Some people are just naturally photogenic. It doesn’t seem to matter what they are wearing or which direction they happen to be facing. And then, there’s the rest of us. By no stretch of the wildest imagination will I ever be considered photogenic. I have learned to live with that indisputable reality.
It has long been my practice to frame images representing the best memories of my life and mount them on the my walls. At the beginning of every day I get up to reminders of wonderful, even ethereal, experiences in some of the most beautiful places on the planet. It is always a good start to a day. The obvious prerequisite is to create outstanding memories, consistently and continually. Where someone else sees a nice photograph, I recall the entire vision and summon the sights, sounds and details of that particular mission. Amongst this formidable collection there is one photograph captured with my film camera, on September 4, 2004, by my friend and hiking companion of that day, Ewa Pajak. I love this picture and I can still feel the chilling breeze. It was a special day in a special place. I am front and centre and, in my mind, not looking too shabby. You are free to judge for yourself. Here it is.
The photograph was taken at the lower summit of Forget-Me Not-Mountain in Kananaskis Country, Alberta, one of my all-time favorite mountains. The true summit is easily accessible by a spectacular walk to the other end of the ‘U’, and is six feet higher at 2,335 m (7,660 ft.) You will see what I mean when you get there. It is a little mountain which everyone, capable of gaining about 914 m (~3,000 ft.) of elevation, should do. The mountains behind me are Banded Peak, Outlaw, Cornwall (hidden by my fanny) and Glasgow.
Usually, I hike solo and there are no photographs with me in them. On October 1, 2013, I am privileged to be hiking with Jen and Greg. The photo featured below is captured by Jennifer Judd on our hike to the summit of Pocaterra Ridge with a return through Rockfall Valley. This particular photo is special to me and will be placed on my wall as a reminder of great company on a blustery, snow-swept day in challenging conditions and terrain we did not anticipate. The photograph also represents the profound personal relationship with nature I have been privileged to build over several decades. The challenging days are typically those which become the most indelibly memorable. Here is this recent photograph, taken with a smart phone, which has become one of my all-time favorites.
Notice, I am exponentially more photogenic at greater distances No matter. This quintessential picture represents a part of who I am and I will reference the framed version on my wall every day to remind myself how blessed I am to have good friends who share my passion for the wilderness.
Collect experiences, not things; for that is what will truly nourish you. Grey Wolf
Adventures are not a matter of life and death. They are more important than that. Anon
Wilderness is not just a place. It is also a state of being. G. May
Quotations are from ‘An Adventure Muse’ assembled by DSD and delivered worldwide by adventurers who strive to acquire the same level of enlightenment only decades in concert with natural elements can provide. If you pay attention, it becomes another sense - like breathing. More at:
Do not allow your inner child to die. The rest of you may not be far behind. B. Taylor