Photography


June 30th we headed out to Wyoming. We drove to Casper, WY and spent the night then headed to Livingston, MT for an overnight before entering Yellowstone National Park through the north entrance in Gardiner, MT.

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Friday and Saturday we enjoyed a relaxed drive with stops to eat and play at playgrounds. We ate delicious dinners at Silver Fox steakhouse and Neptune’s Brewery! Ivan loved the sushi and the server was delighted that he would order himself and enjoy sushi so much! We also ran into a car show in Sheridan, WY, with many diverse cars to look at.

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Great food, entertainment, atmosphere, and beer

Sunday: We entered the park and explored along the way to our campsite at the Madison campground. We hiked all over Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser and Artists Paint Pots.  Due to the danger of the geysers and hot springs I wore Ivan on my back the majority of the time. It was good to let him get out and play when we had picnic lunches or back at the campsite at the end of the day.

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Monday began with a Ranger led hike around Old Faithful and the Upper Geyser Basin. We then hiked up to an overlook point and around to Solitude Geyer. We saw many hot springs at Biscuit Basin and then took the short hike to Mystic Falls.

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We decided that on Tuesday we would explore the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, so we took a ranger led hike along the rim. We trekked the 328 steps to see the Upper falls on Uncle Tom’s trail.  After getting showers, clean clothing, and lunch we headed off again to drive along the Yellowstone River to Mud Volcano where we saw 2 Bison enjoying themselves near the steam.  We went to Sulpher Caldron to see more hot springs and bubbly water. Ivan loved the stop in at Lake Village Visitor’s Center to play in the sand/water of Yellowstone Lake. We continued the drive around the lake and found a picnic spot with a view and ended the day at the Midway Geyser Basin to view Grand Prismatic Spring.  Nick and I both agreed that it was a bit disappointing since there is currently no trail to a higher vantage point. After a long day we were glad to be back at our tent to sleep!

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Wednesday was our final day in Yellowstone and we decided to take it easy. We also ran out of coffee so Nick was dragging. We headed to the original store near Old Faithful and got some coffee on the large patio with wooden rocking chairs.  We toured the old turn of the century Old Faithful Inn and watched the eruption from the balcony. After lunch we then headed over to watch the video at the Visitor’s Center. We then headed out to the Firehole River area to do a scenic drive and just happened upon an erupting geyser. This was the only other one we saw fully erupt.  We paused at Firehole River Falls before finding an area in the Firehole river that Ivan and Nick could swim. We ended the day with a campfire and hotdogs and meeting new camping neighbors.

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Moving day was Thursday. It rained overnight so we packed up a soggy tent and headed to Grand Teton National Park and to the Colter Bay tent cabins. Thankfully ours was clean so we could “move in” and set up the tent to dry. After lunch and repacking our tent we headed to do the drive all the way through the park to the south entrance and visitor’s center. After exploring the visitor’s center and catching the park video we headed out to do the Jenny Lake scenic drive. We took in the view at the top of Signal Mountain and ended the day playing at the Jackson Lake beach area at Colter Bay with a picnic dinner.

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IMG_1805Grand Teton does not seem to have many varieties of small hikes so we meandered along the Lakeshore Trail then arrived at the Colter Bay visitors center in time for a lunch snack and a National Geographic Documentary about the reintroduction of wolves to Yellowstone in 1995. It was interesting and Ivan did great throughout as well.  We then decided to go check out Jackson Lake Lodge and get coffee. We drove out to a scenic lake a bit away from the main area of the park and ended up back at Jackson Lake Lodge to go swimming.  We all enjoyed the pool and shower before getting on a boat tour for dinner.  The boat tour was a fun last splurge and we enjoyed the steak and fish dinner on Elk Island.

Saturday we were on the road by 6am and with only a few stops made it home in about 10 hrs.  It was a long drive and Ivan did great and we were all glad to be back in our own bed.

Highlights of the trip include:

  • Seeing wildlife: bear, bison, birds, moose, deer, pronghorn
  • Experiencing Ivan spreading joy to multitudes of strangers
  • Watching the thermal features and learning about the geography
  • Playing license plate game and spotting all but one of the 50 states and many Canadian Provinces as well
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We were able to have a visit with Nick’s dad and aunt from TX. They came up to help Abby and we went over to hang out quite a bit. The trip ended with a day visit to the Denver Zoo.  Ivan is at a great stage where he really enjoyed seeing the animals that he knows by picture and in books. Nick’s brother has moved to CO so we are now able to enjoy short visits more often. The other weekend he came up and we went on a hike together.  Last of all my request for Mother’s day was a photo shoot with Ivan in the park.  Here’s some pictures of all these events.

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This summer, Nicolas has the opportunity to photograph two weddings, conveniently who are both co-workers of his.  Some of his favorite photos are below as well as the video highlights for each couple.

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For the past 3 years Kara has helped to organize a conference for people who are a part of or interested in simple church.  The conference is put on by the LK10 organization and has been attended by 50-60 people from all over the US and sometimes the world.  It is such a great time of sharing with others about simple forms of church. We practice “table churches” for the weekend where everyone is a part of a small church to share their hearts and listen to God together.  As we have attended these past 3 years we have enjoyed getting to know others who are like minded in this area. We had the conference this year at Bear Trap Conference center and had such a great time relaxing and enjoying the mountains.

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A couple weekends ago, Nick and I had our final adventure camping before kido comes.  It was quite the experience as we did some significant off roading. We often like to off road while in the mountains and I had picked up a book from the library of trails.  We found an area that looked promising and headed out for a drive.  We were driving up near the continental divide near the weather closed Webster Pass.  We got into some tough wet terrain and managed to do some serious damage to Fern.  The nice thing was that we only knew about a blown tire until Sunday when driving home did not feel normal.  Thankfully, with God’s protection, we made it home and it was fixed!

The scenery was as always, beautiful!

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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 https://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!

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This year we were blessed to celebrate Christmas with the Reimer family.  Kara’s mom and dad flew in from AZ and brother with family from MI.  We made two airport runs on Christmas eve to get everyone.  Christmas day we spent playing games, hanging out and eating fondue!  We then took a day to go skiing and enjoy Dillon Dam Brewery. Even 8 year old Silas did great skiing Loveland Slopes.  Then we spent a beautiful sunny day in downtown Denver ice skating and playing in Wash Park. That evening my brother and his wife and Nick and I went out to discover some more CO beer.  We discovered Black Sky Brewery and ate at Vine Street with a happy hour check at Jake‘s in downtown Littleton. Saturday we headed up to check out the Celestial Seasonings Tea room and factory.  It was fun to see the factory in production and hang out a little in Boulder.  We finished off our last evening together with homemade pizza, chocolate fondue and dominoes.

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