Standing Rock

Standing Rock

 

 

Standing Rock was not what I expected.  It’s a spiritual gathering mislabeled as a protest. It is a gathering of North American tribes to change the world. Being up there has blown my heart wide open.

After seeing the video of Native Americans attacked by guard dogs and maced while they were trying to protect sacred sites and their ancestor’s graves, I though I’d find angry people. I would have still been enraged. But what I found was an incredible community of peaceful water protectors. I felt welcomed into the camp. No, it was more than that. I felt a palpable sense of love. Each of the three Native elders I heard speak the afternoon we arrived teared up with emotion as they thanked everyone for being there. There is something special going on up at Standing Rock that is about more than stopping DAPL.

Please check out the video of Amy Goodman with Democracy Now! to see for yourself exactly what happened. The county sheriff refuses to pursue charges against these mercenaries the oil company hired but he has found time to charge Amy Goodman for having the audacity to report these crimes.

I rarely do this, but I ask you to please help spread the word on the injustice that is occurring up at Standing Rock. Whether that’s by sharing my blog post, or joining one of the Facebook pages about stopping DAPL, talking to your friends, calling the White House, or buying a more energy efficient car : )  We, as a country, have broken treaty after treaty, and as the dominant culture we have collectively benefited from the land that was stolen. We have a chance to do something, however small, to start to to make up for that.

Going on this journey with my good friend Patty, who has been fighting the good fight for her people for decades, was a blessing. She’s my role model in how to live a selfless life. Thank you, sister.

 

 

The gathering of water protectors at Standing Rock.

The gathering of water protectors at Standing Rock.

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This part of North Dakota is stunningly beautiful. And seeing Lakota riding horses on it, amazing.

This part of North Dakota is stunningly beautiful. And seeing Lakota riding horses on it, amazing.

"We're not going anywhere until this is completely resolved." Anita of the Menominee Nation.

“We’re not going anywhere until this is completely resolved.” Anita of the Menominee Nation.

Native elders speaking about Obama's order to suspend work on DAPL. This is a temporary stoppage.

Native elders speaking about Obama’s order to suspend work on DAPL. This is a temporary stoppage.

"I love each of you that is here. Thank you." Native elder.

“I love each of you that is here. Thank you.” Native elder overcome by emotion.

Reaction to Obama's announcement.

Reaction to Obama’s announcement.

No shortage of love at Standing rock.

No shortage of love at Standing rock.

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I wonder what she has seen in lifetime.

I wonder what she has seen in lifetime.

The joy was palpable.

The joy was palpable.

A spiritual gathering mislabeled a protest.

A spiritual gathering mislabeled a protest.

I guess I have an affinity now for grandfathers with their granddaughter.

I guess I have an affinity now for grandfathers with their granddaughter.

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Supporters were constantly streaming into camp.

Supporters were constantly streaming into camp.

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Not everyone was excited.

Not everyone was excited.

Could you hurry it up in there?!

Could you hurry it up in there?!

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Keeping a lookout on top of a hill.

Keeping a lookout on top of a hill.

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So much dignity and beauty.

So much dignity and beauty.

Deep in thought.

Deep in thought.

I know this will bother some people. As a veteran, it seems apt to me. We are in distress as a nation.

I know this will bother some people. As a veteran, it seems apt to me. We are in distress as a nation.

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Robert and his son. "I have a lot of friends here who quit their jobs to be here." Robert.

Robert and his son. “I have a lot of friends here who quit their jobs to be here.”

The man in camp was overcome by emotion. It's an honor to be able to photograph these moments.

The man was overcome by emotion. It’s an honor to be able to photograph these moments.

People arriving around the clock into camp. And coming from all over the Americas.

People arriving around the clock into camp. And coming from all over the Americas.

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A huge thank you to the people who have at Standing Rock 24/7 since this started.

A huge thank you to the people who been have at Standing Rock 24/7 since this started.

Posted in Humanitarian, USA Travel

Grand Lake

Grand Lake

 

I’m sort of blown away by all the kind, thoughtful and interesting people I met on such a short trip. But this happens to me more and more on every trip. In part because I think I’m becoming an extrovert. Yikes. You know the type. You’re having a peaceful moment reading and some dude you don’t even know is suddenly asking you where you’re from, what your fav travel destinations are…yup, that’s me these days. That guy. The one who used to annoy me not too many years ago.

 

I had an awesome ride over Trail Ridge Road to Grand Lake. I quickly find my hostel and I walk up the stairs to the balcony of the hostel I’m and I see an older gentleman sitting in a chair soaking in the killer view of RMNP. He’s the picture of serenity. I make a mental note that I want to meet this guy at some point. I get checked in and turns out Dave is my roomie. Interesting guy. Retired professor who lives in Denver but spends most of his time traveling the world, staying in hostels. He’s every bit of eighty and has memory issues and he’s still out there living life.

 
But what strikes me the most about Dave is what he’s reading. I see a book, “You Can Heal Your Life” sitting on his nightstand. Eighty, and he’s still doing the work. Damn. Dude’s my hero now.

 
Actually I lied. What really strikes me the most about Dave is how he occupies a space like he was painted in there. Every time I see him outside our dorm room he’s taking in the view from the deck or resting on a bench in the woods or sitting on a cozy chair watching the sunset from the common room of the hostel. We photographers love this shit. So often I see a cool scene but it’s missing that human element. Or the human element is in the wrong place. Or is wearing plaid. Something.

 
Dave takes the bus or the train from Denver when he stays at Shadowcliff. And the staff drives to Granby to pick him up and to drop him off. And they stay with him until his train departs. Amtrak sucks at being on time, so sometimes they’re waiting awhile. Pretty certain no one is thinking about the $25 a night Dave spends for his hostel bed. Just people being kind. My guess is Dave is helped along on his travels by quite a few of these souls. I think there are a lot of these angels out there. Some of them even support the candidate I don’t. I forget that. That’s why I’m doing this photo project.

 

 

grand-lake

 

Lots of beautiful hiking right from the hostel I stayed at in Grand Lake.

The trails around Grand Lake are pretty stellar. Couple great hikes right into RMNP from the hostel I stayed in. I was hoping a moose or something would wander into the frame but no such luck. Selfish bastards.

Posted in USA Travel

Trump Protest

I photographed Trump supporters and anti-Trump protestors outside Trump’s rally in Denver yesterday. Out of all the bad behavior I witnessed on both sides yesterday, the dude this lady is pointing at wins the “Ignorance with a healthy dose of irony” award.  “That’s why we need a wall — to keep people like you out!” He shouted at this Native American woman. She thought he had shoved her and she was giving him an earful. Maybe he jostled her, which in the hostile atmosphere was interpreted as a shove but was just what tends to happen in a large group of people in a small space. But in the hostility that is the political environment today, every little bump, intentional or not, is interpreted as a punch in the face. Nothing that occurs from the other side is without sinister intent. The benefit of the doubt has run away, probably scared off by our insanity. But I digress. It’s not just undocumented folks from Mexico he wants on the other side of a wall from him. It’s anyone he finds objectionable. This isn’t about undocumented workers. This is about hate. That he wants a Native American on the other side of his Wall is just too rich. Maybe the saddest thing to me is that this guy is probably going to be waving his flag, lighting his fireworks and screaming about freedom tomorrow. And he has absolutely no idea what it actually means.

 

Trump supporter getting an earful.

Trump supporter getting an earful.

Posted in Uncategorized

Hydra, Greece

Hydra, Greece

 

We almost didn’t go to Hydra because the travel guides/sites always mentioned the ritzy vibe with jet setters on Hydra.  Other than a couple yachts docked in the harbor that probably cost more than the GDP of Greece, it was a very chill place.   Hydra ended up being perfect for me – friendly locals, awesome hiking and swimming, and no cars on the island.  Not really even any roads except in town.  I love that there are no motorized vehicles on the island. But lots of donkeys!  Your transportation choices are your feet or a donkey ride.  Seriously, donkeys are the only other mode of travel.  I loved Hydra, but with over 2000 Greek islands left to explore, I probably won’t be back anytime soon but highly recommend it if you love walking/hiking and a laid back vibe.

 

I know a lot of people are nervous about traveling in Europe right now because of recent terrorist attacks, but I feel as safe in Europe as I do in the States.   But petty theft is more common in a lot of the cities in Europe.  My wallet got lifted in the subway in Athens on the day we traveled back from Hydra. Lost some cash and had to call and canx a couple credit cards. No biggie in an otherwise wonderful trip. What I was most bummed about was losing with my wallet a copy of the Lord’s Prayer Meghan gave me years ago and also a quote I loved that I found in an art musuem on Vancouver Island on a trip with Amanda. Funny how the pain in the ass stuff can be a reminder to me of how lucky I am.   I guess the lesson in this for me is that I need to transition from the laid back island vibe to city mode once I step back into that part of the world.

 

Maybe it’s because I was coming from Paris, but I got a little tired of Greek food after a few weeks.

 

All images were created with the Leica Q.   My new fav camera.

 

My new best friend on Hydra.

My new best friend on Hydra.

Cool, laid back restaurant scene on Hydra. Just a small town ringing the harbor.

Cool, laid back restaurant scene on Hydra. Just a small town ringing the harbor.

All commerce moves on donkeys on Hydra.

The only other way around Hydra besides walking is on a donkey.

Hydra town. This is pretty much it on Hydra. There are a few other really small villages on the coast but Hydra town is the focus of the island.

Hydra town. This is pretty much it on Hydra. There are a few other really small villages on the coast but Hydra town is the focus of the island. I loved it there.

I loved the little villages on Hydra. And that path on the right side of the photo kids it was along the coast for miles.

I loved the little villages on Hydra. And that path on the right side of the photo meanders along the coast for miles.

I was drawn to the contrast of the fisherman in his small boat right next to the yacht. The contrast between a guy making a living like his family has for a thousand years literally bumping against tourism.

I was drawn to the contrast of the fisherman in his small boat right next to this huge yacht. The contrast between a guy making a living like his family has for a thousand years literally bumping up against a completely different world.

I think i found where I want to live in Greece : )

I think I found where I want to live in Greece : )

Hydra town is this cool maze of ancient walkways and homes. And donkey. Everywhere donkeys.

Hydra town is filled with this cool maze of ancient walkways. And donkeys. Everywhere donkeys.

Headed out on a hike this morning before sunrise to a monastery way above Hydra thinking I'd catch some killer light, which I did, but what made my day was encountering this fellow at the door of the monastery. He let me know I was free to wander around the grounds but the inside of the monastery was off limits. All the while I could hear monks chanting inside the small chapel off to side. My hike down was a mystical combination of the sounds of monks chanting and the gentle ringing of bells hanging from the necks of the goats wandering the mountain.

I headed out on a hike that morning before sunrise to a monastery way above Hydra town thinking I’d catch some killer light, which I did, but what made my day was encountering this fellow at the door of the monastery. He let me know I was free to wander around the grounds but the inside of the monastery was off limits. All the while I could hear monks chanting inside the small chapel off to side. My hike down was a mystical combination of the sounds of monks chanting and the gentle ringing of bells hanging from the necks of the goats wandering the mountain.

Surrounded by beauty everywhere, it's so often the smaller moments that captivate me.

Surrounded by beauty everywhere, it’s so often the smaller moments that captivate me.

Hydra roof dog.

Hydra roof dog.

Killer light on the morning of this hike above Hydra. Love the hiking here. So peaceful..just me and the monks out at sunrise.

Killer light on the morning of this hike above Hydra. Love the hiking here. So peaceful..just me and the monks out at sunrise.

Something about the ocean fills me with a deep sense of calm. I spend most of my time feeling restless but put me near an ocean and that need to be in motion fades away.

Something about the ocean fills me with a deep sense of calm. I spend most of my time feeling restless but put me near an ocean and that need to be in motion fades away.

After a few days a lazy routine of breakfast, swimming and reading by the ocean develops.

After a few days on Hydra a lazy routine of breakfast, swimming and reading by the ocean develops.

Sunset on Hydra.

Sunset on Hydra.

We spent a few days on Poros, too. It was fun. Good restaurants, beaches and some road biking. But I def loved Hydra more.

We spent a few days on Poros, too. It was fun. Good restaurants, beaches and some road biking. But I def loved Hydra more.

 

Posted in Europe Travel