Uphill Battle

In an attempt to keep getting my body ready for my September road trip through the National Parks in Arizona and Utah, I got back outside Monday morning and pushed myself again. I wore the same hiking shoes and all-weather pants as last time (read about it here) and filled my camera backpack with gear and a forty ounce hydro flask. The one new piece of gear I wore was a spontaneous purchase at Costco recently. I bought their Kirkland Signature Softshell jacket. It’s soft, warm, and fleecy on the inside and almost a soft rubbery feel on the outside. I wasn’t sure how it would breath due to the rubbery texture, but it was very comfortable and kept the morning chill at bay.

Thanks to a brilliant suggestion from my friend, and amazing photographer Don Bloom, I parked up near Polipoli State Park and hiked uphill for a few miles before turning around and walking back to the car. I trust Don’s training regiment, seeing as he just came back from walking El Camino de Santiago this past May. You can read about it beginning here. I am not expecting to walk that far, but it would be nice to be able to hike a ten or twelve-mile hike without having to stop every half mile (or course, with my camera in my hand, I usually find some reason to stop and take a picture).

Speaking of pictures…

This is what happens when a photographer is unprepared. I did not pack my macro lens, so I had to capture this butterfly with my new 14mm ultra-wide angle lens.
This turn is perfect practice for Horseshoe Bend in Arizona if we make it there.
The longer I hiked, the closer the clouds came in.
I was slightly confused by this graffiti. Peace and love go hand in hand, but anarchy? Not sure this threesome works.
Heaven’s gate?
A walk in the clouds.

After I got back in the car and began driving down the hill, I saw an owl flying around the fields, but I couldn’t find a safe place to pull off. Once I got to an area with some shoulder, I popped the trunk, jumped out of the car, grabbed my zoom lens and could only grab this one shot before the owl dropped below the horizon. I waited for it to return, but it must have caught something and was enjoying its lunch.


The following picture is what you do in the post-processing part of photography when you don’t get the shot you want. The owl had just dipped below the horizon when I pulled the trigger and got a lovely photograph of a field of weeds. Instead of deleting the file I changed it to black and white and made an artsy version I can live with.


The training for my vacation continues ever upward. I should have four more weekends off before I leave, so expect a few more posts about long walks and testing new gear out in the field. My next battle will be with the Pukalani pool.

Vincent Lorusso Written by:

A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives. - Jackie Robinson

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