Photographer & Olympian Chase Adventure From Baja to the Arctic

kins18q

Adventurer
Canyoneering Adventures

Hi All,

I'm working on piecing together our last two months of skiing and the like, but in the mean time here is a video of us canyoneering!

 

kins18q

Adventurer
Leg 6: San Diego to Breckenridge, CO

After Baja, we made a pit stop in San Diego…for some more surfing and seeing friends, naturally. After a few days in San Diego, we packed up again, and for the last time. We drove in two different cars, over the next 3 days to Colorado. We took our station wagon and the Burb because after Christmas, Craig needed to drive to his new job…in Providence, RI. He is the new track & field throws coach at Brown University, and after December in Colorado he is off the road for a few months. I will carry on, and he will rejoin me in June in the Pacific Northwest to continue on through Canada and then Alaska. We will end our summer, and just over an entire year on the road in Kansas at our WEDDING! But for now, here’s what we did in December.


During the final days of mountain biking weather outside of Denver, friends Moose and Danielle took me on a fun mountain biking trail. They are awesome mountain bikers and I had fun taking photos of them and struggling uphill. I felt like I couldn’t breathe, and then I remembered I had spent the last couple months at sea level, mostly using my upper body.


But once we started downhill I was ready to crush! And as I said, Moose and Danielle always crush.




After the weekend in Denver we headed to Breckenridge and skied our brains out for the next 3 weeks straight. Craig hadn’t skied in 10 years! But he grew up skiing, and for him it was like riding a bike. He only needed a single run to get back his flow, and before I knew it he was launching himself off of jumps and skiing backwards.


We have the epic pass, so we were able to ski (and I snowboard) A-Basin, Keystone, Breckenridge, and Vail in the area.


One weekend our friends (the same ones I mountain biked with) came up to ski, but Moose had bigger plans in mind.


I was in on the plan beforehand so that I could capture images. Moose, Danielle, and I skinned up a hill and at the top, after I got into position, Moose got down on both knees (he was still attached to his split board and had a hard time getting on one) and proposed! Danielle was surprised and incredibly happy, throwing snowballs and crying with joy.




The next day, our friend Jason drove up from New Mexico and decided to spread eagle off of nearly every jump that day.


I get used to riding trees again. I forgot how much fun it is.


Craig likes to hit me in the face with snowballs.


Craig gets some more turns in before we have to drive to Kansas for Christmas.


He manages to get 19 days in before we go! We drove to Kansas on Christmas Eve. Craig stayed a few days, and I stayed a week and a half before I had to head back to Salt Lake for Outdoor Retailer. So begins our several month separation, but we are both excited. He is so stoked to start his new job, and I have several upcoming work opportunities I am looking forward to, including a photoshoot with REI in Moab, and traveling to Wisconsin to shoot for the tourism bureau there.
 

kins18q

Adventurer
Leg 7: Wichita, Kansas back to Breckenridge via Salt Lake City & Moab

It was time for me to venture out on the road alone, without Craig there as my safety net. If I get a flat tire, I have to change it in the cold. If my battery dies, or I break down in the middle of nowhere like we did earlier in the year, I'm on my own to figure out what to do. So there is dealing with the truck, and then there is dealing with the people. I think a lot of women know what I mean when I say that often my interactions with other men are very different than they might be if Craig wasn't with me. It causes me to be guarded and a little on edge because what might be a pleasant conversation if my significant other is there can quickly turn to something else when he is not. And frankly, it sucks. I don't want to be on guard, and I want to be able to make friends just as I would if he were there, but when I am alone I tend to seek female companionship over male, which is fine except if there are no women around! And I know not all guys are like this, most have well-meaning intentions, and are just truly looking for a conversation. And so, I try to live my life as if everyone has good intentions, and listen to my intuition to tell me otherwise. Anyway, off I go to Salt Lake City for Outdoor Retailer, a work obligation for me. Three days of networking and talking to big outdoor brands, along with happy hours and breakfast, lunch, and dinner meetings.


Here I am with two awesome ladies I met at the show, Hilary Oliver and Gretchen Powers. We were all in the OR uniform of a flannel and black tights. This is really the only photo I have from the show because what I did next was more exciting.


I decided to skip out on the last day of the show to go snowboarding with my friend Kevin. We went to his home mountain Brighton, and it was a POWDER DAY! It was a blast and it was fun exploring the mountain with someone who knew which runs wouldn't be tracked out later in the day!




After OR I headed to Moab for a film shoot with REI. This was a different kind of shoot for me, because I was the "talent" not the photographer. It was weird, but I decided the crew had it waaay harder than I did. I just had to walk from point A to point B and smile and laugh, and act like I was trying hard climbing (which wasn't hard because I was trying hard) when they told me to. If anyone ever says being a model is hard, I'm inclined to believe they are full of it. I guess unless you're doing something you know nothing about, in which case it might be hard. But that's why I'm all for models being real people who actually do the thing they are modeling in real life. Then the imagery is real, and the product is much better in my opinion. At the shoot I was with my friend Kristen from Bearfoot Theory. Check out her site and her newly built out Sprinter Van. I have to say the nights we spent in Moab were so luxurious hanging out in the Sprinter. There is a heater and plenty of room for standing up and cooking dinner!


The first day of the shoot we hiked to Corona Arch, which I had been to before 8 years ago. It was an experience going up there with a whole film crew, but we had a blast and took our sweet time, as is usually the case with filming.


The next morning before shooting Kristen and I played with her new drone at our campsite. I have to say, I really want a drone now. She has the new DJI Mavic Pro and it was so small that for the first time I could see taking a drone with me. Has anyone else tried drones they really like, or have suggestions?


Then it was off to shoot climbing. Kristen had never really climbed before, so she spotted me. I was stoked to get on the rock, even if it was for a film shoot. In the middle of climbing this problem I forgot they were there and I was just trying to get up the rock.


Here's the film crew and some of the other "talent" in the parking lot before we wrapped on day 1!


After climbing we headed into a canyon for a few more shots. It was so awesome to hear some of the crew in awe of the canyon. I have been in so many canyons in the southwest, and I often feel that way...an amazing feeling of awe, like this is a place few have been before. But I hadn't been with people who had never been in a canyon in the southwest in a looooong time. It was great to remember that feeling I had the first time I saw the red rock, and this alien landscape that is so different from anything I had seen before. It is truly a spectacular place.


After we wrapped not the second day the film crew was headed to LA for the same project, in a different landscape. Kristen and I bid them farewell and we stayed another couple days to shoot a little and enjoy the desert sunshine. I headed back to the bouldering at Big Bend, and got back on the rock. I met a kid named Chris, and he was so stoked to be out climbing in beautiful weather. He is from Indiana, but lives and works in Yosemite during the high season. He only began climbing a couple years ago, but he is very skilled!


After Kristen headed back to Salt Lake I stayed another couple days. I hiked to Delicate Arch, which I had never seen before and stayed for sunset and some star viewing. It was coooold at night, but worth having the landscape to myself and exploring the desert via headlamp.




The silence out there is unbelievable. Also, I finally gave in and bought a propane heater for the truck, so now even if I'm not in warm places at least the truck will be warm sometimes.


Finally, a cold and all the movement from the last two weeks caught up to me and so I decided to head to Breckenridge, CO where I am lucky enough to have friends whose parents own a condo there. I was able to rest, snowboard :p, and recover from the cold next to a fire for a bit.


Kathleen, from the website Tiny House Tiny Footprint came to visit me and we went for a fun snowshoe in Breck. The snow was really coming down the day we decided to go! It was beautiful, peaceful, and silent like it is when the world is covered in snow.




My friends Moose and Danielle came up from Denver again and we had a super fun weekend skiing with Julia, who you might remember from her guest appearance in some Zion canyons and a 9-day stint in Baja surfing with us! Here is Julia doing what is does best, and that is crushing on the slopes!


Daniell, Moose, and I wanted to get away from the crowds and find some powder, so we decided to hit some side country terrain in Keystone. It was gorgeous, and there were fresh tracks for days, even 5 days after the last snowfall! It was pure bliss.


Danielle skinning to our objective.


The views up there were amazing.


Moose crushing. So I know I've said his name a lot in the last few months, and people are probably like, "Awesome name! But what kind of name is that?" Well, it's obviously a nickname, and I don't think I've ever asked its origin. He played football at Brown, which is where Craig met him, and to us he has always just been Mooooooooose! Although, Danielle calls him by his first name, Marshall.


Next stop, Wisconsin to shoot for Travel Wisconsin! I'm so excited to spend 5 days exploring ice caves, going ice fishing, and snowshoeing around the Bayfield area. Wisconsin is one of the 5 states I have never been to, so I get to check it off the list. After Wisconsin stay tuned as I head to more cold weather in the truck, and then eventually I get to warm up in AZ. Oh but before all that I'm climbing my first winter 14er tomorrow! Wish me luck!
 
Last edited:

2180miles

Endurance Adventuring
What an incredibly awesome journal. Love the photography, I'm going to look you up on IG.

Keep adventuring! Look forward to seeing you more.
 

parkkitchings

Adventurer
Love the pics. I just recently got a drone myself to post up some different perspectives on my blog. I looked into the Mavic Pro as well but didn't want to spring for higher price. You can now pick up the DJI Phantom 3 with the 4k camera for $500. A smoking deal if you're looking into a drone. It takes some amazing video and still shots.
 

echo7tango

Overlanding Road Tripper
Craig & Kat, loved your writeups and pictures, thanks for sharing! I love the SW USA, so much to see and do, so much beauty. I've driven to Cabo 2x, the Baja peninsula is great, and my wife and I stayed a few days at Cabo Pulmo. The road from La Ribera had not been paved yet, was being prepped for paving, and that was several years back. We almost got stuck in the sand on the beach near (Punta Arena? I think it was). Thanks for sharing about Cabo Pulmo, we loved it there. We have great memories from Playa Los Arbolitos, we were there when nobody else was there, had it all to ourselves.

If you are ever going back, visit Bahia San Ignacio in the winter months to see the gray whale calves being nursed, they come right up to you! Literally, less that 5' away. Amazing.

I'll be following your adventures in earnest, we want to drive to Alaska too one day. (Edit, add: BTW Craig, I threw javelin in high school, seems like ages ago. Yes it was, almost 40 years ago now!)

Congratulations on the engagement, may you have a long lifetime together of exploring, adventure, serenity, and love!
 

longhorn1

Observer
Craig & Kat, Great post and amazing travels. Several that have posted (Foy & Park) also post on Wander the West. If I could only go back 30 years and have the ability to do some of the things you two have done, I would be in heaven. My retirement looms at the end of March and my wife and I plan some extended trips out West to camp in our Four Wheel Camper. We will be in Colorado for 2 weeks at the end of September, RMNP, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Ouray, Telluride, Mesa Verde NP, Durango, and Great Sand Dunes NM. Look forward to your future posts. Good Luck. jd
 

kins18q

Adventurer
Craig & Kat, Great post and amazing travels. Several that have posted (Foy & Park) also post on Wander the West. If I could only go back 30 years and have the ability to do some of the things you two have done, I would be in heaven. My retirement looms at the end of March and my wife and I plan some extended trips out West to camp in our Four Wheel Camper. We will be in Colorado for 2 weeks at the end of September, RMNP, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Ouray, Telluride, Mesa Verde NP, Durango, and Great Sand Dunes NM. Look forward to your future posts. Good Luck. jd
I'll have to check out Wander the West! Thanks for reading. We really loved the Ouray, Durango, etc... area. You'll have a great time there.
 

kins18q

Adventurer
Craig & Kat, loved your writeups and pictures, thanks for sharing! I love the SW USA, so much to see and do, so much beauty. I've driven to Cabo 2x, the Baja peninsula is great, and my wife and I stayed a few days at Cabo Pulmo. The road from La Ribera had not been paved yet, was being prepped for paving, and that was several years back. We almost got stuck in the sand on the beach near (Punta Arena? I think it was). Thanks for sharing about Cabo Pulmo, we loved it there. We have great memories from Playa Los Arbolitos, we were there when nobody else was there, had it all to ourselves.

If you are ever going back, visit Bahia San Ignacio in the winter months to see the gray whale calves being nursed, they come right up to you! Literally, less that 5' away. Amazing.

I'll be following your adventures in earnest, we want to drive to Alaska too one day. (Edit, add: BTW Craig, I threw javelin in high school, seems like ages ago. Yes it was, almost 40 years ago now!)

Congratulations on the engagement, may you have a long lifetime together of exploring, adventure, serenity, and love!

Thanks for all the additional Baja tips, we will certainly make it back someday!
 
Top