Antelope Island Balloon Festival

I am now of the opinion of Balloon Festivals as I am of Roulette. You probably won’t walk away with what you hoped, but there is a lot of fun going around. however, the experience is so memorable you leave the plan and just go with the flow. We have been to two different festivals on three different days and seen balloons once, not great odds.  I left work early on Friday to make sure that we could get to the island on time.  We got there and were able to hit the visitors center and have a picnic on the beach.  I will have to post the recipe of the Faux-Philly subs later.  Then we went to the festival, we missed the big kites but just about the time we got there the balloons took off, it was on the opposite side of the island than we were at, and  I took off running trying to get a shot.  It was an incredible amount of fun.  The night ended with us watching the band and having fun, it was a blast.  However, I was exhausted and decided that I needed some of the Dew to get me home.  Along with the Dew everyone else got ice cream.

125mm f/4.6 1/49s

90mm f/7.1 1/799s

200mm f/5.6 1/39s

122mm f/5.0 1/79s
Day 2 started out with sleeping in, did I mention that I/we were exhausted.  We were planning on getting up early and catching the early morning launch and get a sunrise as a bonus.  We slept instead, it was worth it the wind was blowing, and the balloons did not fly.  So we waited until early afternoon, we got there and went to the Garr Ranch to see what there was to see.  It was REALLY interesting, it followed the life on an actual ranch from 1847 all the way until 1972.  We went back to the festival (no balloons), and hiked around the island and had a lot of fun.  As we were driving back home the boy was asking, “Dad are you tired? Dad you look really tired.”  And finally he saw me yawn and yelled, “YEAH! Dad’s tired.  We get ice-cream”

45mm f/8.0 1/249s

28mm f/22 1/39s

34mm f/6.3 1/159s
I leave you with what I think is the best picture that was taken over the weekend.  By my 11 year old daughter, good job honey.

200mm f/5.6 1/799s

Cascade Springs

18mm f/22 1/60s flash diffused with white paper

I am finding more and more that I need, I mean really neeeeed to get out and take pictures, and when I can’t I get really surly.  Last Saturday I was walking out the door with the kids to go to Cascade Springs, up American Fork Canyon and get some pictures.  As the kids were buckling into the car the Elders Quorum president called to help someone move in, yeah.  I’ll go where you want me to go.  Anyway, yesterday I called Christy on the way home and told her I was coming home and then leaving to take pictures immediately and anyone that wanted to come should be on the photo train.  I was expecting 2, 3 hours max, but in the end it was about 5 hours. I got lost in Mill Valley trying to get to Heber City and then home, but Logan (he was the only one ready to go when I left) finally made it.

32mm f/22 1.5s

38mm f/29 .625s

30mm f/4.2 1/20s

18mm f/6.3 1/160s flare was intended

55mm f/4 1/25s I photoshopped the sky to make it look better

I Love To See The Temple

So today is Sunday and church has been cancelled in Utah for the dedication of the Oquirrh Mountain Temple.

50mm f/5.6 1/125s
Since this technically my journal I thought it would be nice to list the work my family has done during the open house.
June 2 3-7am security
July 16 4-12pm cleaning my favourite assignment after everyone had left we got a top to bottom tour.
Aug 1 11am-8pm parking this was brutal I was assigned to the exit with no shade and only a couple of breaks (we were short handed that day) in 95 degree sun.

June 1 was signed up for 4 hour but the shift was cancelled.  Instead the temple president took everyone who signed up on a special tour.
July 16 11am-3pm hostess

While our time and sacrifices is little compared to that of the Saints building the Kirtland temple we did what we were asked to, and of that I am grateful.

Tonight I Lost a Pint

of blood that is.  So last night as I was coming home from work late, again.  I noticed the sunset was amazing, and remembered that California is burning again.  So tonight I decided to go to the Great Salt Lake Marina and get some sunset pictures.  It was the first time I had scouted a location and had come prepared, exciting I know. So I got there and set up for the shoot. Christy had told me that there was bug spray in the car so I did not worry about it to much. As I was there waiting I saw a couple of mosquitoes, no big deal. I thought that they must spray hardcore or the mosquitoes can’t grow in salt water so I am good. So I got this shot, (I would have liked to be lower but the gates were locked) and decided to move closer to the waters edge.

31mm f/29 1/2s
About when I got to the point of no return the bug came at me like geeks to Mark Hamill. I’m pretty sure I looked like a crazy person, I would hit the shutter on the camera and then run away flapping my arms like I was preparing for flight. When I got home I looked like I had a very bad case of chicken pox, I had bites on every square 1/2 inch of my body, my lips were swollen up I had bites on eye lids.  It was bad, really bad. Christy says that it was too bad we didn’t take a picture; me, I was just glad that I had lived through it.

The kicker of the deal was I didn’t get any pictures I was in love with. I am on the fence about this one what do you think.

18mm f/22 10s

Ogden Valley Balloon Festival

We found out about a balloon festival last night, and I just had to go.  Pictures of brightly lit balloons gracefully lifting off from the ground captured my mind.  We drove the hour and got there just in time and everything was going according to plan….Except, can you guess what was missing.

They canceled the launch because of the weather.

Other things that are not in this picture:
1. Rain, it was coming down pretty good.
2. Kids with looks of disappointment etched on their faces after Dad had promised them balloons.
3. Wife’s look of extreme annoyance after waking up at 5:00am only to have to turn around and drive home.
4. My blissful face thinking about getting pictures of brightly lit balloons gracefully lifting off from the ground next year.  Ok bliss may not have been the look on my face, more like resignation.

I was able to get this picture on the way down Ogden canyon.  I kind of liked it so the trip was not a total wash.  Just so my readers don’t get the wrong idea about my planning.  We all knew that there was a chance that weather was going to mess things up, but wanted to try anyway.

There is another festival on Antelope Island over Labor Day weekend that we are planning on hitting.  It would be great to have company.

Doughnut Falls

I was jonesing for a picture trip today.  Not really to take pictures, but to find a place to take pictures.  I decided on a place up Big Cottonwood Canyon called Doughnut Falls.  Imagine my disappointment when I found not fried rings of dough cascading down a river of icing, but water plunging through a hole in a rock.  There were a lot of nice pictures but I didn’t even bring my tripod so any of the smooth pictures of the water were made with the camera resting on the ground, roots, rocks.  I included the picture of the Boy just because it makes me happy.


Boy I needed one.

Fremont State Indian Park (Castle Rock Campground) 7/17-7/20
The vacation started tough.  I was hard getting out of the house and when we finally got to Fillmore it was starting to get late and I was starting to get frustrated.  We, finally, got into the campsite and I was overwhelmed with the shear awesomeness of the area.  It was like a mini-Bryce Canyon but we were right in the middle of it.

I had a short list of pictures that I wanted to take.  One of them was a picture of those incredible night skys that central Utah has to offer.  One problem though I didn’t have a tripod.  I had left it home in the rush and panic to leave.  It was clear and bright and I was able to see forever.  I was bummed, but I figured I could borrow my Dad’s and would have 10 more night to try.  Little did I know that it would be the only really clear night for the whole trip.  I loved staying at the Fremont State Indian Park there were a ton of activities to do a little stream ran through the camp site and there was plenty of shade for the heat of the day.

The other notable thing about the beginning of the trip was the learning experience about dealing with RV batteries.  Apparently, they are not maintenance free, and I had burned them up to the point that I could not even run the propane fridge (it has a “sparker” not a pilot light) Whoops.  Luckily the camp hosts let us use one of their generators, and after as we went though Richfield I had to buy one to last the rest of the trip.  One of the last things we did as we left the campground was hit the museum on last time (remember this it is important).

FishLake (Frying Pan) 7/20-7/24
We rolled into the Fishlake valley in the middle of a monster rain storm.  I could not stop laughing, it was so funny.  Anyways, when we got out to set up the trailer the evil little bloodsuckers swarmed us, and after the lawyers left the mosquitoes showed up, HA HA!!  That was a joke, but I think that there were a few million of the little guys going after us YIKES.

The next morning Wendy came by with her kids and we spent the morning with them after lunch we went and played in the lake.  When it was time for them to leave we followed her to Richfield to pick up the stroller that we left at the Fremont museum the day before.  On the way back we got some Chinese take-out for dinner, apparently, my definition of camping has changed a lot.

Capital Reef 7/22/09
This was, by far, the highlight of the the trip for me.  We got up and drove about an hour from camp and ended up in some of the most incredible vistas I have ever seen.  There were a ton of activities for the kids and so many different things to see and do.  I can’t wait to go back.  As a side note if you ever are in Capital Reef be sure and have lunch at Slackers burgers in Torrey, way good.

Well all good things come to an end.  Our vacation ended like it began with a clear night so I got to try my hand at a “star” picture.

Site that I liked in these areas: (X2 means a double site not I liked it twice)
Fremont Indian:
13, 31(we stayed in 31)

Fishlake area:
The Frying Pan group site was neat the rest was ok
Dr. Creek:
31, 43X2, 35X2,  20X2 (we stayed here with the Carsons)