I know that it's the 20th of July. And that I haven't posted my June post yet. And, well, part of the reason is because my computer's been acting up lately and having issues connecting to the internet, but the bigger reason is that I don't miss using the internet on my computer all that much, and thus haven't really bothered trying to figure it out. So, if you're someone who's been regularly checking my blog to see if I've posted yet, I'm sorry. (Also, sometimes I doubt that those kind of people exist. Because I just sit here and ramble, and I don't know if people actually enjoy reading that. But if you do, thanks! And if you don't, well, you are now, so thanks for that too!) Anyway...
The first weekend in June brought about an unexpected quick trip home for a family funeral. It was a weekend full of so many mixed emotions; a little bit of sorrow, a
touch of pain, a whole lot of joy, but mostly, a heart full of thankful, for the friends and family and faith that I know will always welcome me home. It's hard to be so far away from family and
friends for long periods of time, but that whole 'distance makes the heart grow fonder' saying? It's true.
It was so nice to be able to go home and see everyone, even though it wasn't ideal circumstances. And it was hard to come back to Wyoming. But it was even harder to
leave Michigan knowing that everyone would be getting together in the U.P. a few weekends later for St. John's services. Seeing everyone's social media posts that weekend made me long to be
there, but also made me realize how much I truly love being surrounded by fellow Christians. I know that I don't take those gatherings for granted when I'm there, but I also don't think that I
appreciate them nearly as much as I should. Calling in and listening to Sunday night's service from the side of a mountain overlooking a valley...it was nice, but I would have traded a lot to be
sitting in the packed sanctuary of Calumet church, rather than alone, 1000 miles away. But, this is the summer that I chose, and I'm still glad I did, even if it does get hard from time to
Whenever I get bored in the evenings here or don't have much ambition on the weekends, I go for drives with my camera through the park. Sometimes I find things to photograph, sometimes I don't. But I love having the time to wonder at the beauty that is this place, to get lost in my own thoughts, and to go back to the therapeutic nature of photography that got me started with all of this in the first place.
Andy hadn't bothered to bring his skis when we first came out here, thinking there would be no snow, but he regretted it pretty quickly. So when we went home for the quick weekend, he brought his skis back with him. The following weekend, we went for a drive in search of some ski-able snow.
And while Andy and Logan hiked up and skied down, I hung up my hammock and read my book. It was so much more enjoyable. And way more along the lines of what outdoor activities in June are supposed to be like.
(Also, if you're looking for a book to read and haven't read Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand, I definitely recommend it.)
The following weekend, Andy and I did an 8 mile hike around Jenny Lake. My mom had come out here to visit a few summers ago, and when Andy and I decided to come, she raved about this hike. So naturally, we had to check it out. The eight miles offers quite a few different trails, and plenty of gorgeous views. A few waterfalls, the mountain lake, forests, rocks, wildflowers, a couple critters...
I have yet to go fro a drive and not see some type of wildlife. You usually see buffalo, a few antelope, occasionally elk and moose, and if you're lucky, bear. But, even when you see them, they aren't always close enough to the road to get good photos, and it's highly advised against to wander out in the fields to get closer. These buffalo that look awkward and clumsy? They can get up to 35mph in a matter of seconds, and every year a tourist or two or three get a little too close and winds up injured.
I did get lucky and spot some bear a couple of times while driving through the park. And both times, I was frustrated with the evening light, while also extremely jealous of the camera equipment of those around me, who had much more powerful zoom lenses, which, no doubt, resulted in much, much better photos.
My dear friend Natalie came to visit at the end of June, until the fourth of July. It was so great to have a new adventure partner, and to just be able to catch up on all the things I've been missing out on being away. We didn't do too many crazy adventurous things, and I wasn't taking pictures the whole time, but between the both of us, we ended up with quite a few photos. Of course, it helps that we're both photographers.
The first night that she was here, we checked out a chuckwagon dinner per the recommendation of one of my coworkers, and I'm still kicking myself that I didn't bring my camera along. But Natalie did, and I'm really hoping she includes it in her blog post of her trip!
On Friday we went for a hike around String Lake. Natalie has a blog post up of this hike as well.
After the hike, we drove through the park, and made a pit stop at the famous barn in front of the Tetons. This is probably the most photographed barn in the state.
As we were driving out to Teton Village one night we came across a baby moose and it's momma on the side of the road.
And the fourth? Well the fourth was an adventure. Natalie had her camera with her in the morning when we went to the parade in town. A classic western event, as much of the events in Jackson are. Go check out her blog post to see the photos!
After the parade, we came home, did a cookout for lunch, and then headed into the park to do a quick photo shoot. I'll (hopefully) do a separate blog post of those photos, as there's so much gorgeousness to share :)
And then, in the evening, we headed to the rodeo back in Jackson Hole. I had gone to the rodeo years ago when my family vacationed here, but as I was still in elementary school, I don't have very clear memories of it. But I do remember having an absolute blast, and we had heard that the fourth of July was an extra special show. The rodeo was followed by the classic fourth of July fireworks, complete with patriotic music playing along. So much fun!
Thanks again for coming , Natalie, I had so enjoyed your stay :)
And, if you're wondering why this blog post claims to include June and July, well, it's because I no longer, although I hope it's only temporarily, have a camera. Last week while taking pictures of a lightning storm from the balcony, my camera fell off of the tripod, onto the hard wood, and broke. It's currently getting an estimate on repairs, which means, for the first time since ninth grade, I don't have a DSLR camera in my possession. Or really, any camera for that matter, since my phone has been dropped a few too many times and now has a broken lens that can't focus. Front camera and close-ups are all I have now. There's been moments in the last few weeks where I so wished I had my camera, but overall, it's been kind of nice.
But, I'm really, REALLY hoping that I have my camera back by the time the family gets here at the beginning of August for a week of camping. If not, I'll be renting one, because there's no way I'll miss out on documenting the first family camping trip we've done since way too long ago. I should have a blog post of August up sometime after my summer here ends, but be sure to check back before then, as I have a few more things to catch up on and share.
Until then, enjoy your summer!