Steve Sanders' Photography: Blog en-us (C) Steve Sanders' Photography [email protected] (Steve Sanders' Photography) Mon, 28 Feb 2022 22:05:00 GMT Mon, 28 Feb 2022 22:05:00 GMT Steve Sanders' Photography: Blog 80 120 On the road with Mom and Dad On the road with Mom and Dad

I've been lucky in my adult life to have traveled far and wide with my family.  As mom and dad got older I got to be their driver on several adventures.  In August of 2001 I flew to Memphis and drove them to Park Grove for Homecoming.  Laura was visiting her mom in Washington, Il. and took the train from Chillicothe to Warrensburg where I picked her up for the family reunion.  

After the reunion we all took their Cadillac and headed for Washington state.  We made the most of our trip stopping in several places in South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana and Washington.  First stop-Mitchell S.D for a tour of the world famous Corn Palace. If you've never been, you have to go! We had lots of stops we wanted to see in South Dakota, but this was the first First stop-Mitchell S.D for a tour of the world famous Corn Palace.  If you've never been, you have to go!  

After Mitchell we continued west to Wall, S.D. and what we'd all be waiting for.  Wall Drug!  The anticipation built for hundreds of miles! 

Mom couldn't wait to get on the bronco and try and break it.  Kind of reminds me of the time she had to get Peanuts under control.  Of course we had to have our photos with all attractions













After we left Wall, we headed to Badlands National Park.

We took a few short hikes and enjoyed the sight seeing.


We spent the night in a small motel in Belle Fourche and went to Mt. Rushmore and Devils Tower the next day.



After Mt. Rushmore we went to Sylvan Lake for a picnic and moved on west to Devils Tower.



























































We made a quick stop at Last Stand Hill where Custer lost his battle with the Sioux tribes.

After a brief stop there we continued west to the Missouri Headwaters State Park just to see it. 

































We then went to Helena and the capitol of Montana and walked around the grounds.

We again headed west and enjoyed our beautiful drive across the Going to the Sun road in Glacier National Park.














We spent the night on the road and made it back home to Buckley the next day.

After our visit in Buckley, we took a swing through the southwest on our way back to Memphis.

Our first stop was in Salt Lake City.  Dad's interest in genealogy made him curious about the Mormon library.

From there we went to Moab, Ut. to explore Arches National Park.  Mom and I took the 3 mile hike to Delicate Arch, but dad didn't want to do it and stayed at the car.  Probably a good thing.  On the hike out, there were two 20 something girls that were trying to stay ahead of us and marveled at how an 84 year old kept getting ahead of them.  Mom loved the arch and loved laying around on the warm sandstone like a lizard.






















































































































































































































From Moab we worked our way east to Ouray, Colorado where Aunt Ruby worked as a nurse.  We drove on down to Silverton and Durango where we spent some time exploring the steam trains. 

Our next stop was a fun one to Ruby and Claire's ranch house in Gunnison, CO.


































































After leaving Gunnison on Sept. 11, 2001, we were blissfully ignorant of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center until we stopped for gas somewhere in Kansas and our credit card was denied.  The clerk said everything was down because of what happened in New York.  That's when we learned what happened.  Kind of put our good times in the back of our mind.

We did stop in Missouri for two days to visit Metz and Helen.  





























































Then it was on to Memphis.  As my flight home was cancelled indefinitely and Laura said she wanted me home, Dad gave me his old Oldsmobile and I drove home in around 36 hrs. with short rest stops in Salinas, Kansas and Boise, Idaho.





[email protected] (Steve Sanders' Photography) Mon, 28 Feb 2022 22:00:36 GMT
Oregon Coast Trip Going South down the Oregon Coast


We left Buckley about 9:30 Sunday February 7th and stopped in at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge for a few hours before setting up camp.  We drove around the 10 mile auto tour route twice and saw many different birds including Bald Eagles, Red-tailed Hawks, Great Blue Herons ,Great  Egrets , Snow Geese, Trumpeter Swans , Northern Harriers , American Kestrel, Canadian Geese , and many different types of ducks and other waterfowl .  

We reached our campsite at Paradise Point State Park before sunset and immediately changed sites.  Our neighbors looked a little sketchy  and the site itself was dirty and muddy.  The whole campground was pretty muddy due to all the rain we’ve been having.  We weren’t very enamored with this place at first, but after spending the night and taking a 2.5 mile hike along the Lewis River in the morning , it began to grow on us.

On the 9th we left early and slowly made our way along the north side of the Columbia River stopping at several wildlife refuges along the way.  There wasn’t an abundance of birds, but we could see future potential.  It was a beautiful drive and we’re looking forward exploring more of the area next time we come through.

We arrived at Cape Disappointment SP at the mouth of the Columbia mid-afternoon and set up camp at one of our favorite spots.  I was lucky enough to get a site with a view of the ocean.  It was just a short walk to the beach and a beautiful day.  We were treated to a great show by the Coast Guard .  The were practicing cliff rescue techniques below the North Head light house.  Very exciting watching those heroes coming out of the helicopter and being lowered to the cliff face.  They really had to trust the pilot.  The next day they were working on their rescue swimmer techniques right in front of our campsite and were jumping into the surf from 20 feet up.  The pilots have amazingly steady hands on the controls.

We left for two nights at Ft. Stevens SP in Oregon on the 11th.  We crossed the bridge at Astoria in 35 mph wind which made for a tense grip on the wheel.  Ft. Stevens is a beautiful park at the NW tip of Oregon and the south side of the mouth of the Columbia.  The wind and rain were crazy so we found a more secure site in another loop.  The next day we went for a four mile hike around Coffinbury Lake and then hid out from the weather.  During the night a huge storm moved in with high winds and heavy rain .  We didn’t have any damage, but we were lucky.  There were big branches down all over the park and the power lines were down blocking both entrances to the park so we had to park in the lot at the entrance for about 5 hrs.  We made the best of our time there by taking a long walk out to the beach and the wreck of the Peter Iredale, a British merchant ship that went aground in 1909 and is only a skeleton .

After we made our escape from Ft. Stevens, we made our way 43 miles south to Nehalem Bay SP.  This is sweet little park just south of the town of Manzanita.  Today, Valentine’s Day, we took two hikes on the beach and had a campfire .  Tomorrow we are off for two nights at Cape Lookout St. Park.


[email protected] (Steve Sanders' Photography) Mon, 15 Feb 2021 17:45:45 GMT
2013 Squak Mountain Trail Run




The weather people really oversold the coming storm.  Wind and hard driving rain?  I didn't see it.  It snowed a few flakes higher on the hill and there were a few gusts of wind, but the big storm just didn't show.  































What did show was a very hardy and fit group of trail runners and beautiful light in the forest.  That combination resulted in a great day and the opportunity for beautiful photographs.   












Many thanks to Roger, Jerry and all of the volunteers that make such a great event possible.  























A big thank you also to all of the runners who somehow manage to remain positive and happy running on such steep and rugged terrain.  You all make my job so much easier.


[email protected] (Steve Sanders' Photography) 4th Dimension Racing Evergreen Trail Runs King County Trail Runs Seattle action photography Squak Mountain Tail Run Steve Sanders Action Photographer Washington State Trail Runs Fri, 19 Apr 2013 22:42:19 GMT
2012 Taylor Mountain trail run The nice weather we were hoping for on Friday never materialized.  In the evening the sky turned leadened and a cold rain poured straight down.  So much for a dry race on Saturday.   Much to my delight, dawn arrived with broken clouds and a lovely sunrise.  Maybe it wouldn't be such a wet day.  I arrived at Taylor Mountain just as the five milers were getting ready to start,  but I was able go get ahead of them on the trail.  Everything was very wet from the night before and parts of the trail were extremely muddy.  The runners were looking at an exciting but dirty day.  I think that's what a lot of them live for. 

The wild flowers were abundant and exquisite.
































There were fox glove


everywhere in deep shades of purple, pink and white.


























Hummingbirds and bees

kept me company darting in and out of the flowers as I hiked up the trail.  There were many other signs of animals on the trail, especially deer and elk tracks.  The bear scat kept me whistling and clapping as I approached each blind curve.  I had to watch my step so I didn't stomp on the slugs and centipedes.












I had the trail to myself for about an hour till I met the first runner, #914 Van Phan.

 She finished her 50k (31.07mi) in 5:55:32.   The weather stayed beautiful until noon and I had met most of the runners on the trail at least once.   The sky then began to darken and the rain gathered strength.  Soon the trail ran like a small river and nearly everyone and everything was drenched.   The only thing that wasn't soaked was the spirit of the contestants.   Almost everybody that I met on the trail had a smile, a cheerful word or a thumbs up for the camera.  The trails that Evergreen Trail Runs select for their events are so interesting and beautiful that it takes more than a bit of rain to dampen the runners spirit.  


[email protected] (Steve Sanders' Photography) Sun, 24 Jun 2012 02:10:00 GMT
Echo Valley Mountain Bike Race 2012
It was raining lightly as I drove out of Seattle toward Snoqualmie Pass.  I left early to make the three and a half hour journey to Lake Chelan for the 2012 Echo Valley Mountain Bike Race put on by Roger and Yumay from the NW Epic Series and 4th Dimension Racing.  As I approached the pass I thought, "Oh great, another race in the rain!"  Much to my delight, the rain quit shortly after starting down the east side and the weather improved the farther north I went.  The Columbia River and Lake Chelan were beautiful in the morning light. 

It was great to see many old friends as I entered the campgrounds and staging area for the race.   Everyone seemed happy and excited as they checked their bikes, made final adjustments and prepared themselves physically and mentally for the Endurance 30/60 miler.  They greeted teammates, friends and kindred spirits with high fives and hugs.

The ride started with a long climb up a dusty road with the snow covered Cascades in the distance, 



























before turning off on to the single track trails through the tree and brush covered hills above the lake.  Many riders commented that the Echo Valley course was faster and less technical than the Stottlemeyer race, but many still found jumps, fast turns and steep climbs to challenge their mountain biking skills. 





























Even before the race was complete I overheard people talking excitedly about the third race in the NW Epic Series, the Capitol Forest 50/100 to be held on August 25, 2012.

I can't wait to see you all there.

[email protected] (Steve Sanders' Photography) 2012 Echo Valley Mountain Bike Race 4th Dimension Racing Chelan County Chelan County Mountain Bike Race Echo Valley Echo Valley Mountain Bike Race Lake Chelan NW Epic Series NW Mountain Bike Racing Washington Mountain Bike Racing Sat, 09 Jun 2012 17:49:00 GMT
Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge Ospreys  


The ripples glittered softly as the first cries floated across the lagoon in the pre-dawn stillness.    A snowy egret and a blue heron were hunting in the shallows of the bay while brown pelicans dove for their breakfast in the deeper water offshore.  











































High atop a weathered snag in an untidy nest of twigs and grass, a mother Osprey called to her mate sitting in a nearby tree.   The pleas of three chicks nestled beneath her soon added to the discordant song greeting the new day.   

I listened for almost an hour, waiting for one or the other adults to heed the entreaties of their near fledglings, but neither seemed in a hurry to leave.  






Finally with much raucous protesting she flew off, seemingly to find breakfast, leaving her mate to guard the nest.  She returned fifteen minutes later, but to the dismay of her offspring , she only brought back a stick to reinforce the nest.      







The sun was getting higher in the sky and the younger osprey were starting to sound desperate when the male finally lifted from his perch and flew out of sight around the curve of the lagoon.




He soon came gliding back with a fresh fish wriggling in his talon, but instead of flying to the nest to share his catch, he dropped into a nearby tree.






 He slowly killed and ate his fill while his family waited impatiently nearby.  The mother was left to console her chicks the best she could.











Eventually he either ate his fill or tired of listening to their appeals, leapt from his branch and soared over to the nest to feed his hungry family.

With his paternal duties done, he flew back to the solitude of his branch.






























[email protected] (Steve Sanders' Photography) Blue Heron Bon Secour National Wildlife Refuge Osprey Wildlife birds snow egret Wed, 06 Jun 2012 20:52:00 GMT
Emily and Beau's Wedding Shooting weddings is always a source of stress.  What if my equipment fails or I miss that all important shot?  Add the potential problems of travel to a destination wedding in rural Alabama and you have all the ingredients for a recipe that could give the most stalwart photographer ulcers.  Delayed flights, lost equipment bags or an unmet and uncooperative groom all loomed in my imagination as I planned my trip.

The Flight to Birmingham went off with only one minor glitch which was remedied by a very understanding and helpful flight attendant.  "No I really can't gate check my camera bag."  "Yes sir, just leave it up front here and we'll figure out someplace to keep it safe."  What a relief.

I'd driven across Alabama when I was much younger and only had a vague memory of interstate highways and rest areas.  I did not remember the natural beauty that truly is Alabama.  The area around Bessemer and McCalla, southwest of Birmingham, marks the southern geographic terminus of the Appalachian mountains.  The high rolling foothills are covered with hardwood timber and grassy glades resplendent with wild flowers.  The deep valleys are filled with innumerable ponds, lakes and streams.  This verdant land is home to deer, turkey, fox, geese and much, much more.

With my equipment intact and my travel fears allayed, it was time to meet Beau and his family.  They are the true genteel south, have never met a stranger and make you feel instantly at home.

This was to be a barn wedding on the family farm and both the bride and groom's families were on hand to transform a basic equipment shed into a party palace.  












Party lights and streamers strung from rafter to rafter and billowing drapes adorning the doorways, bestowed an air of elegance on the wedding venue.  




The wedding was to take place at 4:30 on Saturday afternoon and the rehearsal was held at 4:30 on Friday.











Having the rehersal at the same time gave me a great preview of what the light would be for the wedding.




































Everyone seemed to know their lines and places so the rehearsal was quick and the party moved up the hill to the family home and the rehearsal dinner around the pool.



























The morning of the wedding dawned clear and warm and any anxiety about the weather and an outdoor ceremony were quickly dispelled.  Both families again gathered to put the finishing touches on the decorations and I met the bride on site at 2:30 to take bridal portraits and group photos of the bride with her attendants.  The farm provided many different and unusual backgrounds both rustic and elegant.

The ceremony started right on time with about 200 guest in attendance.  The bride looked beautiful walking down the isle with her proud father who performed the ceremony, after an opening prayer by a dear friend.  


[email protected] (Steve Sanders' Photography) Sun, 03 Jun 2012 02:31:00 GMT