ryan.j.drewes: Blog https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog en-us (C) ryan.j.drewes (ryan.j.drewes) Thu, 13 Oct 2022 13:20:00 GMT Thu, 13 Oct 2022 13:20:00 GMT https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/img/s/v-12/u136905509-o242628938-50.jpg ryan.j.drewes: Blog https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog 120 79 Behind the Lens #4 ~ Countryside Art | North Dakota Photography | Barn Art https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/10/behind-the-lens-4-countryside-art-north-dakota-photography-barn-art North Dakota Photography | Landscape Photography Prints | Countryside ArtNorth Dakota Photography | Landscape Photography Prints | Countryside Art

They say by doing the most uncomfortable things that you can think of doing, that’ll you grow the most. Well enter the summer of 2022, when I threw myself in front of the public and was pretty much forced into having conversations. There are days that I don’t feel life conversing at my art shows, but it’s just something that I have to do now. I took notes at every show, as people shared with me their favorite places along their own travels. One of them being Kief, North Dakota. With a population of 8 as of 2020, this old Ukranian settlement held many treasures to photograph. An old abandoned church lay dormant, as the trees encroached, on what was once rightfully theirs. I didn’t really like how it came out though, so here you have a photograph that sums up my very long drive through the Peace Garden State. Oh yeah, that doing uncomfortable things, turns out it’s true after-all. 

To purchase the fine art photography print above in a variety of sizes and products, just hover over it and click away. 

To read my previous Life Out There Blog Series | Behind the Lens #3 click on the link here: Behind the Lens #3

Countryside Art | North Dakota Photography | Barn Art | Blog on Life
 

 

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(ryan.j.drewes) barn art barn prints barn wall art blog on life countryside art farmhouse decor farmhouse wall art fine art photography print landscape photography prints living room art prints north dakota photography rustic artwork https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/10/behind-the-lens-4-countryside-art-north-dakota-photography-barn-art Thu, 13 Oct 2022 13:20:05 GMT
Behind the Lens #3 ~ New Jersey Photographs | Beach Sunrise Pictures | Wall Art Beach House https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/10/behind-the-lens-3-beach-sunrise-pictures Sunrise Art | Beach Sunrise Pictures | Wall Art Beach HouseSunrise Art | Beach Sunrise Pictures | Wall Art Beach House

When people ask me where I'm from, I normally say the Jersey shore. The reaction I get is, "you don't look like the Jersey Shore!" Newsflash, those people don't represent where I originally come from.

Back in 2011, I had an internal pull to buy a camera. I followed that hit and purchased a Nikon d5100 DSLR. On the morning of October 24th, 2011 I took it out for the first time and was able to capture this sunrise amongst the backdrop of Seaside Heights, NJ. At the time my camera was set to automatic mode, and I had no idea what to do other than shoot. So I snapped this shot, did a little bit of editing, and much to my surprise my photography career began at the tender age of 31. 

This specific shot would become somewhat iconic, as in October of 2012, Superstorm Sandy would decimate the New Jersey coastline. In its wake lay a path of destruction, as roads were flooded, inlets were formed, and the pier pictured above would be torn to shreds. The roller coaster which you can faintly see in the distance, would for sometime call the Atlantic Ocean its home. 

All these years later I look back on the photo fondly, because at the time I had no idea I'd be living in Montana all these years later sharing my creations with others. People are actually purchasing my photography prints and hanging them on their wall. What in the actual fuck? 

It just goes to show, with a little bit of hard work, a shit ton of patience, and A LOT of fuck up's anything is possible. 

EDIT: 10/1/22 8.22 AM

My thoughts are with the people in Ft. Myers/Sanibel Island as Hurricane Ian destroyed much of an area I have very fond memories of. The West coast of Florida will alway hold a special place in my heart, and it's an area I'd consider moving to if all things aligned. Those people have a long road ahead of them, but humans are resilient when they need to be.

To purchase the fine art photography print above in a variety of sizes and products, just hover over it and click away. 

To read my previous Life Out There Blog Series | Behind the Lens #2 click on the link here: Behind the Lens #2: Flathead Lake in Montana

New Jersey Photographs | Wall Art Beach House | Beach House Decor | Beach Sunrise Pictures | Landscape Photography Prints | Pictures Of New Jersey 

 

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(ryan.j.drewes) beach house decor beach sunrise pictures blog on life fine art photography print landscape photography prints new jersey coastline new jersey photographs pictures of new jersey wall art beach house https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/10/behind-the-lens-3-beach-sunrise-pictures Sat, 01 Oct 2022 14:25:37 GMT
Behind the Lens #2 ~ Flathead Lake in Montana | Montana Wall Art | Blog on Life https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/8/behind-the-lens-2-flathead-lake-in-montana Montana Wall Art | Sunset Photography Print | Nature Photography Wall ArtMontana Wall Art | Sunset Photography Print | Nature Photography Wall ArtI'm far from where I want to be in life, but also closer than ever. Montana Wall Art | Sunset Photography Print | Nature Photography Wall Art

Looking back, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't being stupid trying to capture this sunset over the lake photograph, but I felt close enough to safety, that I went for it anyways.

Off to my right on the interpretive trail, lay an eroded Flathead Lake shoreline. A bit further down, the easier route had been blocked off due to restoration. How do I get down I thought to myself? Surveying the shoreline, I found a route which I knew would be rather easy (and others had taken before me), but coming back up was going to give me problems. I slid down the hillside, phone in hand, and set up my camera awaiting the sunset. I took in the scenery and soaked in the moment.

After ten or so shots, I packed up my gear, threw on my backpack and attempted the climb back up. All those years of core exercises and intermittent bouldering would soon come in handy. I pretty much crawled my way up 3/4's of the way grabbing on to whatever I could find, as dirt and pebbles gave way under my feet. The last 1/4 of my climb is where things got dicey. My core was pretty much holding me on the side of the hill as I looked around for something to grab on to. There were a few small stones that quickly slipped through my hands, until I found one anchored into the ground. I grabbed hold of it and swung myself onto the branch of a well rooted evergreen tree. Had I lost my grip at any point, or had something given way, it wasn't too far down to the shoreline, but it would've been one hell of a ride. 

I then swung my second hand around grabbing yet another branch of the evergreen tree and here I was having flashback to my days of tough mudder racing. Hanging onto the branches like o rings, my body turned as I stared directly at the lake. I couldn't help but laugh! I eventually was able to swing myself back around and grab hold of a boulder and make my way back up to the trail. Never once did I feel like I didn't have control of the situation, but it was a quick reminder that even the simplest of adventure, can quickly go wrong. 

So what came of this moment, a beautiful lake house wall decor photography print. Forgive me, I'm trying to play by googles keyword rules here! That evening, I laid my head down with yet another memory to share with y'all. Life is so beautiful ain't it?

To purchase this fine art photography print in a variety of sizes and products, you can click on the photo above.

To read my Life Out There Blog Series | Behind the Lens #1 click on the link here: Behind the Lens #1: Ousel Falls

Art Prints Photography | Blog on Life | Fine Art Photography Print |Flathead Lake in Montana | Lake House Wall Decor | Montana Wall Art | Nature Photography Wall Art | Landscape Photography Print | Sunset Over Lake 
 

 

 

 

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(ryan.j.drewes) art prints photography blog on life fine art photography print flathead lake in montana lake house wall decor landscape photography print montana wall art nature photography wall art sunset over lake https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/8/behind-the-lens-2-flathead-lake-in-montana Fri, 19 Aug 2022 12:54:35 GMT
Behind the Lense #1 ~ Ousel Falls | Waterfall Art https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/6/behind-the-lense-1-ousel-falls Montana Waterfalls | Waterfall Artwork | Waterfall ArtMontana Waterfalls | Waterfall Artwork | Waterfall ArtTen minutes from where I reside, Ousel falls splashes down. It took me a little over a year to go there and finally visit. She roared in anger, as recent rainfall and melting snowpack took hold of the Gallatin River. Montana Waterfalls | Waterfall Artwork | Waterfall Art Hi friends and welcome to my new photography blog series called Behind the Lens. From time to time, I hope to provide you all with a fine art photo that I've taken though-out the years and give a little more explanation behind the shot. I thought this would be a good filler in between some of my longer blog on life posts. So without further ado, let's jump right into it. 

Ten minutes from where I reside, Ousel falls splashes down. It took me a little over a year to go there and finally visit. She roared in anger, as recent rainfall and melting snowpack took hold of the Gallatin River. I watched over the previous days, as the Gallatin rose to near record heights. Little did I know that just about 2 hours to the southeast, the Yellowstone River was also rising to an unprecedented level.

Back in January, I had the pleasure of staying for a night in Gardiner, Montana which sits at the North entrance of Yellowstone National Park. En route to the busy summer town you pass through Paradise Valley which winds its way along the Yellowstone River. Mother Nature would once again flex her arms and remind everyone she’s a force to be reckoned with. Reading the local news reports, I had flashbacks to Hurricane Sandy and how it ripped a part sections of the Jersey Shore. Sections of the road I had traveled on only 5 months ago were swallowed up and washed away. The landscaped forever changed.

As the mist rained down upon me from Ousel Falls, I took a deep inhale and breathed. I smiled and was reminded that everything is, as everything should be. Right here in this moment, was all that I had.

This Ousel Falls fine art photography print, is available for sale in a variety of sizes and products by clicking the link here: Ousel Falls.

Fine Art Photography Print | Blog On Life | Landscape Photography Prints | Art Prints Photography | Montana Landscape Photography | Montana Waterfalls | Waterfall Artwork | Waterfall Art | Ousel Falls Trail 

 

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(ryan.j.drewes) art prints photography blog on life fine art photo fine art photography print landscape photography prints montana landscape photography ousel falls trail https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/6/behind-the-lense-1-ousel-falls Fri, 17 Jun 2022 12:55:37 GMT
Mary Ann (two words no E) | Blogs About Life Experiences https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/6/maryann-without-an-e-blogs-about-life-experiences IMG_5412IMG_5412

Brigham City, Utah, lies nestled along the western slope of the Wellsville mountains. With its main street lined with a variety of mom and pop stores, Brigham City has a real yesteryears American feel to it.

What led me here, was my participation in my second live art show appearance. Having cancelled three previous shows due to the unpredictable Montana weather, I was overly excited to get in my truck and make the four and half hour drive south. With gas prices surging, I knew I more than likely wasn’t going to make a profit, but right now I’m more focused with getting my name out there and having my work being seen.

IMG_5415IMG_5415 Day one brought sunny skies and 80 degree temperatures. My arrival was met with some confusion, as they had another person marked down for the spot I was told to occupy. In fact, when the listing of vendors was brought out, my name wasn’t even on the list. I laughed and thought to myself, “what a surprise!” They’d eventually move me from artisan valley east to artisan valley west, and so my weekend officially began.

I’m learning terms in the art world rather quickly, and with the variety of things I create, I fall under the category of mixed media. For this show specifically, they wanted me to focus just on my photography. I was more than happy to oblige. I set up my table at the end of the alley, and began to catch up on some work. Across from me were two elderly ladies, Mary Ann (two words no E) and Joy, who were lovely to speak with. Joy was nice enough to purchase a print off of me. My first sale of the weekend from a fellow vendor. The name alone says it all. Next to them was a spicy latin woman from Florida. Currently residing with her mom in Utah, we also shared conversations about our whereabouts and creations. The day started off extremely slow, but it was just nice to be outdoors soaking in the warmer temperatures. People strolled the alleyway which only held four of us, but we all kept ourselves occupied the best that we could. It wouldn’t be till later in the day that I gained some traction. I made a few sales, shared some really nice conversations and wrapped it all up by 7pm. I grabbed a pizza afterwards, headed to a truck stop and called it a night. 

Day two brought the rain, so the vendors from both alleyways moved indoors. Twelve of us brought together into one studio. Again the day started slow, so we all got to browse each other’s tables. To the left of me was a man named Thomas. He sold rocks and stones collected over the years and carved them into hearts. His mission, to bring awareness to suicide. His story was very heartwarming. To read more about his business click on the link here: Take Heart Creative Studio.

IMG_5437IMG_5437 Mary Ann (two words no E) whom I mentioned earlier in this post, had sought me out and wanted to buy one of my books, Wandering for Words. Want your own copy? Click on the link here: Wandering For Words. I guarantee you that something in there will make you think! Having perused it the day before, she said she could’t stop thinking about it over the evening and that she needed to purchased it. She wanted me to sign it, just in case one day I made it big. Kind words from a very kind soul. 

Once again I began to make some sales later in the day. I took notice of what people were drawn too, as well as the conversations we were having. My artwork was received very well, and I really was taken back by the amount of people who shared their thoughts and words with me. It was much needed, as I was struggling mentally with some things the previous weeks leading up to the show. 

For years I’ve been banging my head against a wall trying to promote and sell my creations on social media. All I hear are crickets though, and if I’m being honest, I was allowing it to destroy my self worth and joy. Call it a hunch, but something was nudging me to get my stuff out there in person. That same nudge that told me to stop drinking, that same nudge that told me to head west, and that same nudge that continues to tell me to keep going. I feel like my creations are more one on one, than sell to the masses, so I figured I’d give it a try. Not only am I facing my fears of having to converse with people face to face, but I’m also continuing the art of putting myself out there. 

While monetarily I took a loss for the weekend, when I look at the overall picture I see a profit. I made some sales, handed out business cards, made connections, met some beautiful individuals, got to visit a new city, and grew just a little more inside. How do I know? Well when the thought of camping out for the night crossed my mind, I remembered that I had a responsibility to get back to in Montana, my newly adopted puppy. I began the four and half hour drive back with a smile on my face and thanked the universe. I looked up to the sky and said, “thank you, I really needed that.”

This photography shot of Union Pacific engine number 1851 is for sale in a variety of sizes and products. Click on the photo to learn more. 

My last post entitled, Sometimes You Just Need To Break Away, dives into the topic of taking a break from Instagram. I left the platform for nearly a month, because I was allowing it to sink my self worth. Read more about it by clicking the link HERE.

Blog On Life | Blogging About My Life | Blogs About Life Experiences | Blogging Creative Writing | Blogging Daily | About Life Blog | Blog On Life | Blogs On Life

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(ryan.j.drewes) about life blog blog on life blogging about my life blogging creative writing blogging daily blogs about life experiences blogs on life https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/6/maryann-without-an-e-blogs-about-life-experiences Thu, 02 Jun 2022 12:36:31 GMT
Sometimes You Just Need To Break Away | Self Healing https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/5/sometimes-you-just-need-to-break-away-self-healing DSC_0874DSC_0874

"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new." ~ Socrates 

Considering the events that recently happened in Uvalde, Texas, I held off from posting this. Why? Because it made me step back and think about how my issues are so irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. I can’t even begin to imagine the grief that those poor victims must be dealing with. That being said, I am human and continue to deal with my own inner world, an inner world which isn’t always friendly at times. So here we go!

Recently I needed some time away from instagram, which in reality wasn’t even instagrams fault, but my own inefficiency to see my own self worth. It’s something that always lurked in the background, but I always pushed it away and continued to do my thing. What is it that exactly set me off? I wouldn’t say it was just one thing, but a combination of many. I’ve been wanting to pull away from instagram for some time, but continued to post because I felt like I needed to. I needed to keep up, because without content, then what would it all be worth? Six years of writing a tale, but does anyone really care is the question I ask myself most? I pour my heart and soul into all of my creative works, and to be honest when my posts don’t receive the engagement I think that they should, it hurts me. Meanwhile some chick with half her tits hanging out only has to post a smile and a wink. And then I’m supposed to believe I need to make better or more up-lifting content? Sure! Or I have to sit here and scroll as #vanlife makes the world seem like everything is perfect. I’m just as guilty of painting the world in sunshines and rainbows at times, so the finger points at me as well. What you see, isn’t always reality, and to be honest at times, I felt like a fraud. Preaching, but not always doing! I’m a very sensitive and highly attuned being, who can easily feel both sides of life, the good and the bad and truly believe that both entities should be shared. But we live in a reality where the good outsells the bad, and quite frankly I allowed this platform to make me feel like shit for sharing what I share. So what do we do?

We step away from it and remember that we control it, and not the other way around. I’ve struggled recently with thoughts of feeling like a failure, especially with where I’m at and with my age. The constant hammering of “I should be doing this” or “I should be doing that” thunders down consistently. If what I feel is reflected back to me, then why I am still not in New Jersey, grinding away at job and in a state that was sucking my soul away? You all see the pretty pictures and descriptive captions, but what you don’t get to see is the amount of time putting it all together. The amount of time I spend freely giving my self away, while i dig myself deeper into a financial hole chasing some dream that I’m beginning to believe won’t ever come to fruition. Many creative pieces put to creation, yet all I perceive are blank stares and silent voices. For some insane reason I focus more on those, than the heartfelt conversations I share with the few who say, “your work is amazing.”

I think it’s human nature to want to be seen, heard and validated and why some receive more than others I’ll never understand. Yet deep down somewhere beneath my skin and bones I’m failing to see all the work I’ve done over the last several years, because I’m still seeking the external validation of others. I can write, I can speak, I can share all I want about how things have changed, how things are going to break, how things are finally going to trend upwards, but until I truly believe it, until I truly believe in myself and my capabilities, I'm gonna sit here and continue to bitch about why others seem to be there, and I’m still perceiving to be here.

The summer of 2022 is going to say a lot, as I throw myself into art shows and interaction with real live hoomans. As for instagram, I’m just going to take it day by day and see what comes up. I’ll post when I want to post, not because I think have to post! And to think there was a time I wanted to be an instagram “influencer” and have all the likes, followers and interaction. Now, I don’t! Social media will never make me, and it certainly won’t ever break me (although it came close.) My hope is that next year, or at the very least within the next couple, I'll be able to take a summer off and travel around selling my heartfelt creations, and I’ll do everything in my power to make it happen. I know success doesn’t happen overnight, but the older you get, the harder it becomes to trust the entire process. When you’re sitting there at 18 you have the entire world in front of you, and while at 42 I still do to an extent, it just doesn’t come as easy. I wouldn’t say I have regrets, but I wish I could’ve done some things differently. Would I trade my new life for my old life, no, but I will say that my old life was definitely a lot easier to an extent. Maybe that’s why so many get trapped into lives of comfortability. The comfort of the known, over the discomfort of the unknown. I’m hoping the discomfort of the unknown will come to an end soon, because if I’m being honest with myself and everyone else still reading this, I’m not so sure how much more of this “trusting in the process” I can take …

 

Want another deep read, click on my post entitled Good Things Happen In Goodbyes.

 

Personal Development Topics | Self Healing | Healing Your Emotional Self | Self Healing Journey | Quotes On Self Growth | Self Love Journey | Self Discovery Journey | Let's Talk Wellbeing | Personal Blogs About Life | Life Experience Blog | Blogs To Read About Life


 

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(ryan.j.drewes) blogs to read about life healing your emotional self let's talk wellbeing life experience blogs personal blogs about life personal development topics quotes on self growth self Ddiscovery journey self healing self healing journey self love journey self worth https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/5/sometimes-you-just-need-to-break-away-self-healing Sun, 29 May 2022 16:38:51 GMT
Hiking Lake Mead | Ghost Town Near Las Vegas https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/5/hiking-lake-mead-ghost-town-near-las-vegas “I used to have nightmares about it. In my mind, the water would come up in a wave." ~ Verna Heller 

I never intended this blog on life post series to have the phrase, "things to do in Vegas besides gamble" in the title, but it just sort of worked its way in. Contrary to popular belief, there's more to life than gambling, drinking and driving fancy cars around. If that's your thing though, more power to you. As long as it brings you great joy and happiness!

For the outdoorsy type, hiking Lake Mead can bring your senses back to center. There are numerous trails to choose from, but on this particular day I kept it simple and chose the St. Thomas trail. An abandoned ghost town near Las Vegas, St. Thomas was once a community of 500 people, until they were forced to leave in the 1930's, due to the construction of the Hoover Dam and the rising flood waters from the Colorado River. To learn more about the origins of this settlement, click on the link provided here: Lake Mead National Recreation Area

When thinking about things to do at Lake Mead, the St. Thomas trail should be on your list. The hike is a two mile loop, with the opportunity to extend it a bit further down to the Muddy River via an unmaintained horse trail. The trail begins with a descent downwards, to where a thriving community once lived. My first impression of seeing the haunted landscape, was of old tree stumps still anchored into the former lake bed. As you make your way further along the trail, you'll eventually enter the beginnings of the town. A post apocalyptic view of tree lined streets awaits you, as concrete structures become visible. Along the way, keep your eyes open for broken glass and other remnants of a period loss to the theory of "doing it for the greater good!" Where have we heard that term used before? I digress!!

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It was hard to decipher whether the broken glass I was finding was from then or now, so I speculated that the rounded and washed pieces were from the former town and the jagged and clear pieces were from teenagers just finding a place to release. If you kept your eyes open, you could make your way off the trail and find some rusted pieces of objects that were once of substance to something. I think my most memorable find, was a piece of a broken plate tucked between the sage brush by the once elegant Gentry Hotel. Along with that, I was able to find some glass shards and crumbled brick pieces. All were neatly placed amongst a shrine towards the back of the former hotel. 

"ghost town near vegas". "hiking lake mead", "things to do at lake mead"IMG_4559 "ghost town near vegas". "hiking lake mead", "things to do at lake mead"IMG_4568 "ghost town near vegas". "hiking lake mead", "things to do at lake mead"IMG_4329

My favorite memory of the exploration, was a photograph that I took sitting upon the steps of the St. Thomas School. An old shot of the students from 1912, depicted an image that I was playing out 110 years later. Oddly enough I could feel their presence, as Valley of Fire state park loomed in the distance. Where does the time go? Nearby I noticed an unmaintained trail, which had been used by horses and what seemed like ATV vehicle's in the past. I decided to follow my senses and it would lead me down to the Muddy river, which was once used as a water source by the tight-knit community. 

"ghost town near vegas". "hiking lake mead", "things to do at lake mead"IMG_4558Screenshot "ghost town near vegas". "hiking lake mead", "things to do at lake mead"DSC_0842 "ghost town near vegas". "hiking lake mead", "things to do at lake mead"DSC_0846

Once back on the trail, I continued my exploration of the St. Thomas ghost town near Vegas. I'd pass a few more structures including the aforementioned Gentry Hotel, the Gentry General Store and the Gentry house. All of them sitting broken and ruined, frozen in time. These foundations and concrete formations all re-appeared, as the water levels in Lake Mead rapidly receded over the on-coming years. In 1945, 1963, and 2012 reunions of former residents and family members took place. 

If you're looking to do things outside of Las Vegas, add the St. Thomas trail to your itinerary along with a visit to the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. You may just surprise yourself in finding that what happens in Vegas (or just outside of Vegas), you'll actually want to share. 

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To peep the first part of this series, click my blog post entitled Lake Mead Echo Bay: HERE

To peep the second part of this series, click my blog post entitled Hiking Valley of Fire: HERE 

Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you can receive photos not published in my blog posts, updates on new fine art photography prints listed for sale, and news that that non-subscribers won't receive. You can subscribe by clicking the link here: Subcribe.

Lastly to browse more Landscape Photography Prints, please browse my Landscape Photography Prints Portfolio by clicking here: Landscape Photography Prints.


 

 

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(ryan.j.drewes) blog on life ghost town near las vegas ghost town near vegas hiking lake mead lake mead national recreation area things to do at lake mead things to do in vegas besides gamble things to do outside of las vegas valley of fire state park https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/5/hiking-lake-mead-ghost-town-near-las-vegas Mon, 09 May 2022 15:23:03 GMT
Hiking Valley Of Fire | Things To Do In Vegas Besides Gamble https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/4/valley-of-fire-hikes-things-to-do-in-vegas-besides-gambling  "Transformation is a process, and as life happens there are tons of ups and downs. It’s a journey of discovery – there are moments on mountaintops and moments in deep valleys of despair" – Rick Warren

"hiking valley of fire", "things to do in nevada", "valley of fire state park", "spiritual gift", "spiritual journey"DSC_0803

Continuing on the theme of things to do in Vegas besides gamble, let's take a spiritual trip through Valley of Fire State Park, where the rocks are literally set ablaze. To read the first part of this post entitled Lake Mead Echo Bay, click the link here: LAKE MEAD ECHO BAY. Las Vegas to Valley of Fire is about an hour drive one way. If you've had enough of the late nights, bright lights, booze and ooze, then make your way out to this mystical place. Valley of Fire State Park is a geological art show. The red sandstone, orange limestone, natural arches, and windy roads are sure to set your senses into overdrive. 

Upon entering the park, you're given a glimpse of what the interior has to hold. A short drive upwards leads to the crest of Valley of Fire Highway, at which point you look down upon what one could only imagine to be the surface of Mars. A very early morning start to the day, allows you the opportunity to take in the scenery and photograph area's that would otherwise be crowded. As I continued to make my way along the highway, the sun was rising to the east as shadows were casted upon the multitude of colors bleeding out from the rocks. I would pass a groom and his bride having photos taken in their wedding attire and I could only look upon saying to myself, "maybe someday, I'll get to experience moments like this with an other." I smiled and continued along!

Valley of Fire State Park | Beautiful Landscape Photogaphy | Landscape Photo PrintsValley of Fire State Park | Beautiful Landscape Photogaphy | Landscape Photo PrintsUpon entering the park, you're given a glimpse of what the interior has to hold. A short drive upwards leads to the crest of Valley of Fire Highway, at which point you look down upon what one could only imagine to be the surface of Mars ... Valley of Fire State Park | Beautiful Landscape Photogaphy | Landscape Photo Prints


Mouse Tank's road leads you through castle like formations of the red sandstone. It's an iconic spot and if you search the hashtag #valleyoffire on instagram, you'll be sure to see what I'm referencing. Much like when I entered the park, it was still relatively quiet, so I had plenty of space to take various photographic shots. The one I enjoyed most, is the one I'm sharing below. It's pulled back and gives the viewer an overall vantage point of not only the rocks but the famous trodden road. On my way out the park, the road was lined with instagram worthy shots. You know those ones I'm talking about! 

Valley of Fire Las Vegas | Places to Visit in Nevada | Desert PhotographyValley of Fire Las Vegas | Places to Visit in Nevada | Desert PhotographyI'd say this is one of, if not the most famous photograph with-in Valley of Fire state park. It's pulled back and gives the viewer an overall vantage point of not only the rocks but the famous trodden road ... Valley of Fire Las Vegas | Places to Visit in Nevada | Desert Photography

At the beginning of this post I mentioned about taking a spiritual trip through Valley of Fire State Park. This was my second trip into the park, so I wanted to have a more grounding experience hiking valley of fire. The night prior, I located the Top Of The World Arch Trail which is 4.4 mile loop through the backcountry of the desert. This trail isn't for beginners, as most of it is unmarked and the section coming down from the arch going clockwise can be super sketchy. 

The sun was already blazing as I made way into the endless sands and rock formations. It felt oh so good to be out of snowshoes, snow pants, hats and gloves, and fitted into shorts, a rolled up t-shirt, hiking boots and head band. As I carefully plotted along, I began an incline up. It reminded me a lot of Sedona, Arizona, yet here I was 300 miles to the northwest. Eventually I came to rest along an over look which gave me a gorgeous view of the park below. I closed my eyes and took in all of the suns rays that I could. Making my way further along the trail, I was spiritually gifted with the ability to just blend into one with my surroundings. I was only 2 miles into the back country, but honestly I couldn't be any further away. The rocks sang, the sand danced, and the vegetation breathed life into my soul. I'd eventually make my way to the arch and enjoyed yet another view, but this time overlooking the western edge of the park. I sat and imagined dinosaurs roaming the earth. I wondered what it was like for the first people to witness these surroundings? Underneath the arch, hidden towards the back laid a military style box. Out of curiosity I opened it, and inside were log books of people who had made it to the top before me. I read through the catalog of entries which dated back to 2001. I had my book From Heartbreak to Heart Awake with me, so I decided to leave it. Inside the front cover I left a note which read, "for anyone who makes it up here and has a hurting heart, I hope this finds you well." When I mentioned this was a spiritual trip, hiking valley of fire was everything and more. 

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Desert Landscape Photography | Photography in Desert | Red Rock PhotographyDesert Landscape Photography | Photography in Desert | Red Rock PhotographyThe desert holds secrets, in which silence brings about ... Desert Landscape Photography | Photography in Desert | Red Rock Photography

The final mile of the hike was spent in wonder and awe, as I relished in it all. My water was running low, so I knew I couldn't spend too much more time out there so, I headed back. Seeing my truck in the distance was a welcomed site, but what wasn't, was the prickly thing that ripped my leg open from kneecap to shin bone. OK, I'm being a little overdramatic there, but it did leave me with a gnarly blood drawn scratch. Here I was so excited about not having to deal with any bears, that I forgot about all the spiny things strewn about out in the desert.

There's a lot more to do in Valley of Fire state park, but for this specific day, I took in all that I could. If you're thinking of taking a trip from Las Vegas to Valley of Fire I say JUST GO, because you won't ever forget it. 

Part 3 to come ...

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~~~

To peep the first part of this series, click my blog post entitled Lake Mead Echo Bay: HERE

To sum ahead to part three of this series, click my blog post entitled Hiking Lake Mead: HERE

Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you can receive photos not published in my blog posts, updates on new fine art photography prints listed for sale, and news that that non-subscribers won't receive. You can subscribe by clicking the link here: Subcribe.

Lastly to browse more Landscape Photography Prints, please browse my Landscape Photography Prints Portfolio by clicking here: Landscape Photography Prints.

 

 

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(ryan.j.drewes) fine art photography print hiking valley of fire lake mead echo bay landscape photography prints las vegas to valley of fire spiritual trip spiritually gifted things to do in vegas besides gamble valley of fire state park https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/4/valley-of-fire-hikes-things-to-do-in-vegas-besides-gambling Wed, 27 Apr 2022 13:02:41 GMT
Lake Mead Echo Bay | Things To Do In Vegas Besides Gamble https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/4/lake-mead-echo-bay-blog-on-life ~ The desert holds secrets, in which silence brings about ~

Moapa Valley | Sunrise Art | Living Room Wall ArtMoapa Valley | Sunrise Art | Living Room Wall Artfebruary of 2020 before the world went to complete shit, i spent a couple of nights overlooking this basin. i had no idea that two years later, we'd still be dealing with the residues of it. some countries worse off than others! this place was just as beautiful as i remembered it and it's a memory NO ONE will ever be able to take away from me. EVER ... Moapa valley | Sunrise art | Living Room Wall Art

Homing is described as relating to an animal's ability to return to a place or territory after traveling a distance away from it. Somewhere in the deserts of America's southwest, I can hear the drums beating, feel the flames burning, and see the rocks breathing. There's a vibrant energy that flows through the sand and a mystical element that lays dormant within. What is it about the desert that speaks to some, yet remains so silent for others? For me personally, Sedona, Arizona has been a place for plenty of spiritual healing and inner cleansing. But for the sake of this specific blog on life post, I'm going to focus on my most recent excursion into the southwestern desert of Nevada.

A few weeks ago I took a roadtrip from Montana to Nevada, where my plans were to gamble, drink heavily and be involved in all sorts of debauchery. Wait, let's rewind that! A few weeks ago I took a roadtrip to Nevada, where my plans were to connect, be inspired and reset. A warm breeze and 90 degree temperatures greeted me as I crossed into Arizona from Utah, and shortly thereafter into Nevada. Having passed through Valley of Fire State Park and the Lake Mead National recreation area two years prior, I wanted some more time to explore. So I set up my home on Poverty Flats, high above the Moapa valley floor. With sweeping views of the surrounding landscape, Nevada is so much more than the phrase "what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!" There are other things to do in Vegas besides gamble, but who am I to judge? I have a tattoo on my right hand reminding me of those rambunctious days spent along the Vegas strip.

The Lake Mead recreation area has plenty to offer in terms of exploration and adventure. Add in an off-road vehicle and the opportunities become endless. Best of all, it's just a short 35 minute drive from sin city Las Vegas. The Echo Wash OHV Trail, is about 11 miles in and out, and leads you down to Echo Bay. The route follows a wash, so take caution if heavy rains are forecasted. Along the route you'll pass many geological features, as well as the abandoned Echo Bay Hotel. Built in 1962, it closed its doors for good in 2010 due to the rapid recession of Lake Mead. As you make your way to Echo Bay, the trail forks in two directions. If your vehicle is strong enough to climb the hill to the right, you're afforded a pretty view of the bay below. Off to your left will lead you to the shoreline. Again be weary of your vehicle if you're confident enough to drive down there. The lake bed is super soft and remnants of vehicles getting stuck were clearly visible. Take time to explore the area as you find relics cemented in the mud, and seashells of days gone by dried up on the hills.  Lake Mead National Recreation Area | Desert Photography | Moapa ValleyLake Mead National Recreation Area | Desert Photography | Moapa Valleycatch me if you can ... Moapa Valley | Lake Mead National Recreation Area | Landscape Wall Art "lake mead recreation area", "lake mead echo bay"DSC_0732                                  "lake mead echo bay", "ghost town near vegas". "hiking lake mead", "things to do at lake mead"IMG_4088 "southwestern desert", "lake mead echo bay"IMG_4095

Continue your way along Northshore road and wind your way through a variety of landscapes. I decided to take my truck off the highway near the Redstone Park area and make my way north into the Bitter Spring Valley. A short distance in, I parked my truck and sat on a boulder. I closed my eyes, as the sounds of my heartbeat, wind and breath synchronized into one. What is it about the desert that speaks to some, yet remains so silent for others? Questions that only the witness can answer! The off-road trail I had turned on would eventually lead me back to the beginning of the Echo Wash OHV Trail, so I decided to call it a day.

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"things to do in vegas besides gamble", "lake mead national recreation area",  "southwestern desert".  "blog on life"IMG_4143

Upon my return to Poverty Flats, I was greeted to a magical sunset. A colorful sunset! A sunset that reminded me that, "Ryan, you're home!"

Read part two entitled, Hiking Valley of Fire by clicking: HERE

Ryan

~~~

The first two fine art photography prints posted in this personal blogs about life are available for sale in a variety of sizes and products. Click on the individual photo to find out more.

To peep my blog post entitled Mountain Goat Rendezvous click: HERE

Be sure to subscribe to my newsletter so you can receive photos not published in my blog posts, updates on new fine art photography prints listed for sale, and news that that non-subscribers won't receive. You can subscribe by clicking the link here: Subcribe.

Lastly to browse more landscape photography prints, please browse my Landscape Photography Prints Portfolio by clicking here: Landscape Photography Prints.

 

 

 

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(ryan.j.drewes) blog on life lake mead lake mead echo bay lake mead national recreation area landscape photography prints moapa valley sin city las vegas southwestern desert things to do in vegas besides gamble valley of fire state park https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/4/lake-mead-echo-bay-blog-on-life Thu, 21 Apr 2022 15:03:39 GMT
Lava Lake Montana | Bozeman Hikes | Things to do in Big Sky Montana https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/4/lava-lake-montana "In spring I have counted 136 different kinds of weather inside of 24 hours." ~ Mark Twain

Even though winter still lingers in Montana, I'm mentally and physically checked out from it. With that in mind, I figured I'd leave ya'll with one last wintery blog about life entry which involves Lava Lake, whom lies about 3 miles deep into the Lee Metcalf Wilderness. 

Nature Best Photography | Nature Photography Prints | Photography Prints for SaleNature Best Photography | Nature Photography Prints | Photography Prints for Saleduring the summer, the parking lot for this trail can be completely full. during the late fall/winter it can be completely empty. i walk a very fine line of wanting to be around people and then just as quickly wanting to spend time alone. there's something much different about heading out into the woods alone. a spiritual experience in many regards. here's the thing though, i have no issues being out there alone amongst wild animals and the elements, but there is one thing i do fear, the thought of experiencing life alone. it's a thought that passes through my mind, especially as i age, but it's a thought that won't make me settle. so i wait! and i continue to wait, while soaking up moments like this. moments when the sun says "hello", moments when the mountains say "be still", and moments when the lake says "you're safe " ...

Nature Best Photography | Nature Photography Prints | Photography Prints for Sale

for more stories and photos, visit my instagram account:
ryan.j.drewes

While there are many things to do in Big Sky, Montana, a hike out to Lava Lake should be on the top of your list. During the summer, the parking lot to the Lava Lake trailhead can be completely filled on any given day. During late fall/winter it tends to be eerily empty. I took the time to experience the trail during it's slumber on three separate occasions upon my return to Montana in the autumn of 2021. I won't get into the details of the trail, because it's a pretty straight forward incline to the lake, and since it is a popular trail amongst Bozeman hikes, there's plenty of information out there on it. I will however, share my own experience of being out there alongside the trees and the mountains that line the Lava Lake Trail

I walk a very fine line of wanting to be around people and then just as quickly wanting to spend time alone. There's something much different about heading out into the woods solo. A spiritual experience in many regards. From the swoosh of the wind, to the creaking of the trees, to the babbling of a stream. Each sound becomes that much more echoing. I have no issues being out there amongst the wild animals and the elements, but there is one thing that I do fear, the thought at times of experiencing life alone. It's a thought that passes through my mind, especially as I age, but it's a thought that won't ever make me settle. Someone reached out to me during the winter and left me with these words: "Don't personally feel like we're meant to be alone. I think we're not meant to fit into situations with people and things that don't resonate with our soul alignment." Those words really struck a chord internally, as I've witnessed a transformation from old to new during my own personal spiritual quest. I've lost and I've gained, only to have felt the stinging pains of loss again.

Montana Photography | Log Cabin Decor | Landscape Photography MountainsMontana Photography | Log Cabin Decor | Landscape Photography MountainsI walk a very fine line of wanting to be around people and then just as quickly wanting to spend time alone. There's something much different about heading out into the woods solo. A spiritual experience in many regards. From the swoosh of the wind, to the creaking of the trees, to the babbling of a creek. Each sound becomes that much more echoing.

Montana Photography | Log Cabin Decor | Landscape Photography Mountains

for more stories and photos, visit my instagram account:
ryan.j.drewes

 

Out here on the trails though, you gain a lot of answers to the questions you ponder. You can think, you can speak, you can scream and you can cry, knowing that the earth will always be there to console you. Spirit led me to Montana in April of 2021 and she told me to stand still. So I'll keep standing still! And I'll continue to stand still, while soaking up the moments when the sun says "hello", breathing in the moments when the mountains say "be still", and feel comforted in the moments when the lake says "you're safe."

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The first two fine art photography prints posted in this piece are available for sale in a variety of sizes and products. Click on the individual photo to find out more.

For more things to do in Big Sky, Montana, check out my blog post entitled: Storm Castle or Beehive Basin.

Be sure to subscribe to my EMAIL list so you can receive photos not published in my blog posts, updates on new fine art photography prints listed for sale, and news that that non-subscribers won't receive. You can subscribe by clicking the link here: Subcribe.

Lastly to browse more Montana landscape photography prints, please browse my Landscape Photography Prints by clicking here: Landscape Photography Prints.

 

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(ryan.j.drewes) blog about life bozeman hikes fine art photography print landscape photography prints lava lake montana lee metcalf wilderness montana landscape photography spiritual experience spiritual quest things to do in big sky montana https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/4/lava-lake-montana Wed, 13 Apr 2022 13:40:28 GMT
Storm Castle | Hiking Bozeman | Hiking in Big Sky Montana https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/4/storm-castle-hiking-bozeman-things-to-do-in-big-sky-montana "The best view comes after the hardest climb" ~ Unknown

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Hiking in the region of Bozeman, Montana can provide you with a plethora of trails. Storm Castle Peak trailhead, which is located around 40 minutes south of Bozeman, is one of the many. With an elevation gain close to 2000 feet and length of 5.2 miles roundtrip, storm castle makes for a great workout with outstanding views from the peak during any point of the year. 

My first jaunt to the top of storm castle peak was during the summer of 2021, August to be more exact. Many if not all of the best hikes in Montana include inclines, and this short yet strenuous hike is no different. I hate inclines, I despise inclines, but I always know at the end of an incline, usually awaits the most spectacular views. The entire trail makes it way up, as it snakes its way through the Custer Gallatin National Forest. Around the two mile mark, you begin to switchback upwards until the last mile. The home stretch leads you through a forest of trees, as you make your way pass the keyhole. This geological formation caused by the magical forces of earth, gives you a scenic view of the Gallatin Mountain Range to the east. A few more yards up the trail will lead you to the actual peak. A narrow ledge overlooks highway 191, giving you sweeping views of the mountains and valleys seen in the distance. I was lucky enough that the smoke from nearby fires had dissipated for the day, leaving me with clear skies and a furry friend to enjoy the moment with.

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Towards the end of December, I decided to make my way up to Storm Castle Peak again, as the snow added a new ambiance to the environment. The gate to the trail head was still open, so the hike remained at a modest 5.2 miles. Micro-spikes attached, I once again began the consistent climb to the top. At about the 1.2 mile mark, an overlook awaits to the right, which provides a nice spot to rest and take in the views. The trail remains relatively used during the winter as well, so the snow was packed pretty much to the top. A small stretch led me through ankle deep snow, but not enough to hinder me from making it to the peak and stopping by the aforementioned keyhole. Once on top, I settled in and enjoyed the same views which I was afforded back in August. This time though, the landscape below was blanketed in powder white, as the sky exploded into a majestic blue. The photo of Storm Castle Peak below, is available for print in a variety of sizes and products by clicking on it. 

IMG_2366IMG_2366 Montana in the Winter | Log Cabin Decor | Landscape Photography MountainsMontana in the Winter | Log Cabin Decor | Landscape Photography MountainsWith an elevation gain close to 2000 feet and length of 5.2 miles roundtrip, storm castle makes for a great workout with outstanding views from the peak during any point of the year ...

 

Once again I visited Storm Castle in early February and late March, this time with the forest road gate being closed both times. This would add an additional 3 miles onto the 5.2 mile trip. The February hike wound up being shared with a local group from Billings/Bozeman. My March excursion found me hitting the trail alone. I was hoping to catch the sunrise from the key hole, but a late start and overcast skies found me mid mountain at just about sunup. A grey sky with a pink hue would await me about a mile into the trail. When I finally reached the top, I had the peak to myself. Seeing storm castle transition through the seasons is something many don't get to experience and I'm blessed to be living just a short 30 minute drive away. A drive that allows me to pass it every time I leave and return to my not so hidden mountain home.

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For more hiking in Big Sky, Montana, click on my Life Out There blog post entitled: Beehive Basin.

 

For more inspirational tales, thoughts and photography visit me on instagram: @ryan.j.drewes
 

Be sure to subscribe to my EMAIL list so you can receive photos not published in my blog posts, updates on new fine art photography prints listed for sale, and news that that non-subscribers won't receive. You can subscribe by clicking the link here: Subcribe.

Lastly to browse more Montana landscape photography prints, please browse my Landscape Photography Prints by clicking here: Landscape Photography Prints.

 

 

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(ryan.j.drewes) best hikes in montana custer gallatin national forest hiking bozeman hiking in big sky montana landscape photography prints montana landscape photography prints storm castle peak https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/4/storm-castle-hiking-bozeman-things-to-do-in-big-sky-montana Fri, 01 Apr 2022 17:01:15 GMT
Levinski Ridge | Big Sky Montana Hikes | Blog on Life https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/3/levinski-ridge-big-sky-montana-hikes "There is a pleasure in the pathless woods, There is a rapture on the lonely shore, There is society where none intrudes ..."

 -Lord Byron

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When I lived back east in New Jersey, I'd have to drive about two hours to the north to reach the mountains. Portions of the Appalachian Trail ran west and south through the northern parts of the garden state. While they held their own sort of beauty, outside my backdoor the tailgate of my truck here in Big Sky, Montana, lies miles and miles of forested/mountainous trails. I debated between a 12 mile and 5.5 mile trek for this unseasonably warm late winter day, and wound up going with the latter. I usually have to mentally prepare myself for longer hikes and just didn't have it in me this time. Click on my blog on life post entitled here: Pioneering a Solo Adventure to read about a time that I did. 

The hike begins at the porcupine creek trail head, but quickly breaks off onto what looked like an unmaintained horse trail. Piles of manure began showing as I made my way uphill, more than likely buried by the winter snow. A little over a mile in, I lost the trail due to the snow cover. My AllTrails map took me across a dormant field of sage, so I followed the tracks, in the hopes that it would re-connect with what supposed to be the trail. A clearing in the field allowed me a spectacular view of Lone Peak, one I had not seen yet during my stay in Big Sky, Montana. 

Mountain Landscape Photography  | Log Cabin Decor | Big Sky PhotosMountain Landscape Photography | Log Cabin Decor | Big Sky Photosthere is a pleasure in the pathless woods, ... there is society where none intrudes -Lord Byron --- for more stories and photos, visit my instagram account: @ryan.j.drewes

Eventually I'd find my way back onto the trail and begin the slow descent up to the ridge. I only made it up a couple hundred feet before it disappeared into the forest. Sometimes my adventure spirit gets the best of me, but on this day I decided to turn around. Once again I was treated to a spectacular view to the west, of Lone Peak in all her beauty, so I stuck around for a bit to soak it all in. The mountain landscape photography print above, is available in a variety or sizes and products by clicking on the photo. 

The spiritual path has led me here, to Big Sky, Montana. Looking back I can connect all of the dots, but in the actual moment it made no freakin' sense. As I sat in the sunshine and soaked up the rays, I thought back to 2002ish. So many similarities linking then to the now. I'm so blessed to have been given the chance to start my life over again. I feel like I'm back in that part of my life again, yet much older and wiser. It hasn't come with-out a lot of hiccups though. Hiccups I continue to burp up at times even today. I'm still learning though, and still growing, and still evolving. Much of it I can attribute to remaining grounded in Big Sky, Montana for the winter of 2022. 

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For more inspirational tales, thoughts and photography visit me on instagram: @ryan.j.drewes
 

Be sure to subscribe to my EMAIL list so you can receive photos not published in my blog posts, updates on new fine art photography prints listed for sale, and news that that non-subscribers won't receive. You can subscribe by clicking the link here: Subcribe.

Lastly to browse more Montana landscape photography prints, please browse my Landscape Photography Prints by clicking here: Landscape Photography Prints.

 

 

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(ryan.j.drewes) big sky montana big sky montana hikes blog on life blogs about life experiences fine art photography print landscape photography prints montana landscape photography mountain landscape photography prints spiritual path https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/3/levinski-ridge-big-sky-montana-hikes Fri, 18 Mar 2022 14:51:56 GMT
Blogs About Life Experiences | Let Freedom Honk https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/3/blogs-about-life-experiences-let-freedom-honk  

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Nothing ever felt right about this whole thing. From the time I was kicked off the beach as I collected my thoughts alone, to the time I received a warning for being in the forest alone. They offered you cheeseburgers, alcoholic shots, weed, doughnuts and the hope of returning back to normalcy. They named it operation warp-speed and told you that it was all for your own good. It went from 15 days to flatten the curve, to 2 years of obey or be outcasted. Then with the thunderous sounds of exhausts and booming reverberations of air horns, the tides began to shift. 

I don't remember when I first caught word of the Canadian trucker convoy protest in Ottawa, but from the moment I began watching the live feeds of regular citizens on the streets, I was immediately hooked. I watched for days as Canadians danced, sang, picked up trash, shoveled sidewalks/streets, shared their individual stories and peacefully protested. A far cry from what the local news stations were reporting. They took their cue from the prime minister Justin Trudeau who called his own people misogynist, racist, homophobic, a small fringe minority whose views were unacceptable and didn't portray the feelings of all Canadians. Terms such as nazis' and rapists' would later pass through the mouths of government officials. He liked to word vomit the number of 90%. He adamantly said that 90% of his nation was vaccinated, much like our own president Joe Biden likes to say that 75% of America is vaccinated. I wonder how many people got vaccinated, because YOU promised them a return to normalcy! Because YOU promised them safety! Because YOU promised them security! Take a poll now and let's see how many regret their decision!

Living in Montana, I was just under 5 hours from the Canadian border. Since I couldn't get across the border due to my vaccination status, I began to search facebook groups in the hope that a rally would form nearby. Unbeknownst to me, a blockade had been set up in Coutts, Alberta in support of the Ottawa protest. I would eventually find a group who was putting together an event in Sweetgrass, Montana in support of the Coutts, Alberta blockade. I made the journey north not knowing what to expect. What I saw, was every race, every age, and every gender show up to something, where like it or not, were all fighting for the same thing. That thing being freedom of choice! For someone to see a young boy driving a toy truck around with a big smile upon his face call this something that it wasn't, will forever boggle my mind. To speak to an eighty year old couple who told their kids they were coming south and didn't know when they'd be back spoke volumes. To watch a US citizen later on in the day hand over a freshly baked lemon meringue pie to that elderly couple could've brought you to tears. Separated only by a plastic chain linked fence, I witnessed friends/families being reunited after two years, hugs being shared, a horse brigade march in, a cop tossing a football around with some young children (who also stated he wished he were on our side), as well as conversations and handshakes that won't ever be forgotten. Unfortunately the blockade was peacefully broken up after the weekend, but not with-out a lot of momentum. 

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A few days later, Trudeau sent in his mercenaries to violently bring the Ottawa protest to an end. My focus then began to turn towards the various trucker convoys forming here in the states. The rhetoric being spoken about in Canada was beginning to trickle its way down south. The mandates began to lift, the noose was being loosened, and the government was beginning to scramble. All in the name of science though correct? Then Russia invaded Ukraine! Just as quickly as I began to focus on that story, I just as quickly pulled my focus back to matters at home. 

I had met a beautiful soul at the border, who mentioned she was putting together a rally for the Northwest convoy originating out of Spokane, Washington which would make its way through Belgrade, Montana just two weeks from the date we had met. I knew immediately, it was something that I had to be a part of. I spent my first few hours at the event directing traffic to their individual parking spots. As the masses were congregating at the Flying J truck stop, I saw adults, children, veterans, horses and dogs all coming together. Night-time fell, and the convoy had finally arrived. I immediately wanted to jump in my truck and follow behind for part of their journey, but I didn't and it's a decision that haunted me for a few days after. 

IMG_3368IMG_3368 IMG_3385IMG_3385 IMG_3395IMG_3395

My mom often jokes with me that I was born in the wrong era, and I used to agree with her on that, until now! Would I have fit right into the late 60's/early 70's? Hell yes! Woodstock? Yes please! But who knows, maybe I would never have been given a chance to speak up or out. Maybe I would've been sent to Vietnam to fight a battle that should never have been fought. Maybe I would've been silenced forever! I'm lucky enough though, to have been born in 1980 and here I am in 2022 speaking up and out about something that's never felt right. The next day I would pull ahead of the convoy just outside of Billings Montana and find an overpass which was filled with trucks, flags, and people all supporting the same cause, freedom of choice! I wanted a moment to myself though, so I drove another 20 minutes east and found an over pass with no one upon it. I reflected on my weekend spent at the Sweetgrass, Montana /Coutts, Alberta border. I reflected on the night prior as I watched the Northwest convoy and a community come together. I reflected on this very moment, while waiting for the convoy to pass and trucks not even a part of it acknowledging me from down below. Finally someone showed up with an American flag. Then a mom showed up with her son and her mother. We stood and waved as the convoy made their way to their final destination. A brief moment in time when I truly felt alive.

Whatever fight you're choosing to fight these days, I see you and I acknowledge you. Keep fighting for whatever you believe in, but don’t ever forget the shit show from the past two years. The lies, manipulation, and coercion all brought about by a corrupt system. A system that very well may have overtaken us, had everyone just remained silent.

HONK, HONK YA'LL ...

B48BB96D-596D-4D6E-9DB0-3569BE0B45BDB48BB96D-596D-4D6E-9DB0-3569BE0B45BD

IMG_3405IMG_3405

For more inspirational tales, thoughts and photography visit me on instagram: @ryan.j.drewes

Be sure to subscribe to my EMAIL list so you can receive photos not published in my blog posts, updates on new fine art photography prints listed for sale, and news that that non-subscribers won't receive. You can subscribe by clicking the link here: Subcribe.

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(ryan.j.drewes) blogs about life experiences freedom of choice truckers convoy https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/3/blogs-about-life-experiences-let-freedom-honk Wed, 09 Mar 2022 14:37:36 GMT
Montana Hiking | Beehive Basine https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/3/montana-hiking-beehive-basine  I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order. —John Burroughs


 

In the village of Big Sky Mountain resort, lies the give or take 7 mile Beehive Basin Trail. My first attempt at reaching the basin during the dead of winter was thwarted by time constraints and waste deep snow. A week later armed with snow shoes and a commitment, I was ready to make the entire trek. I awoke from my slumber the morning of to -5 degrees Fahrenheit, but with icy blue skies and abundant sunshine forecasted, I knew that -5 would eventually feel like a +75.

Having hiked the Beehive Basin in early September, then again in early November, I knew what to expect with its steady incline. If you'd like to see a beautiful shot overlooking the basin, please visit my blog post entitled: Four Seasons in One. The fine art photography print overlooking the basin, is available in a variety of size and products. So off we go, fellow adventurers having traded in hiking boots, shorts and bandanas for snow shoes/skies/spikes, snow pants and fuzzy wool hats. 

The first mile of the Beehive Basin trail is uneventful as you make your way through trees and then open terrain. Those unaccustomed to the elevation change, can find this part to be a bit of a struggle as their lungs began to adjust. I've seen it happen twice already and to be honest, having been out here for nearly a year, mine can still be effected at times. Just over a mile into the hike, you reach a boulder field overlooking Lone Mountain Peak, the gem of Big Sky Mountain ski resort. Have a snack, rest those legs and lungs, and enjoy the view.  If you're lucky enough to have the scenery to yourself, enmbrace the silence. Become one with it, breathe, let go, and release all of your troubles!

The actual hiking trail disappears into the woods ... As you begin to walk deeper into your winter surroundings, you once again begin a pretty consistent incline. I'd argue it's a little bit rougher of a haul, considering the terrain is covered under a thick blanket of snow. Once you reach the Lee Metcalf Wilderness sign, the actual Beehive Basin hiking trail begins to disappear into the woods. I decided to follow what was supposed to be the trail a few yards back, but eventually I knew it was becoming a lost cause. The lyrics to a Taproot song (a band I followed in my younger years) kept reverberating in my head, "you're lost in the woods they say to me", so I returned to my original spot of entry and followed the freshly laid ski tracks, which would eventually lead me the back way into the basin. 

The next mile would lead me along a very beautiful route. To the left of me lay a ridge line, where you could hear the faint conversations of snowboarders/skiers as they ascended their way up. Tracks could be seen where they made their way down, and the thought of an avalanche or two breaking free did cross my mind. Ahead of me lay the Spanish Peaks, with their jagged edges and rigid points painted against a backdrop of blue. I found a boulder nearby which would make a great spot to prop myself up against and soaked in the sunshines rays. After a good twenty minutes had passed, I had contemplated whether to continue onward to the actual basin which laid east just over the tree line and was visible to me, or snow shoe my way up to the ridge line which faced me to the west. I opted out of attempting a ridge line summit, because I didn't feel like dying alone on that particular day. In all seriousness, I do believe it was attainable, but best wait for back up in case something did go wrong. I also opted out of making my way into the basin because I've been there before and had seen everything that I had originally set out for. The hike back was a breeze, being it was all downhill and what had started as a frigid morning, turned into a sweaty afternoon. 

As the years have passed along my spiritual journey, nature has become my sanctuary of peace. A place of refuge from the madness of a sick and decaying world. Those willing to listen will hear her whispers and those willing to feel will embrace her touch. Since I started this life blog post with a quote, it's only fitting that I end it with one. 

There’s a whole world out there, right outside your window. You’d be a fool to miss it. —Charlotte Eriksson


 

For more inspirational tales, thoughts and photography visit me on instagram: @ryan.j.drewes

Be sure to subscribe to my EMAIL list so you can receive photos not published in my blog posts, updates on new fine art photography prints listed for sale, and news that that non-subscribers won't receive. You can subscribe by clicking the link here: Subcribe.

Lastly to browse more Montana landscape photography prints, please browse my Landscape Photography Prints by clicking here: Landscape Photography Prints.

 

 

 

 

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(ryan.j.drewes) beehive basin big sky montana elevation big sky mountain resort big sky mountain ski resort fine art photography print life blog lone mountain peak montana hiking montana landscape photography prints spiritual journey https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/3/montana-hiking-beehive-basine Wed, 02 Mar 2022 16:25:47 GMT
Happy Valentines Day Love | Blogs About Life Experiences https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/2/happy-valentines-day-love Happy Valentines Day Love

Beach Artwork | Coastal Wall Art | Framed Beach ArtBeach Artwork | Coastal Wall Art | Framed Beach Artwhile combing the beach in bay head, new jersey during the spring of 2018, i came across these shells arranged in a heart. my meditation spots are chosen randomly, yet that evening i was guided towards this specific spot. while trying to find a quote to tie into this photo, the first one i stumbled upon was this: "the best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our mind." apparently it's from the notebook, which yes, i've reluctantly seen. what if we stripped away the romantic/hollywood aspect of it and applied it to ourselves? has a much different tone to it now if you ask me ...

Beach Artwork | Coastal Wall Art | Framed Beach Art

for more stories and photos, visit my instagram account:
ryan.j.drewes

During the many seasons of my self love journey, I spent numerous days meandering the New Jersey coastline. While combing the beach in Bay Head, New Jersey during the spring of 2018, I came across these sea shells arranged in a heart. My meditation spots are chosen randomly, yet that evening I was guided towards this specific area. While trying to find a quote to tie into the photo above, the first one I stumbled upon was this: "the best love is the kind that awakens the soul; that makes us reach for more, that plants the fire in our hearts and brings peace to our mind." Apparently it's from The Notebook, which yes, I've reluctantly seen. What if we stripped away the romantic/hollywood aspect of it and applied it to ourselves? Has a much different tone to it now if you ask me.

We tend to focus on Valentines Day as this holiday that celebrates couples and relationships. Meanwhile there’s a whole society of single people out there, mustering through their own shit and inner emotions. The day can be triggering for some people. For me personally, I’ve worked through a lot of the hidden meaning behind it and now look at valentines day as just another day. A day to celebrate if you’re in a happy, loving, healing, evolving relationship and also a day to celebrate if you're happy being with your bad assery single self. 

This love yourself poem is my dedication for all the people living life as single.

valentines day

who’s to say

that being single is so bad

and having no-one is so sad

the relationships you see

aren’t always full of glee

be happy that you’re single

and not stuck with some dingle

draw yourself a bath

or take the netflix path

and celebrate this day

by living life your way

eat a warm baked cookie

or find yourself a wookie

spend some time in nature

or climb an ancient glacier

be mine

you’re so fine

damn little candy heart

just makes me want to fart

buy yourself a card

and mail it to your yard

buy yourself a flower

and reclaim your fucking power

why do you want to kiss

a prince who’s just a miss

why do you want a queen

who’s fixed on being mean

valentines day

who’s to say

that being single is so bad

and having no-one is so sad

so cry if you may

but remember on this day

that everything you need

are in these words for you to heed

happy valentines day love ...

My latest self published creation “From Heartbreak to Heart Awake”, is a self healing book /  journal featuring my own self love poetry, thoughts and word prompts while I recovered from the heartbreaks of my past. Its main intent is assisting the reader to get over heartbreak during their own journey of healing, or reopening a past currently being played out in the present. You can purchase it by clicking the link here: Amazon Author Page.

The heart beach artwork print pictured above is available for sale in a variety of sizes and products. To purchase, click on the photo.

Be sure to subscribe to my EMAIL list so you can receive photos not published in my blog posts, updates on new fine art photography prints listed for sale, and news that that non-subscribers won't receive. You can subscribe by clicking the link here: Subcribe.

 

 

 

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(ryan.j.drewes) beach artwork blogs about life experiences get over heartbreak happy valentines day love living life as single love yourself poem new jersey coastline self healing book self healing journey self love poetry https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/2/happy-valentines-day-love Mon, 14 Feb 2022 16:30:00 GMT
Good Things Happen In Goodbyes | Blogs About Life Experiences https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/1/good-things-happen-in-goodbyes "Why is sunset more colorful than sunrise? It's an irony of life saying: 'sometimes, good things happen in goodbyes."

~ unknown

Big Sky Photos | Big Sky Photography | Scenery PhotographersBig Sky Photos | Big Sky Photography | Scenery Photographers&quot;Why is sunset more colorful than sunrise? It's an irony of life saying: 'sometimes, good things happen in goodbyes&quot; ~ unknown<br/>Big Sky Photos | Big Sky Photography | Scenery Photographers<br/>

In the moment, goodbyes are always the hardest. A once blossoming relationship coming to an end, your beloved pet taking their last breath while resting gently upon your arm, or a close relative passing away can all cause an immense amount of grief. When Boyz II Men sang "it's so haaaaarddddd to say goodbyeeeee, to yesterday eyyyyyyy", they certainly meant it. However, with-in that loss and grief lies an immense amount of wisdom waiting to be unearthed. 

Relationships ending hurt for a multitude of reasons. Reasons I'm not going to bore you with in this post, but I will tell you from my own experience, it's been the loss of intimate partnerships that has led me to my greatest personal growth and development. Personal growth and development that may not have occurred, had I continued to see the endings of relationships as just that, only endings. These painful endings have led me to where I'm at now, Big Sky, Montana. They've led me to writing a book about self love after a breakup entitled: From Heartbreak to Heart Awake. They've led me to learn more about myself, than I ever could have imagined.

Grieving a dog is never easy, but when you're in the room while they inject the needle, it rips your heart in two. It's something that always loomed, something I always wanted to avoid, but at the end of the day it was something that I needed to do. It taught me one of the greatest gifts, that a dog's love is unconditional (or any pet for that matter.) They watch you shake, they see you cry, they see you laugh, they watch you smile, forever by your side. Had I not been able to say goodbye, I'm not so sure I'd be in the position that I find myself in today. Willing an able to give so much, to a being who asks for so little in return.

To date I think the hardest loss I've endured relative wise would be my grandfather A strapping veteran of World War Two, his strength and demeanor were honorably admirable. Saying goodbye was hard, but it was in his passing, that he would continue to guide me deeper towards my calling. A soft whisper echoed from his gravesite one spring that said "go west." That same "go west" that's been reverberating through my ears along this spiritual path that I've been walking upon. 

Without endings, how could we have any beginnings? I guess if you look towards the west on any given evening, you may just catch a glimpse of the answer to that question. As the endings quote states at the beginning of this piece: "Why is sunset more colorful than sunrise? It's an irony of life saying: 'sometimes, good things happen in goodbyes."

For more inspirational tales, thoughts and photography visit me on instagram: @ryan.j.drewes

The poetry print as well as the sunset photo are available for sale in a variety of sizes and products. To purchase, click on the photos.

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(ryan.j.drewes) a dog's love is unconditional big sky photography big sky photos blogs about life experiences endings quote fine art photography print gifts for losing a pet grieving a dog losing a dog poem personal growth and development scenery photographers self love after a breakup spiritual path sunrise photo https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/1/good-things-happen-in-goodbyes Mon, 31 Jan 2022 15:41:00 GMT
Life Blog: Four Seasons in One https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/1/four-seasons-in-one What led me to living in Montana was a series of events, a series of events that to this day still remain unexplained. But here I am, as January 2022 frigidly melts away blogging about my life, residing somewhere in between the jagged peaks and winding rivers of Americas West. Where the early morning news reports aren’t about traffic updates and Ariana Grande’s latest beau, but of grizzly bear attacks, and forest fires. I heard a joke when I first got out here that Montana was nine months of winter and three months of summer, and having been out here for nearly a year, I can confirm that the phrase isn’t a joke, but a reality.  

“Springtime: When life begins to bloom again”

Greenough Montana, located 30 miles east of Missoula was my first abode as I indulged in the sights and sounds of my first time visiting the Treasure State. My senses were on high alert as I made my way into the wild for the first time, nervous that I’d come across Montana's state animal, the grizzly bear. When you think of Montana, you think of bears! When you hear of Montana, you hear of bears! When you see Montana, you feel their presence! Spring time was a season to settle in, a season to begin anew, a season to which I awoke to a 20 degree morning on Memorial Day weekend thinking to myself “what the fuck am I doing here”, a season in which I got a small taste of what was to come. On a late Spring day I took to the trails and hiked to Morell Falls at the base of the Swan Mountain Range. I wrote a short prose style poetry piece about this hike near Missoula, MT which can be accessed by clicking on the titled link here: Searching for Tinkerbell

Landscape Photography Print | Fine Art Photography Prints |Montana Photography PrintsLandscape Photography Print | Fine Art Photography Prints |Montana Photography Printsone of the few amazing things about the freezing temperatures i've encountered out here in may, was this colorful sunrise that greeted me early one morning. there's a joke in montana that the state experiences nine months of winter and three months of summer. well i can confirm it isn't a joke, it's actually a reality ...

“Summertime: Smoke filled days, crisp air nights”

Life circumstances would lead me south to the mountain community of Big Sky, Montana for the summer. As July began to take hold, the skies turned from an ocean blue, to a hazy grey. Sunsets turned from pinks and oranges to a blood red hue. With an elevation of 7,510 feet the air stayed mainly cool, but being so close to the sun you could feel its rays penetrating through your skin. I hiked and I hiked as the miles added up and the inclines became steeper. With a work schedule of four days on and three days off, I was left with plenty of days to play. Wednesday evenings I found myself at the Big Sky farmers market, one of the things to do in Big Sky, Montana during the summer, where I would load up on local goods while perusing the creative works of inspiring artists. I'd come to meet Matilda of an_artistic_adventure, whose work really resonated with me. I had about 20 years on her age wise, but it was really refreshing to see someone of such a young age already walking along her healing path. Weekends were spent camping in the woods amongst the forests, mountains and streams. With cows as my neighbor and ammunition being fired off at close-range, I thought of a famous quote from the Wizard of Oz: “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” My night camping near Bozeman, MT at the fairy lake campground would confirm that quote even more, as I spent an evening alongside the Mountain Goats of the Bridger Mountain Range. To read more about that encounter click the link here: Mountain Goat Rendezvous.

Big Sky Photography | Montana Photography Prints | Fine Art Landscape PhotographyBig Sky Photography | Montana Photography Prints | Fine Art Landscape Photographymy home, nestled in between jagged peaks and winding rivers. far away from the madness of what the east coast can present, i found myself safe and secure ...

“Autumn whispered: “One last kiss before we go to sleep”

Technically it was still summer, but the leaves began to change in Montana mid September. A golden tinge overtook many of the trees, a signal that winter was looming large. Having lived the first forty years of my life on the east coast, I was used to certain conditions during certain seasons. You knew when it was February, you knew when it was April, you knew when it was July, and you knew when it was October. In Montana though, the four seasons blurred into one.  Smokey skies began to dissipate and a deep blue would soon return. Along with frosty mornings and this thing called snow, I began to wonder, does Montana even experience an Autumn? I would return to New Jersey for the month of October, so maybe I missed Montana in the fall, but from the short amount a time I was away I would say, I didn't miss much. 

Seasons Changin' | Montana Photography | Sunset Photography Prints | Cabin DecorSeasons Changin' | Montana Photography | Sunset Photography Prints | Cabin Decoras the colors began to change towards the end of september, i wanted to take a day trip through yellowstone national park. living about an hour away from the west entrance, i have to remind myself every single day how lucky i am to be living where i'm at. this specific photo caught my attention as i was driving southbound on 191. sometimes i get lazy and pass up a photo opportunity, but this time i wasn't. i turned my truck around, hiked my way back a couple hundred yards, sent up my camera and ...

“Winter:  “A time for rest, a time for reflection, a time to retreat”

Back in April, I said to myself there was no way I was going to spend a winter in Montana, but I found myself in a pretty good situation, and for the time being nothing was pulling me away. Being energetically attuned to warmer weather, my body adjusted nicely to the colder temperatures. So much so, that the thermometer reading ten degrees really didn’t have an affect on me, but when new years eve approached and the temperature approached -10, it finally sank in that this would be a different kind of cold. I traded in shorts for snow pants and a t-shirt for three layers and mentally prepared myself for a winter that was to come. Short days would lead to deep sleeps, and I’m not talking some depressive grey northeasterly sleep. I’m talking 8-10 hours of a nourishing/refreshing sleep. Maybe our ancestors were on to something when they lived by their circadian rhythm. Then it began to snow, and it snowed, and then it snowed some more. For the locals though, it’s not even that much snow. 

Montana in the Winter | River Photography | Log Cabin DecorMontana in the Winter | River Photography | Log Cabin Decorwhat's it like living in the mountains? this picture only tells a snippet of the tale ...

Montana in the Winter | River Photography | Log Cabin Decor

for more stories and photos, visit my instagram account:
ryan.j.drewes

As I look back over the past year I learned a lot. I learned to just keep living and adjust as needed. I learned that living in a pickup truck and then having to buy a new pickup truck when you didn’t want to sucks. I learned again that I need to stop chasing things, that don’t wish to be caught. I learned that only I continue to get in my own way. I learned that excuses are just that, excuses. I learned that I’m ready to give something/someone (other than myself) my time, my energy and my commitment. The most important thing I’ve learned though while living in Montana is, always expect the bleeping unexpected.

For more inspirational tales, thoughts and photography visit me on instagram: @ryan.j.drewes

Be sure to subscribe to my EMAIL list so you can receive photos not published in my blog posts, updates on new fine art photography prints listed for sale, and news that that non-subscribers won't receive. You can subscribe by clicking the link here: Subcribe.

Lastly to browse more Montana landscape photography prints, please browse my Landscape Photography Prints by clicking here: Landscape Photography Prints.

 

 

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(ryan.j.drewes) americas west art prints photography blogging about my life bridger mountain range camping near bozeman mt fine art photography print life blog living in a pickup truck living in montana missoula hikes montana in the fall montana landscape photography montana photography prints prose style things to do in big sky montana https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/1/four-seasons-in-one Tue, 25 Jan 2022 17:01:48 GMT
Pioneering a Solo Adventure | Blogs About Life Experiences https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/1/pioneering-a-solo-adventure  

There are many times during our life that it's easier just to give up and concede. If you witnessed the last 1/2 mile or so of what I had to endure to reach Pioneer Falls, you may have called me crazy. I never felt in danger, so I just kept pushing pass the limits of what my mind was telling me to do. What rewarded me at the end was a frozen waterfall and spiritually, that much more.

Riding high from my last excursion 24 Hours in North Yellowstone, I was in the mood to do a long and strenuous hike. A search of the best hikes in Bozeman brings up a variety of trails, but for this specific one I was looking for a waterfall which would hopefully be frozen over. I ventured out the day prior on a reconnaissance mission to see if the gate had been closed on Spanish Creek road which led to the Spanish Creek Trailhead. If it was, this would add an additional 8 miles onto this hiking trail in Montana that was estimated to be around 6.5 to begin with. Since it's mid January I wasn't surprised to see it locked when I pulled up, so I began to mentally prepare myself for the following day. 

I awoke early to temperatures in the mid 20's, and wanted to be at the gate by sunrise. I had travelled Spanish Creek road at various times through-out the summer and always passed an abandoned cabin that I thought would someday make for a great photography print. Well on this particular morning everything aligned and I was greeted to an explosion of colors in the sky. This Montana landscape photography print is for purchase in a variety of sizes and products. Click on it to learn more.

Cabin Wall Decor | Montana Photography | Montana Landscape PhotographyCabin Wall Decor | Montana Photography | Montana Landscape PhotographyOn this particular morning everything aligned and I was greeted to an explosion of colors in the sky.

Seeing such a beautiful sunrise, I had a feeling it was going to be an epic day in many regards. The hike began with an hour and forty five minute walk from the closed gate to the Spanish Creek Trailhead which was four miles on the mark. The road in had some exposed pavement, as well as snow drifts that easily totaled at least 4 feet. Lucky for me the drifts were packed down and I was able to gracefully walk across them. I took a short break at the actual trail head, peed and proceeded to make my way into the Lee Metcalf Wilderness

At the beginning of the post I mentioned about giving up and conceding, and there were two times where mentally I wanted to give up. The first being after I had just finished taking a break, I proceeded down the trail and heard a huffing/moaning call from behind a group of trees. My intuition didn't scream bear, but it did say Moose/Elk. I couldn't see anything so I made my way back to where I had taken my break and began to yell in the hopes that whatever was hiding would spook itself out and leave. Minutes passed by and nothing showed, so after weighing the thought of turning around or proceeding I decided to proceed. Turns out the noise I had heard were just the trees rubbing up against each other due to the slight breeze that had begun to blow. When you're deep in the woods by yourself hiking in Montana, nature has a way of playing mind games with you. 

IMG_2677Where's the trail ...The trail to Pioneer Falls disappeared under a thick blanket of snow.

I continued to follow the cross country ski tracks that had been laid previously before me on the trail, and eventually made it to the junction of Pioneer Falls/Spanish Lake. Here I began to question once again whether or not I should turn around or proceed. I knew I was just under a mile from the falls, but the ski tracks turned to the left and I was heading to the right. The trail to Pioneer Falls disappeared under a thick blanket of snow. By now I had thrown my snowshoes on and decided to try and find my way. I had two things going for me: 1. elk hoof prints that seemed to be heading in the direction of the trail, and 2. a swell up ahead which normally indicates a depression in the trail. I would begin my ascent and what was a breeze up to that point had turned into a full scale uphill march. Every few steps my mind was telling my to turn around and give up, but the higher I climbed the closer I got to the falls. There were times while I was standing knee deep in snow, that I begin screaming at the top of my lungs. No one was around, so I let it rip! What was I screaming at? Nothing and everything at all (frustration, anger, and unexpressed feelings just to name a few.) I highly recommend going out into the woods and yelling, it's a very cathartic experience. 

Socks wet, lower back beginning to tighten, quads burning, I finally made it to Pioneer Falls at about seven and half miles. I sat and screamed, but this time in excitement. Pure joy filled me up, as I snapped a few pictures and then realized I had another seven and half miles to go to reach my truck. At least it was down hill from the falls back to the junction. At the junction, I swapped my soaked socks for dry ones which eventually would turn back into soaked ones, and began the arduous grind back. Pioneer Falls, frozen over ...Pioneer Falls, frozen over ...

At 14.8 miles, I finally made it back to my truck. Exhausted and hurting with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment for what I had just endured. Would I do this again? Ask me next week after my body recovers. For the time being, you can find me at Bozeman Hot Springs in the early morning hours before screaming kids overtake the pools, soaking in the energy of a day that I soon won't forget. 

A moment to take in the scenery before the arduous 4 mile grind back to my truck ...A moment to take in the scenery before the arduous 4 mile grind back to my truck ...

 

For more inspirational tales, thoughts and photography visit me on instagram: @ryan.j.drewes

Be sure to subscribe to my EMAIL list so you can receive photos not published in my blog posts, updates on new fine art photography prints listed for sale, and news that that non-subscribers won't receive. You can subscribe by clicking the link here: Subcribe.

Lastly to browse more Montana landscape photography prints, please browse my Landscape Photography Prints by clicking here: Landscape Photography Prints.

 

 

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(ryan.j.drewes) art prints photography best hikes in bozeman blogging about my life blogs about life experiences fine art photography print hiking in montana hot springs near bozeman montana landscape photography sunrise photography print https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/1/pioneering-a-solo-adventure Mon, 17 Jan 2022 23:02:34 GMT
24 Hours in North Yellowstone | Blogs About Life Experiences https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/1/24-hours-in-north-yellowstone  

DSC_0544DSC_0544

Pinch me, because at times I think I'm dreaming! Back in New Jersey where I'm originally from, we have reservoirs, beaches, and state parks to waste away our days at, but out here in Montana I'm blessed to be just a short drive away from Yellowstone National Park. Through-out the summer and early fall, I was able to explore the southern and western regions of the park. Having been back in Montana since the beginning of November, I thought it was time to explore the northern entrance of the park. It would be the only section open for the remainder of the winter to vehicle traffic, as most of Yellowstone goes to sleep from early November thru mid April/early May. I booked one night lodging at Yellowstone Riverside Cottage as a treat to myself, because the prior week was spent working nearly 50 hours as snow continuously fell over the resort community of Big Sky (my current home.) I left my plans pretty much open ended other than a quick snow shoeing excursion to Undine Falls, a known easy Yellowstone hike located near the north entrance. 

A herd of Elk greeted me as I drove to the trailhead, but I was lucky enough to spot this bull by itself. Since it was winter, the roads were empty, so I pulled to the side (which would be a no-no in the busy season) grabbed my camera and asked him to say jerky. After a quick jaunt to see the frozen over Undine DSC_0501DSC_0501 Falls, I decided to drive over to Lamar Valley notoriously known for being the home to a variety of animal species. Most notably the Junction Butte Wolfpack. I wasn't out looking for them, but left a chance sighting up to fate. Certain sections of the road were slightly peppered with hoomans more than likely trying to catch glimpses of them. I leisurely made my way through the north region of the park eventually turning around at the end of the valley. No wolves in sight, but a lone Bison taking a siesta from an extremely grueling day of grazing. 

 

As the day rapidly came to a close, I decided to take a drive up to Mammoth Hot Springs. Having been there in late July with my father, the scene was a complete 180 of what I had witnessed on that mid summer day. The masses were no where to be seen, except for a few rogue individuals who wanted to see the steaming springs. Since I was staying such a short distance away from the north entrance of Yellowstone National Park, I decided to catch the sunrise the following day.

I awoke early in the morning and was greeted to the smells of rotten eggs, as sulfur from mother earths ass permeated through the air. Daylight was just beginning to show, so I made my way back into the park and headed to the top of the hot springs. I waited patiently munching on a cliff bar as the sky begin to ignite into a flurry of colors. Red, pink, lavender, orange purple and blue all made their vibrancy be seen during the free 20 minute peep show that I received. My favorite moment shared below, is available for sale in a variety of sizes and products on this website. Click on the photo to see more:

Yellowstone Landscape Photograph  | Yellowstone Winter PhotographyYellowstone Landscape Photograph | Yellowstone Winter PhotographyThere are certain moments in time when you become one with your surroundings. All fears, worries, angst and sadness disappear into nothingness. Right there and then is all that mattered, and those are the moments I live for. Those are the small moments we all take for granted. Those are the moments in the blink of an eye, that can swiftly pass us by ...

There are certain moments in time when you become one with your surroundings. All fears, worries, angst and sadness disappear into nothingness. Right there and then is all that mattered, and those are the moments I live for. Those are the small moments we all take for granted. Those are the moments in the blink of an eye, that can swiftly pass us by. Till next time ...

Ryan  

Be sure to subscribe to my EMAIL list so you can receive photos not published in my blog posts, updates on new fine art photography prints listed for sale, and news that that non-subscribers won't receive. You can subscribe by clicking the link here: Subcribe.

For more inspirational tales, thoughts and photography visit me on instagram: @ryan.j.drewes

Extra/Extra from 24 hours in North Yellowstone:

 

 

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(ryan.j.drewes) art prints photography blogging about my life blogs about life experiences easy hikes in yellowstone landscape photography prints lodging near north yellowstone entrance mammoth hot springs yellowstone national park north entrance https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2022/1/24-hours-in-north-yellowstone Sat, 15 Jan 2022 00:09:40 GMT
Mountain Goat Rendezvous | Blogs About Life Experiences https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2021/8/mountain-goat-rendezvous DSC_0523DSC_0523

I haven't really been planning my hikes out too far in advance since I've been in Montana. Normally I'll just search through a list of them during the week, and say to myself "this one looks cool" and off I go. Sacagawea Peak in the Bridger Mountain Range would be my choice for this particular outing, and it certainly didn't disappoint. 

Living out of my truck has its ups and downs. One of the major ups, is being able to park at a trailhead and laying your head down at night knowing that you can wake up bright and early to be one of the first ones to hit the trail. On this particular night though, I wasn't able to get much sleep.

If you've been following my story long enough, you're well aware that I had a mouse invasion while traveling through Vermont and New Hampshire during the Autumn of 2020. (Where did time go?) I believe 9 of them made their way into my truck over a 2 to 3 week span. So I've become sort of an auditory expert, to the rather annoying sounds that they can make. I was sound asleep, when I was abruptly awakened to some scurrying on the roof of my camper top. I immediately thought to myself, here we go again. There was only one issue though, I was hearing a faint crying noise approaching closer and closer. My mind immediately went to worse case scenario "BEARS!" I jumped down from the upper portion of my living quarters and closed the topper down. The last thing I needed was a grizzly bear ripping through the fabric and dragging me out into the moon lit night air (OK a little over dramatic there.) I did however want to be safe and decided to ride the night out in the lower portion of the truck bed.

Curiosity finally got the better of me, as I lifted up on the shade on my passenger side window. To my surprise, I saw what looked to be like 8-10 mountain goats having overtaken the lot of the trail head. They scurried for scraps, knowing that the lot was full of visitors just a few hours prior. When I woke in the morning I was tired, but I noticed two weary eyed companions across the parking lot from me. I struck up a conversation and asked them if they had witnessed the madness of the night prior. One had slept through it, while his friend slept in her hammock awake the whole time.

Eventually I would meet these two beautiful souls again at the peak, where we shared some conversation and were greeted by these two mountain goats. Were they part of the gang that raided the parking lot? I'm not sure, but it made for one of those moments in life you just stop and stare in amazement. As for the scurrying on my roof that initially woke me up, I'm still not sure what it was, and to be honest I'm OK with never knowing.

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For more inspirational tales, thoughts and photography visit me on instagram: @ryan.j.drewes

Be sure to subscribe to my EMAIL list so you can receive photos not published in my blog posts, updates on new fine art photography prints listed for sale, and news that that non-subscribers won't receive. You can subscribe by clicking the link here: Subcribe.

Lastly to browse more Montana landscape photography prints, please browse my Landscape Photography Prints by clicking here: Landscape Photography Prints.

 

 

 

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(ryan.j.drewes) blogs about life experiences bridger mountain range living in a pickup truck living in a truck personal blog instagram personal blogs about life personal blogs to read personal diary blogs https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2021/8/mountain-goat-rendezvous Sun, 01 Aug 2021 15:00:00 GMT
Searching for Tinkerbell ... https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2021/7/searching-for-tinkerbell Montana Waterfalls | Waterfall Artwork | Waterfall ArtMontana Waterfalls | Waterfall Artwork | Waterfall Arthe took to the forest on a late spring day, with thoughts on his mind of a love gone awry. the trees swallowed him up the deeper he went, turning from a dark emerald green to a charcoal black. a once vibrant living being, scarred by the flames of a demon. birds sang a melody only they could decipher, and insects flew wildly about, unencumbered by the objects that surrounded them. in the distance he heard a river flowing, so he followed the sound. eventually a bridge would appear crossing over crystal clear water, while rocks that came out of crayola box lined its bed. around a bend, the noise of what he thought was the river grew louder. he knew what awaited him at the end of the trail, but not to what extent. as the young boy emerged from the trees he looked up to see water cascading down upon a pool of jagged/polished stones. the sun creeped through causing rays to shine upon him, as be basked in his own fairytale story. an epic journey surely to be continued for the lost boy searching for his tinker bell …

Montana Waterfalls | Waterfall Artwork | Waterfall Art

for more stories and photos, visit my instagram account: ryan.j.drewes

he took to the forest on a late spring day, with thoughts on his mind of a love gone awry. the trees swallowed him up the deeper he went, turning from a dark emerald green to a charcoal black. a once vibrant living being, scarred by the flames of a demon. birds sang a melody only they could decipher, and insects flew wildly about, unencumbered by the objects that surrounded them. in the distance he heard a river flowing, so he followed the sound. eventually a bridge would appear crossing over crystal clear water, while rocks that came out of crayola box lined its bed. around a bend, the noise of what he thought was the river grew louder. he knew what awaited him at the end of the trail, but not to what extent. as the young boy emerged from the trees he looked up to see water cascading down upon a pool of jagged/polished stones. the sun creeped through causing rays to shine upon him, as be basked in his own fairytale story. an epic journey surely to be continued for the lost boy searching for his tinker bell …

For more inspirational tales, thoughts and photography visit me on instagram: @ryan.j.drewes

Be sure to subscribe to my EMAIL list so you can receive photos not published in my blog posts, updates on new fine art photography prints listed for sale, and news that that non-subscribers won't receive. You can subscribe by clicking the link here: Subcribe.

Lastly to browse more Montana landscape photography prints, please browse my Landscape Photography Prints by clicking here: Landscape Photography Prints.

 

 

 

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(ryan.j.drewes) cabin wall art cool waterfall pictures montana photography prints montana wall art nature photo prints nature photography prints for sale nature photos for sale nature pictures for sale photography montana pretty pictures of waterfalls waterfall prints https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2021/7/searching-for-tinkerbell Wed, 14 Jul 2021 14:30:00 GMT