photography

A KARIBBEAN VACAYSEAN

In June I was honored to be apart of the – hands down – best wedding I have ever been to and possibly the best wedding that’s ever happened. Yes, Karie is possibly the most laid back bride ever to have existed, which does lend its part to a fun and laid back soiree, but the camaraderie and love found in everyone present is simply unmatched.

Rarely anymore – I feel – families and friends come together at a wedding not just to celebrate and support, but also to play a personal role in the process of the festivities. With Karie and Sean’s wedding you saw love on display as those who support them entirely lent their hands in scavenging for perfect florals, cleaning up the grounds so not a leaf was misplaced, or even just making sure hydration was happening and good tunes were playing overhead. It felt so inclusive and so special to be a part of.

Karie is not the person to post an album of wedding photos to any sort of social media platform, and as always this blog serves as visual documentation of special moments in my life, so I’m posting some of my favorite selects that she shared – taken by our incredibly talented friend, John Hook.

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calibron

As I mentioned, last summer, I completed my first 14er when I hiked to the top of Mt. Democrat.

Democrat is part of the “Decalibron” trail – a trail that passes through the peaks of four 14ers: Mt. Democrat, Cameron, Lincoln, and Bross. We went back this past weekend to tackle the rest of Decalibron. #Calibron

I have no idea how long it was, or how much elevation we gained, but I CAN tell you that I’ve slept soundly the last three nights, and my legs are just now recovered from being tired tired tired. I will also note that It’s a very strange feeling to be what I can only describe as “Mountain Hopping” – knocking out three in a day. A strange feeling, indeed.

1 - Cameron's Up there! 1 - Climbing Cameron 1 - View from Cameron1 - Cameron

View from the top of Mt. Cameron! Now, off to Lincoln. This particular hike is GREAT for anyone who easily loses their way on trails. The entire way the trail is very distinct and visible. See below – from the top of Cameron you can see your way all the way to the next peak!2 - Headed to Lincoln2 - trail to lincoln

2 - Mt Lincoln Seal

At the top of 14ers there SHOULD be geological markers (if you can find them). I was only able to track down the marker at the top of Lincoln. I love them so so much. It’s like finding a little piece of treasure where you’d least expect it. 2 - Lincoln Summit TWO! Summitted Lincoln! And off to Bross…

3 - Trail to Bross

Again, off to Bross following a totally defined trail. Check it out moving all the way off to the left.

photo-83 - BrossFinally made it, and not a moment too soon. Gorgeous. Exhausting.

3 - Mt Bross Summit3 - Bross Summit 4 - Long road down

The one really difficult portion of this hike was the way back down. Just when my legs thought they couldn’t take anymore, I forced them to do more. Returning to the base down the back of Mt. Bross you follow a trail that’s under reconstruction – i.e. you follow a trail that is loose rock, narrow, and pretty steep for a really, really long time. The dogs were barking.

4 - Nearing the bottomView from the bottom! Phew! Glorious glorious flat land!


wild animal sanctuary

Denver isn’t just microwbrews and handmade festivals. Which is why yesterday, on an overcast, rainy Sunday we headed to The Wild Animal Sanctuary, about 45 minutes northeast of the city in Keenesburg, Colorado.

For a few years I’ve been meaning to visit the sanctuary, but I’d never gotten around to making the trip. To everyone I say: Go. Go now. Go 5 minutes ago.

This was one of the coolest places I’ve been. Unlike a zoo, the animals are living in wide open spaces. The sanctuary is located on 720 acres (and expanding) of land and is home to 290 lions, tigers, bears, coyote, and a ton of other big cats and interesting animals. Because they have space to stretch out with their pride/families/buddies, they act like themselves vs. their sad, “boring” zoo counterparts.

We saw bears fighting and swimming, heard lions roaring and wolves howling, and watched tigers prance around like happy kitties.

photoTip: Every day, the sanctuary is open until dusk. We had a couple staff members tell us that if we come in the future but don’t have a lot of time, come during that 3-5pm time slot at the end of the day to get your money’s worth. At dusk the animals get most active – playing, running, making noise, and celebrating the end of a hot day.

I would also encourage going on a cloudy/overcast day like we did. It kept the beating sun away, and I was told when the sun is out and scorching hot, the bears hide in their caves and the animals tend to lay around, exhausted from the heat.

1 Rehab

All of the animals who come to the sanctuary are rescued from homes, circuses, breeders… all over. These tigers were new to the sanctuary, and are in the rehabilitation center where they’ll kick it for a while before running lose in the open fields.3 Close Up 2 - Big Kitty

Big kitty.19 Tiger Stare5 Lots of Bears 6 - Bear Food 7 Standing Grizzly

Grizzlies. Big, scary grizzlies.

IMG_14318 Bear Bath

9 Looking Tasty 18 MaxMax, our 1,600 pound Kodiak friend. Max likes to chill out in his private tub and put out the vibe for the ladies.4 Lions 10 Happy Kitties 11 Feeding TimeLining up to be fed. Feeling nervous for whoever’s job it was to drive around the golf cart filled with raw meat.15 Never Turn BackTurning your back on more than 30 bears is a really good way to get yourself eaten. Posing for a picture made me more than nervous.

IMG_142613 WolvesMore than one of our furry friends looked at us as potential lunch yesterday. This did nothing to ease my worries about what lurks in the dark while we’re camping…

14 Wolves