July 25, 2011

Two Months...

Last year I spent the entire month of July photographing, bike touring, and backpacking the Northern Rockies from Glacier National Park through Jasper National Park, and it was amazing. I had planned to do it again this year from July 14th - August 14th, but delays at work forced me to cancel my trip. Most of you know that I am the staff photographer and also the web content manager for Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana; RMC is launching a new website and delays on the part of our design company and navigation consultant pushed us back by a few months, and my vacation was left to suffer. I needed to take a month off (150 hours) because we have a cap, but as I have been forced to abandon vacation I get to take it next year. Next year I'll have another four weeks that I "must" take, so that is two months of vacation and I really only have from the middle of June through the middle of August to use take the time off (this is two months paid vacation and after using two months I'll still have one month left over).

I know what you are thinking; "rub it in Dave... your life is so amazing..."
I am living the dream, or darn near it, but I do have a problem I can't decide what to do or where to go. The reason for this blog post is that I need your help deciding.

Let me start with some ground rules:
  • Photography is king (Nature and Wildlife);
  • Adventure is important;
  • I do not like hot weather;
  • I want to camp;
  • I want my trips to be planned at the ideal time for my intended subject;
  • I do not speak spanish;
  • I need to keep costs relatively low, the next twelve months will be very expensive in terms of gear to buy (darn Canon's new super telephoto lenses and the new cameras that are coming out).
Some of my ideas:
  • June 15th - July 7th camping on the coast of Katmai National Park followed by July 8th - July 15th camping in Brooks Camp;
  • Repeat my trip to the Canadian Rockies from July 15th - August 15th;
  • Find a girlfriend, who speaks Spanish (Chilean Spanish), and wants to spend two months backpacking in Torres del Paine National Park while acting as my translator (winter time);
  • Drive the Dempster and/or Dalton highways for a month of birding (spring nesting season);
  • Explore the Pacific Northwest and BC to see what I can find;
  • Sit at home and edit my insane backlog of video and time lapse footage (that will be even worse by then);
  • I wish I could take the end of August through September off and spend a month shoot fall from Denali through the Dalton Highway; but teaching/sports photography interferes with that plan.
I need you help with more ideas and thoughts on the ideas I have laid out here.


p.s. Remember I am heading to Churchill to photograph Polar Bears in October this year, so...

p.s.s. Readers who are clients and editors... if you have some special place you need/want shot, let me know. I have already chatted with some of you about projects for next year, but if you come up with any others suggest away.


  1. I really do need help figuring out what to do next year on my paid vacation from June 15 - August 15, so leave your thoughts here (or on Facebook/Twitter/Email).


  2. Dave if I had 2 months off with no commintments I would go National Park Hopping. I was inspired by Ken Burns and the Americas Best Idea documentary, visiting all the National Parks is on my my bucket list. Americans past and present have spoken up on the most beautiful places in America to visit. I dont know how many you have visited but they are all truly unique and wuold add a great variety to your already impressive nature/wildlife photography collection. Here is a refrence to all the National Parks and Monuments in the Western United States. http://www.usparkinfo.com/stateguide.html

    Good luck making your decision!

  3. Thanks Adam.
    I have been to lots of them and would love to check off a few more, but summertime is not the time of year for me to visit most of them (I am not a huge fan of crowds).
    The Washington parks have eluded me, so that would be part of my "Explore the Pacific Northwest."

    Thanks again, and being that I am 26 year of age, I hope to have 50 years left to nock off all of the national parks. Actually that would be one heck of a project 58 national parks in 60 days (not very relaxing or well suited to photography).