I'm Back.

Well, it's been over a month since my last post. At the end of May, I took a road trip down to Yosemite Park and the Redwoods in California. I really enjoyed being disconnected from everything. We we're gone for 8 days and I only had cell service for two travel days. It was great! The only downfall is, it's been really tough to get back into blogging and marketing. I'm trying to find a nice balance between work and enjoying life. I figure this would be a good post to just bring you up to speed with what I've been up to over the last couple of months. So, here we go. I had an amazing trip down to Yosemite National Park with my dad, brother and a bunch of my dad's friends. Here's a shot of my brother and I up on top of Yosemite Falls.

I have assisted Jetta Productions twice now on two separate Stock Photo Shoots. I never thought this would be of any interest but these shoots are a ton of fun and I have learned an incredible amount in the 5 days I have worked for these guys.

I was hired by ASI to shoot the Rock and Roll Marathon in Seattle WA. It was crazy! I had to get up at 3:30am and shot until 2pm. It was way more work than I anticipated but it was well worth it. I opened up a whole new avenue for work and actually had a great time shooting. It was pretty emotional watching people come thought the finish line. So many people had pictures of friends/family they had lost to Cancer. It was incredible to see people fighting for a cause and really pushing themselves to the limit.

I am training for my third STP ride coming up here in a couple of weeks. This year, I have really been training hard. I have gave up the booze for 6 weeks and have been averaging about 150 miles a week on my bike. I have also been doing spin classes and core training in between rides. It feels AMAZING to be getting stronger and increase my endurance. This year, my brother David will be joining me along with my Dad. Keep your fingers crossed for some sunshine.

Lastly, I have finally started to work on music again after a two year sabbatical. My buddy David (Positive ID) will be producing the whole project and it will be titled Positive Vibrations. We have 6 songs recorded and have been recording about 1 song a week. We're on track to get this thing finished up by Fall. I'm planning on doing a little show for the release after the release. If you haven't heard my first album, Walk With Me, go to www.josephaverage.bandcamp.com to download it for FREE!

Now that the fourth is over, let's all enjoy our long awaited summer!

- Mike

Wallace Falls

On Mother's Day, my dad and my brother and I headed up to Wallace Falls for a nice little hike. It was a gorgeous morning and the parking lot was near empty when we arrived at 9:30am. When we finished the hike, there were cars parked for miles outside of the main lot! We scored for sure.

The hike was beautiful! The river that runs along the trail is so peaceful and inviting. I just wanted to plop a chair down with a six pack and call it an afternoon.

Here are some pics from the hike. I've really been enjoying trying to process journal type photos with an aged film look to them. What do you think?

Shot from about midway up off the beaten path...

My brother "Dr. Jones!"

Me up front along with "Bear Biscuit" and "Dr. Jones!"

Travels - Lake Chelan

Last weekend I journeyed over to Lake Chelan to shoot a friend's wedding. This was a quite the experience. Super stressful and I couldn't believe how many shots I took! I shot over a thousand and sent them 539 to choose from. They narrowed it down to 84 so now I gotta get cracking on the edit show. It's gonna be pretty time consuming but I was stoked to be there and help these guys out. It was a beautiful wedding and I was also able to shake a leg and journey to some scenic spots when it was done. I will be posting some of my faves from the wedding sometime next week. On Sunday, I headed over to the Apple Cup to meet some friends for much needed Bloody Marys and breakfast. If you are ever in Chelan, make sure to stop here for breakfast. It's a must. After my hangover was cured I decided I wasn't ready to just head home yet. I was in Chelan and it was gorgeous! So, all of us went our separate ways and I chose to head up to Echo Ridge. I had done a little mountain biking here a few years back but we were pretty disappointed with the terrain since it was mainly cross country skiing trails for the winter months. We did end up having a great time but it took some creativity and a good attitude. Anyways, this time I was back and I wasn't on a bike. I had a pair of boots in the car to my surprise so I laced them up and hit the trail with my camera on my back. It didn't take long to reach incredible views. I just got a new tripod and ball head so I was anxious to try out some panorama shots. Here are a couple I snapped along the "Nowhere to Hide" trail. Make sure to click the photo to view larger.

The mountain views were incredible! I felt so far from home and forgot how beautiful this side of the mountains can be. I also managed to get a shot of myself on top of the world. I played around with the curves and colors a bit for a dated look. What do you think?

I had a great 4 mile hike and really enjoyed myself. It was so quiet and peaceful. I made it back to the car and figured it was time to get on the road. I topped off the tank and headed west. I wasn't in a rush to get home so I planned on stopping off somewhere on the way back. I ended up choosing Deception Falls. The park was closed so I just parked on the street and headed down. I snapped a couple of shots of the Tye River and hit the road. These didn't really come out how I wanted since I just missed the sun. I was hoping for some sun to be shining though the trees and create some warmth but I was too late. There's always next time.

Travels - Birch Bay and Bellingham

Well the Spring is shaping up quite nice for us. Priya and I already have two trips under our hiking boots. Last weekend we headed out to Birch Bay to hang with some friends at a timeshare. We spent Saturday eating and drinking and watched the beautiful sunset on the beach just minutes from our pad.

On Sunday, we worked it all off with a hike on the Cedar and Pine Lake Trail in Bellingham. It was gorgeous and a brutal 9 miles long! We really had a great time trekking through the trees. Here is a shot of us on top of the world at a lookout point we climbed up to.

Here's a shot of what we saw from the top!

Priya ate a foot long subway sandwich right before our hike which decided to come up after about an hour into our hike. This allowed me to get this awesome photo of this moss covered tree with the sun behind it.

Also, I had downloaded this program on my phone a while back which allows you to track your treks with GPS. It creates a little map and gives you some details about the hike. This is how I found out we hiked about 9 miles. Check out the little map below.
View Pine And Cedar Lakes Hike in a larger map

Well, my next trip is out to Chelan to shoot a friends wedding next weekend. I hope to hit some scenic spots along the way!