Spent the day down along River Road watching the CycloCross Masters World Championship. Louisville does a great job bringing a wide range of sporting events to the area (this year we hosted the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Final Four, the CycloCross World Championships, and a #1 ranked basketball team for a week). It was windy and snowing out on the course today. Parts of the course were frozen. Parts of my body were frozen. Parts of my body are now coarse. Despite all that the snow provided a great scene to take photos. Below are a few of my favorites from the day. Please enjoy as my sacrifice has my hands still tingling.
For more photos visit my site HERE.
I know this took way to long to post, the race was the first weekend in November, but I did want to share some race day photos from the New York City marathon this year. Once again I was lucky to photograph for a great organization, the Robin Hood Foundation, just past mile 20. Before we needed to report to our assigned location Jeff (my fellow photographer) and I took a bus down to Brooklyn to catch the first runners. We planned to hike it back up to the Bronx to the cheer zone just after the pro men leader came passed. As bad luck would have it when we made our subway transfer the 4-5-6 lines were out of commission due to some police investigation and the notice board gave not indication they would be running any time soon. You could see many out-of-town marathon fans wondering around looking for what to do next. Jeff and I went topside to catch a taxi but soon realized that the marathon course was all around the station locking us in. We dove back down into the station to look at the maps and see if there was an indirect route to our post. None to be had. But with a stoke of luck, while waiting on the 2 platform a 4 train arrived. Don’t know why and don’t know how. We boarded the express and was on our way. We arrived in the Bronx about ten minutes late, could have been a lot worse, and everyone with Robin Hood was happy to see us and very forgiving for our delay. We shot for the next three and a half hours at their cheer zone just past the 20 mile marker at a bend in the road. It is really great place to capture some good images of runners coming down the hill looking up at the large jumbotron screen and making the turn at the cheer zone. There are also a ton of port-o-johns and some massage stick operators for the runners. Here are some of the results. Hope you like.
This past Saturday Hodepohl and the Christian Moerlein Brewery brought back the 10th edition of the Hodepohl 14K Brewery Run after a 14 year hiatus. While there was a few snafus with the race the 2,200+ runners seemed to have a great time. Of course a long list of free goodies always help soothe the masses: Gold Star Chili dogs, pint glasses, beer, performance shirts and much more. In my opinion this is a great way to start of your Cincinnati Oktoberfest weekend.
I was fortunate enough to photograph the race and Bier Laufen (see pictures). It was my first Bier Laufen and hopefully not my last. I full list of photos can be found at my store.
See you next year!
Just a few weeks ago all the news was chock-full of Hurricane Irene and the possible damage to be caused along the east coast. Luckily, the major impact as predicted did not come to fruition. But as much of Vermont and other northern areas sat under a boundless rain cloud New York City and other major metro areas escaped with merely a flesh wound (and not of the Monty Python variety). With New York City out of harms way the national media focused their appetite on the next big thing. Lucky for them, NIKE came out with a limited edition run on the Back to the Future kicks. As the nation looked down at Marty McFly’s feet those of us in Eastern Pennsylvania looked up to the skies. What we saw was a deluge which lasted for days.
With creek and stream waters already choking on runoff from last weeks Irene, Hurricane Lee the our creeks runneth over. The resulting damage was widespread over the little boroughs near our family cabin in Laporte, PA. Not much news reports from the towns of Muncy Valley, Dushore, Eagles Mere, Picture Rocks or Sonestown (save a little rec a few years back when a young lad made a run for the American Idol prize). Sullivan County is sort of out on its own, and I think most of the independent town folk like it that way. With that comes its pluses and minuses.
A few days after the rain many people are still without power and are busy taking inventory of damage close to home. At the same time the rumors fly: the Forksville covered bridge is washed away, World’s End Swimming Area is no more, Lake Mokoma is full of water, Picture Rocks is now just Picture and Muncy Valley is now Muncy Rocks (I started that one). Solid reports of the surrounding communities probably will not start coming out until the next couple of days when people are able to emerge from their troubles and roads begin to open. In the meantime I will share with you what I know. Yes Lake Mokoma is full, actually overflowing, of brown rain water. Sonestown covered bridge is still standing with some damage. Sonestown the town experienced some major water. Eagles Mere looked almost untouched. The Loyalsock Creek was a ragging river. Those things I know. Some of which I share wit you now.
**UPDATE** The World End State Park has been doing a pretty good job of updating their website about conditions within the park. They also put up some pretty amazing photos and videos of the flooding near the loyalsock swimming hole. Check em out HERE.
|9/20/2011 9:35:00 AM|
|Road to High Knob from the Worlds End Road side is closed because of extensive damage from flooding on January 25, 2010. Construction will start soon but this road will remain closed until later this fall.|
|9/19/2011 3:26:00 PM|
|PA Route 154 between Worlds End and US 220/Laporte and Worlds End Road (SR3009) is open to traffic. Campground is open and Cabins remain closed, but we hope to reopen by this weekend, Sept. 23. Park trails may have damage and access is limited. PA Route 154 between Worlds End and Forksville remains closed, with significant road damage. See flooding photos here.|
Video of Loyalsock Creek with floodwater above 20 feet. The World’s End Chapel area was completely washed away, only a few benches remained within eyesight.
More photos can be found HERE.
List of road closures in Sullivan County as of Saturday morning (September 10, 2011).
- Route 87 from Route 220 at Dushore to Interstate 180 in Lycoming County.
- Route 154 from Route 220 at Laporte to Route 87 at Forksville.
- Route 220 from Route 405 in Hughesville to Muncy Valley.
- Beaver Lake Road in Davidson Township, from the Lycoming County line to Route 42.
- Nordmont Road in Davidson Township, between Brown Hill Road and Long Brook Road.
- Nordmont Road in Laporte Township, between Nordmont and Route 220.
- Route 3005 from the Lycoming County line in Shrewsbury Township to Route 87.
- Elk Creek Road from Route 154 at Lincoln Falls to Route 87 in Hillsgrove Township.
- Middle Road in Fox Township, from Mountain Road to Route 154.
- Route 4014 from Route 154 in Elkland Township to Mill View Mountain Road in Forks Township.
Went up to Riverbend (PNC Pavilion) to check out one of my favorite live acts of all time, My Morning Jacket. Once again they did not disappoint. What did disappoint is my phone… terrible at low light photography and the mic officially hates bass, so I had to import some tunes. Barry White, do not buy a Motorola .
I was able to take some video and quickly put it together in a little piece. Keep an eye out for Neko Case, who came on state to sing Stevie Nicks’ Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around with Jim. Great weather, greats seats (standing) in the pit, and some good brew at the beer tasting before the event.
Now to the video. (I am sure YouTube will once again take away my audio).
Was out at the Boone County Kentucky Fair and snapped some photos (and took a video at the Demolition Derby). The seating setup was not the best, we had a chain-link fence right in our view. So most of my photos had a large chunk of fence in most of them. But few of them turned out okay. On this beautiful night the stands where packed on all sides and they were really getting into things.
Below is a video taken with my phone, so the quality is not going to be the best. HERE you can watch the same video in Batman Polka style. Let me know which one you like better. Sorry China viewers, you will need YouTube to view. I have tried to post to my youku but the file is too large.
A few weekends ago I had the opportunity to make a quick trip back to the States for the ING New York City Marathon. It was exhausting to fly over and back for just five days in the homeland, after all my travels I finally know what jet-lag is, but all worth it. Nothing feeds the soul like visiting with old friends, family and a couple tens of thousands of people fulfilling their dreams. And nothing feeds the stomach like an authentic burrito with horchata followed by a McSorley’s Dark in a corner bar. Lucky for me New York City provided all of those during the first weekend in November.
Like I said, the weekend was short and I did not get a chance to meet with everyone I wanted see but there will be a next time.
Until that next time enjoy these photos from the 41st running of the ING New York City Marathon.
In a world full of consumers there is still a small group out there giving all they can every day… the “providers”. Last week the world said goodbye to one of our great providers. In a moment, which described by those present, as peaceful and serene as could be imaged our family’s patriarch touched her last ray of warm sunshine, breathed in her final sweet autumn breath and gave a lovely last wink from her caring eyes as she fell into an eternal sleep.
Catholic families tend to run a little large in the diaper count. My mother’s family was no different. By the mid ’60s kids where spilling out of the house. And with a group this large someone has to play the role of provider. My grandmother never flinched at this idea and in the process she became one of the world’s greatest. Ohh the many ways I can remember her providing to our family. On a crisp cool Endless Mountains mornings, the Wake Robin crew would often begin the day in a way which for us was normal, but was actually quite special… with a plate of sizzling bacon and fresh from the Fire Tower blueberry pancakes. Sometimes lasting hours as family members slowly slipped from there beds and rolled down the hill from other houses. Grandmother didn’t put away her apron until every stomach was satisfied. Providing a perfect start to many a perfect vacation day was not her only way.
Back home on Maple Avenue she provided the perfect reason to climb that mountainous hill of stairs… no I’m not the talking about the singing Christmas wreath awaiting visitors at the door, but behind the door… there she waits with arms open ready to provide the gentlest of hugs and the sincerest of smiles. On Easter she provided an Easter egg hunt with REAL Easter eggs. Okay not THE Easter Bunny’s eggs but real enough that we could eat them following the last capture. On rainy day visits she would gather a box full of old toys and provide them for me to enjoy. Her instinctual idea of sharing and giving trumped any idea that these “things” (inside the box) may actually “belong” to someone. Nope, these things were not about ownership they were about providing joy. She projected a sense of grace and kindness which could catch the attention of even the most blind heart. Her presence in the basement could wash away a small child’s imagination (yes mine) of lurking evil and provide the security needed for a visit (albeit short and sweet) to one of Ashland’s scariest basements full of dark corners and rummage left by such a large family. She provided the perfect holiday dining experience (sugar cube table center-piece included) and always hosted a house full of laughs with good conversation between good people. She provided a dignity and sensibility matched by none. She provided a full fridge always containing a glass jug full of clean cold water which was perfectly complimented by a Morris the Cat 9 Lives drinking glass just as the world’s fattest cats approach and purr against your leg. On chilly Fall afternoons inside the house she provided a warm atmosphere conducive to nap taking on pillows providing corduroy face tattoos as proof of your extraordinary comfort. And of course she has provided me and the rest of us a great family. As a self admitted consumer I completely acknowledge all you have done and I thank you.
I hope that during my life I have been able to provide her a little something in return… maybe some laughs, some good memories and ultimately… a grandchild she was proud of.
There are not many better places to be when Spring rolls around then Kentucky. Sure it can make the eyes red and the nose sneeze. But that is a minor price to pay for a taste (and look) of Spring at its finest. Lucky for me I have been in the Bluegrass state smack in the middle of an early season bloom and warm and an early string of 70+ degree days. So we (Pops, Uncle Matt and I) strolled down to the Red River Gorge and the Lexington Cemetery on Easter Weekend. Here are a few snap shots of Spring in Kentucky.
D.G. Yuengling & Son (Pottsville, PA), established in 1829, is the oldest operating brewing company in the United States. Yuengling is also the largest American brewery by volume in the US. Sure some people like to say PBR and the fine folks at Sam Adam’s brew more beer, but as cousin Jeff and I have concluded… most of the beer they “brew” is actually contracted out to other breweries or distributors. So, as far as I am concerned Yuengling is not only America’s oldest brewery(not to be confused with North America as Molson was founded in the late 1700’s) but also the biggest.
As Yuengling continues its distribution across the states (now available along the east coast: from New York to Florida and grabbing up some inland territory in Alabama, Tennessee and rumored to Kentucky in the near future) I recommend you get familiar with their products. First, know the likelihood of it putting you on your butt based on ABV (alcohol by volume) - listed below. If you are into the dark beers you can’t go wrong with the Porter or the Black & Tan, ranked closer to an A in my book. Lager versus Premium for lighter tongues… well, these are similar in tastes and colors. Reality you can’t go wrong with the entire line-up. Even the overly sweet Chesterfield Ale can make you smack your lips together.
Beer Advocate Rankings
Lord Chesterfield Ale (5.4% ABV): C
Yuengling Black & Tan (4.7% ABV): B-
Yuengling Porter (4.7% ABV): B-
Yuengling Premium (4.4% ABV): C+
Yuengling Traditional Lager (4.4% ABV): B-
I huge (abominable kinda huge) thank you goes out to the Robin Hood Foundation. They allowed me to be there race day photographer. The goal was to capture as many of their runners as we could. They had over 100 runners on the course and the action was fast and furious at times but I think we did a pretty good job of getting the majority of them. The ING New York City Marathon course is only in the Bronx for one mile (right at the 20-mile marker). But the Robin Hood Foundation makes sure the experience is a good one. Today they put up a jumbo-tron for the runners, a dj spinning all day and a cheer zone as loud and active as I have ever seen. Every other day of the year they are attempting to alleviate problems caused by poverty in New York City. My hat goes off to them.
The Tokyo Marathon has something against costumed runners. Lucky for us the ING New York City Marathon does not. Below is part of the Tokyo Marathon final race instructions. Followed by photos from the 2009 ING New York City Marathon.
We understand that wearing of costumes and putting on a disguise is one of the enjoyments to participate in a major marathon event. On the other hand, it might cause the runner itself to fall, and also make the other runners or audience feel uncomfortable. Please be advised that in order to permit wearing of costumes in the future, we request for each runner to understand the circumstances and extend exercise of their sensibility. The organizer will prohibit all costumes stated from 1 to 6 below and other related behavior that may disrupt public order and other standards of decency. In the event that the organizer finds behavior related to this notice the runner will be immediately disqualified from the race. We will not accept any objection upon our decision in relation to this matter.
1. Clothing that may harm others, induce fall, and conduct that may interfere with others.
Example 1: carrying a knife or a sword, wearing armor or costumes with rivets etc. Example 2: long skirt, kimono etc. Example 3: holding of hands among the runners
2. Clothing not appropriate for a sporting event that may cause discomfort to others.
Example 1: running naked, wearing of costumes or underwear that may resemble nudity.
3. Wearing of clothing intended to promote political preferences or views, religious belief and advertising of products or establishments other than the event sponsors.
Example 1: sash containing political party or candidate names, religious beliefs. Example 2: costumes resembling a political or religious figure or merchandise other than the event sponsors.
4. Usage of fireworks, whistle and lighting apparatus etc. that may be used to distract or misguide other runners.
5. Wearing of clothing requesting of a donation or signatures for a petition etc.
6. Other clothing or costumes deemed inappropriate by the event organizer.
The ING New York City Marathon occurs on the first Sunday in November. This year’s stroll through the city happened to land on the first of the month. That means it was hitting the day after Halloween. Even with the extra hour of daylight savings sleep, it was going to be hard for Hallows’ Eve revelers to wake the sleep from their bodies for the marathon. The two years I have been in New York City during Halloween. Neither time did I attend New York’s Village Halloween Parade. Two years ago I attended a get-together at a bar (my costume was purchased as we walked to the bar - a pack of pantyhose over the head can make anyone look like a mongoloid who is about to rob the local 7 Eleven). Last year my friend John had party in Brooklyn (which I attended in a one piece Spider-Man suit, one size too small). So in this third year I thought I would see what all the hub-bub was about with this little parade.
At this parade you typically get over two million spectators, over 50,000 parade participants, live bands, floats, hoochies and pets all dressed up for the occasion. Throw that all together with some rain… and you have this years event.
It’s tough for a place to beat the majestic scenery of Zion National Park even if it has the name Grand in it. And well, even in all its grandness the Grand Canyon still comes in second or third place in my book. With that said, it is pretty damn impressive. It just doesn’t hold the beauty of Zion or the delicate artistry of Bryce and Arches. I took a few images worth showing and a trail warning sign like I’ve never seen before.
This weekend I am off to NYC for the ING New York City Marathon. If you are going to be there just let me know.
The second stop along the Colorado Plateau was Zion National Park. The automated script on the bus says that the oldest sections in Bryce Canyon are the youngest sections in Zion. And the oldest sections in Zion are the youngest in the Grand Canyon. Regardless, Zion National Park is, in my opinion, the most dramatic and wondrous of all the parks in this area. About ten years ago I visited Zion with my buddy Wilbert as we drove across the country (Chicago to LA). Zion was our only National Park stop and I instantly feel in love with it. This year I rekindled my love for Zion. The scenery is amazing, the weather in October is perfect,the hikes are challenging and rewarding and there is a great little free campground near the park entrance. My favorite experience of the trip by far.
Bryce Canyon for a day. Okay… not actually a canyon but more of a natural amphitheatre of rock, wind and erosion and the first of three important steps of the Colorado Plateau (Bryce Canyon, Zion and the Grand Canyon). With its hoodoos and who people, Bryce is a Dr. Suess book come to life. A hike under the rim will leave you enchanted under a new world. A hike (or drive as most people do) above the rim will remind you how popular it is with both international and American tourists… a lot of which are riding their Harleys around. Well worth a full day.
Tim, the campground host at Arches, says “I don’t know what I hate worst… the wind or the rain”. I thinks to myself… when camping out it’s the rain of course. That was upon arrival. Before leaving the next day my opinion may have changed.
Arches is a beautiful park located on a hill/mountain (depends from where you are reading this) about fifteen miles outside of Moab. If my mountain bike was not in pieces in a box in Texas I would have been so tempted to take a ride out on the slickrock. I get easily distracted when I travel. Instead, I stayed focused on the original itinerary and it was up to Arches for a night at one of the more original National Park campgrounds I’ve stayed. The official park campground is located at the end of the park with each site nestled in among the sandstone rocks and red sand. Not just your slab of concrete and picnic table at this $20 a night spot. Okay, yes $20 a night is a little steep. But location, location, location. Here is where the “I don’t know what I hate worse…” part comes in. Within hours of staking the tent 40 mile per hour wind gusts began to blast the area. Now I’ve always been a fan of function over fashion. And I’ve always been a fan of the cowboy bandanna around the neck. It was not until this day I combined the two. And in the distorted words of Chris Farley in Black Sheep, “If function over fashion kicks ass, and cowboy bandannas kick ass… then we got some kick ass shit”. If someone can give me the original movie quote you win a prize. So for the first time I donned my cowboy bandanna as a form of function. That wind was whipping sand up all over the place and places in between. Days later I would be cruising down highway-64 scratching my head in wonder at a bumper sticker and Arches sand would flurry my lap with one-hour school delay accumulation. Like glitter from a my 25th birthday party it just keeps showing up when it feels like it. Oh look… there is a little sand in the corner of the tent, some here in my sock, and a little more here in my ear, and what about this heaping mess in toothpaste… you get the idea.
Despite all the airborne sand the park was short and sweet. I am still messing around with the camera settings, so most of my photos did not really turn out the way I would have liked. Some of the ones without too much damage are posted.
Located in Southern Colorado the Great Sand Dunes amass the tallest sand dunes in North America. The dunes were formed from sand deposits of the Rio Grande. Over the years, westerly winds picked up sand particles from the river flood plain. As the wind lost power before crossing the Sangre de Cristo Range the sand was deposited here. When driving in you know you are getting close when you start seeing signs for Colorado Crocodiles and UFO hotels (little side attractions in the area).
A few years ago my friend Elaine and I drove up Guanella Pass to catch the aspen foliage. We stopped at the base of Mt. Bierstadt. Time only permitted us a short hike… I had to get back to Dallas. From that moment I knew I was going to get to the top of it sometime. Last week I was in Indian Hills hiking around and happened across this local fella. He got to talking about how he raised his boys in these mountains or how the mountains raised his boys. Charming guy with a lot of stories. I asked him for advice on hikes. One of his first recommendations for a guy just coming from sea level (me) and a chance to bag a 14er was Mt. Bierstadt. The memories of our short trip up Guanella Pass came rushing back. That weekend I would hike Mt. Bierstadt.
The weather had been a little wet last week. High elevations were getting some snow. Mt. Bierstadt is know to be a popular hike, hopefully this snow would keep the throngs of people away for the weekend. I was going to hike on Friday but the weather was too bad. Me not knowing what I was doing could get into real trouble without the help of an experienced hiker. The weekend weather was clear so I decided to take my chances with the weekend crowds.
The man from Indian Hills gave me some other good advice. Don’t approach Guanella Pass from the most popular route from Denver by going through Georgetown. The road was under heavy construction. As it turned out this was a good thing. It keep the Aspen viewer off the road, because they could not make a loop pass from Grant to Georgetown and I believe it could have road blocked a few hikers trying to make it up that day. As it turned out on my accent I passed a solo speed hiker, a family of three, and a group of four I meet on the summit. The group on the summit quickly left and I had it all to myself.
Sure it was only 14,000 feet and kids had completed that hike. But it was a special moment for me. It is always a good feeling to close out a thought or an idea you have had. Just a few years ago I looked up at the mountain and said I’ve never hiked up something like that, but I am going to do it. This weekend I completed that thought.
Just my bikes and I on the open road.
Last Saturday I hit the road pointing northwest and put my foot on the gas. In less than one and a half hours I was out of Texas. The signs are big when you enter Texas, but not so much so when leaving. The only reason I knew I was in Oklahoma was because these bright lights were beaconing through the morning dark and telling my weary eyes that “Everyone’s Gone Choctaw” signs all over the place. Though I was not sure if I had gone Choctaw I was sure Texas was at my back and the sun began to rise on a new day. After Oklahoma came Kansas. After Kansas came Colorado. With all the flat terrain the ride was not expected to be too exciting. Luckily there were a few rain showers for entertainment, an array of smells from the fields and cattle, and good tunes. I actually made it all the way to the Colorado border before I found a rest area with a shade tree, a cool breeze and a desire to doze off for a 30 minute nap. As I turned west for the homestretch the sun was setting on my face, the windows were down and I was perfectly satisfied with the moment. Within three hours I would be in Denver amongst good folks. Again, I was perfectly satisfied with the moment.