On Writing, and a Trip Report

Recently I started an online writing class How to Write Better taught by Joshua Fields Millburn. I've decided it's time to kick my writing up a notch to enhance my photos, and to start writing for magazines more.

I have to write an hour a day for the next month (yikes!). Rather thank keeping all of it to myself I thought it would be best, for my learning, to share some of my writing with you, whether it be good or bad. So without further ado here is my first go at it, describing our adventure up to Cupid Mountain earlier this year. Any feedback is greatly appreciated!

Voluntarily driving a mountain pass in the wee hours before dawn takes a special breed, those dedicated to their craft and dedicated to pushing the boundaries of photography. Thankfully I've been fortunate enough to find such friends that love their craft as much as myself and are seemingly crazy enough to embark on journeys that few can imagine. 

Our night began with leisurely discussion of photography as we made our way up Loveland Pass in the Rocky Mountains. The warmth of the car gave us false comfort as we climbed higher into the frozen mountains. Our goal on this night was to capture the milky way from the peak of the 13,100ft Cupid Mountain. 

We arrived at the pass and hastily exited our warm chariot. To our delight the winds were light considering our perch atop a mountain ridge. We piled on our layers of winter clothing and mentally prepared for the hike ahead of us. The trail was clear of snow due to the windy ridge it ran up, so we left our snowshoes behind. 

As we made our way up the trail, it continually gave the illusion that our destination was near, but as we crested the top of yet another ridge, we realized it was only an illusion and there was another hill to climb. After this frustrating game was played on our minds several times we finally reached the top, with a rewarding view of endless mountains surrounding us and starry skies only dreams are made of. 

We were no longer protected from the mountain ridge though, the wind began to howl and quickly found it's way through the layers of clothing that protected us on the way up. The desire to create photographs was greater than our rational thoughts of survival at this point, the cameras must come out to capture this scene. With mittens removed I quickly worked the scene with little thought, you must work on instinct at this point, there is no time to think about camera settings. My hands quickly turned cold, and this cold became pain even faster. 

We were not at our final destination and had to hurry onward before twilight erased the milky way from the night sky. In these conditions only movement will keep the body warm. As we resumed our journey the pumping blood slowly returned warmth back to my fingers. No sooner after this we had arrived, and time was running out. 

We all went our different ways to find a unique composition of a scene that has never been photographed in such a way before. Our destination was better protected from the wind, but this meant there was snow, and not a small amount. While trudging through several feet of snow my feet were becoming colder and wetter by the moment, I was regretting leaving the snowshoes behind now. After working the scene from several vantage points and ignoring the searing pain, the sun began to rise, and what a glorious scene it was. The sun sent an orange glow over the landscape and I could feel the gentle warmth on my face. We may just survive this after all. 

We had accomplished our goal, much to the chagrin of the mountain night gods. Descending the mountain we were showered with a powerful sense of achievement and personal satisfaction, along with awkward looks from snowboarders just beginning their ascent of the mountain in what they thought was an early morning.