Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Travel Update - Leaving Kalispell down to Dillon and Salt Lake!

The time has come to move on and it was a sad day leaving Kalispell, I have had such a wonderful summer, it was hard to leave the Flinchbaughs made me feel like part of the family and Jim and I had some great adventures and fun. But it was time to leave and so I packed up and hit the road on Thursday the 25th of September with a short trip to the National Bison Range in Moise, Montana a favorite place for pics.

Ready to leave!

My empty spot!

I parked the RV in a wonderful small RV park in Ronan then spent the afternoon at the Range. I managed a few pics.

Some artsy shots!

Friday in the rain I drove down to Dillon to meet my friend Steve for some fishing and photography on the Beaverhead River and it rained and got cold and rained some more so not much fishing or taking pictures...did manage a few!

And finally a small tribute to an old photography friend who made taking pictures of fences famous on a forum I belong to - RIP Bill Turner you are missed!

Shot this as a reminder of all my travels over the past few years! A new book is in the works on my travels and should be published before Christmas - if you want some of my best photos from the past 5 years or so this will be the book to get!

Stay tuned for some fall color shots around the mountains here in Salt Lake - gonna drive the Alpine Loop here in a few days when the weather clears...rain and clouds today!

Next big adventure is Ohio from the 8th to the 27th! See all my old friends then!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Blog Update Sept 19,2014 - East side of the Rockies Photo Trip

As most of you know - Jim Flinchbaugh and I decided to go and explore the East Side of the Rockies and the prairie and see if we could find a spot to get a good shot of the mountains from the East side - morning rising sun and of course the sunset to the west...we both had the shot envisioned in our mind and it was just a matter of finding the precise location, sadly it was not to be...the haze and smoke from the California and Oregon fires made it impossible to get a good clean shot, but we explored anyway and of course found a few things to take pictures of!

The trip consisted of 519 miles plus of driving and 3 nights camping...here is a little recap, in words and pictures!

Our first camp spot was a free open camping area beside Willow Creek Reservoir outside of Augusta Montana!

The site was in the middle of the prairie and a beautiful setting, plenty of room for Clyde to run and swim and we shared the site with numerous cows and of course cow shit and flies...but it was quiet and tranquil. The first night the sky was very clear and we star gazed by the fire, but were too lazy and content to shoot the stars again - Mistake! The next night was cloudy and overcast so we missed the Milky Way shots over the camp!

The second day we drove about 100 miles of dirt roads up into the mountains and it was interesting, but the mountain shot eluded us. On with some pictures!

The evening fire and sunset over the lake was amazing....

While attempting to shoot the above shot - Clyde Photo Bombed Me!!

On Day 2's drive we found some antelope - not too close, but enough to get a picture!

And a river...

We spent two nights and then decided to move on - a short 25 mile drive to Choteau and a stop at the Forest Service office lead us to our next spot - a Forest Service Campground about 30 miles out of town and about a 12 mile drag down a rough dirt road to the Cave Mountain Campground - it was a beautiful campground, well maintained and plenty of forest and trees and the wonderful sound of the river flowing by....

On our Day 3 drive we found a real nice little stream feeding into the main river and I shot a few pictures - although I did not have the filter with me that would give me the exact shots I wanted.

First shot of the stream...

The next morning we were surprised to have a real heavy smell of smoke in the campground and it was very hazy...concerned that the canyon we were in was on fire we decided a drive up the canyon was in order to see if we were in danger. I also wanted to return to the little creek and get the shots I was looking for. Luckily Jim had brought his filters and I was able to get a long enough exposure to make the water go silky...

Here are a few from the 2nd shooting of the creek!

My favorites!

I decided a portrait of Jimbo was in order!!

After the drive up the canyon in the thick smoke we decided the photo opportunities were slipping away so we head towards home in the wind and rain and cut the trip short by a day, however we had a grand time and it was worth every minute!

Today I pick my truck up from a buddy of Jims who is a Ford Mechanic - he changed the plugs on the V-10 and also the oil. It should be ready to travel as my plans have me leaving a week from today!

In the meantime - it will be clean up the trailer, check a few things and maybe a couple afternoon photo trips to capture more of the autumn colors around here, it is starting to burst in gold!!

Stay Tuned!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Blog Update - Time to fire up the Redneck Smoker and smoke some Alaska Salmon!

Yesterday was a day filled with amazing smells and the reward was after about 8 hours, some of the best smoked salmon I have ever had....

Fist you have to get the smoker ready - in this case it has a tone of miles on it and some great history - it is a simple thing perfected by time - old refrigerator with steel walls metal shelves and an electric stove element 220 volts installed in the bottom, vent added to the top for precise smoke control and a door thermometer and a digital temperature probe...

Best in pics!

Clyde The supervisor was on duty!

The Smoker - getting it ready!

Trays loaded!

In the smoker - two full racks!

Add some apple bark chips to the burner!

We got smoke!

Precise digital monitoring!

After the 8 hour wait!


Now the plan for the next adventure!!

Plan to leave on Monday for a 4 or 5 night trip and find some fall leaves and mountain and lake views for a little photo adventure! Should be a great time!

Stay Tuned!

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Blog Update - Road Trip Adventure to Noxon Reservoir

Took at trip about 120 miles from Kalispell to the Clark Fork River and Noxon Reservoir camped at a wonderful free forest service campground at Findley Flats. They have 18 sites and a couple pit toilets and a bat ramp. Nice place and easy to launch and get to with a nice bank to tie up to at night near your campsite. We had a wonderful time.

The story is best told in pictures....

Here we are ready to leave Kalispell!

Jim towed his trailer and I towed the boat so we had everything we needed for a few days of camping and fishing. Good roads and easy access to the campground and by going on a Thursday we beat the weekend rush.

The place was beautiful!

The fishing was a little slow, but being a new place neither one of us had ever been to, we were happy to stay even or ahead of all the locals who were not catching much either. We managed to nail one nice walleye and several smallmouth bass and quite a few northern pike.

The walleye was destined for the skillet!

Not having all the ingredients for our standard coating we resorted to crushing up some spicy CheeseIts and after an egg wash and roll in the crumbs it hit the skillet!

It was VERY Tasty!

The second morning brought loads of people and the campground filled up and the ramp was busy...but there was some pretty dense fog, which made for some morning photo ops!

Been wanting to work on this shot - still not perfected, but the idea is there and will get refined this year!

We brought our own entertainment - Clyde was always having fun in the campground! Playing dead and grinning, he was a happy dog!

Evening meant a great dinner and a campfire - with Jimbo's own method of one match fire lighting!

Add some propane and a weed burner and the fire lights right up!

Saturday night the campground was full and we had an obnoxious neighbor who decided to run his loud generator till way late at night, so Jim and I took a walk towards the water with cameras and tripods to do a little star shooting. Our neighbor was so bad we considered getting out the cordless drill and adding a few holes to his boat! But we refrained....

Here is the "Big Dipper"!

Here it is in black and white...I like the color better!

So now a few days waiting for better weather and getting some shopping done, some fish smoked and packing up for a little photo adventure to catch some changing leaves and mountains on the East side of Glacier National Park!

Stay tuned for an update - supposed to have snow in the higher elevations and rain and cold for the next few days so we are staying put.

Capt. Jim - "The Gypsy"

Traveling and photographing the Southwest and Alaska!