but that day, deep patches of snow still blanketed the ground. After cresting the 10974' summit, we switchbacked down the canyonside 4000 feet to the quaint, tiny town of Red Lodge, Montana, my dream abode. A mining town established in the 1880s and still going strong today, Red Lodge charms your boots off with its restored main street complete with upscale lodging and dining, a pizza joint, a bakery and rides on a historic Pony Express stagecoach. Red Lodge is cozy and beautiful, but it's the Beartooths that should be on your life list. Go!

The day we traveled over the pass was the second day it was open for the season and skiers (the tiny black dots) were ripping down the faces on the summit and hitchhiking back up to go again. I felt like I was witnessing a Warren Miller production. It was awesome.

The road was sandwiched by 20-foot walls of snow until the south side broke away leaving us a window on this beautiful view. We could see for miles across the high flats of the Beartooths to the northern range of the Absarokas, the snowy peaks along the horizon. Imagine this in the summer. Green, as far as the eye can see.