Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog ryan.j.drewes: Blog https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog en-us ryan.j.drewes (Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog ryan.j.drewes) Thu, 31 Aug 2023 03:10:00 GMT Thu, 31 Aug 2023 03:10:00 GMT https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/img/s/v-12/u136905509-o242628938-50.jpg Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog ryan.j.drewes: Blog https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog 120 79 Personal Blogs About Life | Rain Rain Go Away! https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/8/personal-blogs-about-life-rain-rain-go-away With an entry fee of $500 on top of expenses for the Art Fair in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, you need to be pretty confident that your art will sell, and these days my confidence has grown enough that I believe in my creations. While I tried to keep my expectations for the show in check, I'd be lying if I said I wasn't excited for the chance to participate in such a high end affair. 

Many don't see the behind the scenes stuff that go on in my day to day life. They see the photographs, they presume I'm traveling all around, and thanks to social media, a false sense of reality is portrayed. While I am lucky to be doing what I'm doing, there are many late nights spent after my day job, catching up on putting my photography prints together, ordering products, and trying to find that balance of not having too much in stock, but having enough ready to go in case it sells out. 

The show was a three day event, and I spent Thursday framing some of my last pieces, while gazing at some of my larger prints not happy with the way they had come out. I'm beginning to learn about the printing process of photography, so the fact that some of them came out blurry and a bit pixelated was on me, but I spent several hours finalizing my products for the weekend. The dog and I made the 3 hour drive south to Jackson, Wyoming and arrived to a sweltering 95 degree day. After setting up my booth for the weekend, we hustled over to Staples to have one of my photography pieces reprinted. The new print came out much better, as I adjusted some settings on the file, and off to our campground we went. We found one spot open in the National Forest, and it happened to be a shared spot. I took the dog for a walk and waited for someone else to arrive, and sure enough a camper van from Colorado pulled up and asked if they could stay for the night. Here's my old age showing, but I told the young lady if they weren't going to be up partying till 3 A.M. they could stay. She laughed and said that the couple had a 1 year old and that they'd be cool. We shared some conversations about what we were doing in the area and where we were from, then nighttime fell and we both retired to our vehicle dwellings. 

Friday shows usually don't draw well for whatever the reason, so I wasn't expecting much. It was nice to walk around and see what some of the artists were creating around me, before 10 AM arrived, anchoring me to my booth for the remainder of the day. Some sales came in, but nothing noteworthy until about 3PM in the afternoon. I had just gotten back to the grounds after taking my dog for a walk, when the winds began to pick up. I passed a booth with paintings on canvas and was almost smacked in the head as they flew upwards on their hanging apparatus. I helped the woman out by grabbing them as they flipped over the roof of her tent. I managed to make my way back to my area just in time, as the canvas walls would push in, then out, as no doubt atmospheric pressure and winds toyed with the idea of sending tents in different directions. I grabbed on to it as I watched others do the same with their own, some with heavier weights holding them down. I prayed that I wouldn't be that guy whose tent went rolling, and to be honest I was more worried about my product then the actual tent. While I survived the wind storm in tact, I accidentally spilled some water on a larger piece of mine (the one I just had reprinted the evening before) and once a photograph gets wet, well, it's say goodnight. 

Saturday was by far the busiest day and my most profitable, as people perused various booths. I took notice of the people passing by, and it didn't seem like many were interested in my stuff. I wasn't letting it get to me though, because there were A LOT of amazing artists there, and I know a certain segment of the population does enjoy my work. Sales or not, I'm always reminding myself that all it takes is one person to buy a larger piece, and your entire weekend is made. I shared a few decent conversations with people, and before I knew it, two days had quickly passed me by. 

Sunday brought rain, and a lot of it. I shrunk my area down, as I've dealt with conditions like that before, and there's no need to put out stuff only to have it get ruined. Rain + my creations don't make for a good mix! While the foot traffic managed to be a bit more than I had expected, I would only wind up matching my sales from the previous day. When all was said and done, I'd come out with a -$140 total for the three days.

None of it really mattered though, because my dad had flown out last minute on Friday evening to spend the weekend with me and my dog. As the show wrapped up late Sunday afternoon, we indulged in hot dogs from a local vendor who was set up on the grounds for the weekend. My dad chose the motor city dog (chili, onion, cheese sauce, mustard), while myself tried the goober dog (peanut butter, jelly, and bacon.) You can never put a monetary value on sharing intimate moments together, so for me the entire weekend wound up being a gain. 

To read more about my second live show in Brigham City, Utah doing the Summer of 2022, click on the link here entitled: Mary Ann (Two Words No E)

Blogs About Life Experiences | Blog On Life | Personal Blogs About Life | Blogging About My Life | Photography blog |Art Fair Jackson Hole | Blogging About My Life
 

 

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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog ryan.j.drewes) about life blog art fair in jackson hole blog on life blogging about my life blogging creative writing blogging daily blogs about life experiences blogs on life personal blogs about life photography blog https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/8/personal-blogs-about-life-rain-rain-go-away Tue, 22 Aug 2023 13:34:19 GMT
Photography Blog | Flathead Lake Sunrise Photography | Behind the Lens #8 https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/8/photography-blog-flathead-lake-sunrise-photography-behind-the-lens-8 Montana Wall Art | Flathead Lake Sunrise Photograph | Nature Photography Wall ArtMontana Wall Art | Flathead Lake Sunrise Photograph | Nature Photography Wall ArtMontana Wall Art | Flathead Lake Sunrise Photograph | Nature Photography Wall Art The closest thing I have found to an ocean out here in Montana, is Flathead Lake. Unlike the endless horizon I was accustomed to back in New Jersey, the eastern shoreline is flanked by the Mission Mountain range. This makes for quite the mindful morning scene. A 4am wakeup call at the Flying J truck stop in Missoula, Montana, followed by an hour drive to the north, led me to the southern shore of Flathead lake. As the dog excitedly chased seagulls around, I found myself patiently awaiting the arrival of the sun. The light grew brighter, as I positioned my camera as low as I could to the rocky shoreline. I captured closed to thirty photographs, with this one being the winner. While I didn't capture the sun in her full essence, I did manage to catch a glimpse of her radiance. 

Click on the fine art photography print above, to purchase in a variety of sizes and items. 

To browse and purchase any of my fine art / landscape photography prints, click the link: HERE.

To browse my current inventory of repurposed barn wood framed photos, click the link: HERE

To read my last  photography blog post entitled Sunshine, click the link: HERE

Flat Head Lake Montana | Fine Art Photography Print | Photography Blog| Sunrise Photography Prints | Montana Landscape Photography | Flat Head Lake Sunrise Photograph

 

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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog ryan.j.drewes) fine art photography prints flat head lake montana flathead lake sunrise photograph montana landscape photography photography blog sunrise photography prints https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/8/photography-blog-flathead-lake-sunrise-photography-behind-the-lens-8 Tue, 01 Aug 2023 12:00:00 GMT
Photography Blog | Behind the lens #7 ~ Sunshine https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/7/railroad-photography-prints-behind-the-lens-7-sunshine Here's a fun little project I shot recently, to add to my photography blog, as I woke up early one morning in Livingston, Montana to capture the sunrise. The first two captures, I love the angle of the railroad, as it looks straight off into an endless horizon. They're separated by 4 minutes a part, so you can see a slight shift in the brightness of the two, as the sun hides just behind the upper left corner of the train bridge. Moving to my right brought the rising sun and its rays into the frame. While I'm not overly thrilled about the angle of the railroad in this one, I do love the angle of the sun in relation to the bridge. 

Click on the fine art photography print above, to purchase in a variety of sizes and items. 

To browse and purchase any of my fine art / landscape photography prints, click the link: HERE.

To browse my current inventory of repurposed barn wood framed photos, click the link: HERE

Blogs About Life Experiences | Fine Art Photography Print |Photography Blog| Landscape Photography Prints | Montana Landscape Photography | Livingston Montana | Railroad Photography Prints | Sunrise Photography Art

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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog ryan.j.drewes) blogs about life experiences fine art photography print landscape photography prints livingston montana montana landscape photography photography blog railroad photography prints sunrise photography art https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/7/railroad-photography-prints-behind-the-lens-7-sunshine Sun, 23 Jul 2023 15:56:57 GMT
Photograhy Blog | Idaho Scenic Images | Behind the lens #6 ~ 52 Weeks https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/7/photography-blog-behind-the-lens-6-52-weeks So much can change in just 52 weeks. As I drove by this abandoned structure on Interstate 84 in Idaho, something internally told me to turn around. I listened to the quiet whisper, and decided to photograph the rickety old wooden building with the American Flag draped over it. 52 weeks later I learned that it was a former schoolhouse, and was lucky enough to have met one of the last students to attend there in 1954 at an art show I was selling at. Little did I know at the time, but by turning this image into a black and white capture, then coloring the flag back in, it would turn out to be one of my best selling captures to date. So much can change in just 52 weeks. 

Click on the fine art photography print above, to purchase in a variety of sizes and items. 

To browse and purchase any of my fine art / landscape photography prints, click the link: HERE.

To browse my current inventory of repurposed barn wood framed photos, click the link: HERE

Photography Blog | Blogs About Life Experiences | Fine Art Photography Print | Idaho Scenic Images | Abandoned Schoolhouse | American Flag Art
 

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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog ryan.j.drewes) abandoned schoolhouse blog on life blogging about my life blogs about life experiences fine art photography print idaho scenic images photography blog https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/7/photography-blog-behind-the-lens-6-52-weeks Tue, 11 Jul 2023 03:57:54 GMT
Photography Blog | Behind the Lens #5 ~ Glacier Lily https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/5/photography-blog-behind-the-lens-5-glacier-lily The dog and I had planned on camping out for the evening, but with it being Memorial Day weekend, all the spots had filled up in the Taylor Fork Area of the Custer Gallatin National Forest. Since we were already out, we decided to explore a little more of the forest laden roads. Taylor Fork Road turned into Forest Service Road 1347, and we eventually would wind up being pretty close to the base of the Taylor Peaks by the time we had reached a closed gate. The Taylor creek rushed by, as Koch Peak stood tall in the distance at an elevation of 11,293'. The surrounding field we found ourselves in, was sporadically filled with yellow Glacier Lillies. My thought process of taking this photo, was to capture the strength of the mountain rising up from the delicate nature of the flower. What a metaphor for life, eh? The original photo was dull, flat, and underexposed (I normally shoot darker anyways.) As I was making my edits, I decided to give the final product an artsier feel to it, because I wasn't liking how any of them were coming out. Below I take you through the transition of 4 fine art landscape photography captures. My original shot to the final product. Enjoy!

Take a behind the scenes look at my capture of Ousel Falls in Montana, by clicking the link: HERE

To browse and purchase any of my fine art / landscape photography prints, click the link: HERE.

To browse my current inventory of repurposed barn wood framed photos, click the link: HERE

Photography Blog | Custer Gallatin National Forest | Glacier Lily | Though Provoking Blogs | Fine Art Landscape Photography 

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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog ryan.j.drewes) custer gallatin national forest fine art landscape photography glacier lily photography blog thought provoking blogs https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/5/photography-blog-behind-the-lens-5-glacier-lily Tue, 30 May 2023 13:40:51 GMT
Travel Writer Blog | Thought Provoking Questions | Landscape Travel Photography https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/5/panajachel This travel writer blog is brought to you by, well nothing! I had to fit that keyword in somewhere, so here you go Google.

My original plan was to visit the colorful village of Santa Catarina, Polopó for my final day at Lake Atitlán, but I wound up spending the majority of it in the entry port of Panajachel. I didn’t take many photographs in Panajachel, because I wanted to step out from behind the camera and enjoy the surrounding scenery. There are many days you can easily find yourself getting lost behind a camera lens, forgetting to be present with your surroundings. I did my very best to be as present as I could be. Calle Santander was filled with a copious amount of markets and vendors, on this hot and sticky day. One in particular caught my eye, a fried chicken cart with papas fritas. "Do I tempt fate with the street food on my last day before a very long day of travel, or do I play if safe", was the question I found myself asking. It looked too good to pass up on, so I ordered it. Afterwards I regretted the decision of ordering mayonaisse as a side compliment, so I made sure to stay away from it. I’m happy to report that my next day wasn't filled with a visit to multiple toilet bowels. 

As I continued my walk through the maze of street vendors, I found myself on a grassy hill overlooking the lake. The national flag of Guatemala flew overhead, as a smokey haze blew through the air. An overcast mixture of wildfire smoke, volcanic ash, and air pollution from Guatemala City. One of the many thought provoking questions I found myself asking during this journey was, "do we travel to escape, or do we travel to find?" It’s an interesting question, and one I had asked for some time. Looking back on my past travels, I’d say they were an escape from the “realities” of a life I was no longer enjoying living. The thing is, I’d always return back to the thing I was running away from, so why exactly was I traveling, when I wasn’t enjoying being? This trip I found myself being for the first time, maybe ever while traveling.

On my way back to the lancha to return to the sleepy village of Jaibalito, I stopped by a fruit stand to pick up some freshly sliced watermelon. A young local man named David walked over asking me if I wanted any weed or mushrooms, (unfortunately I get judged for my looks), and I nicely responded with a no thanks. He then asked me to walk across the street with him because he wanted to tell me something, but I quickly diverted his attention telling him I was trying to buy some fruit and asked him if he wanted any. He smiled with a yes, so I bought him a cup of sliced mangoes along with my watermelon. We slowly made our way back to the docks enjoying a conversation about life. He’d eventually get distracted by another man asking him about his weed stash, so we parted ways and I continued on my own. I spent my last evening on the deck of the yoga studio, which was above my living quarters, as the moon shone brightly down upon the lake. I've grown so much since the last time I stepped foot on a plane, but I'm also so happy to be home writing this from the back of my truck in Montana.

The following day as I waited for my shuttle ride back to the airport, I met a tall, wide eyed beauty from Switzerland. Yep, to be in my 20's again!!! We shared a brief conversation, and just like that, I was on my way home. 

El fin!

For another thought inspiring piece, check out my first entry into this four part series by clicking the link: HERE

To browse and purchase any of my fine art / landscape photography prints, click the link: HERE.

To browse my current inventory of repurposed barn wood framed photos, click the link: HERE

Blogging About My Life, Blogs About Life Experiences, Inspirational Blogs, Personal Blogs About Life, Thought Provoking Questions | Landscape Travel Photography

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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog ryan.j.drewes) blogging about my life blogs about life experiences inspirational blogs landscape travel photography personal blogs about life thought provoking questions https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/5/panajachel Wed, 24 May 2023 13:32:04 GMT
San Pedro Lake Atitlan | Travel Landscape Photography | Lago de Atitlán en Guatemala https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/5/san-pedro-lake-atitlan-travel-landscape-photography-lago-de-atitaln-en-guatemala Lago de Atitl├ín | Fine Art Photography Landscape | 8x12 Photo PrintsLago de Atitlán | Fine Art Photography Landscape | 8x12 Photo Prints

Eleven villages surround Lake Atitlán, Guatemala, and with only 4 full days to explore, I chose San Pedro as my day three exploration point. Situated on the southwest corner of the lake, I had read that this part of Atitlán had a little more liveliness to it. When I stepped on the dock and looked up the hill, a line of bars, cafes, and shops littered the alleyway. The first village road I came across, 8A calle, was a mix of backpackers and locals, each enjoying the pace of their mid morning hours. It was nice to be back into "civilization" for a bit. Colorful graffiti once again covered many of the building walls, so I found myself for a good few hours just meandering around the neighborhood.

I zig-zagged my way through multiple streets, finding myself fading away from the backpackers, and more towards the natives. A large market full of fruits and vegetables lined the streets, along with clothing accessories, and crafts. I was getting thirsty from the uphill walk by this point, so I stopped to refresh myself with a grande jugo de naranja. The lovely Mayan lady danced, as she freshly squeezed the orange juice, both of us enjoying a good laugh. At this point you may be wondering, or maybe you aren't, why I don't take photos of people or their market stands. I'm sure most people are nice enough to oblige if you were to ask their permission beforehand, but at times I feel uncomfortable doing so. Call it my lack of confidence when it comes to approaching people, but it's also a little of the fact that it just isn't something I'm into photographing. If you happen to be an individual who enjoys taking portrait photography of that kind of thing, then keep on doing it. Because we need people in that realm of photography as well. 

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I'd eventually find myself lake side, as a slight breeze blew in from the east. A couple sat nearby, embraced in hugs and kisses, as I sat along the lake witnessing the magic that our home planet continues to offer. I love the photographic capture below from just a few yards away from where I sat, because it depicts the shorelines of San Pedro so perfectly.

San Pedro Lake Atitlan | Lake Photography | Scenic Wall ArtSan Pedro Lake Atitlan | Lake Photography | Scenic Wall Art My day continued back towards town center and to the western edges of San Pedro. I once again found myself lakeside enjoying not only the warmth of the sun, but the scenery that surrounded me. I stopped for a bite to eat at Forbidden Fruit, a smoothie bowl cafe, and conversed with a young girl from the village named Melissa. Lucky for me she spoke English and I made good on my promise from the night before of forcing myself to interact with someone the following day. You can read more about that by visiting my San Marcos blog post. The disappointment that I had been feeling a day prior, was because I had passed up on a couple of opportunities to connect with people in San Marcos. I was yearning for connection, but also wanted my space. The funny thing about it though, I know when my desire to interact arrives, yet when it does, it's usually when I least want to reach out to others. Counterintuitive, I know! This would turn out to be the nicest day I encountered during my stay in Lake Atitlán, Guatemala. The sun was shining bright and everything was feeling oh so right.

FEC71559-29EC-49AB-AD94-3D5D340D5628FEC71559-29EC-49AB-AD94-3D5D340D5628 5698BCE7-F803-4D19-A10E-36BEE18564E65698BCE7-F803-4D19-A10E-36BEE18564E6 Visit the entire photography project, by visiting my Behance account. Click the link: HERE

Read about my first day visiting Lake Atitlán and the village of Jaibalito, by clicking the link: HERE

To browse and purchase any of my fine art / landscape photography prints, click the link: HERE.

To browse my current inventory of repurposed barn wood framed photos, click the link: HERE

San Pedro Lake Atitlan | Travel Landscape Photography | Lago de Atitlán en Guatemala | Blogs About Life Experiences | Fine Art Photography Prints | Personal Blogs About Life
 

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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog ryan.j.drewes) blogs about life experiences fine art photography prints lago de atitlán en guatemala personal blogs about life san pedro lake atitlán travel landscape photography https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/5/san-pedro-lake-atitlan-travel-landscape-photography-lago-de-atitaln-en-guatemala Fri, 19 May 2023 15:55:38 GMT
San Marcos Lake Atitlan | Personal Travel Blogs | Photo Blogs https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/5/san-marcos-lake-atitlan-personal-travel-blogs-photo-blogs IMG_2520IMG_2520 The village of San Marcos, also known as Lake Atitlán's "hippie village", has a weird vibe to it. I'm not really sure how to explain it, but something didn't feel right. The spiritual world is a funny one, one in which I used as a crutch for some time. I've met a few individuals along my personal journey who live in that world, preaching one thing, then acting differently once the curtain is dropped. I took a lot of good out of my time spent in that realm though, but now find myself slowly circling back to some things I had given up for some period of time. That's not to say you still won't find me indulging in the healing aspects of a sound bowl session, burning sage after a long stressful day, meditating in the middle of the forest, or finding comfort in a long sweat session, but let's face reality, the only person that's ever gonna heal yourself, is yourself.

OK, let's get back to why I was here! 

I arrived in San Marcos with a better understanding of how to succesfully navigate the Lake Atitlán transit system, otherwise known as, packed like sardines into the lancha. As I made my way off of the dock, a narrow street lined with smoothie cafes, vendors, and shops with opportunities to practice yoga and partake in reiki sessions all came in to view. No stranger to these practices I smiled, because I remember what they had once provided for me. The tightly lined corridor ended, and I stepped out onto the main street, greeted with an array of street food and juice carts. Having partaken in the Aztec two-step during my previous trip through Honduras, I was a little leery on trying out the food. Instead I roamed around the village with my camera by my side.

IMG_2545IMG_2545 San Marcos Lake Atitlan | Travel Landscape Photography | Main Street PhotographySan Marcos Lake Atitlan | Travel Landscape Photography | Main Street Photography A colorful array of colors could be seen through-out the architecture. Street murals adorning many of the walls, I personally found the town to be more scenic, then anything else. Had I decided to dive into the spiritual community a little more closely, I'm sure I would've found out that San Marcos lived up to the hype. Regardless, I continued my way around the village. The photographic capture below caught my eye for two reasons. 1.) The colors and art of the outdoor theater were strikingly vivid, and 2.) if you look closely enough you'll see a man sleeping on the stage. My compassion runs deeply, for those who may have no other place to find shelter.

20E358CA-3A44-41E9-9FC9-73BA5906901B20E358CA-3A44-41E9-9FC9-73BA5906901B My walk would continue uphill as I made my way west around the village. The day was getting hotter, and my sweaty ass was beginning to drip. I passed a young girl on the street maybe in her early twenties who smiled at me. I smiled and waved back, internally laughing to myself saying, "yep Ry, you once again have managed to find yourself amongst the very youthful backpacking population." Why wasn't I doing this twenty years ago? Because back then I wouldn't have appreciated any of this, like I do so now. 

9ED369DC-FF90-41C7-8D13-B6757CBD0E739ED369DC-FF90-41C7-8D13-B6757CBD0E73 0A010CCB-415A-402D-86AF-6C95AC59237A0A010CCB-415A-402D-86AF-6C95AC59237A

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0792D034-390C-4144-AFB1-86A1D23BF73B0792D034-390C-4144-AFB1-86A1D23BF73B I'd eventually make my way back towards the dock, as by mid afternoon, my hunger was starting to build. I wasn't really in the mood for anything heavy, so I stopped by the smoothie shop. A pretty Mayan girl invited me in and I tried my very best to order in Spanish, but once again my brain was moving to fast to converse. We managed though, and I was treated to a delicious peanut butter / chocolate shake con leche. As I headed towards the lancha I heard a cat call whistle coming from one of the cafes. I'm pretty sure it was directed at me, because no-one else was walking by. My curiosity didn't get the best of me, and if I'm being honest ladies, it's gonna take a hell of lot more than a cat whistle to engage me in a conversation. I headed back to my B&B and enjoyed another quiet evening, reflecting on the day. I wrote down this note in the house journal: "Mi casa en el cielo … As a writer sometimes words take a back seat to the actual moment that I get to experience. I can’t begin to express the amount of silence and solitude that exists in moments like this. Maybe tomorrow I’ll force myself to interact with people, because a majority of the time, the noises are too over-whelming to handle. For an individual like myself I walk a fine line of wanting to be included, and wanting to be left alone."

Salud!

EE954E7E-45DF-4F4E-BEE3-751CD334467BEE954E7E-45DF-4F4E-BEE3-751CD334467B Visit the entire photography project, by visiting my Behance account. Click the link: HERE

Continue to my day spent in San Pedro, Lake Atitlàn by clicking on the link: HERE

Read about my first day visiting Lake Atitlán and the village of Jaibalito, by clicking the link: HERE

To browse and purchase any of my fine art / landscape photography prints, click the link: HERE.

To browse my current inventory of repurposed barn wood framed photographs, click the link: HERE

San Marcos Lake Atitlan | Personal Travel Blogs | Photo Blogs | Lake Atitlan Villages | Travel Photo Blog | Blogs About Life Experiences | Blog on Life 
 

 

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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog ryan.j.drewes) blog on life blogs about life experiences fine art photography print lake atitlan villages personal travel blogs photo blogs san marcos lake atitlan travel photo blog https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/5/san-marcos-lake-atitlan-personal-travel-blogs-photo-blogs Wed, 17 May 2023 13:21:16 GMT
Lake Atitlan Villages | Jaibalito Guatemala | Travel Landscape Photography https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/5/lake-atitlan-villages-jaibalito-guatemala-travel-landscape-photography

Jaibalito (Hi-balito), Guatemala, is considered the smallest and most remote Lake Atitlán village along the shores of Lago de Atitlán. Heaven if you ask me! The lancha (the local transport around the lake) was packed with backpackers, a dog, locals and myself as we sped our way from Panajachel, to Santa Cruz, and finally to my drop off point in Jaibalito. Lucky for me, there were blue tanks blocking my exit point from the front of the boat where I sat, so I had to crawl over everyone inside the boat with two bags. Navigating my way though a tightly fitting space, as the boat rocked with every single movement that I made, was quite the experience. I was the last one of a handful off, and as the back of the boat slowly began to creep away from the dock, I thought to myself, "I'm gonna make an ass of myself here and fall into the water." I threw my bags up on the dock to save my gear in case I went in, but the captain hopped back on and reeled the boat back towards its moorings. My body tight from all the traveling I had endured beforehand, made it a bit of challenge to get up onto the dock, but I'm happy to say I survived the ordeal completely dry. As I began to walk away the captain yelled at me asking for payment. I had no idea where or whom I was supposed to pay, but at least I knew how much. Veinticinco quetzals, the country currency of Guatemala. My brain was absolutely shot!

Lake Atitlan Guatemala | Landscape Photography Prints | Pictures From GuatemalaLake Atitlan Guatemala | Landscape Photography Prints | Pictures From Guatemala Those rickety old docks that I wrote about in the first blog post about my Lake Atitlán travel landscape photography project can be seen above. If you happened to miss it, you can catch up by clicking on the link: HERE. You can also purchase this fine art photography print, by clicking directly on the photograph. 

A young man named Lucas greeted me as we made our way up to my Air B&B for the next several days. I stopped at the local market, picked up a few goods and we continued on our way. Mi casa en el cielo (my house in the sky/heaven), which I soon came to call my place, was a 10/15 minute hike up a mountain. It reminded me A LOT of the uphill walk when I stayed in St. John U.S.V.I., but the only difference being that I had done that voluntarily. There were no roads that led to my place, just a foot trail that ascended upwards. I finally settled in, when a booming thunderstorm rolled by. The volcanoes that surrounded the lake were hidden by a grey veil of clouds, lighting struck off the lake hitting it directly where I could see, and the thunder reverberated off of the surrounding cliffs. Sunset would give me a small glimpse to what awaited me the following day. What a welcoming!

Volcano Photography | Lake Atitlan in Guatemala | Art Nature PhotographyVolcano Photography | Lake Atitlan in Guatemala | Art Nature Photography

The next morning I awoke to semi-clear skies, as Volcán Tolimán and Volcán San Pedro, captured above, made their appearance. Since my prior two days were filled with traveling, I decided to spend the day photographing and being present to the tiny village that I decided to call home. The streets were narrow and colorful, as I dodged piles of dog shit, left by the copious amount of stray dogs that inhabit the various villages. One in particular took a liking towards me. She had followed me down lakeside, having taken shelter from the storm the night prior near my residence. We both sat and enjoyed the view, as the sun shone brightly, warming us up in her ever healing ways. 

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I meandered around the town which only took about 20 minutes to walk through and continue to capture photographs that caught my attention. Two in particular I really found alluring. The first being the local playground. Set amongst the backdrop of a jungle, there was just a very rustic feel to it. Off topic, I think every kid should be sent to Central America for an extended period of time! The second being of a man and woman carrying a load of wood on their backs. As I was heading back up the mountain to my place for the remainder of the day, they were coming down it. We smiled and exchanged a hola as we passed each other by. These are the small moments that make you realize how much we take for granted living in America. If you're ever jonesin' for a humbling experience, travel through Central America and be present to how these people live.

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My day ended with a 90 minuted sweat session inside the temazcal, located on the property I was stying at. Inside of a metal barrel, a fire raged, as I stepped behind the curtain and slowly drifted away. A cleansing experience to say the least. I laid my weary head down early that evening and fell into a deep, refreshing sleep, as the melodies of the forest accompanied me to my dreams.

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Visit the entire photography project, by visiting my Behance account. Click the link: HERE

Continue to my day spent in San Marcos, Lake Atitlan by clicking on the link: HERE

To browse and purchase any of my fine art / landscape photography prints, click the link: HERE.

To browse my current inventory of repurposed barn wood framed photos, click the link: HERE

Fine Art Photography Print | Landscape Photography Prints | Personal Blogs About Life | Lake Atitlan Villages | Jaibalito |Travel Landscape Photography
 

 


 

 

 

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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog ryan.j.drewes) fine art photography print jaibalito lake atitlan villages landscape photography prints personal blogs about life travel landscape photography https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/5/lake-atitlan-villages-jaibalito-guatemala-travel-landscape-photography Mon, 15 May 2023 14:07:11 GMT
Travel Writer Blog | Personal Blogs About Life | Travel Blogs to Read https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/5/travel-writer-blog-personal-blogs-about-life-travel-blogs-to-read  

“The best trips are the ones where you don’t make any plans and just see where the wind takes you.” – Unknown

If you're looking for travel blogs to read, you're not going to find what to do, where to eat, or what to see in this particular project. There are plenty of blogs out there covering that genre of writing, and it's normally not what I do. However from time to time I do consider myself a travel blog writer, but my form comes more from storytelling rather than story doing. It's been three years since I've travelled internationally, and A LOT has shifted for me mentally. So if you're into travel landscape photography, personal blogs about life, or at times deep and thought provoking content, bienvenido. 

I found the above quote while sitting in Denver International Airport, patiently waiting for my connecting flight into Houston, Texas. My final destination being Lake Atitlán, pronounced (layk aa·teet·laan), in beautiful Guatemala. Having already visited parts of Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, it had been on my list of countries to visit for some time. Finally after years of the government thinking they knew better than the individual human, I decided to make a visit. No set plans, I just wanted to be!

As much as I love traveling, it can be overwhelming on my nerves, especially after the 6 months of silence I had just enjoyed nestled into the mountains of Montana. You can read more about that experience by clicking the link: HERE. People talking, chairs being dragged across the floor, announcements being made on the loud speakers, it all felt like nails across a chalkboard. These days I need to travel more frugally though, so my flight itinerary was one that was less than desired. Bozeman, Montana to Denver, Colorado, to Houston, Texas to Guatemala City, Guatemala. I would depart Bozeman at 2:26 on April the 30th and not arrive into Panajachel (the entry port to Lake Atitlán) till nearly 4pm on May the 2nd. Sometimes the price you have to pay, to do the things you want to do. 

I spent one night in Guatemala City, as a seventy mile shuttle ride to Lago de Atitlán awaited me the next day. The humid air was welcoming as I stepped outside the airpot, leaving the frigid winter of Montana behind me. My Air B&B was located about 10 mins away from GUA (Guatemala Airport) and I paid a few extra dollars to have my host pick me up, and then drop me off the next morning so I could catch the shared shuttle to the lake. His name was Raf and couldn't have been any nicer. Having traveled through some of the northeast, we chatted about what we did for work and why I had chosen to come to Guatemala. As we sped through the city streets in his stick shift automobile, the windows were down and I thought to myself how nice it was to be back in Central America. Something about it (besides my inability to speak Spanish), just vibes with me. If you ever need an airbnb in Guatemala City, please check out his listing by clicking on the link provided here: Airport layover, USAC/Irtra. Apartment (B).

The next morning I had an 11am shared shuttle ride booked to Panajachel. After all the time I had spent in airports, I was finally on the last leg of my journey. What could go wrong? Well, 11am came and went and I didn't see any sign of the company I had booked with. I didn't pay beforehand, so wasn't too worried about figuring out my next option, but there was close to a $75 difference had I been forced into taking an Uber. And yes the thought of riding the chicken bus (the local transit system in Central America) had crossed my mind as well! I had sent Raf a message explaining my predicament, and just as he was about to come back to the airport and pick me up, the driver of the shuttle popped his head into Café Baretto where we were supposed to meet at, and called my name. I arrived at the shuttle and it was pretty full, so somehow I didn't see him. I was standing just outside the café, so how did we miss each other? Guess I should've waited inside like they said! I hopped in the front seat, settled in and took in the sites, as that seventy mile shuttle ride turned into nearly a 4 hour excursion thanks to the extensive traffic coming out of the city.

Finally I arrived lakeside, as hazy skies clouded much of my view. Locals shouting out Santa Cruz, San Marcos, San Juan, San Pedro greeted my as I looked down the street at a rickey old dock full of lanchas (the water taxis that shuttled folks around the lake.) I had finally arrived after a little over 48 hours in transit. The only thing left on my mind was, "please just take me to my place."

To be continued ...

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To browse and purchase any of my fine art / landscape photography prints, click the link: HERE.

To browse my current inventory of repurposed barn wood framed photos, click the link: HERE

Travel Writer Blog | Personal Blogs About Life | Blogging About My Life | Travel Blog Writer | Travel Blogs To Read | Personal Travel Blogs | Travel Landscape Photography 

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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog ryan.j.drewes) airbnb guatemala blogging about my life personal blogs about life personal travel blogs travel blog writer travel blogs to read travel landscape photography travel writer blog https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/5/travel-writer-blog-personal-blogs-about-life-travel-blogs-to-read Sat, 13 May 2023 15:18:40 GMT
St. Mary Glacier National Park | Landscape Photographs for Sale | Montana Wall Art https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/4/st-mary-glacier-national-park-landscape-photographs-for-sale-montana-wall-art We continued our way north to the St. Mary entrance of Glacier National Park, where the sight of a desolate parking lot awaited us. Empty spots soon to be filled with tour buses, shuttles, vans, trucks, cars, people, screaming children, you name it, lay vacant in an eery silence. A lone car pulled up with Utah plates, as we exchanged a warm smile and continued on our way. I leashed the dog up and headed into the park by foot, thinking we wouldn't be able to drive too far in, but much to my surprise, the road continue onward for a ways. After capturing the photograph below, we turned around and headed back towards the parking lot to continue our journey by wheels.

One of the many lakes in Glacier National Park, St. Mary Lake ranks as the second largest in the park. Her brother Lake Macdonald (the largest), resides to the west. Although it was early April, there was still a very wintery feel to my surroundings. A frozen St. Mary Lake lay to my left, the majestic snow capped Rocky Mountain range appeared before me, and to my right Flattop Mountain, which resembled the hairstyle of Chet, from the 80's movie Weird Science. But in all seriousness, I was blown away by what little I could see of Glacier National Park. I can only imagine the interior of the park holding a treasure trove of landscape brilliancy. One day I'll get here to see all of her splendid beauty!

Photos Glacier National Park | Mountain Photography Prints | Montana Wall ArtAlthough it was early April, there was still a very wintery feel to my surroundings. A frozen St. Mary Lake lay to my left, the majestic snow capped Rocky Mountain range appeared before me, and to my right Flattop Mountain, which resembled the hairstyle of Chet, from the 80's movie Weird Science. But in all seriousness, I was blown away by what little I could see of Glacier National Park.

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Going to the Sun Road is probably the highlight of Glacier National Park, in regards to vehicular modes of transportation. Beginning at St. Mary and ending in West Glacier, it traverses 50 miles of mountainous highway, as it eventually crosses the continental divide. From what I've been told, it's a sight like none other. Last year, Going to the Sun road in Glacier National Park didn’t open till July, and by the looks of it, it’s on a track for a similar opening date for 2023.  Although the gate was closed on the St. Mary side, you can still venture the road by snowshoe, so I did what any other normal person would do when faced with four foot snow drifts, I made my way in. About a 1/2 mile into my trek,  I found a rock to sit on which overlooked the interior of the park. The wind picked up as the trees began to sway. Not another living soul around, although the thought of a bear approaching crossed my mind, more on that later. I closed my eyes and drifted away, to that special place of peace and solace. 

Nature Wall Art  | Glacier National Park Photography | Landscape Photography PrintsI found a rock to sit on which overlooked the interior of Glacier National Park. The wind picked up as the trees began to sway. Not another living soul around, although the thought of a bear approaching crossed my mind, more on that later. I closed my eyes and drifted away, to that special place of peace and solace.

The night prior I slept at a rest area just outside of East Glacier park, and my plan was to return there after a day of exploration. Lucky for me though, the St. Mary campground is open 12 months out of the year. With the winds continuing to pick up, and the sun beginning to drop, I decided the dog and I would spend the rest of our day/evening inside of Glacier National Park. Surprise, surprise, we were the lone souls at the campground, besides a young couple who so valiantly tried to put their tent up in the strong wind gusts, but eventually succumbed to the conditions and left. As the sun was setting, I wanted to take the dog out just one last time while there was still some daylight left. An ominous grey filled the atmosphere, and as we walked around the campground I couldn't help but sense that we were being watched. Bear maybe, nerves more likely, but it was of those moments when you think to yourself, "oh shit, I've tuned from predator to prey."

The following morning we were greeted to a beauty of a sunrise, as blue skies prevailed with wispy white clouds overhead. The moon ever so slowly, dipped behind the mountains. Had the winds still not been so vicious, I more than likely would've explored the area a little more, but the short 48 adventure I had just endured, provided me internally with everything I needed and more.

Glacier National Park Photo | Mountain Photography | Sunrise Landscape PhotographyThis particular morning we were greeted to a beauty of a sunrise over Glacier National Park, as blue skies prevailed with wispy white clouds overhead. The moon ever so slowly, dipped behind the mountains.

Part one of my recent visit to East Glacier Park entitled, "Two Medicine Glacier National Park" can be accessed by clicking: HERE

To browse and purchase any of my fine art / landscape photography prints, click the link: HERE.

To browse my current inventory of repurposed barn wood framed photos, click the link: HERE

St. Mary Glacier National Park | Landscape Photographs For Sale | Montana Wall Art | Fine Art Photography Print | Landscape Photography Prints | Blogs About Life Experiences | National Park Blog | Photos Glacier National Park | Nature Photography Website
 

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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog ryan.j.drewes) blogs about life experiences fine art photography print landscape photographs for sale landscape photography prints montana wall art national park blog nature photography website st. mary glacier national park https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/4/st-mary-glacier-national-park-landscape-photographs-for-sale-montana-wall-art Tue, 25 Apr 2023 14:50:17 GMT
Two Medicine Glacier National Park | Montana Landscape Photography | Blogs About Life Experiences https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/4/two-medicine-glacier-national-park-montana-landscape-photography

"I care to live only to entice people to look at nature's loveliness." ~ John Muir

Glacier National Park enticed 2.91 million visitors in 2022 to enter its wild and mythical landscape. When I first moved to Montana in the Spring of 2021, I lived a fews hours south of the West Glacier entrance. I visited the park on a crisp May day, and while the interior of the park remained closed, I did catch a glimpse of what it had to offer. Fast forward to April of 2023, when I decided to take a few days off to visit the East entrance of the park. Even though I knew the interior was once again closed due to winter conditions, I wanted what little of the park I knew I could access to myself. 

A tale of two seasons, in just one day! To my east the plains, where springtime beckoned with a warm sun, blue skies, and puffy white clouds. To my west, Glacier National Park in all her winter wonder grey skied glory. An old photo of a steam engine pulling into the East Glacier Park station is on display near the entrance to the tracks. I thought to myself, what a great capture if I can catch a modern day engine pulling through the stop from the same angle. I had a loose idea of when the freight train came through from the night prior, but I wasn’t exactly sure. I took a short drive about 15 minutes outside of town and saw the train approaching from the south. Immediately I turned around and headed back. I waited, and waited, and continued to wait as the winds picked up and a snow squall blew through. Finally, the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway engine rumbled its was around the the bend. What came after, multiple shots as the train passed me by. What was kept, the lone shot above! This Train Photography print is available in a variety of sizes by clicking: HERE

Two Medicine Glacier National Park | East Glacier Park | Landscape Photo PrintsPeaking over the treetops I could see a mountain top looming in the distance, so I decided to keep walking. Finally a straight away awaited, as the clouds began to part summoning in a beautiful scene. A bright blue appeared, contrasting with the snow capped mountain and cotton filled skies.

The Two Medicine Valley lies in the southeast corner of the park, and by all accounts is less visited than other sections. After photographing the train, I made my way down Two Medicine Road towards the entrance of the park. However, the gate would be shut near the Glacier National Park sign. From there, it would be a mile or so by foot to the actual entrance. There was a sign near the gate that read "NO PETS ALLOWED PAST THIS POINT", so me being the rebel that I am, actually obeyed the rules for once and decided to leave the dog behind. I really wasn't in the mood for anything long and tiresome, so I decided to walk the road till I came across a photograph worthy shot. Grey skies overhead, I walked the lonely road, which in just a few short months will be filled with a massive amount of vehicular traffic. Peaking over the treetops I could see a mountain top looming in the distance, so I decided to keep walking. Finally a straight away awaited, as the clouds began to part summoning in a beautiful scene. A bright blue appeared, contrasting with the snow capped mountain and cotton filled skies. Considering you need a reservation to get into the Two Medicine entrance starting July the 3rd, I thought to myself, "how blessed am I to be experiencing this!" On the way back to my truck I passed a group of people I'd say 10-15 years older than me. They asked me if I had seen any wild animals, in which I replied I hand't made my way too far into the park. An elderly lady invited me along on their adventure, but I said no thank you, as the dog peered at me wide eyed from my truck in the distance. That had me thinking, maybe for one month I'll say yes to everything that comes my way, with-in reasonable limit of course. 

Part two of my recent visit to East Glacier Park entitled, "St. Mary Lake Glacier National Park" can be accessed by clicking: HERE

To browse and purchase any of my fine art / landscape photography prints, click the link: HERE.

To browse my current inventory of repurposed barn wood framed photos, click the link: HERE

Fine Art Photography Print | Blogs About Life Experiences | Blog On Life | Landscape Photography Prints | Montana Landscape Photography | East Glacier Park | Glacier National Park Photography | Photos Glacier National Park | Nature Photography Websites

 

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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog ryan.j.drewes) blog on life blogs about life experiences east glacier park fine art photography print glacier national park photography landscape photography prints montana landscape photography nature photography websites photos glacier national park https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/4/two-medicine-glacier-national-park-montana-landscape-photography Tue, 25 Apr 2023 14:49:35 GMT
Winter in Big Sky Montana | Blogs About Life Experiences https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/4/winter-in-big-sky-montana-blogs-about-life-experiences "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me lay an invincible summer." Albert Camus

Winter in Big Sky, Montana, what can I say? Well for starters I hadn't even planned on staying for one when I arrived here in May of 2021. Greeted with snow on Memorial Day I thought to myself, "what have I gotten myself into?" Fast forward to 2023, and here I am just wrapping up my second winter. A winter filled with sub zero temperatures, 3am wakeup calls, and a massive amount of that thing they call snow. The winters of 2022 and 2023 were night and day by comparison. In 2022 we'd have a day or two of snow, followed by multiple days off. In 2023 we'd have multiple days of snow, followed by a day or two off.

November the 1st marked the beginning of plowing season, and from that point forward it was full on go. My recollections of November and December are a blur, as the minutes turned into hours and the hours turned into days. Everyday felt like that scene from Groundhogs day, when Bill Murray wakes up at 6am to the tune of "I Got You Babe." I shoveled snow, I blew snow, I tasted snow, I felt snow, I shit in snow. Big Sky, Montana had turned into my own personal Snow Globe. 

The holidays came and went like Usain Bolt running a 100 meter race. My Thanksgiving was spent enjoying a home cooked meal with some friends from Michigan, Christmas Eve I watched It's a Wonderful Life for the first time at the local theater, and Christmas Day was spent hiking with a fellow adventurer from the sunny shores of Florida. Time kept ticking away as midnight finally hit on January the 1st, ushering in the new year of 2023.  A week later, the dog and I would venture to the Tetons in Wyoming for a short winter getaway. You can read about that adventure by clicking the link: HERE. The snow continued to fall through-out the month and a another nice reprieve arrived, as my dad flew in for his seasonal visit. We enjoyed some quality time together,  but just as quickly as he flew in, he was headed right back out, and along with his departure it would usher in the most memorable three week stretch of the 2023 winter season. 

Over a six day span we received three feet of snow, two of which fell in a 24 hour period. A 4am start with already 8 inches of snow on the ground, and nearly ninety driveways that needed to be cleared, I knew I was in for an arduous grind. By 3pm when I began my route above the meadow village, there was nearly two feet of snow covering the roads. I continued clearing my driveways and before I could even blink, it was 9pm and was being offered pizza from a stranger who hailed from Lake Tahoe. The eighteen hour day had ended and I was quickly up the following morning to do my route all over again. That Sunday temperatures dropped to -30 degrees Fahrenheit overnight, and by far would be the coldest night I would have to endure in the truck. Even with my space heaters running, it was still pretty frosty inside. Earlier in the evening my coworkers and I were blessed with an abundance of food for all the hard work we had put in. The freezers had stopped working at the local market, so instead of letting the food spoil, the workers came out while we cleaned up the parking area and told us we could come in and take whatever we'd like. I stocked up on frozen vegetables, burritos, tortillas, burgers, dinners and french fries. 

Three weeks of clearing snow and moving piles, and I had been anchored into my port of Big Sky. Worse places I could've been if I'm being honest! That being said, I hadn't been to the gym/hot springs, my laundry was piling up and I was beginning to feel the mental effects of the grind. Ten hours inside of a Toolcat blowing snow, and you start to go a little bonkers. A slight depression had overtaken me and the winter of 2023 was beginning to take its toll with nearly 3 months left to it. I had soon realized that it wasn't the winter that was taking me under though, it was the feelings of heartbreak and heartache that still lingered in the background from a breakup years prior. For a deeper read, click on my blog post entitled: Good Things Happen in Goodbyes.

By mid February my mind had cleared up again and I was ready to endure the final months of the winter season. The snowfall had let up and our days of working were beginning to space themselves out more. March would find me slowing down and enjoying the time out on my routes. With my windows open and the music on, I knew we were over the hump. The days were getting longer, the sun was shining brighter, and the snow was melting quicker.

As I'm writing this, we have three weeks left to our winter season, and while I don't expect anything major to happen, you just never know. Considering how our 2022 season went, I wasn't expecting 2023 to turn out the way it did. It's definitely the most snow that I have ever experienced, and I'm beginning to wonder if it becomes the new norm? Will we see the depths that Lake Tahoe in California experienced next winter, or does the season trend backwards like the year prior. As of now I'm committed to two more winters in Montana which takes me though 2025, so I'll have plenty of time to experience more of what just two years prior I said I could never have endured. As the quote that started this blog on life post above says, "In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me lay an invincible summer", deep I know, but that's just how I roll.

To browse and purchase my Montana landscape / fine art photography prints, click the link: HERE.

Winter Big Sky Montana | Blog On Life | Blogging About My Life | Blogs About Life Experiences | Personal Blogs About Life | Fine Art Photography Print | Montana Landscape Photography 

 

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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog ryan.j.drewes) blog on life blogging about my life blogs about life experiences fine art photography print montana landscape photography personal blogs about life winter big sky montana https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/4/winter-in-big-sky-montana-blogs-about-life-experiences Mon, 10 Apr 2023 16:51:18 GMT
Normandy American Cemetery | Blogs About Life Experiences | Travel Blog France https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/3/normandy-american-cemetery-blogs-about-life-experiences-travel-blog Normandy American Cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach

"I give unto them eternal life and they shall never perish." John 10:28

Our final stop takes us to the Normandy American Cemetery where 9,388 service members, most of them whom were killed during the Normandy invasion, lay to rest. Latin crosses made of white marble mark the graves of 9,238 protestants and catholics, while the other 151 are stars of David to mark the Jewish deaths. 304 unknown soldiers are buried amongst them all. Chronologically my tour guide and I visited the cemetery before Omaha Beach, notice the sun setting in those photographs, but for the purposes of these blog posts I thought it better to end the story here.

What a quiet and somber day it turned out to be! Earlier in my travels, I had a visited a deportation center for Jewish individuals in Amsterdam during the Nazi regime. The photographs and items there were overwhelming. I carried some of that dark energy to these beaches and cemetery, where you could feel death and despair permeating throughout the air. While I browsed up and down the rows of those who were deceased, I wondered what kind of story each one of them had to share. These are some of the stories of those, who was I able to photograph. 

Harold E. Sellers PFC 501 PRCHT INF 101 ABN DIV Arkansa June 6h 1944

Harold E. Sellers was born in 1922 in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The youngest of three, he had a very promising athletic future. The events of December 7th, 1944, would push Harold in a different direction though. He opted out of sports and decided to join the airborne troops. After bouncing around military bases, he was deployed to Europe during January of 1944. Once in Nottingham, England, Harold bravely volunteered to become a Pathfinder. The Pathfinders were a very special group of skilled jumpers, trained to operate navigational aides. These aides then guided the main jumpers to their targeted locations. Harolds scheduled jump on June 6th, 1944 was at 00:30. His last words to a friend before he jumped were "I'm going to cover you, and you'll cover me." Mid-air, Harold diverted to a nearby orchard where eventually he got hung up on a tree. Sadly Harold was shot down in his harness and wound up being one of the first two American paratroopers killed on D-Day. 

Preston T. Niland 2 LT 22 INF 4 DIV New York June 7 1944 - Robert J. Niland SGT 505 PRCHT INF 82 ABN DIV New York June 6 1944

Preston and Robert Niland, brothers from New York, were killed in action one day a part. Rumor has it that Saving Private Ryan is based loosely on the story of these two siblings. Preston was born March 16, 1915 in Tonawanda, New York. Having been drafted into the Army in March of 1941, he went from an enlisted man to an officer by 1943. The 22nd infantry is where he would be killed in action on June 7th, 1944, during the 1st Battalion's attack near Utah beach. Read more about the Utah Beach invasion by clicking the link: HERE.

Robert Niland born in 1919, was killed in action a day prior to his bother at the tender ager of 25 while serving for the D Company, 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division.

Virgil J. Tangborn PEC BAND 90 DIV Minnesota June 14 1941

Virgil Tangborn was born on May, 23rd 1920 in Crawford County, Iowa. Eventually he would move to Nary, Minnesota, where his house had neither water nor electricity. Virgils love of music would take him to the Metropolitan Opera House, where every Saturday he would go and listen to musical performances. After his enlistment, he kept a diary on his thoughts and fears (probably why I was drawn to his grave.) While rescuing a wounded driver from an ammunition truck that was hit by a shell, Virgil himself would be fatally wounded by yet another. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star Medal for "gallantry in action in northern France while serving with the 90th Infantry Division", as well as the Purple Heart. This would be one of my favorite photographs of the day. The way the American and French flag laid up against Private Virgils headstone was mesmerizing. If you ever visit one of my live art shows, you may just see it on display.

Grave of the unknown!

Above lies the marker of an unknown soldier. How sad that their story will never be known! Whomever is buried there had a mother, a father, possible siblings, yet met a demise that none of of us should ever have to face. 

At the center of the cemetery memorial is a 22-foot bronze statue entitled The Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves by Donald De Lue. Completed in 1953, the ceiling mosaic inside the cemetery chapel by Leon Kroll, tells a full round story or war and peace. "Through the gate of deathly they pass to they joyful resurrection." Normandy American Cemetery. The crosses face the United States, in the direction of a point between Eastport and Lubec, Maine.

A few more photographs above from a trip I soon won't forget. As I write this, it's been a little over five years since I visited the Normandy, France area. As I stated in my first entry entitled Sainte-Mère-Eglise, my one regret is not having packed my Nikon. That being said, maybe I was supposed to experience this all without being buried behind the lens of a camera. Sometimes we can forget to be present, when presence is the only thing that is asked of us. Thanks for joining me on this journey, and I hope you enjoyed learning a little bit about our history. History that you probably already knew about, but history seen through the eyes of a wandering boy.

These posts are dedicated to my Grandfather who passed away in 2009. While he didn't fight in Europe, he did fight in the Philippines 6400 miles away as a member of the Coast Guard. All service members departed and still living, part of the greatest generation to ever have lived. 

 

If you'd like to purchase any of these photos as a print, please email me personally as none of them are currently for sale to the public: Contact Me

If you're just joining me, the first part of this 5 part series covering my travels to Normandy, France in February of 2018 can be found by clicking the link: HERE

Blogs About Life Experiences | Normandy France | Travel Blog France | Blogs On Life | Normandy Invasion | Normandy American Cemetery | Niland Brothers | Virgil Tanborn | Blog On Life 
 

 

 

 

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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog ryan.j.drewes) blog on life blogs about life experiences niland brothers normandy american cemetery normandy invasion travel blog france virgil tangborn https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/3/normandy-american-cemetery-blogs-about-life-experiences-travel-blog Thu, 16 Mar 2023 11:43:13 GMT
Omaha Beach | Blogs About Life Experiences | Beaches of Normandy France https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/3/omaha-beach Omaha Beach Easy Red Sector stormed by the 1st Infantry Division

“Two kinds of people are staying on this beach—the dead and those who are going to die.” — Colonel George A. Taylor

On June 6th, 1944 the first few waves of American soldiers were sent on a suicide mission, as they stormed the beaches of Normandy. Dwight Eisenhower, supreme commander of the Allied forces, knew that the first several swarms were going to be sent to their deaths. An agonizing decision to be made, to say the least. I didn't really know what to expect to be honest, as I made my way to the shoreline. My only real visual knowledge of the landings were thanks to the movie Saving Private Ryan, and we all know how movies like to exaggerate moments in history. The first thought to come to mind as my eyes gazed over the shores of Omaha Beach were, "OH MY GOD, these poor men were sitting ducks!"

The easy red sector of Omaha, where all these photos were shot from, was the most heavily fought battle along the shorelines. The US 1st and 29th infantry divisions would be tasked with the unfathomable. By all accounts, the initial landings were a disaster. Ten landing craft were taken under by high seas, and sea sickness had spread amongst the soldiers like wildfire. Obstacles and mines awaited the men not only in the seas, but also on the beachfront. Scattered and frightened, they did everything they could just to survive. The German 352nd infantry division would defend the shore with one thing on their mind, destroying everyone and everything in their sight. Heavy fire from automatic weapons and artillery rained down from above. As I stood in the Baie De Saine (Bay of the Seine River) looking up at the cliffside where German bunkers housed their arsenal, I couldn't help but think about what was going on in the minds of those who had to withstand the bombardment. There are some great photos of the area I explored from German Bunker WN62 back in 1944, which you can browse by clicking the link: HERE

Soldiers viewpoint on Omaha Beach looking up towards German fire. Today this shoreline is a very peaceful/somber place to experience. What was it like to be standing here in June of 1944? A view looking South East along Omaha Beach.

The two photographic captures below, would've been the areas waiting for soldiers had they successfully been able to get off the beaches. Hills climbing upwards towards German gunfire. They certainly don't tell the entire story, as being there in person is A LOT different than seeing images from behind a screen. 

34,000 allied troops would land by nightfall, but not with-out 2,400 of them being killed, wounded or presumed missing. Omaha Beach would wind up being the bloodiest beach of them all, and if you're attuned to energies like myself, there's a very somber feeling that engulfs you as you soak it all. As you enter the beach, the 1st Division Monument photographed below awaits you. On it are the names of 627 of the First Infantry Division soldiers killed while fighting in the area between June 6th and July 24th 1944.

1st Infantry Divison Monument on Omaha Beach

If you'd like to purchase any of these photos as a print, please email me personally as none of them are currently for sale to the public: Contact Me

If you're just joining me, the first part of this 5 part series covering my travels to Normandy, France in February of 2018 can be found by clicking the link: HERE

Blogs About Life Experiences | Beaches of Normandy France | Travel Blog France | Omaha Beach | Blogs On Life

 

 

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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog ryan.j.drewes) Beaches of Normandy France blog on life blogs about life experiences omaha beach travel blog france https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/3/omaha-beach Wed, 15 Mar 2023 14:16:13 GMT
Pointe du Hoc | Blogs About Life Experiences | Beaches of Normandy France | Travel Blog France https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/3/point-du-hoc View from inside the 155mm cannon casemate aimed at the English Channel horizon. "These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war." President Ronald Reagan
 

Pointe du Hoc is a 110 foot cliff overlooking the English Channel, a highpoint between the landing zones of Utah and Omaha Beach. While most of us know about the D-Day landing at Omaha Beach thanks to the movie Saving Private Ryan, this would be the first time I had heard the story about the brave Army Rangers who had to scale these walls to overtake the German forces. The 2nd and 5th Ranger Battalions would be tasked with having to climb these straight faced cliffs using ropes, grapples and ladders, all while under the attack from heavy enemy fire. The photo below is looking southeast over the English Channel. Can you visualize the US Army Rangers coming over these walls? If you click the link HERE, you can see a similar shot from 1944 with German prisoners marching and the US flag draped over the landscape. 

The photo below is looking southeast over the English Channel. Can you visualize the US Army Rangers coming over these walls?

The photographs seen here, are craters from the initial bombings which were to aid the troops in their mission, prior to the ascent. The USS Texas, USS Satterlee, USS Ellyson, and HMS Talybont all fired from below, leaving behind what are now remnants similar to the landscape of the moon. 

German casemate. A crater filled landscape high above the English Channel, caused by the initial bombings.

The surviving German observation bunker pictured below, added to the ambiance of the hollowed grounds. Lucky for us history nerds, it was still open for exploration. Two of my most notable memories from being inside the bunker were: 1.) My photograph looking outwards from a machine gun opening up the entrance steps was haunting. I imagined a German soldier standing there, hand on the trigger, ready to open fire at the first site of invading Allies. 2.) The charred wood you see inside of the bunker, were the scars of fires once set by US soldiers after overtaking the bunker. 

Surviving German observation bunker.

Looking up at the entrance stairs in the German bunker. Not a sight you'd want to see coming down the stairs. Charred wood remains of the fires set by US soldiers.

Upon reaching the top of the cliffs, the Rangers were shocked to find the bunkers empty of their main objective artillery. The Germans had moved them prior to the assault southward, eventually being located by a small patrol who went out in search of them. The victory of Pointe du Hoc for the Allies didn't come with-out loss though. During the two day fight, less than seventy-five of the original 225 who came ashore on June 6th, 1944 were fit for duty. Of those who served in the 2nd Ranger Battalion, 77 were killed and 152 wounded.

Constructed by the French, the Pointe du Hoc Ranger monument commemorates the brave men of the 2nd American Ranger Battalion. It reads, "To the heroic ranger commandoes D2RN E2RN F2RN of the 116th INF who held under the command of Colonel James E Rudder of the First American Division attacked and took possession of the Pointe du Hoc."

If you'd like to purchase any of these photos as a print, please email me personally as none of them are currently for sale to the public: Contact Me

Continue to part 4 of my 5 part series describing the the battle at Omaha Beach by clicking the link here: HERE

If you're just joining me, the first part of this 5 part series covering my travels to Normandy, France in February of 2018 can be found by clicking the link: HERE

Pointe du Hoc | Blogs About Life Experiences | Beaches of Normandy France | Travel Blog France | Blogs On Life
 

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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog ryan.j.drewes) beaches of normandy france blog on life blogs about life experiences pointe du hoc travel blog france https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/3/point-du-hoc Tue, 14 Mar 2023 14:43:55 GMT
Utah Beach | Blogs About Life Experiences | Beaches of Normandy France | Travel Blog France https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/3/utah-beach Above the dunes of Utah Beach looking eastward.

"We'll start the war from here" U.S. Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr.

On the westernmost parts of the Normandy coastline lies Utah Beach. The allies landed there on June 6th 1944 at 0630 hour. Their objective was to secure a beachhead on the Cotentin Peninsula, the location of important port facilities at Cherbourg 36 miles away. Cherbourg would allow the allies long term succession if they were able to overtake the German occupied area. The US 4th Infantry division would be tasked with the harrowing experience of having to navigate these shorelines. The above mentioned quote from General Roosevelt was in response to the U.S. landing one mile away from their original destination. This would actually work in favor of the US, as heavy German artillery was stationed at their original landing point. 

What I remember most about this specific beach was how narrow it was. It reminded me a lot of the beaches in Mantoloking, New Jersey, when the tides were all the way up. There wasn't much room, if any at all to explore. These dunes and the low lying areas behind them, made the German fortifications scarce compared to Omaha Beach, because of the flooding that they had caused. Of the nearly 23,250 American soldiers to have landed there, 197 of them were killed while 67 of them were reported missing. I had visited the beach on a very ominous day in February, as their were barely any other people around and the skies had transitioned from a bright blue, to a dark grey. 

Entrance to Utah Beach. Utah Beach looking towards the North.

Utah Beach looking due East. Can you imagine what this shoreline looked like at the time of the invasion? Utah Beach looking towards the South.

Two of my more interesting finds at this location would be a 50mm anti-tank gun in its casemate on the roof of a German shelter and a hedgehog. The 50-mm antitank gun which was stationed behind the dunes but pointed at the shoreline, fired armor-piercing shells, high-explosive shells, and armor-piercing 40 shot. The hedgehog was used to pierce the bottom of landing craft, disabling them and allowing German machine gunners from the cliffs above at Omaha Beach to easily finish them off. 

50mm anti-tank gun in its casemate on the roof of a German shelter. Hedgehog defense piece.

While the bloody shores of Omaha beach had still awaited me, I caught a slight taste of what these brave soldiers had to endure during the early summer morning of June 6th, 1944. (To see photos of Utah beach during the invasion, check out this history link by clicking: HERE)
 

To the officers and sailors of the United States Navy, whose competence, courage and sacrifice enabled operation overlord. The greatest amphibious invasion in history. Their selfless cause was to destroy tyranny and restore freedom and self determination. The called will never be forgotten; The veteran will ever be honored. In grateful appreciation, the Naval Order of the United States.

If you'd like to purchase any of these photos as a print, please email me personally as none of them are currently for sale to the public: Contact Me

Continue to part 3 of my 5 part series describing the the battle at Pointe du Hoc by clicking the link here: HERE

If you're just joining me, the first part of this 5 part series covering my travels to Normandy, France in February of 2018 can be found by clicking the link: HERE

To browse my current inventory of photography prints, click the link: HERE

Blogs About Life Experiences | Beaches of Normandy France | Travel Blog France | Utah Beach | US 4th Infantry Division | Fine Art Photography Print | Normandy 1944

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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog ryan.j.drewes) beaches of normandy france blogs about life experiences fine art photography print normandy 1944 travel blog france us 4th infantry division utah beach https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/3/utah-beach Mon, 13 Mar 2023 13:24:55 GMT
Normandy 1944 ~ Sainte-Mère-Eglise | Blogs About Life Experiences | John Steele https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/3/sainte-mere-eglise-normandy-1944 Sainte-Mère-Eglise Church

 

Many of us around the globe have blood ties to World War 2. Mine flows through me from my grandfather, who fought in the Pacific as a member of the Coast Guard. 6400 miles away from where he fought, the war raged on through various regions of the old world. During the winter of 2018, I was lucky enough to visit parts of France where the D-Day invasion in June of 1944 occurred. My travels would take me from the commune of Sainte-Mère-Eglise, where 30 of the approximately 15,000 paratroopers of the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions would land, to the cliffs of Pointe du Hac, where 225 U.S. Army Rangers climbed 100 foot cliffs to seize German artillery pieces, to the beaches of Normandy and Omaha, where 194,000 troops would make the ultimate sacrifice, and lastly to the Normandy American Cemetery, where 9.386 of the military dead are laid to rest.

On a side-note, one of my biggest regrets of that trip is that I didn't pack my Nikon camera. I wanted to save on space since I had only brought my back pack to Europe, so all the photos I'm about to share were taken from my iPhone. While some of them came out really well, where I'm at now with my camera knowledge, I now know how much better they could've been. I'm pretty sure I blogged about this experience on my old website, but with-out record of it, I decided to do a new one with updated photos and words. 

"OK, lets go" General Dwight D. Eisenhower June 5th, 1944

Our journey begins in Sainte-Mère-Eglise, where on the night of Monday June 5th, 1944, 30 paratroopers would make their landing as Operation Overlord would commence. An airborne assault preceded the amphibious attack, as 15,000 paratroopers in total would be scattered behind enemy lines amidst the night sky in France. Some of them being shot dead while traversing through the air. John Steele, a member of the 82nd Airborne Division would have the unfortunate trajectory of being hung up on the bell tower of the Church of St. Mary. In the photo below you can see a mock up of the paratrooper caught up on the spire of the church. He'd be cut down by two German soldiers whom had been positioned in the bell tower, and taken into prisoner custody. Four days later he would make his escape towards the front line, and upon a successful attempt, be evacuated to the United Kingdom. (Hover over each photo shown to learn more about the photograph.)

The poppy dedicated to the remembrance of the 82nd Airborne pictured below reads: "To preserve the memory of those brave young men who gave their lives protecting this spot."
 

A mock up of John Steele hangs perched from the spire of St. Mary Church. A look inside the 11th century church. Bullet holes remain visible in the concrete walls of the church. 82nd Airborne Division Remembrance Poppy "To preserve the memory of those brave young men who gave their lives protecting this spot."

If you'd like to purchase any of these photos as a print, please email me personally as none of them are currently for sale to the public: Contact Me

To continue to part 2 of my 5 part series covering my travels to Normandy, France in February of 2018 click the link: HERE

To browse my current inventory of photography prints, click the link: HERE

Blogs About Life Experiences | Blog On Life | Personal Blogs About Life | Sainte-Mère-Eglise | Travel Blog France | John Steele | Normandy 1944 | Fine Art Photography Print

 

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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog ryan.j.drewes) blog on life blogs about life experiences fine art photography print john steele Normandy 1944 personal blogs about life Sainte-Mère-Eglise travel blog france https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/3/sainte-mere-eglise-normandy-1944 Sun, 12 Mar 2023 15:02:21 GMT
An Avalanche of Feels | Personal Blogs About Life | Self Discovery Journey https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/2/avalancheoffeels

It's January the 13th, 2023, and for the past week or so my emotions have overtaken me. Like an avalanche cascading down the side of a mountain, grief, fear, and questions have come crashing down. It's a slide that swallows me up from time to time, but one in which I've learned to ride. 

Many of us look out upon the open world of social media jealous of what other's seem to have. We compare, we yearn, we laugh, we cry, we ache for those things that seemingly come so unchallenging for most. This unconventional lifestyle that I've chosen hasn't been an easy one, and at times I feel the excruciating pangs of those choices. Choices I know I had to make, choices that have allowed me to grow in ways I would't have, had I remained where I was at. Choices that I would never give back, but behind the beautiful photographs and somewhat free spirited lifestyle, still lays a feeling human being.

I see my friends and my own family with their spouses, partners, children, and financial security and wonder what life would've been like had I went the conventional route. What if I lived my life like most? Graduated with that degree, married my first love, bought a house, had the children, painted the picket fence, worked hour upon hour to support it all! Truth be told there are certain aspects of that life I envy, and certain aspects of it I wouldn't want to be a part of. It leaves me pondering at times, am I a broken peg in societies wheel of life? 

Let's face the facts, I'm a 43 year old guy who lives in his truck with his dog chasing down an art dream with-out any financial stability, digging a hole I feel like I'll never be able to climb out of. My mind consistently saying to me, "who is really going to want to be a part of your life?" I had a friend ask me recently (hi Bree), "is there part of you that doesn't believe you can have/ are worthy / whatever of your dream." In the moment they weren't the words that I wanted to hear, but it is something that I question ever so often. She spoke the truth and it was a stingy reminder. The thing is, I don't know how to jump that hurdle at this point. Numerous books, hours of therapy, sound healing, meditation, and more have led me right here to this moment. A moment that I'm ever so proud of to have reached. Many don't acknowledge or see the progress that I've made, but I do, and that's what keeps me pushing ahead. But how exactly do I let go of those last tendrils, while still living amongst the physical realms of reality? 

A post had recently crossed my instagram feed (click HERE to read it) and right now maybe it's more about the exiting than the entering. By that I mean, maybe right now I'm finally learning how to exit those relationships and affairs that don't align with my well being. My attraction to unavailable people, my handling of money, my willingness to give people chance after chance after chance. I've been so used to entering those situations and hanging around them for some time, that now I'm finally learning how to exit them quickly. 

That special relationship that I'm seeking and I know that I'm built to sustain with another, is slowly coming to fruition, but it has and will continue to have to start with myself first. And as those sometimes annoying spiritual folks out there would have you believe, it all starts within, am I right? It doesn't soften the fact though that some days I long for her touch, I yearn for her soft whispers and I desire that intimacy that only she can provide. And that my friends, is the avalanche of emotions that find me from time to time, leaving me to ponder and question just when!

I daydream often about a love so allusive. Click on my prose piece entitled: "Searching for Tinkerbell" to read more. 

Dive deeper with my post entitled: "Sometimes You Just Need To Break Away"

The above photograph is available for purchase in a variety of sizes and products by clicking: HERE

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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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog ryan.j.drewes) blogs about life experiences blogs to read about life healing your emotional self life experience blog personal blogs about life personal development topics self discovery journey self healing self healing journey self love journey https://www.ryanjdrewes.com/blog/2023/2/avalancheoffeels Sun, 05 Feb 2023 15:34:36 GMT
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

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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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog 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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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog 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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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog 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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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog 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 taken just outside of town 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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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog 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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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog 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 discovery 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. 

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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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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog 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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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog 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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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog 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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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog 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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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog 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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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog 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. 

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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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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog 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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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog 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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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog 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 sunset photo 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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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog 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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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog 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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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog 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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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog 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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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog 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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(Fine Art Landscape Photography | Photography Blog 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