“Just Be Here”(part 1 of 4)

Being as any adventure of epic proportions should be difficult to sum up quickly and easily, I am breaking down a mere several of the highlights and writings I would like to share from my recent month long journey into 4 installments. Here begins the kick off…

I embarked on the morning of Sunday, July 28th from Mifflinville, PA waiving goodbye and blowing kisses to my wonderful girlfriend and our dogs… over that first week, my daily landings were -

Night 1) my dear friends’ Alison and Jarrod’s house in Bloomington, IN

Night 2) Clinton State Park, KS

Night 3) Roosevelt National Forest near Boulder, CO

Night 4) Shoshone National Forest, WY

and on Thursday August 1st I landed in at another dear friends, by the name of Jessie, in Bozeman, MT. The week on the road was long, covering roughly 500 miles and 8-9 driving hours a day, but enlightening, as any good road trip should be! Alongside the beauty and diversity of this beautiful country, I had a few fun surprises and chance encounters as well to add to the beauty of the human element of the story.

The first week was mainly focused on the art festivals, having done the Sweet Pea Festival in Bozeman and then the Sun Valley Festival in Idaho, the first two weekends of the trip. Both were successful ventures filled with amazing people, incredible conversations and one of the most heart warming sale moments I have experienced to date! I don’t want to name names, but I will hint that it took place in Bozeman and had to do with Glacier National Park😉

The Sun Valley Festival actually came as some surprise, receiving a phone call from the wait list on the Monday morning after Sweet Pea! So the week in between I only had a few days to play with and decided to spend a night and day in Grand Teton National Park before making my way over to Ketchum/Sun Valley.

Having driven through the Tetons before but it being the National Park I had visited and NOT hiked/camped in was a big to-do for me on this adventure! I was able to make good on that, a couple times actually as you will see from my next installment! But until then, here are a couple journal excerpts and iPhone pics(these are NOT finished photographs, though some may be scenes that I did expose film of😉) from a mind-blowing 24 hours in the Tetons and then an adventure day I gave myself in the Sawtooth National Forest the Monday following Sun Valley (it is after all, right there!)

August 7th - “At last, taking an actual hike in the Grand Tetons, and it is nothing short of breathtaking! Following the Lupine Meadows Trail to the junction of Surprise Lake Trail upward and over to the Valley Trail and on to Bradley Lake, I hiked through lush forest and open meadow, what looked like perfect Grizzly terrain, full of Indian Paintbrush, Asters, and what look like Blue Bells and Iris. I have come to rest at this stunning scene of the Tetons towering before me as if rising out of the lake itself!”


That evening as I hiked out, a storm came rolling through the mountains and provided one of the most mind-blowing sunsets I have ever witnessed… unfortunately it was one of those moments where I knew I had not the time to set up the view camera, compose a photograph and capture it before the moment was gone, so i just enjoyed it and boy am I glad I did!😍


August 12th - “As the light goes down in the backcountry, just be here, find yourself in this moment of silence amidst giants. Only the caw and wing flap of the birds pierce the pure silence up here in the moonlit twilight of the Sawtooth’s.”…