stormy morning...

I woke up with Christine this morning and a cold Utah rainstorm was pounding with rare force for a desert downpour. Of course, I immediately feel the itch of the storm sensors. It appears that fall is settling in around here. Naturally (eerrr unaturally), a storm like this morning makes me think of days like this...

north woods therapy...

Every summer my family gets together with the Schaetz clan for a little R&R in the northern woods at North Twin Lodge in Phelps, Wisconsin. It is perfect therapy for the soul. Family, the best kind of friends, and cool crisp northern air. I can never say enough about the Shaetz's, and I am always thankful for all the good times and laughs we share.

^The atmosphere is always festive, including some icicle mood lighting.

^The evening bonfire is a north woods tradition that I absolutely love. I love smores too! Guilty.

^Jon, Sally, Dave and Bobby Shaetz all gathered around the fire. The stories and nostalgia are always so thick around these fires.

^The fierce baggo games are about as strenuous as our days get up here. It is all about the chill on this trip. That is exactly what the doctor ordered for this skier's beat up body. Some good natured shit talking and sunshine can go a long way towards a lighter heart.

^Evelyn is the first grandchild of the two clans so naturally she is the subject of a lot of photos. Daddy and Evy here taking a break between go-kart races.

^The slick track is always a scene of debauchery. Here my big brother, Tyler, is lining our Dad for a big spin out. "Gotcha Old Man!"

^Mike and Evy getting strapped in for a rip ride around the track. Soon enough Evy will be driving her own kart, and probably putting me into the wall. Just like her Daddy does.

^The boys are watching the madness in this photo. I think at this point my brothers fiance, Nicole, is sizing up a 12 year old boy. The poor kid made the mistake of getting into a slick track race with a bunch of Robinson and Shaetz women. I am not sure he knew what he was getting into. "Good luck Kid. Your gonna need it." We sure enjoyed watching the carnage.

^Lynn and Evy wanted no part of the slick track mayhem. Smart move, that is just good parenting. Your supposed to protect your kids from that kind of harmful situation. I even worry about my own well being, and I think I am tough.

^Nicole is stuck in a Tyler and Stacey sandwich. This was the first time Nicole made it up north with all of us and we felt like we had to initiate her. I am still pumped that I spun her out on the speed track on the last lap. Set'em up and knock'em down.

^A nice sunset finish put a euphoric ending on the evening. Even the cutthroat driving was overshadowed by the overall atmosphere of jubilance and appreciation for family and friends like these folks. Much love and a big "whisky" cheers.

just work...

Not a whole bunch of exciting endeavors in the past few, but a good amount of work. After all that time on my back I am in need of some catching up. A dangling South America project, a wedding, remodels, cars and all that add up fast in four months time. I'm trying to find balance in trying to go double time to catch up, and making sure that I rebuild this body again with a slow quality. Doing what I can.

^Sneak peak at the top back corner of the shower being redone in the basement. I got a little creative with leftover broken tiles to save a little money, and to add an artistic touch. I think it turned out well. It is pictured here without any grout yet. Just finished laying it all, and grouting is next.

^Out on the Delta Airlines ramp at night is back to it's same old-same old status again. I have to say that, for me though, that is kind of a nice comfort to return to after a certain amount of uncertainty. A wild sunset like this one over the ramp was a real mood lifter though for an average evening on the ramp. Planes come in, planes go out.

^It is very cool how a natural event can elevate the attitude of people. Even while at work the rare light show was enough to turn a regular work day into something I am putting on the website. A photo like this can give you a little different perspective on how cool a regular old Canadair Jet can appear. Obviously, I am still on my journey to find art in everything, and keep my edge on that spice of life balancing act that I always ramble on and on about. Can be a tough task.

thinking snow...

Had a classic ski dream last night. I think the chill of the night air through the bedroom window might have triggered the subconscious a little bit. Of course it was one of those ones where you can't quite get your shit together, but there was a little skiing and snow so I awoke with snow fall on my mind. Still a few months till glimpses of winter, but the itch is there. I may be getting down to Argentina with Sweetgrass for a few days at the end of the month to scratch the itch. Not gonna be 100% for the trip, but I think I can still get some work done. All the thoughts of snow and skiing has me looking at old edits and photos. Check these ones.

^Just a good old fashioned scene from the Wasatch. Moments like these are what it is all about.

^With people like this as well. My long-time backcountry partner Ben Geiger is pictured there down in the belly of Birch Creek Canyon as we start our ascent back up. Basin has some killer backcountry all around it, and this is just one little nibble of it.

^Another great friend and long-time tour partner of mine pictured here, Candy Froerer. Candy is what I have come to call a "Freeheel Phoenix". She is a red hot ripping skier and is making her first movie appearance this fall in the new Freeheellife movie, "Hippies, Punx, and Misfits". I've been helping Candy gather sponsors and projects for the last couple years since she decided to go for it, and I am pleased to see it coming together for her. The word on the street is that she just recently had a lifestyle shot appear in the Ski Journal. I think it was a Re Wikstrom shot of the girls trip in British Columbia this winter. The ball is rolling now. Look out.

^A sunrise like this is why I choose this life. Mornings like this one are what this whole lifestyle is really all about. Lord knows it is not the big money that draws me. Moments like these justify my lifestyle every time. When your at 11,000 plus feet at the end of a long hard skin trail with a sunrise scene like this the euphoria swirls around thick enough to brush away from your face like cobwebs. This is a charmed life that I have had the benefit of living and not a day goes by that I am not thankful for every day of it.