inspiration

I think the cold got to us a bit at Zion.

Maybe camping in below-freezing weather with a fireball-spitting heater does something to the brain… I don’t know. Regardless, we took advantage of the side effects of the frigid weather, and had an immense amount of fun at the expense of the giant icicles that had formed on the walls along the trail we hiked. Icicle walruses – how could we resist, really? (There were also icicle unicorns and wolverine re-enactments… so many possibilities!)

Zion in the winter seems like a completely different place. Bright blue skies were replaced with a constant threat of snow and instead of people everywhere you turn, I think we saw a total of maybe a dozen others. So silent. Yet somehow in its emptiness, the stark contrast of the giant red walls and the bright white of the snow combine to make it stunning in its own way. It’s an almost eerie kind of beauty.

The night we arrived there was a full moon – the crazy bright kind that casts scarily definitive shadows at 2am. It’s such a strange thing to look up and see the mountains almost as bright as the stars. So, despite it being quite a bit below freezing, we stocked up on tea and I took another crack at star trails. There were some interesting results with the gorgeously odd lighting, but I think my favourite part was how the longer we sat in the dark, the brighter the stars seemed to shine – I love how that works!

  

Somewhat begrudgingly we decided climbing was out of the picture since everything was coated in a layer of snow or ice (or both), so instead we planned to conquer a surely stunning sunrise hike…for which we overslept and missed sunrise. Oops. Even so, the view was still beautiful! It even started snowing just as we were getting to the top, which was pretty stunning!

From there, we slid back down the trail, raced the snow-storm out of Zion, and headed onwards to the Grand Canyon…

Epic people in epic places make for epic stories. And epic photos.

Like, last year was pretty incredible. From finishing my Master’s degree to climbing some stunning mountains to trekking across the sub-Arctic in the name of photography, it was full of incredible adventures and really great work opportunities alike.

But my favourite parts? They were the moments on the tops of mountains eating cold pasta and watching crazy clouds roll into vast valleys. The moments where we pushed ourselves, and each other, to do more than we thought we were capable of. The moments where it was pouring down rain and we found joy in climbing anyway. The moments sitting below dozens of tree-houses, swapping stories with complete strangers by the fireside. Those are my favourite kinds of stories – the ones where people embrace the diversity and beauty of adventure, even if in the tiniest of ways.

As a photographer/designer, essentially my goal with LiveLaugh is to “explore new and innovative ways of visual storytelling” – be that innovative design solutions or telling tales of adventure through photography, that vision and focus hasn’t changed.

As of right now I’m most fiery-passionate about adventure. I believe that when you are passionate about something is when you are most creative, so this year I’ve decided I want to focus this blog more personally and specifically on telling more tales of adventure and the people that make them special.

Stay tuned!

#TWP

The Yukon Quest is a sled dog race where mushers, with their teams of 9-14 dogs, embark on a 1000 mile journey from Fairbanks, Alaska (US) to Whitehorse, Yukon (Canada), and I’ve been fortunate enough to spend the last few days following these 24 incredible mushers run with their dogs through some impressive Alaskan and Yukon landscapes. Working with the Quest as part of their photography/media team, I’ve seen an impressive display of what the Quest is and means to the people who are involved, and thought I’d share a glimpse of my experience following the Yukon Quest so far!

Behind the scenes, to make the quest happen, volunteers give up hours of their time to help where needed, community members contribute baked goods and warm food for mushers and volunteers, dedicated handlers tend tirelessly to dog teams, and hardcore fans enduring the subarctic weather to cheer on their favourite mushers and dog teams, the list goes on and on.

So, over the past few days fully diving into the race and getting to know about the mushers and understanding the relationship between them and their dogs, it’s clear that it’s more than just a bunch of guys riding on sleds behind dogs, the race itself is almost like its own a culture – of enthusiasm and passion and perseverance. Love it!

  

  

We’re only 6 days in – looking forward to what’s next!

And if you haven’t seen the video, enjoy: