A year ago some friends told us about a backpacking trip that the did together.  They loved it and wanted to try to win a raffle for the group site over 4th of July weekend.  We told them we were in if they got it.  IMG_0026

Come January, we found out they won the raffle so plans were assembled. Over the Independence Day weekend, we executed the 15 mile round-trip hike up to Crater Lake in the Indian Peaks Wilderness area, south of Rocky Mountain National Park.  It was beautiful and we had a blast. Thanks to the Curry family for inviting us along!IMG_0205

Lone Eagle Peak reflecting in Mirror Lake was one of the highlights of the site!!

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Video of our photos @ http://vimeo.com/100074682

 

 

 

 

 

Below are our favorite 10 photos (ordered by date) from our vacation to the Canyonlands and Arches National Parks near Moab, UT.  Concluding that is a 10 minute video with 60 different photos that are greatly enjoyable and worth the watch!  If you’re interested in see our personal top-5 moments of the trip, be sure to read http://kickmo.wordpress.com/2014/06/15/vacation-to-utah-moab-national-parks/.

As we were hiking Fisher Towers, climbers were ascending the facades of various giant pillars.  In the midst of that, Nicolas just happened to have his telephoto attached to his new professional camera.  As he was taking a photo in the distance, one of the climbers had summit’d a difficult and narrow Fisher Tower, then they lifted their arms in celebration and wonder.  The timing wasn’t planned and is a factor to shoot anything at a given moment.

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Having backpacked into Elephant Canyon in Canyonlands’ NP (Needles District), we made the 4+ mile trek to Druid arch the following day.  The arch is a massive 800 feet high.

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A fairly common shot of Mesa Arch in Cayonlands’ NP (Island in the Sky District), which is a very short walk from the parking lot.  A beautiful shot nonetheless!

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This below arch is along the way to The Windows arches in Arches NP.  The stone stair steps appear to ascend directly into the arch – but in reality, it is 100 yards away and the arch is several hundred feet high!

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Double Arch in Arches NP.  An unexpected quick dispersion of the cloud cover made for a great capture of the sky!

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One of the many creases and seams between the fins/fissures of towering rocks inside the famous Fiery Furnace of Arches NP.

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This photo is along the main road in Arches NP.  Really like the setting with the mix of cool colors in the clouds in conjunction with the warmth of the red rocks.

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Double-O Arch in Arches NP.  It was not going to be a great photo because of blazing overly sunny skies and hoards of people.  Until the unexpected addition of light cloud cover and a dispersion of the crowd.  Again, timing is everything if one is patient and waits for the moment!

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The final two photos were captured on our early morning drive leaving Arches NP and thereby ending our vacation in Utah.  What a view and what a treat!

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And finally, the 10 minute video of our absolute favorite scenic photos from the trip!

http://vimeo.com/98430740

Here’s a countdown to tell you about our vacation in a fun way.

Top 5 of Moab:

5. Scenic Drive on Utah Highway 128 through the canyon bordered by the Colorado River!  (Followed up with a hike through Fisher Towers)

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4. Backpacking into Elephant Canyon, the 8 mile hike in The Needles and specifically seeing Chesler Park in Canyonlands National Park!

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3. Ranger guided Fiery Furnace hike in Arches National Park!

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2. Total of 34 miles hiked through Utah desert in this amazing region of the US!  Lots of great photography!

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1. Final outdoor adventure with only the two of us!

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Honorable Mentions:

  • Being completely unplugged from technology for almost an entire week.
  • Surviving on only one shower in 7 days, yikes!
  • Cold drinks and A/C after hikes on the hot days.
  • Remembering that the tent doesn’t keep the sand out.
  • Cool temperatures on several different days to better enjoy hiking.
  • Kara’s first time pooping in a bag and Nick’s [astonishing] pooping twice in one day at two national parks in two different states (UT/Arches then CO/Black Canyon of Gunnison).

Please watch this 15 minute video which has many of the photos that depict our latest adventure!

http://vimeo.com/98244593

As part of my continuing adventures in wedding photography, I have finally been able to jump into the next realm of photography… with my first professional, full frame camera!  It is a Canon 5D Mark II, which is Canon’s previous generation, so I was able to get a good deal on a used body with extras.

Below are a few photos that were taken in an evening, just to ensure the camera was functional and without defect.  They turned out great and fun, so I wanted to share them!

Every year since I have known Nick we have returned to Kansas in April to volunteer at the Mennonite Central Committee relief sale. It is fun to reconnect with more distant family and family friends. We have in the past talked friends into coming with us as well.  This year some friends of ours who have come in the past were able to make it again.  It is always a fun time of eating great food and giving to a good cause.

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We sell: hats, yardsticks, snacks, books, magazines and whatever else we can find.

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Nick’s niece, Alexa.

 

 

 

 

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Grandma catching up with friends and family.

 

 

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The Lehr family.

 

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Kansas Scenery

In March, Nicolas’s family came to Colorado to visit for Spring Break.  His mom, Karen; brother, Alex and new girlfriend, Kayle all came out for a few days.  We worked it out to go to Breckenridge for the weekend to get everyone into the mountains, then enjoyed a couple days back in Denver together.  We all splurged and enjoyed a dinner at the Melting Pot in downtown Littleton!

 

 

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After Nick finished with his presentation, FINALLY, we headed out for the weekend. Our plans changed last minute, so we ended up in Glenwood Springs and decided to snow shoe up to Hanging Lake.  We hiked the short but intense hike in September, and wanted to see the frozen lake this time of year. We then went and stayed with some friends in Silt, CO.  We had a blast playing games and hanging out with their family.  Saturday, after a lazy morning with coffee and crepes, we headed out to Rifle Falls State Park. We met up with some other house church people in New Castle to find out how their ministry was going, and then ended the day with dinner and drinks at the Glenwood Canyon Brewery. Even I found a beer I liked here. Sunday we headed home so we could be back at church in time for the Super Bowl.

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Check our our video of Hanging Lake.

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