Wow this summer just flew by! I've been so busy the past couple months that I haven't even had a chance to do much personal photography. I never even made it out to the desert to shoot the Milky Way which breaks my heart, but I'm still holding out hope that I'll be able to fit it in this month...if this record breaking heat wave ever breaks!
Working with clients and sponsors requires a tremendous amount of behind the scenes work that most people can't even imagine. A lot of people think it's just a matter of showing up with a camera and clicking the shutter and have no idea of the planning, coordinating, scheduling and rescheduling, researching, phone calls, e-mails, making contacts and building relationships, and trying to figure out what to do when a wildfire is actively burning the trails on which I had planned to shoot that is involved, not to mention all of the work that comes after the shoot. But I love every minute of it, even when it means I have less time for social media and my house is a disaster!
Since most of my writing (and much of my photography) about off road adventures, including trail reviews, has been published on Nitto Tire's DrivingLine instead of my own blog, I've created an index of my articles to make them easier to find. The index also includes trail reviews I've shared on my blog over the years, and you can check it out at Lori Carey - Published Articles.
Articles recently published on DrivingLine are:
Off Road in the Santa Ana Mountains
A wildfire is currently burning in the Santa Anas and the four main trails through the mountains are closed. At one point the fire was at the intersection of Main Divide and Bedford Canyon, the trails mentioned in this article. These are my close to home, "backyard" trails and I'm saddened to think that it will probably be several years before they are open again. At least I was able to get out there one last time before the fire.
Big Bear's Holcomb Creek Trail
Climbing Up Big Bear's John Bull Trail
I had an awesome time in Big Bear with 4 Wheel To Heal and the Misfits Offroad Club in July. We did two Black Diamond (most difficult) trails and I reviewed both of them. I really count on my husband as co-driver when I'm photographing trails because I end up walking most of the trail while he wheels my Jeep (a good trade off for him!). These steep rocky trails gave me a good workout!! I love my SpiderHolster when I'm doing this kind of shooting! Having the weight of my cameras on my hips make such a big difference in this terrain. I had sprained my ankle right before the trip, so even though I had it wrapped well all of the scrambling on the rocks was brutal. And to top it off I got stung by a bee! But we got some kickass wheeling shots, those Misfits really know how to have fun!
Preparing for Off Road Emergencies - Part 1
Preparing for Off Road Emergencies - Part 2
September is National Preparedness Month and I did a two-part series on being prepared for off road emergencies. This is such an important topic; every season we hear tragic stories of people who weren't prepared when something went wrong in a remote area. Even a casual day trip with the family can turn deadly if your vehicle breaks down in a remote area with no cell phone signal to call for help. If you do any technical wheeling the risks are even greater; over the past few years I've seen two deaths at off road events and came across one guy whose bike went off a cliff on a steep canyon trail where there wasn't even room for a helicopter to land. A few years ago a friend snapped an axle on a flat easy desert trail and we had to McGyver the axle well enough to be able to tow his rig out, another time a friend got two flat tires at once when we were exploring an area with sharp volcanic rocks hidden under the sand...there are too many things that can wrong out there. You need to be self sufficient and ready for anything for out there. Don't get caught off guard!
The day after Part 2 published I received this note from one of my followers:
What Would Lori Do?
I read every article you post. I even remember the story you shared where you were out on another adventure and your water pak leaked. You thought you were a gonner... I remember you mentioned something to the effect of you can never have enough water.
The Tuesday right after Labor Day weekend I decided to hike Granite Mountain Lookout up here in Snoqualmie, WA. I knew it was over eight miles roundtrip of steep, rocky, punishing terrain. This time I carried a gallon of water in my pack; I never carry anything more than two 20oz containers for shorter day hikes. Anyway, on my return I came across a 14 or 15yr old kid that was doubled over and complaining of cramps. His face looked green (remember the Mr.Yuck Mouth stickers?). He was completely out of water. He told me his friends took off without him. I really don't know if he had anything other than his iPhone... I stayed with him for about 10 minutes to assess his condition. The good news is I still had a lot of water in my reserve one gallon so I filled his empty container. I nursed that kid back to health by giving him my Tums, an energy bar, and even my crackers spread with Nutella haha.
So thanks for your tips. Thank you for reminding me to plan for the unexpected.
That note made my day! The story he is referring to is one I posted on GooglePlus last summer, The Day I Almost Died, when I talked about the time my hydration sprang a leak on a long desert hike and I fought a dangerous battle against dehydration and heat exhaustion. It is scary how quickly things go downhill without water in the desert. Many others chimed in on that post sharing similar experiences and their stories are worth reading.
There's so much more going on but I don't want this blog post to become a novel (and I need to get busy!) so I will save the rest for next time!
The first and last photos on this post are from Cachuma Lake in Santa Barbara County. Not my typical place, it was very crowded and I'm not big on organized campgrounds but I was up there to shoot for the SURTHRIVE+THRIVE article. I managed to sneak away on my own one night and one morning. During my scouting in the evening I had decided that the best shots were going to be in the morning and I had my locations all picked out. It's always fun heading out in the dark, never knowing exactly what you'll see when the sun rises. I wasn't expecting the heavy fog that didn't burn off until midday but it wasn't a complete disappointment as I loved the way the earl morning sunlight broke through the fog and reflected on the lake.