For the Love of Traveling

Although traveling is not a career for me [I actually like my current one] It is something that is in the heart, something in the mind and very probably something in the blood.

I have always loved it, had a fascination with it. The places, the process – the planning, the getting there and enjoying the ‘being there’ … wherever there may be this time. And I have been lucky to have the opportunity to have been traveling all my life. Thanks to parents that had it a part of their lives, now I do the same for my kids.

Most of us probably start to get excited as they plan to travel. Where to go? Sometimes where “not” to go makes the choice for you, with the world doing it’s best to be wild and unruly. Oh wait that would be us humans making the world an unwelcoming place at times. But you can still travel into the wild of the world and have a peaceful yet full on adventure trip.

So where to go? Somewhere you have been and are comfortable with? Somewhere that stretches the imagination and knowledge or somewhere that has no boundaries or expectations, or somewhere where the ‘Wild Things Are’? (yeah I loved that book as a kid). It could be other countries, oceans and mountains, inner city or your cousin’s backyard…that is what traveling is all about. It doesn’t really matter, we travel for many reasons. And all of them are typically good reasons.

So why do I travel? for the sheer love of it, even if I go for work or other obligations, there is still something exciting, potentially unexpected, a heightened awareness of going somewhere – traveling!

Traveling with A Good Keen Man

Traveling with a good keen man takes traveling in an altogether rather interesting direction most times.

First let me tell you What a good keen man is, then I can continue with chatting about traveling with one.

A good keen man was first described and is the title of a New Zealand book by Barry Crump. A rugged kiwi (New Zealander) who’s life was being in the native bush (old growth forest to you non-down-under folk).

I see him also as an “attitude about life” – living/ playing in the outdoors to it’s fullest, sometimes off the grid, sometimes enjoying the company of others on his journey’s. It is always with a mind and heart open to whatever to life will bring.

A good keen man is seen as an ordinary ‘bloke’ who enjoyed tossing the urban rat-race aside to ‘go-bush’…someone who can survive and thrive out there, someone who sees the small and large of it’s wonder and someone who needs to be outdoors because it is what makes them who they are. Could a good keen man be a female…absolutely, in fact I know several.

So back to traveling with a good keen man. It is always an experience. One, that more often than not, has the outdoors as a major participant – go figure.

Countries and oceans, mountains and beaches. From New Zealand to Alaska, the Caribbean’s Dutch Antilles to Australia and beyond. Islands with crystal waters and old growth forests. My travels are filled with wonder, painful muscles, fun & laughter, and grumbling about needing to have a rest day for the tired body.

It involves history & living in the amazing worlds moment…yet saying no to the 10 mile hike that started “just a short one”. Then there are the outstanding under ocean views which out-weigh the walking next to sewers in unexpected places, all with only minor grumblings about finding enough power to charge the cameras batteries. Traveling can be an excellent way to see if you can not just get along together but survive together in and out of the ‘bush’.

With that being said, It is easy to continue to smile, be grateful for each day because to quote my Dad… ‘I’m living the dream’ and I am doing it with MY good keen man and life couldn’t be much better than that.

Winter Adventures

What a wonderful world we live in…Alaska and Valdez in particular has a variety to sports adventures that far out weigh the number of people that live in this small community. To get here you can take a 35 minute flight from Anchorage or drive one of the most beautiful road trips you ever could do. 

I had the opportunity this Winter to be able to capture some beautiful photos of this stunning landscape, as well as some of the amazing sports that this town offers. Valdez Ice Festival is a climbers dream, both rock and ice saw some action. With world class Canadian climbers Nathan Kutcher and Rebecca Lewis, and Ice and Rock Magazine Hayden Carpenter climbing, along with local Nick Weicht, photos were a fun adventure.

Nathan Kutcher, world class climber from Canada
Rebecca Lewis, Canadian world class dry tooling


Teal Rogers







And then and then you have some fun…aerial silk performance art.


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Mt Marathon Wilderness Race 2015

Alaska has a few Wilderness Races that rank among the hardest and most extreme. I find them all amazing in their own right, but the best thing about the Mt Marathon

The face of it...
The face of it…

Wilderness Race is that it is a photographer dream race…one that is fast, visible and accessible.






Posted at the base of the mountain

Of the wilderness races ~ McCarthy Pack Race, Fireweed 400 (a 4oo mile bike race), Alaskan Mountain Wilderness Classic (summer), Alaskan Mountain Wilderness Ski Classic (winter) just to name a few, Seward’s Mt Marathon Wilderness Race is one of the shorter ones, but not necessarily the easiest one ~ 5 kilometers and 3022 ft (921m). Racers scramble over cliffs, shale, rock-fields, brush, trees and mud, sometimes there are snowfields and waterfalls just to make the scramble more interesting, unpleasant and dangerous.

The race starts and finishes down town Seward, with the fastest racers (runners, climbers or hikers if you want to call them that) taking about 30-40min to get to half way, turn around and hoof it in about 10-15min to get to the finish line…the average speed up is about 2mph while it can increase to an incredible 12mph on the way down. The winner of men’s this years race hit the bottom of the chute at 38 minutes, record pace and set a new record of 41.48, the fastest women’s was 47.48 also a record, breaking a 25 yr old record set in 1990.

The way down can take it's toll...
The way down can take it’s toll…

The junior’s race is a mixed one with boys and girls under 17yrs, and is shorter than the adults with it’s turn around at the start of the mountain scree was won in 27.39 this year.

Why would anyone want to risk the bloody scrapes, cuts, broken bones, traumatic head injuries (yes all of that has happened in the history of this race) is anyones guess but it is a highly sought after any entry (due to the city of Seward limiting numbers to decrease environmental impact).

ThecCliffs chute
The Cliffs chute
The way to get up, and down is the racers choice...
The way to get up, and down is the racers choice…

Now I have hiked it, yes it was a hike for me, not being of the tenacious, mud slinging, injurious ilk, I slowly took over 2 hours to make it up to the top ridge taking photos along the way. The view is definitely breathtaking with Seward nestling at its foothills and the bay full of boats in the immediate distance but it is probably not one that these men and women glanced up and contemplated during the arduous route.

but when you see their faces a spark is driven into your mind, maybe I could do it…

The face of it...
The face of it…

maybe I could just hike and run when able, maybe I could train…maybe, if there is ever going to me a maybe, I had better contemplate a plan to apply for the lottery to be even allowed to enter first!

Please look at the gallery, there are many more amazing athletes, I continue to be in awe of them…esp the kids, although I have not posted any kids, please feel free to email me at and I am more than willing to see if I have your picture or your child’s one.

The face of..YES!
The face of..YES!


Summer upon us…

Disc Bay, Prince William Sound
Disc Bay, Prince William Sound

Wow where does the time go, we are already half way into June and I have been slack on this blog…If only a way to get my act together to do this daily…Yeah that would be in between exercise, work, getting out into the sound and of course taking photographs… What is it about this – the computer and blogging that makes it so hard? Not sure… Maybe it’s the sunshine. maybe it’s a fresh air or lack of it if you sitting at the computer!

Bay on the other side of where we anchored.

One of my favorite things to do in summer is to be on the boat and in the sound, that’s Prince William sound in Alaska, it is some of the most exquisite and amazing country you can see…check out some of the photos of got here but just in general when you can see at least three or four different types of aquatic life, plenty of types of birds, and don’t forget the hundreds of species of mosquitoes… is such an amazing place

Had a fabulous trip down to a little place called Disc Island, out that was between the upper and lower passage between Ingot and Knight Islands. After dropping the hook and doing a spot of fishing… tis’ halibut season after all, we put the anchor down in Disc Bay.
A light hike onto the island proved to be spectacular for taking photos. No good camera with me, ran out of the house without it~ gotta get a better last minute plans for that!! So it was just the iPhone this time. The beauty of the water lilies…yellow pond lilies are perennial natives to Alaska and also that it was mating season for the blue damselfly …stunning!

Blue Damselfly.
Blue Damselfly.
Blue Damselfly
Yellow Pond Lily


Yellow Pond Lily, native perennial Alakasan
Native perennial Alaskan

Valdez Ice Climbing Festival

Spanning the frozen waterfallThe Valdez Ice Climbing Festival was an amazing thing to observe…fit, healthy men and women of all ages and experience, whom to me appeared to thrive on the adrenalin it takes to do this…climbed the many frozen waterfalls in the Keystone Canyon, the leads into the Alaskan town of Valdez. These waterfalls during summer are impressive in and of themselves, but when frozen they take on a totally new dimension that allows for photographers to train their skills in white balance, white/ gray sky, glaring white/blue ice Climber's at Bridal Veil Falls, Keystone Canyon, Valdez, AKand snow – not an easy task for this newer photographer.

Check to the gallery for more photos.

Snow…There is something about it.

2015__14_0003 copyThere is something about snow that is quiet, silent, peaceful and beautiful. It falls softly here where I live and and some years pretty constantly during winter. You could go on about the amazing nature of it and how it is condensation of water vapor into an ice nucleus…but nah…its just the beauty itself when its underfoot, tickling your face or just a quiet presence outside that inspires me.


Living the Alaskan Adventure

Sea Otters, Olsen Bay, Prince William Sound, Alaska
Sea Otters, Olsen Bay, Prince William Sound

A few years ago I moved to Valdez, Alaska…and if you have never been here it is a small town on the edge of amazing…the wildlife is, well just everywhere and I get to see it all through the lens ~ how amazing is that!

I am so lucky to be able to get into a boat  just go for the weekend to see what we can find, sometime it is a snow laden cabin, sometimes it is a sea full of Dall’s Porpoise, a species only found in the North Pacific that at first glance look like Orca’s due to their coloring.

Dall's Porpoise, Valdez Arm, Prince William Sound
Dall’s Porpoise, Valdez Arm, Prince William Sound

The State manages these public cabins all over the Sound…Kudos to Alaskan State Parks Outdoor Recreation for maintaining these for us all to get out and experience life in Alaskan wilderness…and it is wild out there.

Cabin shrouded in snowfall, Prince William Sound.
Cabin shrouded in snowfall, Prince William Sound.