Posts tagged ‘snow’

You can probably see a theme from my travels up north…snow and exploring. The original Alexandra Bridge was built in 1863, but destroyed by a flood in 1894 and dismantled in 1912. A new suspension bridge was built on the original footings in 1926, but decommissioned in 1964 in favor of a new bridge built a few miles down the river. Lucky for us, there’s still a walking trail down to the old bridge, which makes for some awesome photo opportunities, especially when buried under a few feet of snow.

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Mount Baker, Washington was the first place I ever tried to snowboard. It’s one of the more beautiful snow-covered spots I’ve ever been to. These were taken on my second trip there, more than a year after the first. I didn’t take my camera up on the slopes, unfortunately, so these were all taken from the parking lot before we left. I think it says a lot about the beauty of the place that these were from the parking lot. Imagine the photos I could’ve gotten if I’d actually taken my camera on the slopes! Next time.

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The Othello Tunnels are near Hope, BC, which is east of Vancouver. They’re a series of five tunnels and a series of bridges over the Coquihalla River that used to be for trains. Now decommissioned, they’re walking paths that are open to the public…in the summer. When we went, there was so much snow that they’d been closed and gated off. Never being ones to be easily deterred, we hopped the fence (well…Jeff hopped the fence…he threw me over). It was well worth it, albeit a bit creepy with the chance of falling icicles and rocks above us as we carefully made our way through the tunnels. By the time we were making our way back out, it had started to snow, which made the walk back even that much more beautiful.

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After a few trips to our Neighbor to the North and then to Utah, snowboarding has quickly become a favorite past-time of mine. One of my favorite times to snowboard is as night. Despite the misery that sometimes is the biting cold with no sunshine to warm you on the ski lift, it’s actually a pretty incredible time to be on the mountain. The way the flood lights hit the snow makes it easy to see all the bumps and groves in the snow, so you can see exactly what you’re boarding over. This particular mountain, Cypress, is located in North Vancouver and provides a pretty rad view of the city when the clouds manage to get out of the way.

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Moonrise over Vancouver.

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The city lights peeking out behind the clouds.

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City below.

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I love the way the slopes are lit up.

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There are no shortages of places to explore in the general vicinity of Vancouver, BC. Lucky for me, I was able to fit quite a lot in over the course of my eleven days spanning from Christmas Day to just past New Years. Sometimes my explorations simply took me past interesting places, but didn’t grant me enough time to actually stop and wander on foot. Spuzzum was one of those places. We almost drove straight through it without stopping, but I’d seen something worth a second look, so Jeff diligently turned his truck around and we made a few laps on the side streets as I instructed him to slow or stop whenever I spotted a photo I’d like to take. This tiny church sat on a corner and felt like it was straight out of a storybook with it’s cute little steeple and snow-covered steps. How could I resist?

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I did a project last year with a friend where we took weekly self portraits and posted them every Friday. Sadly, it tapered off and I was unable to post a few of my favorites that I took for the project while on a trip to Canada. I’m gearing up for another trip up north again this year and was reminded of those shots. This is my favorite of them. I actually made my friend Jeff pull off the highway to explore this little area for some photos. I’m glad I did, because I walked away beaming that I’d gotten my shot. Since I was without a tripod or remote, I chose all my settings and got my framing all worked out and then set the camera in the hands of Jeff to act as a human tripod and he shot off a few rounds before I decided he’d probably gotten something usable.

I can’t wait to see snow again. My soul is ready for some real winter.

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The past three weeks have been an absolute whirlwind for me. I hit the road on December 15th in my trusty 98 Honda Civic and completed just over 3,300 miles of driving on January 2nd. Needless to say, I’m a bit tired of driving and extremely happy to have arrived in Southern California, where Old Man Winter can no longer bother me.

One of the many many stops along my way was Amarillo, Texas, where I stayed with some close friends of my friend Kevin (who I picked up in Dallas to accompany me on the second half of my trip). As we were nearing Amarillo, Kevin mentioned that we could go see Cadillac Ranch and asked if I’d heard of it before. Not only had I heard of it, but it was one of just a few roadside attractions that actually did attract me…and I’d had no idea that it was in Amarillo!

We managed a trip out in the afternoon of our first day there to go check it out and spray paint our names on the cars…and then Kevin and I decided we’d get up for the sunrise so that I could snap some truly unique photos of the place.

We dragged our tired heads out of bed at 5:30am and got some donuts and coffee before heading out to the Cadillacs. Unfortunately for us, there would be no sunrise, as a blizzard descended on Amarillo right as we were leaving the donut shop. We sat in the car, keeping ourselves warm as the sky started to glow a bit. Finally, when I thought there was just enough light to give me something good, we hopped out of the car and began running out to the scene.

I immediately wanted to turn back. The wind was blowing at an unacceptably miserable rate and snow was pelting my face and hands in such a way I’d imagine it comparable to being bitten by tiny piranhas. I kept insisting that I hated my life and wanted to go back, but Kevin, a hardcore Marine, didn’t let me give up.

I set up my tripod quickly and without enthusiasm and decided it was too much hassle to secure my camera on it and simply rested it on the top. I took a few shots and we began to run to the other side of it so that I could get another angle. The second angle wasn’t working, and was made even more difficult by the fact that we were now facing into the wind, so I told him I was done and we ran back to the car.

That run to the car was the longest minute of my life, by the way. If I had been previously unsure of my hatred of winter, I was now absolutely certain. I pride myself on being tough and not complaining much about things, but man oh man, poor Kevin got an earful that morning.

Luckily, at least one of the photos turned out semi-decent, so here you go. (I’m still trying to decide if it was worth it.)

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