Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Think Green

A poster I did to give my University of Colorado INVS class a sample of a photoshop course proposed for a Service Learning project.

posted by Blake Kimmel @ 11:58 PM | 1 Comments Links to this post

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Great Southwest

For the final spring break of college my roomates set their plans on an alternative to the normal arid beach booze crushing and floozee mingling college spring break. Rent a 30 ft RV and drive from Boulder, Colorado to Las Vegas, Nevada over 6 days for a stunningly bargain price and soak up the sights and sounds of the Great Southwest with a fully stocked base camp on wheels. Late March can be a nippy season for high desert camping so being able to drive the rig to camping spots, monuments and viewpoints with no dwelling set up beyond extending the lateral living room space enhancing winglet was relaxingly crucial. This thing was a beauty, and had only 600 miles on it when we picked it up. Even better, we could leave it in Las Vegas and fly home. I got equipped for this trip with a new Mamiya C330 Medium Format camera with 8 rolls of Provia color slide film, a Canon Digital Rebel for timelapses and my Sony HDR HC1

We cruised to Moab, Utah the first night to check out some of the spectacular red rock structures of Arches National Park. At one point parked at a trailhead in Arches, a group of young adult males walked by our RV as we were lounging and said, "Hey look its just like Borat." GOOOFUS. Making the turn from Interstate 70 onto the road that heads south we saw our first sunset of the trip...

We definitely wanted to escape the RV Park all amenities served establishments that we were bound to frequent on the trip. Leaving an open day in the schedule we proceeded south on Highway 191 the evening of our full day in Moab to drop anchors at hte most pristine remote location and actually go to sleep in the same place we woke up. After some internet research from family back home it appeared the camp ground "Gouldings" deep in the Najavo Indian Reservation in Monument Valley on the Utah Arizona border was worth a bounce. SUre enough, it was; and with winding canyons, steep elevated slick rock and even an arch all within a rocks toss of the Recreational Vehicle we were SYKED on exploring.

The next day we zipped down to the Grand Canyon to mingle at some seriously touristy viewpoints. On the way we drove for three hours through stretches of desolate Navajo barren land. For about 50 miles of this stretch of road North East of Tuba City, AZ I noticed an electric railway. What a peculiar site it was to see a european looking electric engine creep by carrying flatbed cars. If you have ever moseyed through this area and had a similar spike of curiosity about this strange sight, then read about the Black Mesa/Lake Powell RR.

The Grand canyon was spectacular as always. Lots of fellow Southwestern globe trotters were there bumping elbows with us trying to GTS (get the shot). I have visited this place once before when I was younger, but hadn't actually breached the canyon rim and walked down into it. We took a light 15 minute walk down the Bright Angel Trail and got a whole new perspective for the size of this natural wonder.

(Click for Digital SLR panorama)

(Click for Digital SLR panorama)

A light walk a few hundred feet into the GC and some golden hour photos and we had seen enough, geared up the truck and headed south to Williams, AZ. Forget about $40.00 RV parks, we decided to get frugal and convenient by parking at the Safeway right on the main street. We are now on Historic Route 66, and ready to rage. We went to Rod's Steakhouse, a delicious restaurant with bountiful southwestern cow flare.

Recovering from throbbing Route 66 drinking headaches in the morning we refueled at our Safeway and got ready to drive to Lake Havasu, Arizona. This afternoon I was delighted to be reunited with In N Out. We stopped at WalMart to get floaty toys and sunscreen for our pontoon boating adventure the next day. We played some catch and then checked into a relaxing waterside camping(parking) spot. We rose early to boat and got some wakeboarding in but by 11PM a torrential wind storm picked up. Massive lake swells crashed over our bow before captain Tim Swales figured that going as fast as possible into the waves made the rest of the ride less like 'Deadliest Catch'. Back in the canal we went and bought beer. While waiting for us to return, Jimmy's hat blew into the lake.

I did some timelapses too with my Digital camera plugged into my laptop for remote shots. I thought I would get more but we didn't spend nearly as much time sitting around at epic vistas as we all hoped we would.

posted by Blake Kimmel @ 1:33 PM | 0 Comments Links to this post

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