Jan 17, 2023

i love this place

owyhee canyonlands

if you've wandered around this website, seen some of the photos and read some of the words, it is probably obvious:

i love this place.

that could be the title of the website, portfolio and every photo.

it's a big surprise to me.  this isn't the place i thought i would live in and love.  i've traveled extensively around the world and lived in many beautiful places: forested cascade mountains bordering wilderness, foothills of the himalayan mountains in thailand, small town oregon coast, small villages in china, remote sub-tropical mountains of taiwan, colorado mountains, rural appalachia, and more.

i've had the option to choose where i wanted to be and move. i did it frequently. i lived out of a backpack for many years.

those moves and places were influenced by many variables: wanderlust, education in healing, meditation and martial arts, escaping, running, seeking...something else. ultimately not satisfying, no matter the beauty of the place.

finding home in eastern oregon was a different process. it wasn't a thought out plan, a dream location to find a way to. it was more like being called, following a path, although a somewhat circuitous path. even when the process wasn't clear, or there were major obstacles, it kept feeling right. i learned to trust that process.

what has unfolded here is nothing like what i expected.  so much for expectations.

initially hiking the strawberry mountain range and kayaking the rivers here felt very familiar. skiing deep into the backcountry brought interesting new territory.  wandering the full moonlit desert canyon nights of the fossil beds started to awaken something. following this unfolding further south and east into the steens, hart mountain, alvord desert, sheldon, trout creek, owyhee canyonlands brought it all into crystal clarity.

i love this place.

it could be the spaciousness of it all.  or the dark, dark star filled nights at 10,000 feet in the snow.  then, there is the quiet, or the wind, or the songs of coyote. spring warm breezes bring sage and juniper scents while hiking along a creek in a deep gorge, winding around a corner to see wild roses in bloom too thick to walk through.

or,  it could be summer heat radiating off the desert floor and rock canyon walls as the sun sets and stars begin to appear against crystal clear blue skies followed by a full moon rising on the horizon and shooting stars.

maybe it's the echoing raptor cry bouncing off slot canyon walls with rippling whitewater river rapids in the background. then, watching a herd of wild horses running across a prairie with a snow capped mountain range as background.

somewhere in the middle of all that a creative process, energy, spirit awakened without any trying on my part.  maybe that was what all the previous traveling and moving was seeking.

yet, even all those words only comes close. can't really explain why.  perhaps words just aren't the appropriate medium.  that's where the photos come in.

if these photos have any value, they express in some small, imperfect way the essence of this unfolding process, honoring the energy and spirit of these places.

thanks for listening, being a part of it.

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