art, photography, random thought, travel

new years: bongos and puke

elle and i went to inks lake state park near austin to camp for new years this year…

it was kind of a disaster.  some college kids pulled in next to us late the first night.  no big deal, i thought.  they’re camping for new years… i’m sure they’ll be respectful of our space and peace.  expectations crushed.

they were playing bongos until 5 0’clock in the morning.  awesome.

and to top it off, i must have undercooked our bacon wrapped jalapenos, because elle got violently sick in the middle of the night.

it was an interesting way to ring in 2011.

but, we still managed to have a good time, strangely enough.  and i get the feeling it’s a precursor for what the rest of our lives might be like:  shattered expectations, sickness, rude people, etc.  rolling with the punches.

in spite of it all, we enjoyed each other’s company, and were glad that we had one another with which to share this incredibly odd time.

here’s to 2011!!

all images and content © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2011

photography, random thought, travel, writing

not just another new year

elle and i decided to go camping for new years this year… big surprise.

we wanted to go somewhere near austin so we could have a fun night in the city, and have an excuse to see my brother and his family.

so it ws decided that we would go to pace bend park, a small but secluded city park on lake travis.

elle found a comfy spot high up in a cedar tree with her shiner.

we sat out on a bluff that overlooks lake travis for a good while…

then we played a little frisbee.

we each modeled for the camera…

then it was time to get down to business…

we made a stop at whole foods before heading out to camp.  on the menu for the evening; stuffed, organic jalapeños wrapped in bacon as appetizers, all-beef organic cowboy burgers for the main course, and a decent bottle of spicy shiraz.  mmm mmm  MMMM!

best camp food i’ve ever had.  and i must say that i was pretty proud of my fire too…

elle got a little trigger happy with my camera… i love it!

after a short afternoon shower, the temperature dropped to a brisk 37 degrees, and a beautiful rainbow appeared.  we stood in awe.

our little friend, either a kit fox or a gray fox visited our camp that night and the next morning.  he was a welcomed guest, and we felt lucky to get a glimpse of an increasingly uncommon creature.

i can say enthusiastically that 2010 started off right… already a lot to be thankful for…

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2010

photography, random thought, travel

renewal year

i’m not a fan of new years celebrations.  getting dressed up, paying inflated party fees, and sipping head-ache inducing champagne, is not my idea of ending or beginning any year.  so, a last minute decision placed me in big bend national park, alone, to ring in ’09.


i climbed to the top of the dodson trail, on the outer chisos mountain loop, and received a clear view of the year passed and the year to come.


my new year suite… a perfect little spot in the high mountain desert.  ocotillo surround and protect my tent.


first cup of coffee of 2009.  what a beautiful morning… and hey… no headache!  i traded my tuxedo from the night before for the “german tourist” look – wool hiking socks and chacos.  sexy, huh?




the mountains were magical as always.  it was a real treat to spend the first hours of 2009 in quiet reflection.



i hiked up to cattail falls, a highlight of every one of my dozens of trips to this great park.  the flow was just a trickle… like usual.  but it was cool and calm in the small canyon.


as i hiked down from the falls, i was again rewarded with an amazing view.  i am hopeful for 2009.  cliche or not, i am hopeful.

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2008