I’m normally the type that needs to spend some time in a place to photograph it. Learn the light, plans my shots, explore every angle, appreciate the details. I’ve never had much luck as the weekend warrior type, but when I’m busy as hell and get a little window to get back to nature, damn right I’m gonna pack up the truck and find some quiet. Two recent weekends, one in autumn and another in winter, I had a few days to kill so I road tripped it to Maine and back. They were both incredibly wonderful and productive weekends. From America’s version of abandoned castles to mass migrations, frozen falls to painted forests, New England’s pretty great any time of year apparently, even if you only have a day or two there’s always something cool to find.
It was a steady -30 to -45°F for about a week solid by the time I made it to central Alaska in late January. Just north of Anchorage I found a gem which saved my spirits, Chena Hot Springs. Due to the extreme cold, the steam from the pools had encased the entire landscape in a thick coat of ice, which you can see below makes a playground for any photographer. Not only that, but after months of frozen toes, this was the first hot spring I found since Liard 1000 miles back in B.C., so dipping in for a few days really helped kick the winter blues that had been building up.
Jasper is one of the coolest little towns I’ve ever seen, nestled amongst some of the most amazing winter scenery I came across in my northern adventure. I followed around some docile elk for an afternoon, hiked around a frozen canyon with a river rushing beneath the ice, amazing aurora shows over imposing peaks. Truly a wonder place to visit in winter, I can’t recommend it enough.
Some awesome rewards for braving the cold of the Alaskan winter, I found all sorts of interesting ice formations in the form of frozen falls, glacial caves and lakes locked in 6′ of ice. Granted it took about 6 months for me to regain feeling in my toes again, but at the time it seemed like a small price to pay for such wonderful and unique views.
Amazing how much a few months can change a place. This is the same mountain pass from the previous post. Definitely a different feel from when its not encased in 10 feet of snow, and made for a much more enjoyable hiking.
Not sure where the pooch came from, but it was nice to have some company for bit til she trotted off down the mountain.
I found her people but she went off exploring the mountain on her own. I need a mountain dog…
This guy’s got alpine travel figured out. I think when my knee finally goes I’m gonna go this route.
Sketchy crossings, no problem for the slow and steady…
Autumn found in pockets amongst the pine. There were also entire mountainsides which were a blanket of yellow birch and spruce.
I’d been on the road for a week at this point, and hadn’t found a shower in awhile. This is me, debating whether to brave the cold and take a bath in this lovely little alpine lake… Frigid but completely worth it.
Nice little ptarmigan, funny little birds and not in the least bit shy.
I never knew this gem was only an hour or two north of Vegas. Such a cool spot with little caves and slot canyons that wind their way in a maze of passages into the eroded cliffs. The walls narrow to inches wide at places, but extend vertically for 100’s of feet. I even found a little owl that had burrowed a nest into the soft walls. If you’re ever not doing so hot at the tables, change your luck and visit this spot!
Normally when doing the cross country thing, I like to do those 2000 miles in the middle as fast as my truck will take me, a blurred coffee binged stretch that couldn’t end soon enough. But on this last pass, I took some time, and found some fun things when I actually got off the interstate…