arizona love, pt. 1 – havasupai

In September, a group of us spent a few days among the waterfalls at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. We left Phoenix in the evening, caravanning to Seligman, a tiny town on historic Route 66. Before crashing in our tiny motel beds, we hit Black Cat Bar – along with the five other Seligman residents that stay up past 10pm. My favorite part of this bar was the menu (don’t worry, there’s a photo).

We woke up in darkness and raced the sunrise to the edge of the canyon. Pierce made sure to carb up – eating his cold spaghetti leftovers he got the night before in Prescott. Mmmmm. The hike to the small Indian community where you get your permits is about ten miles. From there you have a few more miles (feels like ten more) to get to the campgrounds. We hiked this distance with full packs (and made sure to buy mules for our packs on the hike out). We seemed to be late to the party coming on an off day, so we were limited when it came to finding a dry spot along the river to set up camp. I think Bryan actually just slept in his hammock for the duration of the stay. Deanna and Lindsay probably had the best set-up. Pierce and I were definitely on a slant, but we did have a cool piece of wood from the river in front of our tent that acted as a perfect bench. Poor John and Randee…sharing a one person tent? I believe someone definitely spent a night or two sleeping on the picnic table we dragged over…

Our days were spent lounging among the waterfalls (many of which actually required another multi-mile hike), nights we shared JetBoils for mac n cheese and beans, and played games by headlamp. My highlight was the night I took my tripod out away from camp towards Mooney Falls to try my hand at shooting star trails. Pierce joined me, along with his dinner of wild rice (kid takes like two hours to eat what I slam in four minutes). As he and I sat in semi-silence and pure darkness, I heard someone snacking on the dish of rice a few feet away. I turned on my red light and was face to face with a ringtail cat. If you know me, you know that just about ANY animal sighting incites my highest level of excitement. I had never seen our state mammal in the wild. He hung out with us for about 35 minutes as he got his fill from Pierce’s dinner. SCORE ONE FOR THE ANIMAL NERD.

I don’t remember the hike out being too difficult. I ate a lot of jerky and Goo cubes (because really, when else am I going to eat that stuff?) We made great time (despite me stopping every few minutes to get some obscure shot/Pierce’s slow pace – we made a perfect team since the others were nowhere to be found. Had Pierce not been there, I would have been hiking alone a lot, methinks). That is, until the switchbacks in full sun. Killer. I drove Pierce, Randee and John back to Prescott for celebratory beers – and I must apologize again for driving like a bat out of hell on that pothole-filled road. Sometimes, despite how beautiful and awe-inspiring a place can be, nothing sounds better than a beer and a shower.

(photos are from my DSLR, iPhone and film camera)

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A MCRIB? Seriously, who owns this place? My 17 year old stoner cousin?
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This guy told us all the local lore about the rock formations – The Bride and the Prince, The Backpacker/Old Man with the Burden on His Back, and The Lion of Judah. He told us to “sit by the creek and talk to God, because we all have problems in our lives.”IMG_9852 IMG_9860

Believe this was right before Pierce put on my running shorts (that’s it) and went over to the next camp and asked if they had seen his dog Tico (in a very specific kind of accent). Dares, man. They get me every time.IMG_9870photo (7) Processed with VSCOcam with t1 preset798188_516749875077171_1239195534_oIMG_9875

Our camp “waterfall.”

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“I feel like I’m at a ride at Disneyland!”

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Just a little sketchy getting down to this…especially with two cameras. But what choice do you have?IMG_9951 IMG_9959 IMG_9971

Part of the hike to Beaver Falls…looking for #thatHavasupaipalmtree
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Our gang originally was a lot bigger, but in the end, seven of us followed through! Deanna, Lindsay, Bryan, John, Randee, Me, Pierce.

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Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetSeriously, what an adventure. If you ever have the opportunity, seize it. Reservations have to be made pretty far in advance, and they obviously limit the number of people allowed in the canyon. I’ve been twice now and if I were asked to go again, I would definitely do it, despite my hesitation to repeat destinations!

the rhyans

This little family has since grown to three – Lennon Joseph is a little over a month old and even from the most unbiased point of view has to be one of the cutest babies ever. The entire Rhyan family holds a special place in my heart!

We had a quick little shoot to get them some new photos for their Christmas card. I love the couples and families that appreciate even a small photoshoot every now and then…despite our busy schedules it is SO worth it to have some quality photographs with those you love. I love a good mini-session!

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brothers

Working on clearing out my hard drive before I head off to THAILAND! I’ll post a link to my personal blog soon…hopefully you’ll care to follow along as I move my entire life across the Pacific.

Seem to be working with a lot of kiddos lately, which of course I absolutely LOVE. Getting my fill of cute, that’s for sure.

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cotton babies

I drive a lot for my other marketing job these days. For weeks I have been watching the crops on the west side go from little seedlings to lush expanses of green. I also watched the cotton bolls explode into a perfect photoshoot location, but I also knew that meant they would be harvested soon. Luckily I got my favorite mama and her kiddos to come out and play with me before they cleared the fields.

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conley patrick

My best friend recently had her baby boy. They named him Conley. Sarah has been one of my best friends for years & I am so excited for this huge milestone in her life. Conley is perfect, of course. All of us are completely enamored with him.

IMG_0055 IMG_0101col-2 IMG_0031 IMG_0042 IMG_0086And here is…well, the final product! Such a big boy. I went over to Sarah’s home to take the photos, and first things first, we had to get a good snuggle in. He was dead asleep. Of course as soon as I put him down to take some shots, he woke up, got squirmy & just wanted to be held. Silly baby.

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