Blog.

First Camping Trip of 2018: Jasper.

     Below are a few photos from our camping trip in Jasper National Park. We spent three nights at Pocahontas campground and went on a few hikes around the area. Our last morning there we  tried out a 10km summit called Sulphur ridge and for the ease of the hike, the views were stunning! I would have loved to camp up there if it was permitted but just getting to look out over the mountains and forest was gratifying enough. Sometimes I think I enjoy the forests more than the mountains, which would make sense since they provided us clean air. I hope you enjoy the photos and have a great week!

Ptarmigan Cirque.

      I'm not sure how I missed posting the images from this hike but lets just call it a throw back Thursday! By far Ptarmigan Cirque was one of the most rewarding hikes I've been on for how relatively easy the trail was. Once you get to the plateau there are gorgeous scenes in every direction. Not only were the views on point, but the people on the hike are what make the day even more memorable. Celine, Caleb, and Nic are all so much fun hiking with and spending quality time around them is revitalizing! Currently Caleb and Nic are down south and it's been quite the adjustment not being able to hang out with them on a regular basis like we were able to at Prairie. Needless to say, I miss them and our other friends down south immensely with hopes of seeing them soon! 

I'd love to hear where some of your favourite hikes are and what the views are like. I'll probably be taking a break from mountains for a while and begin posting a few of the many sunset drives I've gone on since moving back to Bonnyville. 

Future & Contentment.

     The images this week are still from Troll Falls but they feature my wife Celine and our pup Aspen. An interesting thing occurs when you get married and have a dog (or for other people, kids); you have to increasingly be less and less selfish with your time and decisions. A lot of people might view that as being negative but in reality it forces you to mature and grow as an individual. You're not able to recklessly spend money on things you simply want but rather have to always be thinking about if that money could be used towards something that would make the lives of the ones you love better. Being selfless is never easy and my own selfishness was evident soon after getting married. Figuring out how to balance what you want and what someone else wants feels like an awkward dance at times and can really be uncomfortable. I think working through those sorts of instances brings growth for everyone involved, which creates a stronger relationship afterwards.

     I say all this because when it comes to important decisions, like where to live in the future, taking all things into consideration can be a struggle. Celine and I aren’t too sure where we want to end up but we know that friends our age need to be there and they mostly live south. I tend to have the problem of pondering so many ideas, or maybe even fantasies of different life paths, it’s easy for me to lose track of reality and the now. There are so many things I want to try, which makes me worried about attaining any sort of contentment. I could write an entirely separate post on that but I should conclude. I guess I’m saying I have no idea what the future has in store but I hope that we can spend it with friends and family in careers we find fulfillment in. I think my current dream is to live in a beautiful location with my work in a gallery, leading workshops or sharing my passion for photography with others to show how it can be used to create change in our world. Regardless of what I end up doing, I know I want Celine there with me and Aspen tagging along.

     Thanks for reading everyone; the next few weeks of posts will consist of a highlighted image with a description or back-story to it and then the rest of the outtakes from that particular trip. I hope you enjoy them and I’d love to hear any feedback or advice you have.

My Friend Nic.

     Well to say it bluntly, I never thought Nic and I would be friend at first. You’re probably thinking, “that’s an odd way to start a blog post,” and I agree. I can’t help but laugh to myself as I write that first sentence because it’s probably an unexpected first impression. Similar to your possible impression of this post, my first impression of Nic was one where I just didn’t know what to expect. Fortunately we somehow got to know each other a few months into my second year of college. We slowly became friends and two years later we’ve grown to know each other a lot better and made a lot of adventurous memories together. I appreciate Nic’s down to earth perspective on things along with his genuine personality when you get to know him. Not only do I find him hilarious in many regards but he’s also great to have on hikes when you want to be thinking about anything other than the burning in your lungs. I truly appreciate the process of Nic and I becoming friends and look forward to hanging out over the upcoming years.

     I hope you enjoy the photos from a hike at Troll Falls. Next week I’ll be sharing the other part with photos of Caleb and some things I kind of like about him! I’m planning to adjust how long I’m writing these so that I can be more consistent and sustainable in my posting frequency. If you haven’t yet, be sure to subscribe to my email list so you're notified every time I release a new post.

My Friend Isaiah.

     Isaiah and I grew up together and lived only a few kilometers from each other. I recall countless bike rides to hang out, innumerable hours jumping on trampolines, and various other activities. Not only did we grow up doing a bunch of classic kid things, we also played soccer together and seemed to know what the other was going to do better than we knew ourselves. Without a doubt some of my fondest memories from my childhood are with Isaiah.

     One story that cracks me up every time I reminiscence involves a hot summer day, a small trashcan and a hole. On this memorable day Isaiah and I were hanging out at my place with not a lot to do. As sweat perspired down our foreheads we formulated a plan to make ourselves a pool to cool off in. Our game plan was to dig a hole in my back field deep enough to put our legs in, then we were going to take a small trashcan, fill it with water, carry it 100 meters to the hole, dump it in and then have a nice cool pool. As you might expect, there were a few holes in this elementary plan. I don’t remember how old we were at the time but I don’t think we were strong enough to carry the selected water vessel that distance with any amount of ease. Regardless of our lacking strength, we made up for it with ambition and hauled the water out to the hole that we just spent approximately 30 minutes digging. I had imagined digging a nice 4’x4’ hole that would be roomy enough to sit in but my naivety bested me. Exhausted, we settled for a humble hole that merely measured 2’x3’ and dumped our little bit of water in. Now I don’t recall if we dumped multiple trashcans of water in or if we made this decision but we came to the realization that the water would just seep into the ground. Again, I’m not 100% clear if we made the ‘logical’ choice or if it happened by accident but some how the trashcan ended up at the bottom of our mud hole. It fit perfectly and provided the solution to our seepage dilemma. The only problem now was that it fit so seamlessly in the hole that it was now stuck. So much so that our prepubescent muscles couldn’t retrieve our water vessel that doubled as my family’s bathroom trashcan.

     Since it was so many years ago I don’t precisely remember the details and Isaiah might remember them differently but what happened next I think is a testament to how far my logic and reasoning has come. Needless to say, I had some anxiety because I had just lost my moms pink plastic trashcan in the hole we created. To add to my building anxiety we had to head to town for errands and were covered in mud. While experiencing a plethora of panic permeating through me, we manically mustered up plans that could possibly solve our multiple problems. The one that stands out to me, and maybe the most ridiculous, was to stand on a giant ant hill, which would then allow the ants to systematically removed the mud off us. I think my logic was that they would need mud to rebuild their home that we just destroyed and our legs were the closest source so obviously they’d removed the mess for us. Unsurprisingly, they just bit us and we had to shamefully walk back to my house to explain to my mom what shenanigans we got into. My memory concludes with her frantically trying to clean us off enough to get into the vehicle and head to town but maybe they remember more details.

     I didn’t expect that story to be so long but I love reliving many of the nostalgic memories I have had growing up with friends and especially Isaiah. Our friendship has grown and developed so much over the years and even though we don’t see each other too often, when we do it’s always special for me. The images below are from his birthday this past March when his girlfriend, Deeyana, invited Celine and I to go on a surprise hike with them in Banff. We decided on Tunnel Mountain and then went for food after at Elk and Oarsmen in town.  Overall it was a wonderful day.

B.T.W.

I realized that over the past year I’ve had the fortune of going on hikes or excursions with many of the people I care about most. Rather than merely talking about the photography or some random thoughts in my blog posts, a genuine reflection or simple acknowledgment of the people I love could have significant value for others and myself. I should also clarify that if you're a friend of mine and I don’t write a blog post to you, you shouldn’t be insulted, I just haven’t adventured with you recently or I just thought of this idea (haha).