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Filtering by Tag: Explore

A Conversation with Jörn Henn

Ben Ashby

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German based photographer Jorn Henn hasn’t quickly become one of our favorite photographers. His moody vibes and greens and blues have us captivated. The landscapes he shares have us dreaming of escaping the cities and heading deep into nature! We sat down with him to learn more.

Why do you adventure? Why do you explore?

My biggest motivation is keeping moments. I love to be outside in nature feeling the elements. I am a very curious person as well. That’s why I love to visit and explore new countries or places.

Why take risks in life?

It’s more fun. Without risks, life would be boring and you would not be able to surpass oneself.

Where are you from?

Cologne, Germany.

What is your 9-5?

I am an art historian.

When you were growing up what or who did you want to be?

A famous architect.

Favorite place you've visited.

Rio de Janeiro and the Dolomites.

Place you most desperately want to visit.

New Zealand and South Africa. 

What is the single greatest moment of humanity you've experienced while traveling?

Meeting poor people. Like, really poor people. And the fact that when you realize that their struggle is connected to the global economy. 

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What has changed about you because of your travels?

I became more attentive about my needs and about climate and environment.

Who is the most dynamic and thought provoking person you've ever met?

I met Edda Moser, a German opera singer, during a lecture at the Cologne Opera House. Her voice was recorded singing Mozart’s Magic Flute aria “Queen Of The Night”, which is part of the Voyager Golden Record. 

If you could travel with one person in history or in present, who would it be and why?

Otto the Great. He was a Roman German emperor in the 10th century. The kingdom of Germany was a travel kingdom, meaning because of its huge size, the German kings and emperors had no static residence. Several spread over the whole country, and he had to live a nomad’s life, like a lot of explorers do now. Well, and I’ve loved knights since my childhood.

Must haves for travel / travel tips?

Good shoes and a good jacket.

Give us a story any kind of story from one of your trips that will be impactful to the reader.

The feeling of slowing down when you are in the mountains. No rush and no stress. And the fact that you have to choose your equipment since you cannot carry everything with you.

Based on your travels, what is the single most needed improvement for humanity to be stronger?

A change in economy. I think big multinational companies and their urge of growth is one of the causes of the climate change and crimes against humanity.

What would you say to someone who has never travelled before?

Travel and collect moments and take off your blinders. That you don’t need to travel fast. That there are nice spots just around the corner.

What is the single greatest lesson you've learned from someone that is different than you?

My grandfather. He thought me to ask questions, not following the mass and trust one’s own heart (he was a soldier in WWII).

When did you feel you were most out of your comfort zone? What did you learn from that lesson?

During exams or just when I have to give proof about my skills. E.g. when you ask me for this. But I learned to fight against these fears and keep them small. Hiking helped me as well. The first glimpse of a mountains I wanna climb is always frightening. But on top, you feel like a king! 

What would you say to your former self?

Trust yourself and your skills!

What gives you hope?

That love always wins.

Where to next?

Italy and Rome in October.

Is flannel always in season?

Flannel is always classy. Love it.

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New England Colors; Kyle Finn Dempsey and the Art of Photographing Autumn

Ben Ashby



Photographer Kyle Finn Dempsey is one of the bests when it comes to documenting the changing colors of New England. We are continually inspired by his work. We sat down with him to learn more about shooting the best shots of autumn's many colors....


"Fall feels like a dream in New England. It's not about big grand views here, but about little nooks and crannies and a vast variety of colors."


My name is Kyle Finn Dempsey and I live in the hills of Western Massachusetts. I go by the name Huck because my best friend and I were (and still are) a modern day version of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. We've always called each other that, and if you spent an afternoon with us, wandering around the forest barefoot, it'd all start to make sense. I grew up along the Westfield river and and currently live in the same area. I will never let go of my spot, it's my zen and I plan to keep it in the family forever. 




Fall feels like a dream in New England. It's not about big grand views here, but about little nooks and crannies and a vast variety of colors. There's not many other places in the country (or world) that you can find so many different trees who's leaves change color at once. The colors I show in my photos are very real. Of course I put my own spin on them with my edits, but when you're on a fall drive here, you're going to see colors you won't believe. From rich golden yellows on the birch trees, bright red oak and swamp maple leafs, bright orange sugar maple, orange & gold beach leaves and everything in between. Sometimes the colors are so bright they look fake in person. It's seriously jaw dropping.




My favorite places to shoot in New England for the fall are southern Vermont and right near my house in western MA. Southern Vermont always turns about a month early, and is very swampy, so the colors are extremely rich and vibrant. All near me is small valleys and winding backroads, which are my absolute favorite places to explore and shoot. I love traditional New England fall scenes as well as finding new ways to share fall that not many people have seen. Each Northeast state has his own unique flavor to offer, along with classic scenes that come to find when you think of fall. If you want guaranteed color and good views, try the White Mountains in New Hampshire.


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One of my favorite towns near me that celebrates fall very well is Ashfield, Ma. It's an incredibly quaint little town with a lake in the middle, a rope swing and a beach, a pizza shop and and an old fashion hardware store. There's always something going on, and in the fall, they have a fantastic little festival in the common lawn. Local crafts and garden vegetables, local music and everything else you can imagine that fits into a small town fairytale. The singer Ray LaMontagne actually has a home in Ashfield. It's one of Massachusetts biggest hidden gems. Keep that between you & I.


Peak season is generally right around mid October, though it depends on where you are and how the season is developing. In Southern Vermont, peak was probably October 5th. Here in Western Ma, we're just past peak, and its Oct. 22nd. I'm heading up to southern Maine tomorrow to stay in a tree house, and from what I've heard they are pretty much at peak.


I became a photographer when I was 19 or so. I used to rap and make music videos, and I got a camera so I could do all my own media by myself. I didn't seriously start shooting until I was a junior or senior in college. I'm 25 now, and I've been doing photography and video work full time for about 3 years.




Tips for capturing autumn- Check near swamps, rivers and ponds. Try shooting with a drone if possible to find unique formations from above and go places that no one knows about. Drive down backroads near water sources and see what you find. Some of the best colors happen in the places you least expect. Also, overcast and rainy days are will enhance the foliage by about 50%. Sometimes it looks like there's no color on a bright sunny day, and then the next day it rains, the colors shine bright and you're like "WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED!?"





Estival Survey + Alaska

Ben Ashby

About two seconds.

That’s what you have between being asked and your response; before you let on.

It’s important first, to acknowledge we’ve reached the era of total geographical and technological accessibility. Our generation has become comfortable, in such a way that we can begin to treat a trip to say— Vik with as much insouciance as some may have once— and do, their honeymoon to The Bahamas. So with this accessibility, it’s become less uncommon to cross paths with those whom venture frequently. I believe it’s the sheer magnitude of some variables that revolve around certain destinations; kilometers driven, meters climbed, batteries exhausted, that continue to garner an audience eager to follow along, and possibly take part in the journey through your response. Your response, however, is what you control. Following the great distances and scenes catalogued, you have a brief opportunity to contort history to serve the limelight into which you’re asked to share it.

About two seconds: to say the trip was perfect, or to tell the truth.

We’d gone in, a band of misfit storytellers, documentarians, broken hearts and transcontinental navigators. We’d agreed to drive our friends’ [@floatballoontours] hot air balloon from Phoenix, some four thousand long miles, to Anchorage. Upon our arrival, the Cloth & Flame (@clothandflame) and Royal & Design (@royalanddesign) teams would rendezvous and fly the balloon over the great Alaskan frontier. We’d camp, cook and share in campfire tomfoolery along the way. We’d collect our cast as the journey unfolded, and exchange it as the screenplay called. We’d gather the endorsement of our favorite like-minded brands, and set course into the true unknown, unruly and untamed wilderness of the far, far north. We’d no idea what we were getting into, but as the self-proclaimed crew of the first Survey; Estival Survey, we had done the best we damn could to prepare.

Our initial trajectory took us across Joshua Tree National Park, Los Angeles, the mighty Redwood Forest, San Francisco, the dunes of Oregon, and up to Seattle, Washington, over the course of roughly seven days. It was seldom a matter of beauty, where our attention strayed, as it was a matter of cognitive survival. This was meant to be the mild stretch— the familiar territory where we’d have ample time and resource to recuperate and charge our souls before moving onward.

The reality, and the response we wish to share is that behind the glamor, there lies a greater truth. Fevers, flies, poisonous vines, damp earth and sleeplessness all laid the groundwork to a remarkably taxing expedition. The nauseatingly vast stretch across Canada had begin to set in several hours after crossing the border. The decision had been made to trek through until our final destination. We made several day camps— of course given the extensive amount of daylight the further north we ventured, allowed for some flexibility with this. Kathleen Lake, Yukon was arguably one of the most beautiful places we could have ever hoped to lay our heads, hammocks, and sip a beer in freshwater at. We knew, however, our time was limited, as we wished to make schedule to Alaska. We drove, and drove, and drove into some great towering blackness; bear dotted gravel ways and tree lines set to stun. We drove, and drove.


Our time in Alaska felt short. It felt longer than the days we occupied it, and somehow still brief. I think it’s the madness of going that causes this. The brands we had partnered with allowed for several remarkable campsites and experiences; unparalleled landscapes of blue, and soft etchings of green. Not to say we weren’t in some ways sick, smoke tainted and tattered. Several of us had developed sever reactions and wounds. It was rough. Tempers were fickle. We pressed on, to admire and notice the Earth we escaped to find, and connect with one another in ways we left home to conquer...


When the brazen adventure seemed to be nearing its end, I received an unexpected opportunity to plunge myself one more time into the throws of the unknown. On my last day in Alaska, one of our hot air balloon pilots, Jeff, a slow-talking, wispy outdoorsman with a salt and pepper mustache and a sweat-stained baseball cap, offered to fly one member of the Estival Survey crew over the Knik Glacier in his plane to snap photos since weather would not permit us to charter a helicopter and fulfill our ultimate dream of flying the hot air balloon over the glacier. Knowing it was my last day, my beloved crew of cohorts voted unanimously that I should be the one with the privilege of taking this flight. We went to the local airport and walked up to a 1958 super-cub single-prop plane. At first I was a little nervous about getting in that rickety old thing, but true to the spirit of our journey, I went for it.

Photo by S. Cole Kiburz (@coleplay)

Photo by S. Cole Kiburz (@coleplay)

We flew over Anchorage and roughly another fifty miles over gorgeous Alaskan frontier to the edge of Inner Lake Gorge which connects to the mouth of Knik Glacier. That’s when old Jeff announced to me over the intercom headsets that we were going to be landing there. We hiked to the edge of the lake to take in the view of the massive icebergs floating in the water. After a little while, old Jeff, inadvertently stumbled upon an old, overturned canoe that was hiding in the brush. We flipped it over to reveal two sun-bleached life preservers and two oars. The canoe frame was bent crooked in several places and there was a large crack in the green frame which is almost certainly why it had been left behind. There are no roads to take you to this lake so the canoe must've been flown in  by helicopter at some point. Jeff duct-taped the crack in the canoe and we tested it's ability to float in the shallow water. Once we were confident that the boat wasn't going to sink, we decided to get in and take it through the maze of icebergs; the majesty and grandness of which I will never be able to fully describe. The crackling, squeaking, breathing noise of the ancient ice and how each jagged tower was as beautiful as any sculpture. The blues were comically over-saturated and the whites were blinding. We grabbed a couple chunks of ice that had broken off and fallen into the lake. I don't know fully how to describe it, but this ice was somehow colder than normal ice. We wrapped a couple chunks in a jacket and flew it back to Anchorage with us.

Later that night, when my time on the adventure came to an end, the remaining crew ofEstival Survey poured a glass of whiskey over top of the ice and cheers’d to what had genuinely been, the trip of a lifetime.

Photo by S. Cole Kiburz (@coleplay)

Photo by S. Cole Kiburz (@coleplay)

This isn’t about running away from your problems or grandstanding or crusade. It’s about connecting with the natural world that is so easy to overlook in the times we live in. It’s about rectifying the blisters on your feet with the sunset from the mountaintop. It’s cleaning your hands and face in the cool waters of the river. I believe that the answers we seek reside within us, always. We are born of truth, but the unbridled beauty of this planet can help bring that truth out of us. Sometimes it’s simple; like how rain on the canvas tent can enhance the reading of a book. Sometimes it’s profound; like the twilight nights around the fire when the sun never fully set; when you question god and yourself. It’s when you realize once and for all that you ain’t no wilting twig damned to a cracked pot. You are a wildflower, born of the sun and the dirt. It’s when you agree to give it hell and see where you end up. It’s when you get up and get going. It’s when you let the compass point you forward and the stars compel you onward. It’s my sincerest hope that we may all meet with vigor the challenges of our destinies.


I aligned with an idea that life could be compared to attempting to lift the stool you're sitting on. I'm now more inclined to think it best described as adrift in a hot air balloon. Silence until noise. Still until caught. It all seems simple, and then you look around beyond the comfort of your woven chariot. You are at the mercy of variables beyond control, with your only powers to react or not. You notice places slip by below, and wonder whether they too had stories; whether they too have chosen a response, or one day will. Regardless, they pass. Regardless, the horizon will never repeat itself, for by the time you circle the sphere, the landscape has changed again.

Estival Survey, 2016 (#EstivalSurvey)

Words by Ryan Neal Cordwell (@ryannealcordwell) & S. Cole Kiburz (@coleplay)

Film by Ryan Neal Cordwell (@ryannealcordwell, @royalanddesign)

Photos by Constance Higley (@constancehigley)


Ryan Neal Cordwell (@ryannealcordwell)

S. Cole Kiburz (@coleplay)

Dylan Brabec (@dylanbrabec)

Constance Higley (@constancehigley)

Michelle Johnson (@meeshalrj)

Brendan McCaskey (@jarofbuttons)

Cheyanne Paredes (cheyp)

Royal & Design (@royalanddesign)

Cloth & Flame (@clothandflame)

Look at Eldin in Iceland | Day Two

Ben Ashby

Today can be best described as a glimpse into monochromatic Iceland. We started early from Reykjavik and headed south, hitting two waterfalls, Skógafoss the most famous of the two. It is a 200 foot waterfall with a tiny, windy stairway to the top and seagulls nesting within the cliffs. From there, we trekked 4 KM by foot to reach the famous DC3 plane crash site. This site has a really cool really cool story: In 1973 a United States Navy DC plane ran out of fuel and crashed on the black beach at Sólheimasandur, in the South coast of Iceland. Everyone survived, and it turns out that the pilot packed the wrong fuel packet. Following that, we went to the black sand beach to see the basalt columns and caves. I was nearly swallowed by an unsuspecting wave, but managed to dig my boots into the ground and rode the course. After a quick change of clothes, we settled into a tiny log cabin cottage with the view of the mountains and the black sand beach through our front door.


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Look at Eldin in Iceland | Day One

Ben Ashby

"We got in Iceland this morning, rented a car, and plan on driving around the entire island along Route 1. Our first stop was Hellnar and Snæfellsjökull, and staying at the KEX Hostel in Reykjavik. Tomorrow we are heading south, hoping to hit Vik and many other spots along the way." —


Adventure Because You Can | Meet Blake Pack

Ben Ashby

— There is something innate in mankind to look to the horizon, a beach, or a mountain top and say, "I wanna go see what things look like over there."



I've known Blake Pack for years. He is one of those guys I've followed on Instagram 2011 and have lusted after his western life daily. To be surrounded by the mountains and the salt flats of Salt Lake City just seemed to be such a magical place to be. Blake, along with his group of friends have been documenting their adventures through photographer for years now. I thought it was well past time to learn more about Mr. Pack and why he adventures. 


Why do you adventure - Adventure because you can. Because you have a privilege the majority of the world does not: to travel with means and comfort to understand and come to better know the world we live in, and for the most part the small state of that I live in.

Why do you explore - It's pretty much on par with why I adventure: there is something innate in mankind to look to the horizon, a beach, or a mountain top and say, "I wanna go see what things look like over there." It's crucial to our development and well-being. Most of my explorations comes takes place in nature. I believe at some point in time we forgot that we are a part of nature, just as the trees, beavers, and bears. I'm not talking in a hippy-dippy kinda way; I mean in a literal cognitive reset. We evolved from the wilderness and at our core, we are all animals. I think it's important to keep that animal alive and wild and exploring does that for me. 


Why take risks in life  -  Because lines are meant to be crossed and boundaries pushed. You will never know how far you can stretch and reach if you don't not try. 

Where are you from  - Idaho Falls, Idaho, baby!

What is your 9-5 -I run marketing for a tech company called Needle, where I do most of the content creation, copy writing, and design - I also have a person shirt company called, and help another guy with his website and content creation... and suddenly I am realizing why I don't have as much travel time as I'd like.



When you were growing up what or who did you want to be - I still wanna be what I wanted to be as a kid: and astronaut. Clearly that path veered, but at the rate we're going, I totally plan on one of my last adventures and explorations to be in a rocket to space where I can see earth as a whole; I want to see the full, big picture. Till then, I am going to pause my "growing up" and stay a kid who is viewing the world on a more micro level.

Favorite place you've visited - Big Sur - not so much because it was gorgeous (I mean, duh, it is) but more so because of the company I was with, the conversations that accompanied us, and mishaps that shaped our trip, and the amazing food we shared.

Place you most desperately want to visit - Hmmmm. Probably New Zealand, Antartica, or Cuba. 


What has changed about you because of your travels - I find focus when I travel. Unfortunately that focus blurs as time from that travel wears off, but the longer the trip I take away from it all, the clearer I see the world, my problems, etc. 

Who is the most dynamic and thought provoking person you've ever met - Dallas Hartwig. 

If you could travel with one person in history or in present who would it be and why - I wanna do a 50 State Journey with Sufjan Stevens. He can continue his 50-State Album project while I interview him, hear him play diddies on the banjo, and make amazing images of the country and the people we encounter. We'd definitely be traveling by pick-up truck with an in-bed camper - very Travels with Charley (Steinbeck). So it'd be cozy, too.



Must haves for travel - Camera, food, and underwear. But, underwear is rather optional.

Travel tips - Don't plan it too much. Be informed enough that you don't miss the must-sees, but don't get caught up or pass up moments and memories because of schedules. When it comes to traveling, I view the first chapter of Steinbeck's book to be my bible for travel planning:

"A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from all other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us." John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley. I think every traveler should read the first chapter of that book before they take a trip.



Based on your travels what is the single most needed improvement for humanity to be stronger - It's easy to get caught up in capturing that image that will blow peoples' minds. There is nothing wrong with wanting that. There is nothing wrong with wanting people to "like" your work. But if you only view the world and places you explore by looking at the back of a digital screen or through a viewfinder, you're missing the point. Remember to put the camera down, or better, away entirely. And always make a point to look at the stars in whatever place you're visiting when possible. 

What would you say to someone who has never travelled before - Don't worry about going BIG. You don't need to go to Iceland or Norway or wherever to travel. The vast majority of people don't even explore their own backyard (i.e. state, national parks, or even their own downtown). I find it hilarious, for example, that so many people from PNW are headed to the red rocks of Utah and how many Utahans (myself included) who are so set on getting to PNW but neither have really spent much time traveling through their own state.

What is the single greatest lesson you've learned from someone that is different than you - You have to do what makes YOU happy. I learned after decades of trying to live up to peoples expectations for me was actually holding me back. What I learned from people different from me is that 



When did you feel you were most out of your comfort zone. What did you learn from that lesson - I feel like I am repeating myself, so sorry, haha. But I believe in crossing lines in a positive way. Certain lines are not crossed because they cause unnecessary pain for others and thats never acceptable. But every other line should be crossed. I, of all people, am guilty of staying in my comfort zone. But the moments and images that stick out in my mind as cherished memories came when I was in a place of physical discomfort (like heights) or the posting of some images that are more intimate and personal (such as some of my dark and revealing portraits). Those put me in a place of emotional/mental discomfort because I feared the judgment people would make about me for sharing a picture of a rather naked man and his body, but there is nothing more exhilarating as an artist to be accepted, loved, and praised for work that put you in an uncomfortable place, and forming friendships with people who love the real work you do, not just the "safe" work that nearly everyone (like your grandma) will like. 


What would you say to your former self - You can't be happy trying to make someone else happy. If the people around you aren't happy when you truly are happy, then they aren't people worth having around.  



What gives you hope - Obi Wan Kenobi

Where to next - Somewhere tropic this winter, or possibly Australia.

Is flannel always in season - In doses. Not daily. Unless you're in Nirvana, an actual Lumber Jack, or Maple Syrup Farmer.


Chandler Bondurant

Christophe Chaisson

Christophe C: Why do you adventure?

Chandler B: I wouldn't necessarily say that I go out and pursue something just for the sake of 'adventuring'. For me there's always an intentional reason for each trip, and the unpredictable events that happen along the way are what turn a normal trip into an adventure that you go home and tell your friends about.


CC: Why take risks in life?

CB: Why not? The way I see it, you only have one shot at life. And I know that's a cliche thing to say, but I don't think most people really realize the weight of that. You've only got one go at this whole thing, so why not take some risks and see if they pay off? I'm a firm believer that the higher the risk, the higher the reward.


CC: What is your 9-5?

CB: I currently barista one or two days a week at a cafe because it makes it easier to save, but aside from that I pay my bills with photography.

CC: Where are you from?

CB: Originally I'm from South Georgia but I currently reside in Atlanta.






CC: When you were growing up what or who did you want to be?

CB: For the longest time I wanted to be an astronaut, but apparently now I'm too tall(6' 2" is the cutoff).

CC: Favorite place you've visited?

CB: East Africa by far. The culture and landscape made for one of the most incredible places I've ever had the opportunity to experience.


CC: Place you most desperately want to visit?

CB: This is a difficult one. If I had to pick one place right now it would probably be Nepal. I'd love to experience a landscape on such a scale as the Himalayas as well as the unique culture and people there.

CC: What is the single greatest moment of human humanity you've experienced while traveling?

CB: My friend Melissa tops the list for this one. When I was in Alaska in 2015 she let me stay on her couch for FREE for over a month when I had nowhere else to go. I'm forever grateful for her and everybody else that has opened up their home to me while I've been on the road.


CC: What has changed about you because of your travels?

CB: I'd say the perspective on life that I've gained. Staying in one place really limits your viewpoint on life and can make you very close-minded over time. After I left South Georgia my perspective on life and culture changed dramatically because I was able to experience and understand other people's opinions and ways of life.

CC: Who is the most dynamic and thought provoking person you've ever met?

CB: Our driver in Africa, Gilles, has to be one of the most interesting and friendly people I've ever had the opportunity to talk to. Originally from Rwanda, he was living in the country 20 years ago when the terrible Rwandan genocide took place, but has since taken up a career in driving for tour companies and started a family. We had lots of time to talk on our long drives between Rwanda and Uganda and I'm really glad I had the opportunity to get to know him.


CC: If you could travel with one person in history or in present who would it be and why?

CB: This may sound crazy, but definitely President Obama. He seems like a cool, laid back dude with pretty good taste in music. Also, access to Air Force one would be pretty convenient.

CC: Must haves for travel?

CB: I've always got a digital or film camera on me. Always. It's very important for me to be able to photograph things on a seconds notice, especially if it's for a job or project. If I'm going on a plane, I make sure to always have my laptop, external hard drive, and headphones on me. I've also learned the hard way that having a rain jacket in your bag at all times is never a bad idea.


CC: Travel tips?

CB: Never try to be on too tight of a schedule, and be okay with the fact that your trip is NEVER going to go exactly as planned. I've begun to embrace this, because like I said earlier, the unexpected things that happen on a trip are usually the things that are worth telling stories about. It's also good to always be prepared for a change in the weather. I always keep a rain jacket and some sort of extra layer on me because too many times I've been stuck exposed on a trail when a rainstorm appeared out of nowhere, and it is zero fun.

CC: Tell us a story! 

CB: The closest I've ever come to dying was in Alaska on Matanuska Glacier. I was with a couple of friends and we were there to shoot some photos for a brand. In preparation for this, we had rented some basic ice gear(mountaineering boots, crampons, etc.) from REI and for some reason I thought that made me an ice climbing expert. We got to the glacier and while everyone was shooting photos, I thought it would be a great idea to go exploring by myself. Now anyone with any sort of glacier experience will tell you that this is a very stupid thing to do, and they're right. This did not occur to me at all at the time though because I was cocky and thought that I was invincible. After about 5 minutes of wandering around, I misjudged the thickness of some ice and fell straight through into a hidden crevasse. Luckily it was filled with water and I didn't fall to an immediate death. However, the sides of the crevasse were sloped in and I wasn't able to simply pull myself out. After what seemed like an eternity of struggling, I managed to pull myself out using my ice axe(thanks to Willie Dalton for letting me borrow his). Luckily I didn't get hypothermia after all of this; though I did have to walk close to a mile back to the car in nothing but my base layer. I also lost all of my camera gear and cell phone to water damage. If there's one thing I learned from this experience, it's that you should always have your personal safety in mind, because mother earth does not care and will kill you without a second thought. I got extremely lucky that day, and if there wasn't water in that crevasse, or if I didn't have an ice axe, I could have been seriously injured or killed.


CC: Based on your travels, what is the single most needed improvement for humanity to be stronger?

CB: Compassion and understanding. There are too many people that I've met who are afraid of and made uncomfortable by other cultures and people, and I think this comes from willful ignorance and a lack of understanding.

I genuinely believe that if everyone were to work hard at understanding people of other races, cultures, and religions, the earth would be a much better place.


CC: What is the single greatest lesson you've learned from someone that is different than you?

CB: Everyone has different definitions of happiness, and just because someone doesn't particularly align with yours, does not mean that they are wrong.

CC: What would you say to someone who has never travelled before?

 CB: Do it.

CC: When did you feel you were most out of your comfort zone? What did you learn from that lesson?

CB: When I was flying up to Alaska for the second time, I only had a place to stay for a week and had absolutely no idea where I was going to be staying after that. I had barely made any friends yet and definitely none that I thought would be nice enough to let me stay with them. I was terrified. Luckily it worked out in the end and I had somewhere to stay for the following month. For me this just reinforced that it's almost always worth it to take risks. Worst case scenario, I would have gotten a hotel and flown back to Georgia. Fortunately however it worked out and I got to stay and enjoy Alaska for longer.


CC: What gives you hope?

CB: Enjoying the small things in life. Even if I'm not photographing it or writing it down, I always make it a point to appreciate every little thing about a situation.

CC: What would you say to your former self?

CB: Don't act like a hot shot know-it-all all the time and actually listen to people that may know better than you.

CC: Where to next?

CB: It's looking like I'll be in Iceland in the next few months, which will hopefully be really incredible. I'm challenging myself to go there and come back with photos that are different than the typical Iceland photos and that really illustrate the beauty of the country and culture. I'm also in the planning stages of a possible trip to India/Nepal next year, which if it happens, should be the trip of a lifetime.


Ben: Is flannel always in season?

CB: Hell yes.

Ol' Frank & Mary Kate

Christophe Chaisson

My name is Mary Kate Teske. I'm a twenty-two year old photographer from Billings, MT. I grew up in Terry, MT and was influenced early on in the realm of photography by the local wonder, Evelyn Cameron. Her work portrays the natural elements of everyday life, and with my work, I try to do the same.


That being said, a lot of perspective from my life can be found in the view behind the steering wheel of a classic car. When I was fifteen, I rebuilt a 1961 Dodge Lancer by the name of Ol' Frank with my family. The car actually came from my grandfathers farm in Terry, MT. My siblings and I growing up would spend summers on the farm working and one year my grandpa proposed the idea of restoring Ol' Frank. I jumped right in. Since then, he, and the rest of my family for that matter, has restored and given a classic car to each one of his grandchildren. 

  During the past seven years of driving it, I dreamt of taking it on a road trip and always thought of the places I would go. Recently, the season in my life allowed me to fulfill that dream. I spent June and half of July of 2016 driving along the west coast. In total, I think I averaged more than 7,000 miles. I left from Billings, MT and traveled through Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming and back and took photos along the way. While on the road, I slept in my car and stayed with friends. I met a ton of inspiring people and hope to take another trip sometime soon. Hopefully to the east coast!

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On a side note, I do NOT recommend driving through the hottest parts of the country without any AC. Most of the trip I spent driving while holding a huge bag of gas station ice in my lap.

Mary Kate's Instagram : @marykateteske

Frank's Instagram : @olfrankteske