Arches National Park happens to be one of the most scenic and beautiful places in the world. It just so happens to be right in my backyard and I get out to enjoy it all the time. On March 11th Virginia and Matthew decided to have their wedding ceremony under the most iconic arch in the park, Delicate Arch.
We started the hike around 7am, and surprisingly the temperature was not to cold for being a winter morning. There were a few wispy clouds in the sky that began to glow as the sun crested the La Sal mountains. After the hour approach, the sun began to hit the arch as the ceremony began. It was a very small ceremony with the bride and groom each having their families with them. Wishing Virginia and Matthew the best in the future.
Enjoy these images of this perfect day.
Permits are needed for weddings in Arches, which gives the group a ranger to control the crowds during the ceremony. If you are interested in a National Park wedding, please contact me at 435.260.9802. -Eric
The StellaRuby Cottages are located in downtown Moab, just off of Main St., Hwy 191. This past fall I worked with Matt, the owner of the cottages, to get photos of the interior and exterior of the three units. Take a look at their website to see the images. They have a spacious backyard, hot tub, are dog friendly and perfect for groups. Also, if you are looking for activities, such as a guided hike through the fiery furnace, take a look at the Moab based Windgate Adventures guide service for all they have to offer. Make your time in Moab a trip to remember.
The creation of art comes in many shapes and forms. I’m alway keeping my eyes open on my trips to see what people are creating. On my drive through Lake Arrowhead, California this past January, I was making a turn onto the highway and glanced to the side to see a giant eagle being carved out of a giant tree. By far it was the largest wooden sculpture I had ever seen. This eagle was being carved by William Tower with a 50″ chainsaw. He was in the middle of a huge cut that was taking all of his concentration. People were flooding the yard where he was cutting to see this piece he was working on, and to purchase smaller pieces for their homes. I kept thinking, How would you move this thing?
William said he had contacted the Guinness book of World Records to enter this piece, as it is the largest wood carving to date. As we were standing in the talking a red tailed hawk was hovering above. He said that since he has been working on this piece, hawks and eagles have been flying by on a daily basis. The piece has an incredible look to it. Hope William gets into the Guinness book and continues creating great works of art. Take a look at his website. www.towerartwilliam.com.
Just after Christmas in California I did this photo shoot with the Sara and Sven Simon for their second anniversary. We headed to Laguna Beach, just north of San Diego for a Trash the Dress photo shoot. The dress survived the shoot and they both had a great time. This was the place that Sven proposed to Sara. After living in Moab for the past six years, it was great to be in the warm California sunshine. Enjoy!
It’s time to get on the road for a road trip this winter. Where do we go, who brings what, and how do we make it happen. Driving the truck seemed like the most logical way to see the country on our journey out East. Our goal is to get to climb as many areas around Chattanooga, TN as we could in the few weeks we have. I’ve heard it’s amazing and had to see it for myself.
The guide season for my business Windgate Adventures in Moab came to a close for the season just after Thanksgiving. The winter was about to hit the desert and end the climbing season. We loaded all of our gear into the truck… pads, climbing shoes, packs (I’m a huge fan of the Deuter Guide 35 for trips like this) and everything else we had in the mix.
I met up just after Thanksgiving with two friends in Southern California. One buddy is a peddy cab driver in San Francisco, and the other works on Yosemite search and rescue. I was and have been so psyched, we are all psyched to climb this entire year and have been training for the sloping holds of the SE by climbing the crimps at our local crags.
Out first stop was at an area in central Alabama called, Horse Pens 40. The new guidebook showed up a few days before we took off. Hearing of this place for so many years from friends, saying it is some of the best in the country had my ears ringing.
After our 30+ hours of driving, with stops to climb in Little Rock, Arkansas and somewhere in Texas, we made it to the Appalachian forest, to the home of the HP40. We ran out of the car like it was our first climbing trip. We grabbed our gear and made our way to the classic Millipede boulder. Bumboy was the first thing we jumped on and it spit us multiple times. It was going to take some time and skin to get used to this place. That night after a few hours of climbing our fingertips were a little raw, but we couldn’t wait for the sun to make it’s way around again.
The lines were proud, burly and rounded, and there were many of them. The most classic problem that we did was the arête called, Mortal Combat. Now I like highball boulder problems, but when there a massive pit below that you could fall into, it adds a little bit of a thrill.
We padded the landing and started working the problem. I popped off on my first go, not really trusting the foot to go to the top. After getting psyched I finally committed to the top out, and somehow made it. So psyched! What a rush!
So many other problems were climbed and tried before we headed North after 3 days. The skin on my hands was raw, but the rain was coming in, and you know how that goes… a rest day would have to wait. Our first day in Chattanooga we headed to this area called Little Rock City near Soddy Daisy, TN. I’d heard mixed reviews of this place, but couldn’t believe how insanely stacked this place was. Endless mega problems on all boulders, on some of the best rock I have ever touched. We got after it, mostly falling on the final moves of the classic slab problem called Space. This problem is 20 feet, with no holds… you climb a blunt arête, squeezing your way up and finally slapping to the top. Unreal!
Today it’s raining as I’m watching boats on the Tennessee river flow by… waiting for the skin to heal and for the rock to dry. This coffee isn’t helping. HA!
I was on my way out of town, heading north toward the Potash Rd to get some photos of the Colorado at it’s flood stage. While driving I looked up at a streelight and could see a bird poised… this bird was not a pigeon. This larger bird happened to be a red tail hawk. I quickly stopped, flipped the car around and hoped to get back in time to see him before he took off. I grabbed my camera, quickly switched out the for a long lens. It appeared that he was resting on his wing, or had a chick near. I couldn’t tell until he stretched his wings out… that he was missing a leg. It was strange to see this magnificent predatory bird injured. Was he snared, blown off from a transformer, shot at?… a sad sight. I’m sure he was up there, trying to figure out how to survive, catch it’s next meal and continue to live. I have no doubt this hawk was in pain. Just then, a tourist, jumped out of the car and lingered around long enough to disturb the hawks bubble. He launched with his one leg and flew off toward the sandstone walls, and soon disappeared into the red desert. I continued to my original destination up on the Portal Trail to see the great glowing walls just inside the river corridor. I’m sure the red tail was on the other side soaring as the sun set.
ISO 100 1/640 sec at F/6.3
ISO 100 1/640 sec at f/6.3
When I head out to shoot, I keep my options open, go to an area that looks good… because it won’t look like that for only a few moments. Take time with the subject, whether it be light a person or an incredible red tailed hawk. Have patience and it will all line up. Absorb your surroundings.