Category Archives: Photography

RedRock-1

Red Rock Point

Randy ascending fixed line

My commute

Yet another last minute run to Arkansas for a few days of shooting. I just happened to be talking to Jeremy on a Monday morning when in passing he says “Hey I’m going to Arkansas to climb tomorrow, wanna come” to which I reply “who’s going” to which he replys “I hate when people ask that – why does it matter”. While a good point, I still like to ask it just to annoy him. In the end he offered up that Corbin Brady and Jim Lasseter would be going as well…two great guys that would no doubt be great to hang with.

Now the thought of getting up at 4:00 am and driving 5-hours didn’t seem all that appealing but Jer dangled the possibility of heading to Red Rock Point for a day of climbing – which certainly made it more appealing. By reputation this place is touted as some of the best/tallest climbing in Arkansas. However, access is somewhat in question as it requires passing through private property to get to the cliffs. Thankfully Jeremy is plugged into the local scene and served as our ambassador.

We made it to the “secret” parking spot and unloaded our gear…now being that we are on private property extreme disgression is in order – so me sounding the alarm on the Sequoia when I stuffed my keys in my pack was not one of my better moves.  I fully expected a pack of dogs to jump out of all the rusted out cars and chase up the nearby trees. Fortunatly this did not happen and we quickly started the approach up to the base of the cliffs.

The approach proved to be a nice warmup and it quickly became obvious that we would be bushwacking through the downed trees from a recent ice storm.  After lots of scrambling up slick leafy slopes we were at the base of the cliff.  The sun was out and the skys were blue.  Jer then proceeded to lead us to the most impressive wall of sandstaone I have ever seen in Arkansas.

I won’t bore you with the details of my first time jugging a line, but suffice it to say it was not pretty and resulted and a few bloody knuckles.  The first day ended with some great shots of Corbin leading “Batso’s Revenge” (5.9).  We all decided we wanted to come back the next day so we stashed out gear under some rocks and made it back to the car by sundown and made our way to the Eagles Nest Cafe in Mt. Judea for some good ol’ homestyle food.

The next day we woke to cloudy cold skies and were regretting having left our gear back at RRP. Magically as we finished our approach to the base of the cliffs the clouds burned off and we were rewarded with another glorious day – which again ended on a high note with Jer sending “Skysaw” (5.12b).

A few images from the trip:  Red Rock Point Climbing Images

Corbin Brady taking a break

Cold Ramen

…with a side of cold oatmeal

I can’t believe it has been over a year since I last posted to this Blog.  Surely I have been on an Adventure since last year…

Well if I haven’t, this little quicky trip with Jesse sure help me make up for lost time. The alarm erupted at 3:00 AM Friday morning – hit the snooze one time then it was up and out the door to meet Jesse for our 4-hour drive south to Sam’s Throne, Arkansas – but not before stopping at QT for a large coffee and glazed donut. Halfway there we were finally greeted by a warm sunrise, leaving behind what would be a cold rainy day in KC.

We arrived just as some other local KC climbers were about to leave camp and head off for a day of climbing.  Jesse and I quickly grabbed our gear and headed off.  The plan for today was to hit some of the classic moderates and enjoy the day to it’s fullest. Jesse announced that my goal for the day was 10-routes – a lofty goal I thought since I hadn’t climbed since May of this year. In the end I think I did something like 8 routes, but not without alot of grunting and groaning.

To my surprise, there was still alot of color in the trees and the early morning light was igniting the color even more. This was too good to pass up so I pulled out the camera and spent the next hour shooting the gang.

After that the rest of the crew headed over to HCR to finish out their weekend. Jesse and I now had Sam’s Throne to ourselves and he proceded to take me to six climbs I had never done before. We ended the day with the forever classic “Poison Ivy”, then headed back to set-up camp just as the sun was leaving the sky.

We succeeded in making the most of the day!

Hungry and tired we quickly pulled out our food and my stove.  (It is important to note that prior to thre trip we agreed I would be the one to bring the stove to share.)  I was going to dine on Ramen Noodles and tuna and Jesse would be consuming some sort of Indian dish.  I was just 3 short minutes from boiling water and a hot meal.  However it was at this point I realized that while I had matches I didn’t have anything to strike them on.  HMMM…we proceeded to “Macgyver” our way through possible solutions which included stones and various metal objects, a battery and some foil – just anything that would give us enough spark to ignite the stove. In the end I surrendered and opted to soak the ramen in cold water for a while and call it good.  Funny thing when you are hungry and outside camping, just about anything taste good.

It was just after 7:oo and we each retreated to our tents. Just as I zipped the sleeping bag I heard the pitter patter of rain drops on the tent – PERFECT timing!

I woke up Saturday morning around 7:00 having gotten a good 11-hours of sleep.  I peered out the tent – the rain had stopped, however it was cold and the clouds still hung low in the sky.  Not to worry as I will soon be eating COLD oatmeal for breakfast and will have to forego my much needed coffee in the morning.

We quickly broke camp and headed down the road to a climbing area that Jesse had been telling me about for awhile called Stack Rock.  We arrived at the bluffs by 9:30 and had 4-hours to knock out what we could before heading back to KC.  Stack Rock did not disappoint and Jesse once agian did a stellar job of showing me some of the classic climbs. We were on the road by 2:30 and by 8:30 I was at a friends house enjoying a steak, a glass of wine and the company of good friends.

Can’t wait to do it again – now I’m off to put a LIGHTER with my cook stove.

Squaw Creek

Saturday brought temps in the upper 60′s which played perfectly into my plan for the fam to drive north to the Squaw Creek National Wildlife Refuge. Located about 90-minutes north of KC, this is a place we discovered several years ago while on our way to Indian Cave State Park in Nebraska.  Squaw Creek is best known for its large concentrations of snow geese, other waterfowl, and bald eagles. The refuge is a major stop-over for waterfowl, with more than one-half million birds in the fall and lesser, but still spectacular, numbers in the spring. While this time of year most of the birds have headed south for warmer temps, you are almost always guaranteed to see an eagle or two along with some geese.

We spent most of our time walking along this looong peninsula. Caroline and the boys stalked the Muskrats while I tried my best to keep up with the changing light.  It blew me away how fast the light was changing – the series of photos below were all taken within a 90-minute time frame.  Contributing to this was a front that was moving in and brought with it these incredible clouds.

Besides providing the boys a great outing away from the confines of the house, we successfully wore them out as evidnet by them both sleeping in past 8:00 AM the next morning.

Alex

OK I promise this is the last picture of the kids. But to my defense they are the only ones around when I want to experiment with with my new photography toys. Plus it will score me some points with the Grandparents.

I’m really diggin the off camera flash stuff.   In the case of the pictures below I had one SB600 speedlight on the floor behind Alex shooting towards the backdrop with an SB800 mounted on a stand shooting through an umbrella on the right.  Pretty basic “lighting 101″ stuff I know…but I have to say I’m really liking the results I’m getting.

Christopher

It just became apparent to me that I haven’t posted any recent pics of Christopher. I assure you it isn’t because we haven’t taken any of him.  We have been home with him for almost six months.  While it hasn’t been without its challenges…which I feel has more to do with raising TWO boys than anything related to the adoption, the last six months have flown by.

Caroline and I both tell everyone who asks, Chris brought with him a BIG personality – one that cannot be described, only experienced. And to think we were concerned after meeting him for the first time that he might not be outgoing enough.  We truly have been blessed once again with the adoption of a beautiful little boy.

All I can say is that there is no greater sound in the world than two brothers playing and fighting…

Random Pic

I’m finally getting around to looking at some of the images from our three trips to Russia this past year. The image above was taken from our hotel window in Cheboksary during our first trip. I really liked how the sun illuminated the birch trees in the morning.

I think I would spend about 15-minutes every morning looking out our window and watching as about a half doozen or so people would begin shoveling what was left of the winter snow and begin preparing the flower beds for the spring.

Walk in the Woods

Recently the entire family has been sick with either a cold or stomach flu. On top of that I have been working some long hours preparing for a big proposal and interview.

Alex was feeling better so i decided to grab him and head out to a favorite trail for a little walk in the woods…

The Goalie

I finally got a chance to check out Alex’s Saturday morning soccer game.  I brought the camera along to capture all the ACTION.  After spending a good portion of the time shooting the mob of kids chasing the ball around, I noticed out of the corner of my eye the boredom being experienced by the goalies. I found it more entertaining watching the goalies pass the time until they got called up to play than the actual game.  In the end I found the images I shot of the goalies much more interesting.

Now I know why they give the kids big baggy shirts – it helps the goalies pass the time.