Thursday, June 30, 2016

Tuesday, June 28, 2016



Right after my backpacking accident, I had two magazine editors let me know that they'd publish "the story" and photos when I felt better. I was all excited to have a project to do while convalescing. I asked my backpacking partner to help me create a timeline. I tried to form concepts and storylines, angles and anecdotes yet I couldn't.  Nothing. 

A year later,  as the anniversary approached, I thought I should try it again. A summation of a year that I could have never seen coming. What was the "cause and effect"?  Is the concept too big?  Too late? Too early? Timing. A journal opened and nothing written. Nothing

So the day of, I sat at the computer and wondered how I could be so smitten with written expression, adore an artful expression and a poignant quote yet, words fail here. Why?    

It's not the first accident I've been in. This was the third time I'd broken my arm(s). It's not the first time the ground has come up at me, fast.  I remember as a kid, with a broken arm and laying on the ground. My mother leaning over me, I still remember her perfect lipstick. "You're not dead".  My mom didn't rattle easily. A broken jaw (and surgery) after a handlebar endo. 

Plastic facial surgery before my sweet sixteen after a road rash trip to the E.R.  Spilled on a motorcycle landed on my face (my mom fainted that time). So this kind of thing doesn't rattle me that much either. It certainly wasn't the first time I'd fallen while out hiking or photographing. It won't be last either. 

But it changed my life...this single event.

I've heard from so many others who've experienced the same kind of thing. It's strange now to think that almost daily, I think about it .Thoughts steeped in gratitude. 

I got up this morning as I usually do before the  Sonoran Desert sun rises to take Halo for a walk. I love seeing the sun come up and the quiet time and exercise is sweet before I head off to work (Starbuck's first of course).  I knew today was special, it was in the air. The universe and I had a secret. I found a $2 dollar bill and I picked up a penny.

 The ground was wet from the monsoon and the breeze was balmy as we walked back...then  a helicopter flew over.  A sound that used to be so innocuous, so annoying, so meaningless... Just another sound in suburbia.  Now instantly it brings me back, keeps me grounded, makes me smile and moves me deeply. I remember when it made me cry, because the feeling of relief...was so great.  I was exhausted and I gladly relinquished the control of my life into the hands of others.  It's somewhere in this part of the story that the change occurred ...everything about how I viewed the world...

A year later, I'm not afraid to fall. I'm back out backpacking and camping in remote areas to borrow a bit of this amazing planet's beauty, pixel by pixel. 

I still plan to write about the hike, mainly about the trail itself, the history and geology.  The photos I did manage to come home with, I love. I want the story to be about West Fork, as it was meant to be. 

A year later, nothing about my life is the same. 

“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. 
Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. 
Let reality be reality.
 Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.” 
― Lao Tzu

Monday, June 13, 2016

Canyon de Chelly

  My latest article: Romancing The American Southwest 
is currently featured on The Luminous Landscape 
This article is also published in the current issue of  On Landscape Magazine 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Camping at Coal Mine Canyon on the Navajo Reservation.  

Monday, June 06, 2016

"You're the fear, I don't care
Cause I've never been so high
Follow me to the dark
Let me take you past our satellites
You can see the world you brought to life"

E. Goulding

Wednesday, June 01, 2016


I had a couple of hours to come up with a bio and photo of myself for a photography project I was working on.  Had to be "polished and graphic" for publication purposes. To be truthful, I knew I had to do it but procrastinated hugely as I'm not much into taking my own photo.  I was actually on my way out to hike with my dog and had to turn around when I got an email  to  get it done today.

I completed the task at hand, sent off my bio and photo. My favorite of the self-portraits is this one. To those who have said, 

"Step out from behind that camera!" 

 I say this:  As in life, I've given the camera ( my photography) the spotlight.  

My work says so much more about me than a bio shot ever could.  As in the photo, I see myself as simply the girl behind it all.  I'm not hiding, just content to be quiet, understated, introspective and observing, 

With one eye, I see the world as it is and with the other, I see the world behind the lens. There are two very different worlds I live in.

 The beautiful amber light from the late afternoon sun brings forth the element I cherish and seek to capture, the warm glow of natural light. 

Perfect side light now seen falling on auburn hair, a gift from my mother.  

“She was a beautiful dreamer. The kind of girl, who kept her head in the clouds, loved above the stars and left regret beneath the earth she walked on.” 
― Robert M. Drake