Sunrise at Emerald Lake

I watched ‘Into the Wild’ this weekend as I’ve always been a fan of the book and just recently realized that it was available for streaming on Netflix.

One of my favorite quotes from the book is:

So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservation, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.

– Jon Krauker, Into the Wild

Photo of the Day – Emerald Lake Sunrise

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As someone who wasn’t happy with their circumstances and made a change I do believe completely in this. We all have the power to change – change is difficult and it isn’t always simple but for those that push through and see it through it is very worth it because if you live in an unhappy place what is the point of living. For everyone who criticized Chris McCandless for taking off and heading into the woods at least he took a shot – sure there were things he could/should have done differently and he paid the ultimate price but isn’t there something to be said for doing what it is that you love – even if it kills you? I mean, maintaining the status quo just kills most people slowly anyways. If you aren’t busy living you are busy dying.

Now, waking up hours before sunrise and hiking to Emerald Lake isn’t exactly going into the wild but there is something to be said about getting away from it all and just being on your own. Seeing the sunrise without anyone else – heck probably not anyone within a few miles. There is peace there and each and every time I see it I can understand why McCandless felt that joy did not simply emanate from human relationships – but rather it is found all around us….like in a sunrise over Emerald Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park.

Back to Banff…Work has its Perks

I scheduled a meeting for the end of this month with a client in Calgary. We talked about the flooding and the tremendous effort that all of the volunteers are making – to the point where some are being turned away – and it really is amazing how well communities come together when faced with adverse conditions. If only we all functioned like that everyday the world would be a better place. During the call we set meeting dates for August 1st and 2nd so I’ll be off in Calgary for a couple of days. As always I’m going to try to take advantage of the situation and spend a few days over the weekend in Banff National Park. I’d like to extend the trip (of course) but I have two meetings in Detroit on August 6th so I won’t be able to make it more than two days. That’s okay though because I should have another meeting out that way in late September when I am less busy at the office and can afford to take some more PTO and do some serious hiking. Just praying for better weather the next time out.

Photo of the Day – Mount Rundle Reflection

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This is the most famous peak in the Canadian Rockies – Mount Rundle – and it is not hard to see why with the jagged edges and imposing size. The Vermillion Lakes were frozen over so I was able to walk (carefully) out onto the ice and get some reflection shots in the open water. This was the one night I actually had a semblance of a sunset – although without the cloud cover over top of the mountain there wasn’t too much color in the sky….beggars can’t be choosers.

Battle for the Elephants – Protecting one of God’s greatest creatures

PBS is airing a new series next week called ‘The Battle for the Elephants‘. It takes on the topic of the brutal poaching of elephants in Africa who are killed for their ivory tusks which supposedly have healing powers. If you get PBS I hope you will watch because this is a cause that needs our attention. Elephants (and Rhinos) are being killed at alarming rates and they need our help and protection because the measures the individual countries are taking just aren’t getting the job done.

Photo of the Day – Canyon Tree

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We watched the sunrise from Yaki Point and then hiked around a bit – I found a couple trees/branches that I thought looked interesting and this was one of them.

I’m in Rocky Mountain National Park now – a 4 AM wake up call for some snowshoeing tomorrow. Hopefully I’ll get a decent sunrise. Unfortunately, the past two days in Denver have been very ‘blah’ weather wise – grey overcast skies and LOTS of snow.

Modern vs. Historical

We went downtown this morning to take pictures of the historical buildings in Detroit and while in the process of doing that I came to the realization that the Detroit skyline rivals that of Chicago and New York. Detroit unfortunately squandered a number of opportunities over the years to become a major player across the US and after years of disrepair the city is coming into a state of revitalization. I, among many, am hoping they make the right choices this time and start to come back into the national landscape.

Photo of the Day – Modern

Houston has a much more modern skyline than any of the legacy powers across the country. I’m sure it is because the Houston boom started so much later than the rest of the country but even compared with Dallas the buildings that makeup the skyline are glass and steel as opposed to brick and mortar.

Storms Brewing

This was about a half hour before I took this shot of the sun setting over Mojave Point and you can see the storm clouds moving in the distance before the ‘purple rain’ started. I like the way the clouds in this photo are silky looking in the foreground but then turn into storm clouds on the horizon. Having the grand canyon as the main feature of the photo is pretty cool too.

Photo of the Day – Storm Clouds over Mojave Point

Heading out to the World Series tonight with my Dad – hoping, praying really, for a Tigers victory before driving back to Chicago tomorrow. Go Tigers!