Road trip with a good keen man

Ya know road trippin is for you when you hop in the truck and all you do is grin. Silly I know but Yes! Road Trip!!

It was just a short trip to Haines, Alaska from Valdez. It feels like it goes up and over and in reality, at least on a map, it is! The frost heave heading up to Tok, a small ‘meeting of roads’ town, had us bouncing like a 1/2 ton child on a trampoline. Unfortunately, it was my inquiry to learn about frost heave as we drove this ongoing rolling hill of a road that started the elocution lessons. The freezing of water in the soil causes it to heave up…”its watER” said the good keen man, I repeat “water [watah]”, “no try again, watER…” so I repeat in a bad American accent “watER…Yeah-no, I am a kiwi for goodness sake, and 20 years away from my home land, New Zealand, has not changed my accent too much. And so started the often ongoing elocution of watah into water, wish it was water into wine!! I needed some after that.

As the road moved so did the clouds, and amazing they were!

Crossing the boarder into Canada felt like coming home, not sure if it’s that I have family in Canada or if it’s the commonwealth connection, whatever is is, it was another reason to smile. Especially when the roadside brings so much bounty!

It’s grass eating time for the bears as they wake up from the winter. Although in the carnivores category Bears actually spend most of their time feeding on vegetation and insects. Although, Alaska and Canada bears do love their salmon when they are in.

When spring is out so are the cubs. These cubs and their mother were eating the fine roadside grass feast, the black bear was enjoying.

They say that bear cubs play as a means to learn how to protect themselves. Like many

Other animals each has a personality and these two sure did. One of these wanted to play long and hard, the other not so much.

Haines Junction, is exactly what it says a junction of two roads, the Alaska Highway and the Haines Highway. Those two highways bisect 2 Countries and 3 States, Alaska, Yukon and British Columbia.

Onward through Canada has ya looking out in awe at the beauty. Lakes Dezadeash and Kluane – stunning!

Road squirrels! Prairie dogs? Look! Was the exclamation coming from a good keen man. As we drove over the mountain pass toward Haines, many of these little creatures did imitations of meerkats, standing on their hind quarters.

Haines is a quaint seaport town, not a quiet sleep one but a bustling mini-meca of business and people from all over, thanks to the road and marine highway.

What to do while waiting for the ferry, with the boat? Mmm maybe a museum I say, “oh look there’s a Hammer Museum!” A good keen man states…I am sure the other breakfast eaters in the restaurant thought my laughter a bit on the odd side.

The sun was wonderful and the wait for the ferry was delicious! Although I think I relaxed more that man did 😁 he was to busy thinking about the arrival.

Goods received and after ensuring all is tied down we began the slow cruise back.

She’s a beauty, said a grinning good keen man.

The trip back to Valdez was pleasantly uneventful, with the obligatory elocution lessons over the frost heave after Tok. And like the way over the vistas are some of the best ever.

Evolution of …me.

Ya know it’s funny how ‘we’ evolve. Not in the hominid sense, but in the evolution of what we see and experience as photographers.

I relate it to my evolution as a wine buff…taking my Introductory Sommelier then realizing “yeah I’m good right here…” I’m not going to be working in the ‘industry’ … or maybe…?”

I first saw photography or rather photographer evolution in this brilliant chap I met one fine winter day, while out freezing our butts off at an ice-climbing festival. So I blame him for me thinking about the ‘me’ evolution in photography.

Ace Kvale https://www.acekvale.com/About/1

Ace is a low-key, down-to-earth, talented, well-known, National Geographic Photographer, someone I felt a connection…probably with more than a bit of awe [grin] thrown in. I gave him my pounamu, as a thank you, because in New Zealand the pounamu is considered a sacred gift, and that is what I felt he gave me when he shared his photography tips and more importantly, his photography story.

He talked about how he moved through the various themes of photography…adventure sports then through other themes to finally his travel portraits.

It got me thinking about where I was with my photography… I’m still thinking about it…am I a landscape photographer? Not an underwater photo hound. Oh what about wildlife (I’m surrounded by it in Alaska) or maybe I am a travel photographer, as most of mine are taken as I travel..but I really love the impromptu portraits I have taken…

Whitianga, New Zealand

Hiking Zion, Utah, USA
Bald Eagle, Valdez, AK, USA
Musician at Shidner Fest, McCarthy, AK, USA
The lad, Hawaii, USA
‘Saltie’ crocodile in Kakadu National Park, Australia
Diving Great Barrier Reef, Australia

So I realized I still have not idea ‘What’ I want to focus on…then I realize as I look through some of my pics “ya know it’s ok”…I don’t need to be known for any one theme, I can just enjoy My evolution… wherever it will take me.

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.

A trip home is always welcome…

New Zealand is a beautiful country with laid-back people who are full of life and friendly. So going home to New Zealand for me is a cathartic and more often than not a humorous one.
From the slang that is used “sweet as”, “she’ll be right” to “rattle ya dags” to the stunning vista’s everywhere…make me grin and start to breathe deeper of the clean air.

Where you can find a beach with so few people that you feel it is there just for you, or you enjoy a lunch in a delightful small town with a friend.

Going home actually feels like home, for me to explain it is easy yet hard…it’s like stepping off the airplane and drawing in that first breathe and saying “ahh” I am sure you have experienced that at some stage.

And when you leave it is a feeling of sadness and excitement, odd I know. Sadness because you’re leaving and you would rather stay but excitement because you are a kiwi and travel is somehow in the blood and it is what you do ~ you leave and then return, rejuvenate and absorb, laugh and enjoy and plan for the next trip.

~ Lynley

#newzealand #landofthelongwhitecloud #aotearoa #home

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.

 

[ngg_images source=”galleries” container_ids=”7″ display_type=”photocrati-nextgen_basic_thumbnails” override_thumbnail_settings=”1″ thumbnail_width=”200″ thumbnail_height=”100″ thumbnail_crop=”0″ images_per_page=”50″ number_of_columns=”0″ ajax_pagination=”1″ show_all_in_lightbox=”0″ use_imagebrowser_effect=”0″ show_slideshow_link=”0″ slideshow_link_text=”[Show slideshow]” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]