Thursday, August 14, 2014

On memories and friendship...

Lately I've been thinking about how I met my various friends, trying to remember the moment I met each of them, or if not the exact moment at least the point where I recognized that they were someone I wanted to spend time with.  Maybe it's because I work at a pest control company, but I've been thinking about one particular encounter a lot and it makes me smile every time it comes to mind.

A few years ago I was starting a new job.  I wasn't in a great state of mind or a good place in my life, but I was trying to make things better by putting my head down, working hard, and powering through it all.  I hadn't genuinely laughed or smiled a lot in a long time, and it was my first week at a new and intimidating job where I didn't really know anyone and I was overwhelmed with trying to learn the work.  Everyone at work had been polite and professional but had given me space, which was great and what I thought I needed. 

Then one day I'm in the bathroom at work, I come out of the stall and in rushes a woman who is frantically pulling off layers of clothing and dancing around like a crazy person right next to me.  She just stops, makes eye contact with me and says one work "Spider", laughs, puts her shirt and sweater back on and walks out with me as I exit.  No apologies or excuses and no embarrassment.  As we walk back to our desks she tells me one of the grossest true stories about spiders I've ever heard and I knew right then and there that we were going to be good friends.

As much as I love the job I have now and as much as I enjoy my co-workers, I miss working with her every single day.  It's funny what can grow out of a single moment.  What have been your most memorable encounters with new friends?  Or what was the moment or event that changed and acquaintance into a solid friendship?

2014 Beaver Mountain Music Festival

This weekend Beaver Mountain Ski Resort will be hosting their annual music festival.  Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (Aug 15-17) come to the mountain to enjoy music, camping, kids activities, food, and fun.  Tickets are on sale now, or you can purchase them at the gate.  If you are feeling lucky, you can try your hand at winning a pair of tickets through their facebook page, just follow this link, and good luck!

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Jackson Hole

Every so often I get the urge to travel.  Most of the time I don't act on it because I can't.  Usually the budget, work schedule, social and/or family commitments keep me fairly close to home.  But sometimes I just have to get out, get in the car and drive.  It doesn't have to be far, just far enough to get me out of my daily life.

Last weekend I got a group friends together to road trip up to Jackson, WY.  Originally I'd wanted to go rafting, but we could never come to a consensus about a river trip, so we spent the weekend meandering and enjoying being on vacation time.

Friday after work we packed up and caravaned (that IS a word, I don't care what spell-check tells me) across a couple state lines until we reached my family's condo in Jackson.  The next morning our friend Michelle set up her booth at the Jackson Farmer's Market on the historic town square and we stopped by to check it out.  The name of her company is Rosemain and she makes incredible pâtes de fruits confections.

We also wandered around town checking out galleries and stores.  One or our stops was at the Mountain Trails gallery at the Northeast corner of town square, to see some works by friends of ours, Barbara and Glen Edwards.  Outside of Mountain Trails gallery there are several metal benches with bronze statues on them.  Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Albert Einstein held court and we posed shamelessly with them.

And Kelda even got to pose with a real life cowboy in the gallery parking lot before we moved on to other random silliness around the town square.

Everyone indulged me in a stop at the Red Velvet Swing for an old time photo shoot (if you want to see our photos just click on "view your photos", select 8/2/14 and click on page 4), then we headed back to the condo for lunch and a bit of a rest before heading out to the national parks.

Don't let your camera out of your sight when Cam's around, even if the camera is still attached to you.  The man is a selfie addict, just sayin'.

I relinquished control of my camera to Carlye, and had her take a couple shots of me looking out over Jenny Lake at the base of Grand Teton.  A storm was rolling in and the light was constantly shifting.  After I got my camera back I returned the favor.

Then we started out towards Hidden Falls, but that was around the time that the lightening got started in earnest and we decided that discretion was the better part of valor, and turned back towards to the cars.

After a short "half an hour" drive (seriously don't trust me, I have no sense of time or direction) we arrived at Old Faithful in Yellowstone park and had dinner in the lodge then waited on the boardwalk for the geyser to erupt.

After the evening entertainment was over we made our way back to the cars, only to find that Tavia's trunk had some how wedged itself shut and nothing we could do would get it to budge.  At one point they started dismantling the back seat to try and get into the trunk, but no such luck.  (Don't worry, the trunk magically fixed itself the next day on the drive home, and there was much rejoicing.)

I used to downtime in the Old Faithful parking lot and the sunset light to make a couple impromptu portraits.

Sometimes I have a really hard time deciding which looks better, color...or black and white.  Sometimes they both work.

On the way home I pulled off to try and take a shot of the moon setting over the tetons.  I have very limited experience with night sky photography, I also had no tripod and no cable release.  These were the best I could do, balancing the camera on the car with a long exposure.

On Sunday some of us decided to go back to Teton National Park and attempt the Hidden Falls trail again.  This time the weather was beautiful and we made it all the way to the falls.  On the way back we encountered wildlife and being the ditz I am, I didn't get any good photos of the main event, even though it was only about 20 feet off the trail.

Some of us got really thirsty on the hike and decided to get a quick drink from the falls.  Yes, we're dorks, and proud of it.

All in all it was a successful trip...everyone had a good time, there was laughter, singing, cooking, nature...and no one got eaten by Booboo the bear up there.  Can't wait to do it again.