Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wild Flowers

I love taking pictures of wildflowers. I'm not entirely sure why, but it probably stems back to my childhood. My dad was way into flowers and everytime we went places he was always teaching us the names of flowers and quizing us on what their names were. I definitely took it for granted as a kid, but I love having the knowledge now. Everytime I find some new flower, I always think of him. So documenting them in photographs is somewhat like preserving those memories a bit. Anyway, they bring me joy, so I hope some of you out there like them to, if not well then check back later for a post on another subject :) Here are a few fun ones from this summer.

Wild Strawberry!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tomlinson's Finished

I am finally finished with Tomlinson's Family shoot. Sorry it took so long guys! Thanks for your patience. Here are a few final favorites.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Martin's Cove

I am going to appologize right up front for this enormous post, but it will explain my absence from my blog lately. Between preparations and being gone for 4 days, I've been very busy. I just got back from the most profound experience! I just had to share a bit even if it is a travel log. Words can't really describe nor can the photos really, but I thought I'd share a few pictures with you. We went on a trip with the youth in our church to do a re-enactment of the pioneers who came across from Europe and settled in Salt Lake City, Utah; particularly the Martin & Willie Handcart Companies. During their trek form Iowa City, Iowa to Salt Lake City, in 1856, members of the Martin and Willie Handcart companies suffered one of the greatest tragedies of early pioneer travels to the West. Stranded by a blizzard in Oct & Nov. of 1856, the Martin company huddled in a cove for 4 days seeking shelter from the snow and sub zero temperatures. While the company waited for the snow storms to pass and rescuers from Salt Lake, many people died from exposure and starvation. Many miracles happened to sustain those who survived the impossible. We got to go on this sacred ground and walk the trek where they walked and struggle and stretch ourselves beyond what we thought we could stand and it was still nothing in comparrison to what they went through. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done myself. Because of some health issues and I sprained my toe the night before we left, I really had a tough time. All total we hiked over 26 miles (17 in one day!) on injured and blistered feet! It was super hot, dusty and very windy, but we endured and the sacrifice was worth it. We had a fantastic time and there was huge personal growth for all of us. I am so grateful for my pioneer heritage and the sacrifices of others who have gone before us to ensure that we live in such a fantastic nation with the freedoms we enjoy. Wow, what a week. Words don't really explain it. If you want to know more, I'd gladly give more details. I got to go as one of 3 official photographers to document our journey. That was really fun for me. Most of what we did were pure snapshots to document what we did, but there were a few fun things I was able to shoot too.

The Sweetwater School

Fort & Visitor's Center at Devil's Gate, Wyoming


Another view of Devil's Gate, a major trail crossing in the west. The Pioneer trail went through Rattlesnake canyon just East of the gap and so did the Oregon trail and the Pony Express Trail. Virtually anyone crossing the plains went right through this area.

Remnants of an old wagon

The Sweetwater River

Martin's Cove

The pioneers huddled between the hill in the center and the granite mountains in the back trying to have some semblance of shelter from the raging storms out on the open plains. They had to cross the Sweetwater river before moving up into the cove.

When the pioneers arrived at the banks of the Sweetwater River, they were exhausted and food rations were running out. They had just crossed the North Platte River 19 days prior and 13 people died from crossing that river in the frigid temperatures. When they realized they were going to have to do another crossing, they sat down on the banks of the river and cried. They just didn't have the strength to go on. 4 young men got into the river with the ice chunks floating by and one by one they carried the entire company across other than a few of the strongest men who pushed the handcarts across. There was 500 in their group when they started, several had died, but they said the boys spent the entire day in the water taking others across. Later all 4 died from the effects of their sacrifice in the water that day. Wow what an emotional place to be. We too pulled our handcarts across here, but under much more favorable circumstances. In honor of those boys several of the other boys carried some of the girls across and then we pushed our carts across the river.

These monuments are near the Sweetwater River Crossing. I was so moved by the Father carrying his baby and toddler as well as the feet wrapped in rags. Most of their shoes were worn out by now from walking so far. They wrapped their feet in rags in an attempt to protect them from the cold and snow!

An Antelope buck
We saw so much wildlife I was very surprised!

A baby fawn deer hiding in the sagebrush just off the trail.

A female deer

A baby rabbit

It was so windy, my bonnet just smashed against my face, so I ended up wearing my straw hat most of the time. The wind just blew through the holes. I was so glad I got it last minute before we left. That Wyoming wind is brutal. Setting up tents was like turning into a human kite. We were just glad it died down at night so we could sleep.

The nights were pretty much cloudless, so not spectacular sunsets, but the first night there I did manage to get a few good shots. These are some of my favorite from the trek.

Going over Rocky Ridge.
The Willie company finally met the first rescue wagons from Salt Lake. They had been out of food for 2 days. They ate one meal with them and sent the wagons on to reach the Martin company that were several miles behind them as there was more wagons on their way. They had to make one last major hike for 17 miles or so up over Rocky Ridge to reach the next wagons. They walked for 24 hours not daring to stop or they knew they would freeze to death. They finally met the supply wagons and got food and warm clothes and were able to ditch the handcarts and travel with the wagons back to Salt Lake. Even after getting food and warm dry clothes, 15 people still died after help arrived because of the prolonged conditions they went through!

My feet with a sprained Rt. Big Toe and multiple blisters all wrapped up. We found that wrapping the hot spots with duct tape prevented the blisters from forming. (We found this tip out from some other groups who had done the trek many times before.) It really worked. I caught several spots where blisters were starting to form and after wrapping them in duct tape, I never got blisters there. Who would have know. Duct tape is good for everything. I just wish we would have known that the first 2 days when I got the 2 huge blisters on my heels. They were so painful and formed before we did the major 17 mile hike. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done, but I did it and didn't quit in the middle. I'm so proud of myself!!!

About Me

...Just learning & falling in love with the world.~~~~~ email me at : Click on the comment under any post to leave me a message. I'd love to hear from you. You may also click on any picture to see a larger version. Thanks for looking.


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