Wednesday, August 21, 2013

10th Anniversary Skateboard Challenge - Woodinville, WA

A few weeks back I learned of a local skateboard competition, via a flyer the family picked up while shopping for a skateboard helmet.  My kids dabble with skateboarding and I recently purchased a new board for my son, hence the matching helmet.

We also have a Sector 9 longboard in the garage that we've all messed around with for years.  Way back in the '70s, I skateboarded some, along with reading the pages of Skateboarder magazine; mesmerized by Tony Alva and crew, empty pools, Rector pads and tube socks.  So while I wouldn't call us, or me, official skateboarders - I do have some background knowledge of it.

So with that history lesson - we headed over to check out the competition - held at the local skateboard park in Woodinville.  As in Woodinville, Washington.  I got a kick outta watching the kids skate and me playing photographer.  Skateboarder magazine somewhat responsible for putting the photography bug in my forming brain, so now a mere 35+ years later - I finally try shooting people who can actually skate.  It was a fun afternoon.

The kids just wanna rock...

This event and skate park tied to the Woodinville Rotary Club, this being the 10th anniversary of the park.  Being around active kids - and at 52 years old and counting - consider 20 somethings kids also - an awesome thing to do.  The energy, vibe, the act of doing something, is great to be around.  Movement is movement.  Flow is flow.  Doesn't what kind of wheels - skateboards, bicycles, motorcycles - all good.

While running around with a camera and attempting to not get in the way and/or clocked in the head with a board, wound up chatting with two 20 something kids also shooting the event - along with a woman from the Woodinville Rotary.  Exchanged contact info and later pooled our pics for a multi-media presentation of the event.  Two of the "kids" with media experience will create something, hopefully with some of my pics included.  Awesome to stumble into getting involved with something positive for young folks.

I took a crazy amount of photos, narrowed 'em down some for the media project selection process.  If interested, slideshow of 'em to ponder...

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mount Rainier - Burroughs Mountain Trail

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we're lucky to have some incredible mountains and resulting adventure nearby.  Mount Rainier is about two hours from Seattle and a completely different world from the city and surrounding suburbs.  Pretty damn cool to jump in the car and find yourself looking at this in a short time.

For those outside the area, Mount Rainier tops out at 14,410 feet and is a slumbering volcano.  Should be pretty spectacular and/or frightening whenever that slumber ends.  Plenty of folks do climb to the summit, a fairly serious task, and a training ground for serious climbers.  

Surrounding Mount Rainier is vast area of smaller mountains, meadows and incredible scenery, much of it buried under snow most of the year. July through September (or so) is the window of open trails and warm weather.  Add in a clear summer day and prepare for amazing views.

The Bourroughs Mountain Trail is a semi-easy way to experience those views via the 7 mile hiking loop.  Drive up to Sunrise - great scenic drive - then hit the trails.  You get a bit of a head start, since Sunrise sits at 6400 feet.  On a nice day, especially a weekend, expect to see a crowd - though it thins out greatly after a mile or two.

My son Ian and I have done this hike a few times.  Our plan is to arrive late, around 3:00 PM at Sunrise.  Then as the afternoon progresses, hardly anyone on the trail, plus cool lighting as the sun goes down.  We recently did just that, with posted photos as proof.

See?  I don't make this stuff up...

Objects are larger then they appear.  Trees at the bottom of that valley are huge, just to give you some scope.

The only cloud in the sky.  My favorite shot of the day.

Ian stares down the mountain, the mountain won.  We turned around at this point, since only clad with sneakers.  Best case would be wet feet, worst case a painful slide into rocks. Live to hike another day.

Natural spotlight on my favorite biking 'n' hiking partner.

The gift shop was fresh out of ice axes, so we just winged it...

After turning back early on the snow covered Burroughs trail, took a detour on the Mount Fremont Trail - to discover a herd of mountain goats about 50 yards away.  They weren't all that scared and continued to feed, though keeping an eye on us the whole time.  Gave me ample time to change lenses and grab some great pics.  Cool experience.

Did a little sneaker sliding on the way back.

Sunset in progress, our hike concludes.  A very special area to visit, grab the chance if you can.

Arrived home well after dark, late dinner, memory banks hopefully packed with another cool father/son day out.  Washington state rocks, we're lucky to live here.  Now go find your own outdoor adventure, wherever you call home.

Washington Student League - Cool Video

Short video on the mountain bike program I was involved with last spring, coaching and running a middle school team.  A great program to get 7th - 12th graders riding and racing bikes.

Take a peek and get some kids out there...

Viva Italia Car Show - Woodinville, WA

Hit a local Italian car show a few weekends back in nearby Woodinville.  Sunny day, 15 minute drive from the house, pal of mine showing his '74 Alfa Romeo Spider, good excuse to crank up the Nikon.  I'm also a bit of the Italian car fan and dig the vintage stuff.  

Enough reasons/excuses to go, let's look at some resulting photo proof...

Okay, not Italian - but how often do you see a McLaren on the road - in blinding bright orange?  Not part of the show, but parked nearby and certainly interesting to gawk at.  Not sure of the exact era and model - a bit out of my price range - so I'm not worried about the details.  Fantastic looking anyway.

Okay, more in my price range - '70s era Fiat 124 Spider.  Fiat's best selling car for the era, by far.  Quite a few of these still exist and the easiest vintage Fiat to find and own today, if you're so inclined.  During the early '80s, I owned a succession of used Fiats:  '75 128 sedan, '75 128 Sport, '74 124 wagon, '77 X 1/9, and finally a '77 131.  On top of that, friends of mine owned various 128s, 124 and 850 Spiders.  I've been in a quite a few old school Fiats.

At the time, they were cheap and fun to drive.  Cheap to fix also, which came in handy since problems ranging from electrical issues to slipping cam belts - complete with bent exhaust valves - were part of the "fun" along with rust problems.  Joke back then was Fiat stood for Fix It Again Tony, and there was some truth to that.  I spent some time wrenching on 'em as well.

In Fiat's defense, let's face it, most cars of the '70s were built like crap.  The Fiat made up for it while driving - handled well, rev happy motors, with a light mechanical feel.  I'd like to own a vintage Fiat today for those very reasons.

New Fiat Abarth looking retro, yet modern.  The Abarth model being the hopped up edition of the standard 500.  Being the old school Fiat fan, glad to see 'em reintroduced to the U.S. market.  I've stopped at the local dealership a few times to poke around, though yet to actually drive one.  I'd go for the Abarth model, but for $25,000 or so, not going to happen anytime soon.

Thanks to globalization, the Abarth motors built by Chrysler in Michigan, then shipped to Mexico where the cars are manufactured - though all under Italian design.  Momma mia, I'm confused...

A few modern Ferraris on display, including this 360 in blue - very nice.  I'd dig the chance to drive something like this, just for the experience of it all.

'70s era Ferrari BB 512.  Fantastic looking, I really like this era of Ferrari.  Having something like this in the garage to play with would be huge fun and of course, huge bucks.

Alfa GTV, probably the best looking body style ever designed for a road car.

My favorite car of the show, race prepped '80s Alfa Milano, plated for street use.  I talked to the owner for a bit, car was originally built for race duty - though never raced and street driven instead.  Insane and cool, I'd take something this in a second.

Impeccably restored Alfa Romeo - better then new condition.

My pal John's '74 Alfa Spider.  Clean example of a driver - not daily - but certainly used for nice days, rallies, and car events.  Early smaller bumpers and headlight covers look great on this model.

Serious race prepped '80s Milano, trailered in for the show.  Fantastic looking race sedan.

The second Ferrari 512 spotted at the event.

The Dino model, Ferrari's attempt at affordable cars for the era.  Affordable now debatable.

Fiat X 1/9 escapes from the show.  After Fiat pulled out the U.S. market in the '80s, the X 1/9 and 124 Spider were sold under the Bertone name for a few more years, before completely disappearing from out shores.

Alfa Zagato Junior, something you don't see every day.

Very red later model Alfa GTV, stares down the McLaren and Miata.

The small informal nature of this show made for a relaxed afternoon.  Plenty of time to snap pics and chat with folks about their cars and other vintage items of interest.  Not a bad way to spend a summer day in my book.  Not bad at all...