Doin’ Donuts in the Snow on Flickr.
I took the chillins out to do some donuts in the snow to give them a lecture on the issues of traction in an all wheel drive vehicle in the snow.
It’s a lot harder than you’d think to get an all wheel drive vehicle to spin out but you can do it.
You can tell from the seriousness of the audio that they’re serious about physics.
The Beholder on Flickr.
Man… the holidays have started!
I guess it’s gonna be four more weeks of runnin’ your ass around all over the place until you’re exhausted.
I hope you get a chance to kick it and take it easy a little bit…
enjoy the times with the ones that you love.
I ran into this guy on the street right after I scared the shit out of Santa Clause.
Almost made him jump out of his beard I swear to gahd.
I hope you’re feelin’ the love right now!
Windy Weekend on Flickr.
I hope you guys all fared well with the windiness this weekend.
Mother-Nature can be a bitch!
Cutting the Cake on Flickr.
The next thing I know the sword came out of it’s scabbard…
the cake was cut.
I shot the entire wedding ‘street shooting style’ without flash.
It was an incredible challenge but a lot of fun.
You could feel the love between them and I was feelin’ pretty good myself.
I hope you were feelin’ the love this weekend!
Journey To Viesvidoff Volcano on Flickr.
I’d lost the group an hour earlier and by the time I’d got my ATV started up they must have been twenty five miles away already.
I had no clue how I was gonna find them but I headed towards the horizon anyway figuring something would come to me.
It was the Lupines that saved me.
As the guys rode towards Viesvidoff they trampled the lupines.
You couldn’t see that they were trampled.
You could smell it.
It was almost a minty smell.
As long as I smelled it I was on the trail.
Where it faded I was lost.
It was tough going in a few places where I didn’t have the lupines to guide me.
On top of a plateau I sighted them a few miles away.
They must have seen me too because they took an elk skull and made a trail marker for me where they’d crossed a large creek… but they didn’t wait… the pressed on over the tundra.
I knew they had some coffee and that gave me all the motivation I needed to keep that machine flyin’ across the vast emptiness.
They stopped for lunch just west of the river and I finally caught up with them.
Stopping for lunch, our friend “Uncle” surveys the Black Creek basin for a line we can cross that is not too deep or crosses the quicksands.
“This” I reminded myself “Is what the earth used to look like.”
We were forty miles away from the nearest person… and getting to the hospital would take an airplane… we didn’t have any survival gear or any kind of a plan but we wanted to get to that volcano.
The machines we rode had big enough tires to keep us out of trouble in the quicksands as long as we kept on movin’ but to get across this river it looked like we’d need a boat.
Vinny had an idea.
He said that the vehicles would make it across the river no matter how deep it was if we hit it fast enough… if we balanced the thing and if we kept on the throttle he said the tires would actually work like props…
‘you gotta steer up current with your front tires’ he told us like he’d actually done it before ‘use your front tires like rudders to counteract the current… hit the water fast and keep going and we’ll make it across… but you hesitate for a second and it’s all over’ he warned us.
The water was cold and the current was strong.
We picked a point on the opposite side of the river and we had complete faith in Vinny and his theory.
Everyone made it across.
I couldn’t believe it.
Where the Black Creek met the Bering Sea was a beautiful endless beach… completely sandy… that’s where we found the old Japanese glass float balls.
By this time there were three volcanoes erupting all around us…
but Viesvidoff was silent and we wanted to take a closer look.
“Me Alaska” stick sits on the back of “Red Number 5” my trusty mount… “Me Alaska stick” was the only piece of checked luggage to make it back home on our flight.
I said to the security screener at the airport in Anchorage “Where they takes me Alaska stick me Alaska trip ends.”
“Me Alaska stick”, against long odds, made it all the way home. Four thousand miles from the beach where I found it.
“Me Alaska trip” has never ended.
Pristine Earth on Flickr.
Have you ever been to a place of such beauty that you become silent and in your mind tell yourself that you shouldn’t even be there?
Almost like your presence is a trespass?
I have… and that place was the Pacific side of Umnak island.
In that place at that moment it seemed we had been transported to what was indeed the most beautiul and remote place on the planet.
It was so big. It was so beautiful. It was so remote.
It was the kind of place I had dreamed of many times as a small boy. Finding myself in it made me speechless.
The predominant sound as we walked the beach was the sound of our rainsuits rubbing.
It was in silence this beauty seemed to be viewed best.
The Bones of Cayo Hueso North on Flickr.
It felt as though we were on another planet as we rode across the barren and desolate coarseness of the Viesvidoff ash fields near the base of the volcano…
The bleached bones of large land animals stuck in the sandy volcanic ash as far as the eye could see made one quite conscious of the danger that surrounded us in that far off and unforgiving place. The thoughts that course through a man’s head in a realm like this… it made me remember that I had dreams still unrealized…
This was a landscape that seemed almost as if it were the very surface of another world… like maybe we should have been wearing space suits and carrying our own atmosphere on our back… you could sense the hostility this place had towards life with all of the morbid symbols around you. I doubt if you’d be able to cross these ashfields on foot and survive.
If one of my comrades on the journey had said “up ahead… that’s the lair of the dragon we are going to slay” I wouldn’t even have laughed at the statement… I’d have only quickly reached for my sword. This was a fantasy land wrapped all around us, rich in the detail of every dimension.
There is an ingrained and deep seated emotion that one feels as they are surrounded by these bones, because they are sure and certain signs of death… they speak of the finite mortality of other beings.
It is not fear, but something even deeper inside the animal part of the brain seems to say “Be careful… there is danger here.” These other beings that came before you, they found only death… this place you traverse, it was the place of their demise. It was their end.
I found the scene exhilerating and beautiful in an odd sort of way.
“This is the kind of stuff that real explorers would see as they explored exotic and strange foreign lands” I thought as I was surrounded by the somber magnificence of it all.
Riding across the ash at high speeds, when visibility was extremely low, you might have found your thoughts wandering as you alarmedly told yourself…
“Lookout for that caribou pelvis!”
There is quicksand here.