Epic Roadtrip: What the heck happened?

A number of you have emailed me with that question.  After all, you got a couple blogs about the trip and then….nothing.

Did the guy fall off a cliff?  Get eaten by a Grizzly?  Decide to run off and become a hermit?

Well, nothing so dramatic.  More a combination of my son getting sick, problems uploading blogs from locations with no internet/cell service…and the fact that I’m getting old.  To be honest, hiking up to 10 miles a day and trying to get by on less than 4 hours sleep (that’s what happens when you hike all day, photograph the sunset at 8pm, the milky way at 1am and the sunrise at 5am).   When I did have a free hour, I have to confess that my first thought was a nap…not writing a blog:)

You know the old saying?:  “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.”  Well, the original plan was 3 weeks, 22 states, 12 National Parks and 8,500 miles.    A few days into the trip Ryan came down with a bad case of nausea, fatigue and killer headaches.  Turns out it was a bad case of altitude sickness.  So we cut out about a third of the trip, especially the stuff at high altitude.  It was a shame, but it means that we can go back next year and hit the places we missed!  Our final tally was 2 weeks, 18 states, 8 National Parks and 7,000 miles…which is nothing to sneeze at.  Ryan was a trooper and never missed a wake up alarm or slacked off during a hike (heck, it was like hiking with a mountain goat…the kid was always 10 yards ahead of me!)  Fortunately he began to feel better as the trip progressed (and we lost altitude).

We had a blast!  We saw Buffalo, Beavers, Elk, Grizzly Bears, Prairie Dogs and a lot of other critters that we don’t see in sub-tropical Florida.  We hiked up the Virgin Narrows in Zion National Park (our new favorite hike of all time!)  Watched the sun go down over the dunes at White Sands .  Chanted “USA!  USA! USA!” while a guy ate a 3 pound hamburger and 10 onion rings in less than 15 minutes (a new record at the Pioneer Restaurant).

I will share more with you in blogs over the next couple months, but today I just wanted to apologize for ‘going dark.’

 

Take care,

Jeff

Okay, okay…I can hear you now…”Where are the pictures?…This is a photography blog…you can’t sign off without adding photos!”   Fair enough, here are my quick Top Ten Favorites:

2014  Roadtrip  June 24 00504_.1

Ryan levitating at Devil’s Tower (with some Photoshop slight of hand!)

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Reflected Light in the Virgin Narrows. Everyone should see this at least once in their life.

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The vista of the Grand Tetons from Schwabachers Landing is one of the most impressive on the continent…if not the planet!

2014  Roadtrip  June 26 00821_crop

We don’t have beavers in Florida…and they facinated me.

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A bizarre and beautiful spectacle. Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone. The hike up the hill to get this shot has been called a ‘scramble’…I would have called it something else, but I was out of breath.

2014  Roadtrip  June 24 00557_

I got lucky and photographed this Grissly for five minutes or so.

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I had never seen a Prairie Dog before. Noisy and cute.

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Ryan looking back at the moon as we hiked out of White Sands

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Possibly the nicest sunrise of the trip…Badlands National Park

The full arc of our Milky Way...amazing seeing it with your bare eyes! Shot from the Virgin River/Watchman bridge at Zion NP

The full arc of our Milky Way…amazing seeing it with your bare eyes! Shot from the Virgin River/Watchman bridge at Zion NP

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2 Comments

  1. evelyneholingue July 16, 2014 at 10:31 pm #

    So sorry to hear about your son. Altitude can be mean, that’s right. Your photos are dead gorgeous and even though you had to cut some of your trip you managed to cover a lot of territory in such a short amount of time. Your sunrise photo is outstanding. The moon one with your son is not too shabby either. Beautiful!
    Thank you for sharing.

    • Jeff Stamer July 17, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

      Thanks Evelyne for your compliments. Hey…how is your Maine roadtrip going?

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