When was the last time you unplugged? it is something that can be hard to do and depending on what study you read last we as American's seem to have a very difficult time not working when we are off. I read a study where it said that something like 50% of us will answer work emails while on vacation, if you believe the study at least half of us are guilty of constantly working. I can honestly I was one of those people, the constant checking of the latest news, researching stories and answering emails. As to vacation time, I never took all of my yearly vacation, even if the company said you have to use it within the year or you will lose it.
it was last year that I decided to start taking my time, not just for me but for my kids and the people I love. I decided on my first full vacation I was going to head to South Carolina, a place I hadn't been since my days of being haze gray and underway. I loved my time in the south, it wasn't only the warm weather and the slower life style, but it was the amazing food but above all it was the people, they are kind and generous and simply great to be around That is when I fell in love with the city of Greenville, it truly is a the gem of the south. The mountains is one of the best places to simply go get lost, find your center and reconnect with yourself and your God.
The trip also allowed me the opportunity to recharge myself creatively, the photos that I shoot are typically light hearted and fun events to go to. But by allowing yourself to get away from everything, turn off your phone disconnect from the outside world a person would be surprised at what can happen.
This year I decided to go to a place I had never been and I talked my youngest son into making the trip with me, as with most 20 year olds who would much rather hang out with their friends than their Dad it took some convincing. He flew into town on a Thursday and by Friday morning we were headed west. I had heard people speak of a place called Palo Duro Canyon, and how great it was. If you are like me, this might be the time where your head tilts slightly to the side and a quizzical look falls across your face. In case your wondering its the same look your dog gives you when you make a funny sound that he doesn't understand.
I discovered that Palo Duro Canyon is the second largest canyon in the United States, second only to the Grand Canyon. One of the big differences in the two locations is that you can travel into the canyon and if your heart desires you can pitch a tent and sleep out under the stars. One of my goals for this trip aside from spending time with my Son was to try and get a shot of the Milky Way. It was an image that I always wanted to grab but never had the opportunity to shoot it. So I planned and calculated and decided we were going to travel half way across the country to shoot stars. The first night was fantastic, aside from a few clouds it really worked out well, as for the rest of the time, well lets just say the wheels fell off. On the 2nd day we hiked in the blazing Texas heat, got sunburnt pretty well and made it back to camp. By the time we had finished eating and checking out gear for the nights shoot the wind had kicked up significantly and the clouds moved in, like a blanket being pulled up on your bed on a cold winters night. And then the heavens opened up. It rained so hard we had a creek running right through the middle of our site, the next day was much of the same but only this time with a lot of mud. We decided to come home, but I managed to spend some amazing time with my son and also teach him the craft of photography. And when I say the craft of photography that's exactly what I mean, I told him before we started the trip that Instagram filters were not allowed. We shot the starts, we painted with light and ended up with a great deal of landscape photography.