Finding Time…

When do you find the time to write?

I know there are many helpful resources out there to do this (time mgt 101 HA) but I just find that life is too full.

I have time to take the photos, I have time to review them even, which as many of you know take a lot of effort to cull out those that are kind of on the bad side – blurry, no composition, no ‘story’ showing [you know that story that sits right there waiting to be photographed]

But where is the time to write…my dilemma, or is it that I don’t know What to write because I haven’t done my usual traveling? There was a pandemic after all…and in fact we are still in one, but is that really why I haven’t been writing? because I have still been taking photos…

So I’ve decided to jump back on the horse and get back to writing my travel blog with or without’travel’ 😀In the meantime here are some photos of what I’ve been taking around during the pandemic…

Traveling in-State. Juneau, AK
Hiking Thompson Pass. Valdez, AK
Salmon season is Bear season. Allyson Point, Valdez, AK.
Hiking Root Glacier, MCCarthy, AK
Getting out on the ocean. Prince William Sound, AK

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 lyl@ljsteelephotography.com 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!

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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.

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