nature, photography, running, travel

what it’s all about

2 boats

Two Ships, a Smile and a Wee Berg

Lessons learned, from my recent trip:

  1. Take more trips with Mom!
  2. Make sure all the lenses I bring along for my digital SLR will work with the digital SLR. It was such a disappointment to not have a telephoto, for some of those wildlife shots! Still, I was very happy with my 18-55mm lens. The wider angles are more helpful, for telling stories in photos (or so I rationalize, now).
  3. Use the RAW + JPEG image quality setting on my digital SLR – which means I also need to bone up on which buttons to push, to fine-tune the exposure settings for each shot. Oh, the adjustments I need to make, in my conversion from a film camera! I’ve started reading the guide book that I’ve got for the camera, finally, and will give myself exercises to practice using the settings. In general, I’m extremely happy with the photos from my trip, shot on my Canon Digital Rebel and my Canon Powershot S110. As such, I’m disappointed to find that none of them will print well at sizes larger than 5×7, and I’d love to frame up one or two, to hang around the house. The ease of digital photography has made me a lazy shooter, these past few years! Still, I love how easy it is to share photos, with people far and near, these days.

Despite the camera foibles, the trip was about spending some time with mom, and experiencing some Alaska. It was a victory!

On a related note, this past weekend I finally got out onto some trail, for a pretty long trail run (for me. We went 13.5 miles). I joined my primo rain garden builder/fellow climber/ultra runner Shawn, and new acquaintance Adam for a couple hours at the Louisville Swamp, early Sunday morning. You would think that a Minnesotan who just spent some time in Alaska would run AWAY from something called a swamp in July in Minnesota. But no! Skeeters be damned, we did it, and enjoyed it. We outran them, most of the time. What a beautiful place to run! We flushed out about five Great Egrets in one of the open-water areas, marveled at a beautiful glacial erratic in a clearing, discussed recent adventures at length, and got a damn good workout in some thick mud (the park floods three out of every five years). I hadn’t run much more than five miles, in three weeks (I did 13 road miles, three weeks ago). However, I felt strong, even in the last of our 13.5 miles. I fully admit to some soreness, a day later, however, in the outer fronts of my shins, and in my lower back. This must be due to the mud “running” we did.

My weekend plans this summer, so far, haven’t allowed me to get much trail running in, and I’ve missed it! It really is a very enjoyable way to run, especially when you have people to do it with. I’d nearly forgotten! And though I claim to still have little interest in running any further than about 25k/15 miles, now I’m thinking that trail running can be a great way to enjoy a lot of beautiful natural scenery. Maybe an ultra is in my future? We shall see. That’s what it would be about, for me.