I regret not getting his name, asking more questions, asking for his portrait. The photographer and traveler sides of me mourn a missed opportunity. But I was off-kilter, mistrusting, and was gauging the situation instead of engaging.
Unfortunate. But hey, look at that photo I got with the lamb. One for the scrapbook.
It was a morning of humbling experiences. I started the day with an extremely patient teenager who was manning the petrol station. He explained to me three times that I had to pay him at the stall, and no, to fill up the car before I paid him. There are few things that’ll make you feel more idiotic than not being able to figure out how to pump gas.
We’re all just tourists
When I picture a “well traveled” version of myself I picture someone confidently floating through the world. A man engaging with locals like Anthony Bourdain, shooting photos like Robert Frank, and climbing mountains like Jimmy Chin. That man is not me. I think we all grasp at archetypes that represent what we value.
More often we become the one lost on the streets in a random city, weighed down by awkward luggage, trying to find our way. We depend on the kindness of strangers, patience with ourselves, and a heaping dose of humility.
Sometimes we come away with a completely new perspective. Changed.
Other times we have a crappy photo of us with a lamb.
Both seem worthwhile to me.
Let’s do some housekeeping since it’s been a while. I’ve just extended my stay in Lake Tahoe through the end of June. I’m hopeful I’ll be able to get up into the higher mountains snow permitting. Next weekend I’m spending a long weekend in Yosemite which should hopefully produce some great photos and inspiration.
A few more updates:
Tahoe presents a slower pace that I’m really enjoying at the moment. More writing and photos to come, thanks for reading.
- SEO running post — The guide to trail runs in Boulder I wrote is starting to breach the first page on Google and get some clicks. It’s actually working! My next experiment will be to rank first for my name in Google, which will require me to re-do my site homepage.
- Input — I’m currently working through Road to Seeing by Dan Winters. It’s essentially a career retrospective and seeing the nitty gritty of artists approach is always helpful. I finished Alec Soth’s Magnum Course and wow wow wow it is worth its weight in gold. I also bought his book I Know How Furiously Your Heart is Beating which I’m excited to spend more time with. My bedside read right now is My First Summer in the Sierra. I figured it was the right time to spend a few hours with Muir.
- Output — I’ve got two pitches accepted on websites outside my own that I’m working on. This is about following through on my goals of getting published this year and it’s a good start. I’ll share more from these when they’re live. I’ve also been working through my photo backlog which has been helpful to both finish images and start to think bigger about my work from the past year. Something bigger is in here somewhere and I just need to spend the time required to find it.