solo vacation

Have you ever seen someone get off an airport shuttle alone at a campground with nothing but a backpack and suitcase? I found myself with some time off at the end of this summer and since Ted was going away for a conference, I decided to take a trip as well. I flew out to Colorado to visit friends and spend time in the mountains I’ve grown to love as much as the ADKs. Thankfully the campground host took me to my site on the golf cart so I didn’t have to be the weirdo walking across the grounds dragging a suitcase; no car, no company. The biggest challenge of my solo vacation came next: putting the tent up. Now I’ve had this tent for many years, but this was my first time setting it up without any assistance since I generally don’t camp alone. It seemed to be a beautiful, warm, calm day as I laid the footprint across the ground, until a sudden breeze started to pick up. I tried to put rocks on each corner to hold it down briefly while I got the poles ready, and it seemed they weren’t heavy enough, as before I knew it, the tent was flying away. I chased the tent down twice before finally deciding to wait out the wind and try another approach. As I struggled with this task, I looked up the hill and realized what a show I must be putting on for the people sitting on the overlooking bench.

The next day I met up with a photographer friend (who is working on building his portfolio and practicing different types of shots) for an educational and interesting morning at Gem Lake. Prior to this, I had no experience with setting up professional photography equipment and I’m sure hikers thought it odd when they passed by the umbrella flash and walked through our set between shots. While he surely got some decent shots from this, the better photos came from another shoot later in the week in Rocky Mountain National Park. Not only did I have the chance to be a model for a day, I also learned more about light sources and how to get different effects into images. I was lucky enough to sit down with him after the shoot for a mini lesson in processing images, for which I am incredibly grateful. Eliott Foust has some incredible photos and you can view more of them at

A sample of photos from my week of adventures in Colorado and Wyoming can be viewed in the gallery and on the GRPF Facebook page