Kachemak Bay & Katmai National Park

We took a small bush plane out of Denali and then a train to Anchorage where we spent a night. The next morning we boarded a sea plane and flew to Kachemak Bay. We stayed at Tutka Bay Lodge which was located in a perfect spot. Right on the water, surrounded by gorgeous mountains. This part of Alaska was dramatically different than Denali but beautiful in it’s own way. It feels remote but is just a quick 20 minute boat ride to Homer.

We spent the next three days at Tutka Bay and would enjoy each day exploring the local trails and getting out on kayaks.

The highlight of our stay was a gorgeous flight to Katmai National Park to see the brown bears. The bears were so calm and focused on eating that they barely paid any attention to us — even though we were completely fixed on their every move.

I was really sad to leave this special place. I hope we can make it back again in the near future.

Our next stop was meeting up with my parents and Lauren’s mom for a cruise. But I’ll leave that for my next post.

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(Cameras: Hasselblad 503cw & Leica M3, Film: Kodak Portra 400 & Kodak Tri-X 400, Lab: Richard Photo Lab in California)

Denali National Park, 2019

We have always wanted to see Alaska. We have made several attempts to travel to Alaska over the years but for one reason or another we had to postpone

At long last we were able to make it work. Alaska is over 2x the size of Texas but with only 700k people. It’s hard to get your head around the size of the state and getting around isn’t easy if you want explore various parts of the state. You can only access about 20% of the state by car so you need to see other areas by bush plane, boat or train

Our trip had three parts: three days in Denali National Park, three days in Kachemak Bay/Katmai Coast and then a week of southeast Alaska.

This post is about our time in Denali National Park. I’ll write up two more posts later this month about the rest of the trip.

Getting to Denali was quite a journey. We flew from Boston to Seattle then to Fairbanks. We spent the night in Fairbanks and took a five hour train to the park entrance. Cars aren’t allowed past the visitor center. To get to the lodge requires a four hour bus ride from the park entrance or a 1 hour bush plane. We took the bus in and plane out to get the full experience and I’m glad we did.

Lodging is limited in the park if you aren’t camping. We stayed at the North Face Lodge which is minimalistic. Each room has the essentials and nothing more. There is no wifi in the park or cellular connectivity anywhere. But the setting of the place, staff and food were truly fantastic. The days were magically long with 20 hours or more of full sunlight followed by a few short hours of dusk. We spent our days hiking and relaxing over a book after dinner. One of our most memorable days was getting away from a wandering grizzly bear.

Denali Park is absolutely stunning. I do not know how to adequately describe it properly and my photographs below do not fully capture the beauty of the place by any means. But one thing is for sure, Alaska has the most beautiful landscapes I’ve ever seen in the United States.

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All photographs taken with a Hasselblad 503cw and Leica M3 and Kodak film. Other gear in my backpack here.

Paris, 2019

Earlier this month I spent barely 48 hours in Paris for a series of work meetings.

I love that city and clearly this wasn’t enough time. The last time I made a trip to Paris was also business related. It always feels odd to be in that city without my wife. I hope to make a return trip soon — and next time I’m counting on making the trip together.

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(Cameras: Hasselblad 503cw, Leica M3. Film: Kodak Portra 400 and Tri-X 400. Lab: Richard Photo Lab)

New Orleans

We made a brief weekend trip to New Orleans last month. I don’t know the city well but between recommendations from Twitter friends and Foursquare we found some amazing places to eat and listen to music.

It’s a very cool city with incredible architecture, art, food and of course music. Even though our visit was short, I am glad we had the opportunity to explore outside of the French Quarter (especially during the day). The Garden District and the six mile walk down Magazine Street was wonderful.

I’m not sure when we will get back to New Orleans but I hope the next visit is longer.

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(Cameras: Hasselblad 503cw, Leica M3; Film: Kodak Portra 400, Kodak Tri-X 400; Developed and Scanned: Richard Photo Lab)

Weekend in Vermont

Last month, Lauren and I spent the weekend in Vermont to celebrate our anniversary.

With each visit, we are reminded how much we adore Vermont. The wide open spaces, beautiful mountains and disconnected from city life. The perfect place to get outside and explore, or just sit by the fire with a book and a hot cup of coffee.

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(Color photographs made with a Hasselblad 503cw and Kodak Portra 400. Black and white photographs made with a Leica M3 and Kodak Tri-X 400. Developed and scanned by Richard Photo Lab). 

Maldives

Our trip to Maldives was a first for us. It is a long journey to get there.  It’s another four hours of flying beyond Dubai and then a sea plane and boat to Medhufaru.  But none of us were tired when we arrived. It was just so incredible to see the Indian ocean in person.

For the most part we relaxed on this trip. Lots of family bonding time, daily meditation, swimming, snorkeling and reading.

One day we made a short trip and visited the island of Kudafari. It’s a small fishing island with just 600 people living there. We met a few of the locals that told us about life on that island. We visited the school, hospital, mosque and the gathering spot where the elders spend each afternoon sharing life’s moments. A highlight of the trip for sure. 

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(All photographs taken with a Mamiya 7ii and Kodak Portra 400 film. Developed and processed by Richard Photo Lab in California)

Dubai

Less than 72 hours. That’s all the time we had in Dubai. Not nearly enough time for our first visit to the Middle East. We were headed to Maldives for the December holiday but we wanted to break up the long flight so we took an extra day and night in the beginning and end of our vacation to rest and do a little bit of exploring in Dubai.

Dubai is a fascinating place with massive construction and build out during the last 20 years, with much if it taking place over the last 10 years or so. The enormous airport, the largest mall, the tallest building, all the hotels and offices. All new. The scale is hard to grok for a first time visitor.

Since our time was limited we could explore a few things. So we chose the spice market in the city and a trip to the desert about an hour or so outside the city. Both are bit on the touristy side of things but it still felt a million miles away from home.

The spice market was a packed with vendors with various foods and spices from the region. We brought back some saffron,pistachio nuts and local candies.

We really enjoyed the desert exploration. We rented buggies and went off roading. We road camels to dinner. The desert was so beautiful especially as golden hour approached. The colors so soft and warm.

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