national parks, photography, travel

ONE LAST HURRAH

Just a few days before leaving Wyoming for the year, I was fortunate enough to have my nephew and brother come visit. They wanted to get some backpacking time in before the snow came, and of course, we had to see the Parks too.

We spent the first few days getting them acclimated by touring Grand Teton and Yellowstone.

We hit many of the main attractions, but mostly they wanted to try to see some animals. This year was a great one for wildlife viewing, and we got to experience a close encounter with a big male griz. Safely from our vehicle, of course.

We were able to view several moose, as well as other critters I didn’t document.

It is hard to beat the scenery of this part of the country, so our eyes were continually treated to the majestic surroundings.

We then headed down to our area for a few days of late season backpacking in the Winds.

The Labor Day storm this year devastated several of the main trails going in to the range, so we decided to base camp at Green River Lakes and head in to the base of Squaretop for a little adventure.

The days were just glorious, especially when I think about how this land can be covered in several feet of snow this time of year, and it commonly is.

My nephew and brother did a little fly fishing, with no luck, but who really cares when this is the backdrop!?

The smaller ponds and creeks were starting to freeze up. The nights and mornings were quite chilly.

All in all, we had a wonderful time together. I never feel like I get enough time with these fellas, but I cherish every moment we do get. Especially when we get to spend it in my favorite place on the planet.

I cannot think of a better way to have one last hurrah for the season. I will miss Wyoming… until (hopefully) next year!

— Andrew


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family, photography, random thought

unclehood

my brother down in austin bought his kids a trampoline a few weeks ago.  i had been hearing about how awesome this thing was, but had not yet experienced the bouncy goodness it had to offer.  well, i went to austin this past weekend.  enough said.

elise and i had a blast.  she practiced form, and shouted “girl power!”, as i jumped and tried to focus my camera simultaneously.  i really love being an uncle.  it doesn’t get much better.

sam, my nephew, and boaz (the neighborhood bruiser and best friend of sam), are all boy.  when they spot their “crazy” uncle andrew, they go into attack mode.  i learned that this game, in particular, became more fun on the trampoline.  less chance of injury.  for the boys and their aging uncle.

  

elise, sam, and little andrew have all grown up with a camera in their face, thanks to their uncle andrew.  as a result of this, they are perfect little mini-models.  smiling on cue, mixing it up like true professionals, and absolute comfort in front of the lens.

a few months ago, i had the opportunity to hang with the little dudes for a whole day.  i was commissioned to watch over and entertain sam and elise for five or six hours.  i have to admit, i was really nervous.

i’m a bachelor.  and if you’ve ever read this blog before, you’d know that i’m quite impatient as well.  patience is a true commodity for those dealing with kids.  but i love these little guys more than life itself.  so i guess now’s as good a time as any to test my “parenting” skills.

okay, so i got a little help too.  my sister allowed me to bring them over to her place to set up a pool in the front yard.  it was a big hit.

  

miles, my third and newest nephew (my sister’s), came out to watch.  he’s a pretty serious little guy.  probably going to be a brilliant physicist or jazz musician.  or both.  even he managed to laugh at the three of us playing in a tiny pool in the front yard.

what a great gift i’ve been given to experience being an uncle, before being thrust into the throws of fatherhood.  i love getting to have fun and party with my little buddies, and then quietly escape when all of the tantrums begin, or the diapers need changing.  i’m enjoying this while i can.

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2008

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