hiking

Life Thur the Lens 28/52.... Hiking Bear Butte, South Dakota

I have a fear of heights.

Bear Butte State Park, South Dakota

Bear Butte State Park, South Dakota

I read somewhere where all fears originate in one thing, death. So realistically, I have a fear of death by falling. It's a fear that bubbles up deep within my stomach. One that has only left me paralyzed in one situation, otherwise I have been able to conquer my fear of heights. Although, it is no easy feat, it's a constant battle of mind over matter.

Let's Begin....

Let's Begin....

About a quarter of the way up....

About a quarter of the way up....

About half-way up, taking a photo break....

About half-way up, taking a photo break....

A view of The Great Plains...

A view of The Great Plains...

We started way down in that parking lot....

We started way down in that parking lot....

We hiked Bear Butte a few weeks ago. It has an elevation gain of 1036, which is not much of an elevation gain when compared to some of the hikes we have done in Europe. However, combine the teeny tiny trial in places, with gusting wind, and navigating loose schist rock... I'm not going to lie, I was scared. You know, the kind of illogical fear that makes you picture your sudden plunge to death as you slip off the face of the Butte from a powerful gust of wind. Ummm hmmm, I mentally envisioned that scenario a few times. 

There was a ton of color on the hike between the memorial flags and the wildflowers....

There was a ton of color on the hike between the memorial flags and the wildflowers....

About three-quarters of the way up, on the backside of the Butte where the trail tapers off and the wind picks up....

About three-quarters of the way up, on the backside of the Butte where the trail tapers off and the wind picks up....

Never too frightened to skip a photo opportunity of a flower....

Never too frightened to skip a photo opportunity of a flower....

Often, I cannot enjoy a good view because of the overwhelming emotion that suspends reality for me. But, this time I took the views in with triumph and awe. 

Life Thru the Lens | A Little Randomness | Lisa Kerner | Simply Living Photography

Tips for hiking Bear Butte...

~Take lots of water, especially on hot days since the majority of the hike is in the open. And, wear sunscreen. 

~Wear sturdy shoes as the elevation gain is not gradual and the majority of the trail is covered with schist rock.

~Be respectful that Bear Butte is a sacred spiritual ground for the Sioux Nation.

~Hiking poles came in handy on the descent, and I would recommend them. 

~The views are spectacular so bring a camera. 

~Watch your hat on the top!! And, enjoy the view; you can see four states on a clear day. 

WHAT FEARS HAVE YOU CONQUERED LATELY???


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Life Thru the Lens 24/52... Crazy Horse Volksmarch

Our goal since moving back to The Black Hills was to hike more often. While there was hiking in MO, there was not much hiking that was easily accessible to us. It is nice to be back in an area where we can literally walk out our door and find a trail. There is nothing like the smell of warm pine needles while the wind rustles through the tree tops, and the birds call to one another. 

A couple weeks ago we decided to drive to the southern hills to participate in the Crazy Horse Volksmarch. The last time we participated in the Volksmarch I was full blown pregnant with our first born. This time we told Blue Eyes she has to hike on her own... no free rides. :-)

Crazy Horse Volksmarch Spring 2016 | Lisa Kerner| Simply Living Photography
Crazy Horse Volksmarch Spring 2016 | Lisa Kerner| Simply Living Photography
Crazy Horse Volksmarch Spring 2016 | Lisa Kerner| Simply Living Photography

It was such a stunning view I had to at least try my hand at a panorama. There is normally a Volksmarch in the fall as well, and I hope this year is no different. The fall colors will make for a fabulous view. 

Crazy Horse Volksmarch Spring 2016 | Lisa Kerner| Simply Living Photography

A few Facts About Crazy Horse Memorial....

  • June 3rd, 1948 was the first blast on the hill.
  • Crazy Horse was a Lakota Warrior. There is a controversy over whether the family of Crazy Horse authorized the building of this memorial. 
  • Crazy Horse led The Battle of the Little Big Horn, or Custer's Last Stand.
  • The Crazy Horse Memorial is run by a non-profit organization accepting no government (state or federal) funding. So, your entrance fee is actually a donation to the building of the memorial.
  • The memorial is being built on Thunderhead Mountain, a sacred site. 
  • When/if completed the memorial will be the worlds largest mountain sculpture. 
  • You can only hike to the arm during the spring and fall Volksmarches. 

WHAT FUN PLACES HAVE YOU BEEN EXPLORING???


WHAT DOES YOUR LIFE THRU THE LENS LOOK LIKE?

New to Life Thur the Lens??? START HERE!

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Life Thru the Lens 5/52... life on the trail

The Good....

The Thinker and I missed hiking. For three years we lived in a place that did not have trails easily accessible to us. After living in Germany for seven years, where we could walk out our backdoor and find a plethora of trails to explore, it was painful to live in a place without that option. We are both outdoor people and there is nothing like a long hike to clear our minds and recenter our worlds. 

We are both out of shape though. We used to be able to knock out 22 miles (easily) in a day. So, we have decided to hit a trail any time it is nice enough to head outdoors. This last week, while the eastern part of the nation was being pounded with snow, we were living the high life in 50-60 degree weather. 

We would take the snow though. We bought snowshoes at the beginning of winter and have not had the chance to use them. The snow that we have had was not enough to snowshoe in, and the snow that is left is icy because it has gone through several cycles of being warm enough to melt one day and then being in the negatives the next. I am not a huge fan of a frigid winter with no snow. 

The Random...

The logging company has been through our woods marking trees to be cut down. I understand the purpose of logging, and to some extent I support it because we have felt the tragedy of forest fires in our are. Still, it hurts to know so many trees will be missing one day. 

The Fun...

The sun is still setting rather early here, so we often find ourselves running out of light when we hike. I do not normally mind that, but since we know there are mountain lions roaming our paths I am not  a huge fan to find myself walking along one at dusk. But still, to miss this view and the sunset is also heartbreaking. I think I'll just have to toughen up and be brave; not to mention buy some bear spray. 

I'll be visiting these lovely communities this week... join along... Trough My Lens MondayImage-in-ing, Our World Tuesday,Random-osity and Friday Photo Journal.

WHAT DOES YOUR LIFE THRU THE LENS LOOK LIKE?

1. Share your life through the lens past, or present.

2. Grab my button and/or link back to this page, so others can find our community.

3.  Visit at least one person and create a community with them through encouraging comments.

The RULES:

~All forms of photography accepted… keep it family friendly please.

~Anyone with any photography skill can participate… we are all learning and growing.

~Any camera you take pictures with is acceptable… the best camera is the one in your hand.

~The link-up will open at 8:00 A.M. Mountain Time. 

Life Thru the Lens 51/52... a winter hike

"I'm happy when I'm hiking, pack upon my back. 
I'm happy when I'm hiking, off the beaten track. 
Out in the open country, that's the place for me....."

~ I'm Happy When I'm Hiking

Last weekend The Thinker and I went on our first winter hike of the season; no snowshoes needed, just good thick socks and hiking boots. Or, so we thought. It was a gorge hike, so we did not think about the trail climbing up out of the ravine, and we did not think about the snow not melting on the north side of the trail. Needless to say, we had to turn back just a mile into our hike becasue of the icy accents with drop-offs to our immediate left.  Yes, that's right, I wasn't quite ready to die that day. 

Before we hit the higher elevations, we found this along the way. 

The hard part about hiking with my camera is... one, we never trek to far down the trail because I am always stopping to take a photo and two, I find that I do not enjoy myself as much becasue I am always stopping to take a photo.

 In Europe, I had the same experience. When we returned from one particular destination and I could not remember an incident that happened with my family, I decided something had to change. I became extremely intentional about taking a few shots, and then putting my camera away. I know I missed some key shots. However, I also cherish the memories I made by leaving my camera at home, or in it's bag. 

I have decided that I want to go back to this trail at least three times. Once, becasue I already know where I want to spend more time with a tripod, and a remote trigger. Then, I need to hike the entire thing sans camera so that I can build brain memories of the hike and not just photographic memories. And then, the third time to take photos of things further along the trail. 

Brain memories are equally as important as photographic memories, and maybe even more important. A photograph will not trigger a brain memory if one has not been made. 

My tips to you...

~ If you have already experienced something once, leave the camera behind the second time. The shots will all pretty much be the same ones you took the first time. Once my kids began middle school I began taking my camera with me for one soccer game for each child, each season.  I have found that one really good shot of the season satisfied my need to document. You really do not need multiple shots of the same types of events year after year. 

~ If you haven't experienced an event before, then take your camera but be intentional about tucking it away. Tell yourself, I'll take five photos and then put it away. When I was traveling I would take five photos of a beautiful area, then I would tuck it away and enjoy the ambience of the place, and then take my camera back out further into the day. Honestly, I hated all the mid-day sun shots of places anyway, so that became my memory building time. The golden hours were my shooting time. 

I'll be visiting these lovely communities this week... join along... Trough My Lens MondayImage-in-ing, Song-ographyOur World TuesdaySweet Shot Tuesday,  Wednesday Around the WorldLittle Things Thursday, andFriday Photo Journal

Life Thru the Lens

1. Share your life through the lens past, or present.

2. Grab my button and link back to this page, so others can find our community.

3.  Visit at least one person and create a community with them through encouraging comments.

The RULES:

~All forms of photography accepted… keep it family friendly please.

~Anyone with any photography skill can participate… we are all learning and growing.

~Any camera you take pictures with is acceptable… the best camera is the one in your hand.