Our trip to the Rocky Mountains, Colorado
John Muir once said: “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out going to the mountains is going home; that wilderness is a necessity.” Working on a computer more often than we would like, Muir’s thoughts really resonate with us. We spend many hours in front of many screens. Stresses that, I’m certain, would have made Muir quake in his hiking boots.
When we visited the mountains, many of the tundra grasses had gone to seed; an impressive feat as the unimaginably short growing season came to a close. We spent the days hiking past moose and marmot alike, struggling to take oxygen into our badly-adapted midwestern lungs. While we took one last pause to take everything in while the daily thunderstorm loomed in the distance, I think it became clear to us what Muir really meant. This is not a luxury or a vacation to us anymore. It’s something we physically need. When we left the mountains it felt like saying goodbye to an old friend, and although we had just been introduced, it became apparent that, all this time, we had been homesick for a place we had never been.
This is one of those posts that I have had saved as a draft for a while now, trying to rewrite and come up with the right words. This family is some of our closest friends, and the excitement of them having brought another little one into this world just overwhelms me with delight. Josh and Jill now have three children, Ruby and Dylan who we know quite well, and now Sawyer, who was born on October 10th, at 1:45 in the afternoon. I had been taking portraits of Jill and her growing belly nearly every time we hung out, and when Sawyer’s due date came (a week before he was born), we decided it’d be fun to do a little mini-session to capture them as the family they’d been for three years. They were well adjusted to Ruby being the big sister and Dylan the little brother, with no other siblings in this world quite yet. It’s such a special time, in my opinion, to be able to document a family on the cusp of such a big and exciting change like that.
About 3 days a week I arrive at a coffee shop before dawn. The cafe is always empty when I get there, aside from Matt, who has already started brewing coffee and making the scones for the day. Nearly every Tuesday for the last 3 years we’ve worked the morning shift together. In the week leading up to his wedding, we opened the shop together three days in a row. It was so great to share in the excitement and anticipation of their big day together for the days leading up. We always capture our weddings from a friends’ perspective, but this time we were a friend that has been waiting years for these two to get married. I don’t think they could have planned a more beautiful day.
For the seventh year in a row, the Fairshare CSA Coalition has put together a fundraiser called “Bike the Barns”. Participants chose to bike either the shorter “radish” route, 30 miles, or the longer “rutabaga” route, 70 miles. The route winds throughout the Southeast Wisconsin countryside, stopping at pre-designated farms along the way. Each farm fuels the participants on with food from local farms and vendors, with a big after-party at the end of the ride full of tasty things to eat and drink. When I left my house in my toasty car the morning of this year’s event, I doubted there would be a large turnout. It was chilly, and even more-so the rain didn’t seem to be letting up.
In Oconomowoc, WI there is a massive red house affectionately referred to as the Magic Mansion. So many interesting and talented people have been through this house that you can almost feel it when you walk in the door. It’s not unlike the feeling that you get when you discover something from your past long forgotten, or catch up with a friend you haven’t seen in years.