GS Weekend Part 1

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Weekend before last, some friends of mine arranged to borrow some bikes from BMW and take a ride upstate. I was lucky enough to be included in the activities. We were all riding various iterations of the GS model. I had a 2014 R1200GS. This is probably the biggest motorcycle that I have ever ridden. For its size and weight, the bike is surprisingly fast and nimble. We left the island of Manhattan around noon on Saturday and rode just under 400 miles to Lake Placid. We left Lake Placid early Sunday AM and returned to NYC by a different and slightly longer route. We came back covered in insect carnage and bearing CF cards full of images from the adventure. I took a Canon 5d Mk III with a 50MM f 1/1.2L and the Fujifilm X100 S. Since I snapped so many photos over the two day ride, I’m going to break them up into a few different posts in chronological order.

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The Wild West

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I took a trip to Utah with some of my NY friends to take advantage of the waning snow pack on the Wasatch range. After a couple of days of riding, we headed into the desert for target shooting. This photo was actually snapped by my old man, who is an incredible marksman. This was my friend Jeff’s first time shooting a high-powered rifle. He was a regular deadeye by the time we finished up. I was acting as spotter when this was snapped. I’m not sure why I like this image so much. But I really do. It was a great way to cap off the weekend.

ketchikan vid

I slapped together a little vid from the footage that I shot in AK last week. I wish that I would have been more proactive about shooting video while I was up there. Alas, I didn’t. So, here is what I came away with:

happy friday!

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So bummed that today is my last full day in AK. It has been so much fun. Not really sure what is on the docket for today. But, Thursday was so nice and sunny. The image above is what I woke up to. We went to the boat basin in the morning and checked out some pretty cool hardwood fishing boats. It blew my mind that they still make boats out of wood like that.

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In the afternoon we went to a local beach and caught some rays. My shoulder is actually still sore from skipping so many rocks with my nieces.

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Have a great weekend!

4th of july

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Nothing says says happy birthday America like parades and fishin’. Hahahaha. So, that is exactly how we spent independence day. We hit up the Ketchikan parade around noon. I think that my favorite portion of the parade was seeing the Native American wearing some of their tribal gear, etc..

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After the parade, we borrowed a boat from my b-i-l’s friend Mike at Knudson Cove Marina. We headed just around the corner from the Marina and dropped in a couple of fishing lines. Things got crazy.

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Yes, those are Carhartt jeans and Xtratough boots, I’m wearing. I was geared up like a pro. Even though I grew up fishing pretty much my whole life. This was definitely an excursion like none other that I had ever been on. I caught 3 different varieties of salmon, including a white king (which I’m told is kind of a big deal).

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After we arrived back at the pad, we fired up the coals and grilled salmon/steak, then watched fireworks from my sister’s deck. Not a bad way to celebrate the 4th of July.

lions tigers and bears

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Tuesday started off with a hike through the Tongass Forest. It is a temperate rain forest, and the largest rain forest in the world, aside from the Amazon. You’re welcome for the factoid. Hahah.

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In the evening we did some ziplining with Alaska Canopy Adventures. It was bananas. We literally zipped from tree top to tree top. I felt like I was in the Ewok village or something. Here is a POV shot of my feet zipping at about 35 mph toward the final platform.

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Tori, Jessie and Sarah on one of the platforms:

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After zipping we went on a bear walk. We walked out to an area where we has seen some bears earlier in the week. I knew there was one nearby, because I could hear one growling. As I was hanging over some railing trying to see farther down the river, I heard my sister choking out the words “there is a mama bear and her cub right over your head.” I looked up and saw this:

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I was able to snap a couple of shots as we were retreating, including this one of her manicured paw.

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Sarah snapped this one of me getting the image at the top of this post.

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Let’s not forget the barn cats. They followed us the whole time we were walking around this boardwalk.

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Capped off the evening with some warm-up-lap fireworks courtesy of my sister’s neighbors.

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misty fjords

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I apologize in advance for the quantity of photos in this post, but Monday was seriously bananas. To give you an idea, we shot close to 1300 frames, and had to pair it down to this handful (top photo by Maya).

We got up bright and early and jumped a flight operated by Promech Air. Promech is a super cool outfit. I was able to meet several of the individuals that work with Promech and they are good peeps. Our plane left from the docks right in front of downtown Ketchikan, and took off past the cruise ships that were at port.

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We flew over the fjords and landed at a dock to do the return trip by boat.

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New Eddystone is a large rock formation that in one of the main channels. My sister and b-i-l were actually married there. Not long after passing New Eddystone, we passed a couple of orcas playing.

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Even though the weather was kinda drizzly most of the morning, by the afternoon/evening, it cleared up, and the sun came out. So we went down to the beach to build a fire and goof off.

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it rains a lot here

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I successfully survived my first full day in AK. It was pouring rain on and off, Sunday. That didn’t stop us from getting out on a hike to Ward Lake, among other activities. Today, we are off to Misty Fjords, in a float plane, which by the way are ubiquitous here. I snapped the one below from my sister’s living room. I’m getting pretty excited about it.

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Here are a couple more snaps from the hike.

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i was awake for 23 hours

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Yesterday morning, I voyaged from sea to shining sea. My journey stared in the lovely Pennsylvania Station, NY. Since I was there at 4:30 AM, I had the pleasure of sharing the NJ Transit train to EWR with all of the club kids on their way home after a wild night out in the big city, hahah. It was less than enjoyable. Fourteen hours later, I was lounging on my sister’s couch watching the bald eagles fly around outside of her living room window.

We didn’t waste any time getting the party started. We went on a couple of hikes. My little nieces Maya and Sophie are fantastic hikers (above: Maya and Sophie discovering America). They weren’t afraid to break out an occasional parkour move between rocks or over a log.

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Don’t forget the bears and eagles. I was greeted by both as I exited the airplane concourse. They are literally everywhere over here.

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It is a lot more challenging that I had supposed, to shoot here. Since it rains so much, the light is very subdued. This means that I find myself shooting with the aperture wide open and often w/a shutter speed of slower than 1/200 (because I refuse to shoot any higher than 400 iso [noise]). Makes it tough to get a sharp image hand-held at 200mm. The low light and constant drizzle also throws off the AF quite a bit. I’m sure that I will get it figured out eventually.

airportz

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Blogging w/my phone right now out of boredom. This is after I have already gone on a instagram binge and eaten two tacos. Only 2 hours left in this layover. Weighing the options: uncomfortable nap v. more magazines.

happy friday

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Or should I say “stressful Friday.” I have so much to get done today before I jam to Alaska. I’m not going to bore anyone by putting a list on here. But trust me, it is a lot.

I’m so excited to see my sister and her fam in Alaska. It has been way too long. It will also be a very nice opportunity to have a protracted break from the grind.

Have a great weekend!

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weekend recap

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Despite getting off to a bit of a rough start (missed my connection and had to spend the night in DC), the weekend was a lot of fun. I had a lot of fun and was able to get some sun.It is tough to come back and get straight back into the grind.

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happy friday

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I received a copy of the latest issue of L’equipe Sport & Style in the mail yesterday. It is a French mag that did a story on KAWS this month. They approached me last month about using the photo below. It is one that I snapped at the Aldrich museum in Connecticut during the exhibits opening soiree.

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About to rock a morning run before packing for Charleston. I’m pretty amped about this trip. It sounds like my homeys down there have plenty o’ good lined up for us to do. Sangue bom, those two. Have a great weekend!

thoughts on thurs

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There is no bigger cop-out for the title of a post than using alliteration with the name of the day that it is published. Yikes! Anyway, I am back from Chi-town. It was a very rainy adventure. My friends have that new Range Rover crossover (forgot the name of the model). The panoramic roof (above) was phenomenal for viewing the city while we drove around.

It was very cool to be able to see my friends again. I was bummed when it was time to leave. To make matters worse, my flight was delayed 5 hours because of lightning. So, I didn’t end up getting to bed until just shy of 4 AM Monday morning. Not the best way to start the week. As fate would have it, last night was really the first night that I was able to go home from work at a reasonable hour, tidy up and get some sleep.

I had some grandiose plans for the week, including logging some solid miles running. I am going to feel like a bit of a poseur this weekend, since I have a race on Sat and Sun. I did ride my bike to work Monday though (got rained on, on the way home). Then, the following weekend is the Brooklyn Half-Marathon. This is probably my favorite NYRR race. Too bad that I’m out of shape and will most likely score a terrible time, this year. Oh well. At least I will have a lot of friends at the race. It will be a good time no matter what.

And that is why the title of this post is so lame.

happy friday

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This week flew by for me. I’ll be headed to Chi Town tonight, and I’m pretty excited about it. Just hoping that the T-storms predicted for this evening won’t interfere with my flight. I won’t be doing any running this weekend. In fact, I probably won’t be doing anything that requires very much effort. This went up on Tuesday. Have a great weekend!

short week

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It is always nice to have a Friday on Thursday. This evening we are jumping a flight for Charlotte, to attend a wedding. It should be a pretty nice time. In addition to being excited about the actual wedding and ancillary events, it is going to be really cool to catch up with so many friends that we haven’t see for several years. I’m taking my small computer with me, and hoping to be able to drop in a couple of posts along the way. Have a great weekend!

[the photo has absolutely nothing to do with this post]