This Crafty Graduation Invitation for My Daughter

This Crafty Graduation Invitation for My Daughter

Beatrice No Comments

  • Using professional looking cards for your graduation invitation
  • A list of grad cards you can use from Inforparrot.com
  • Making an impression already to corporate people by way of sending graduation invitation cards

As a parent, you only want what’s best for your daughter. So when she graduated cum laude, I said to myself, “I would like my daughter to have a professional graduation invitation.”

That was my initial reaction the moment my wife informed me that my daughter graduated with flying colors. So I thought of using Infoparrot’s list of graduation cards for me to invite people for her graduation. Like I said, I would like my daughter to have a professional graduation invitation right from the get-go because she has not only completed her education, she went even further as well by putting a cum laude tag to her graduation day.

In fact, I’m already thinking of a big celebration for this one. And what better way to initiate a large gathering for her graduation than by sending these cool grad cards from Infoparrot.com. I would like my daughter to have a professional graduation invitation because this would open doors for her as far as finding a career immediately after college.

I’m sure there will be visitors who would be looking into the potentials of my daughter as part of their firm, working with them alongside dignitaries and business owners. So having a professional-looking card as an invitation would pave the way for my daughter’s promising future.

Infoparrot.com is now the site to see online. I would like my daughter to have a professional graduation invitation because this event will showcase how corporate-ready my daughter is, what with the way her grad cards would look like. She should be able to exude early on how valuable she can be to any corporation or business enterprise.

Getting Acquianted with Cameradojo

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  • An online photography school offering tutorials, reviews and forums
  • Choosing the right photography tools, courtesy of reading reviews from Cameradojo
  • On becoming a professional photographer via Cameradojo

If you’re serious about making it big in the photography world, then you might want to attach yourself to the best. You need to be surrounded with the latest tools and techniques about anything photography, so you can produce quality pictures yourself.

That’s where Cameradojo comes in. Cameradojo is your ultimate digital photography school, providing tutorials, reviews and even a forum, where you can discuss with the experts on the art of photography.

Kerry Garrison, the man behind Cameradojo, is an accomplished photographer himself. And he created this site online whereby those who dig photography the most can have their own avenue on the web to discuss and share ideas about photography.

Cameradojo understands the impact of having the right tools for your photography. So the site offers some perspective about its craft, not just on tools, but in determining the best types of photos for publication and even for website use.

It’s more of a blessing, though, that Kerry created Cameradojo. It allows professionals and enthusiasts alike to choose the type of camera or even drones to use at a particular event or situation. His comprehensive reviews about photography tools makes one an informed buyer, thereby saving enough time and resources in doing so.

So the next time you think about buying an equipment for your photography, why not go with Cameradojo. Whether it’s a wedding, portrait or for commercial purposes, Cameradojo has all the techniques for you before buying that camera.

Needless to say, Cameradojo is the go-to site online when you’re serious about making a career out of photography. You can’t think of any other photography school that Cameradojo is offering, a comprehensive take about photos, cameras and everything that has to do with photography.

A Simple Guide to Using Helmet Cameras

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  • Cool helmet cameras for sports, work and even research activities
  • Quality helmet cameras with better features
  • Helmet cameras with built-in light to capture darkened images and for better quality

This may sound like an oversimplification, but helmet cameras help you a lot. Aside from the economy of work it gives, because you don’t have to hold the camera just to take a shot, your helmet camera, notwithstanding, will take care of the rest.

If you’re a cyclist, for instance, and you want to take your viewers with you, then a helmet camera might come in handy. Helmet cameras take you to the action immediately, as in the case of cycling. This allows you to show to your viewers what it means to hurdle the terrains through the eyes of your helmet camera, that is, if you’re into biking competition.

Helmet cameras can be used other than sports. There are those who use helmet cameras for educational purposes like a documentary. The good thing about having helmet cameras is that you’re free to move that you can’t find with other, which limits you when one of your hands is maneuvering the camera.

So if you plan on doing something, especially recording things or events that you don’t want your hands to get in the way, these helmet cameras can be quite a companion.

These cameras have a built-in flashlight, too, where it paves and lighten the way for your image.

Get a pair of helmet cameras today, and capture as many images as you want just by donning it on your hair. This isn’t an oversimplification, really, but something that allows you to capture that moment with the help of your helmet cameras. The kind of camera that you should be using right now.

Reviewing DSLR Cameras via Sleeklens

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  • Reviews you can read from Sleeklens before buying that DSLR camera
  • Being an informed buyer by reading reviews about DSLR cameras
  • Cool yet durable DSLR cameras you can buy online

If you’re not familiar with digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras, it might be of help if you can see more DSLR reviews at Sleeklens.com. These reviews will give you an idea on how to buy and use these types of cameras for your photography.

To start with, DSLR cameras combine the mechanisms of a single-lens reflex camera with a digital one, quite different from the perennial photographic film. In fact, the reflex feature is what separates DSLR cameras to that of other digital cameras.

But why do you need to see more DSLR reviews at Sleeklens.com? The reason for that is obvious, reading reviews from Sleeklens allows you to choose and buy the best DSLR camera available online. It also gives you an idea on what to expect the moment you use DSLR cameras.

It pays to read reviews before buying a camera. An informed buyer is better than a compulsive one. If you see more DSLR reviews at Sleeklens.com, you won’t be wasting time and resources in the process because you are already aware of the latest trends, even the affordable ones, before buying that camera.

Sleeklens has the best deals when it comes to DSLR cameras. Every DSLR camera you see with Sleeklens offers durability and quality, enabling you to produce photos that only professionals are capable of producing. Sleeklens is the ultimate site online for your DSLR needs.

So set your sights on that DSLR camera today and see more DSLR reviews at Sleeklens.com. Get the most out of your photos right now by having the best available DSLR camera on Sleeklens, and the let these beautiful pictures come out.

Creating that Perfect Resume through Word

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  • Resume templates for Word available online
  • Accentuating your chances of getting hired by using these comprehensive resume templates for Word on the web
  • Marketing yourself for a job using appropriate resumes

Like so many of us, the task of making an impressive resume can be daunting at times. If you’re not used to writing, for instance, you might be in a position to give up as soon as you fail a couple of times. But for those who are persistent, it comes as a challenge, no less.

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There are templates you can download online. Resume templates Word come in bunches on the web that there is a corresponding template for every vacant job position out there. It’s up to you really to decide which among these templates best serve your personality and capabilities as a potential employee of that company.

Using these resume templates Word is the ideal way of dealing with job applications. You simply can’t afford to be artsy when making that first impression to your potential employer, you always have to present a formal disposition, so that your interviewer will see that you mean business, in the first place.

Using Word for your resume allows you to present yourself as the right person for the job, compared to other applications where being artsy, sometimes, could get in the way with what you’re saying. With these resume templates Word, though, you get to list down in a comprehensive and easy-to-understand manner what you can do and contribute to your potential employer.

So what are you waiting for? Choose from these resume templates Word online and secure that ultimate dream job. Remember, first impressions last, and what better way to make that impression last than having these resume templates Word with you. Just the kind of template you need for that job you’ve always wanted.

Becoming A Fanatic of Lightroom Fanatic

Beatrice No Comments

  • Presets that come in bunches, courtesy of Lightroom fanatic
  • A photo-editing app that allows you to put keywords to your edited photos
  • Offering video tutorials as soon as you get a Lightroom fanatic online

Perhaps you are curious about what are Lightroom fanatic presets. Well, these are tools that improve the color, texture and luminosity of your photos. And Lightroom fanatic presets offer you the best deals in town when it comes to photo enhancement.

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Let us examine some of the benefits, though, when using these tools, and find out what are Lightroom fanatic presets all about? The best way to answer that is to see the benefits that go with these Lightroom fanatic presets.

  • They come in bunches – Lightroom fanatic offers the best free and paid Adobe Lightroom presets. Adobe Lightrooms specializes in color enhancement, intensifying texture and accentuating the luminosity of your photos. If you are looking for some answers about what are Lightroom fanatic presets, then this is the closest thing you can get, a variety of tools for the enhancement of your photos.
  • They are in order – Order in a sense that you can add keywords to your images. This will give you complete control over your editing and compartmentalize them later on. In fact, you can actually safe-keep your files properly by giving keywords to your edited photographs.
  • They seek to teach as well – Lightroom fanatic has video tutorials, too, for those who would want to make a career out of taking photographs. But even if you’re just a regular enthusiast, you will learn something from Lightroom fanatic via their cool video tutorials.

So, what are Lightroom fanatic presets, anyway? They are your handy companion when it comes to photo editing. You don’t need the services of a photographer anymore when you edit your photos, these Lightroom fanatic presets will take care of it.

Guest Article – Turkey, Antalya City

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Antalya is set on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, also known as the Turkish Riviera. It is Turkey’s biggest international sea resort.

The City offers superb beach resort facilities and long stretches of golden sands, with a fine selection of significant historical sites. The city is loved by many for its palm lined streets, charming marina, delicious restaurants, excellent shopping, cosmopolitan nightlife and lots of historical attractions.

Each year, millions of people visit Antalya. Fantastic for families, couples and even the more experienced traveler, Antalya’s mix of traditional, cosmopolitan and family friendly activities will ensure everyone will enjoy a holiday in Antalya!

Antalya has many great locations to take a decent photograph. It is one of the richest places in the world to shoot historical and modern buildings and landscapes.

My favorite activity in Antalya is get lost in Antalya and discover new amazing places every time again.

If you want to see the heaven in the world, you should visit the Turkish Riviera where is Antalya!

İsa Burak Gonca graduated graduated from the Department of International Relations of the Faculty of Business and Economics of the Eastern Mediterranean University of Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and the Masters Program in Political Science and International Relations of the Institute of Social Sciences of Yeditepe University of Istanbul.

He writes about foreign policy analysis, travel stories, Antalya City and Turkish tourism in his blog. He enjoys basketball, swimming, tennis and photography.

Gear Review – Apex Bean Bag

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From time to time, my friends at Essential Photo Gear send me stuff to evaluate. Two weeks ago they sent me the Apex Bean Bag, a new product designed in large part by Chas Glatzer, master photographer and well-known columnist and photo tour operator.

I have made two trips to Africa, once in Tanzania where I had personal guide and driver, and the other to South Africa where I did all the driving myself. One of the biggest issues I faced on both trips was how to support my camera and telephoto lens when doing wildlife shots.

Good solid support of a long telephoto lens is absolutely necessary. And when one cannot use a tripod, the choice among most photographers has been to use a bean bag.

Photo Courtesy of Travis Peltz

Well, this bean bag is different in many respects from what I have used in the past.

First is its shape. Made like a horseshoe, the bag fits neatly over a vehicle door frame. And I must mention something here that is very important. Yes there are all kind of window mount alternatives. I own one, the Ergorest Multi-tripod, but the problem is that the mounts require you to roll up the window to fit the mechanism in place, that means that critical “headroom” for your tripod mount is lost and it means that the camera is often too high to use effectively. This is one reason that I love the design of this bag, the photographers who designed it have encountered the same issues I have.

And, as you can see in the photograph, that is one more large lens! Yet the bag supports it perfectly.

I often use a bean bag while doing photography in Florida. There are many areas where shooting from a vehicle is a distinct advantage as wildlife tends to pay no attention to a truck or car. And, almost always, I am either shooting early in the morning or late at night which means I need a really really solid support for my camera as it is likely that I am shooting at less then 1/50. As in the photograph that follows.

The Bald Eagle simply ignored me as I took shot after shot, all from my SUV window.

What I would have given five years ago to have had the Apex Bean Bag! It would have made a significant difference in my photography for years. So I am glad to see that the folks at Essential Photo Gear have introduced the bag and made it available to folks like me.

Not all photography is done from a vehicle. And I am repeatedly advising others that getting low, or getting on the same level as your subject is a fundamental thing one must do to get a great shot. And wouldn’t you know, the designers of the Apex Bean Bag made it work by turning it upside down to support a heavy lens while shooting prone, something I often do. As you can see, the lens fits perfect in the horseshoe turned up.

Photo Courtesy of Travis Peltz

The Apex Bean Bag is made of high quality materials and I am amazed at the attention to detail that went into its construction.

An aluminum plate comes with the bag to which is welded a tripod mounting screw. One simply inserts the plate into the top of the bag and the mount protrudes through a small hole in the bag. Two washers are included with the bag to protect the cloth from marring when the tripod mount is affixed to the bag. There is even a little sleeve on the side of the bag to store the washers. Details, I like that.

When I got the bag, my first task was to go to Sam’s Club to find earth friendly stuff to fill it with. My first choice was rice. A big mistake. Rice is small and thus heavy, really heavy. So, I bought a bag of pinto beans and mixed the rice with the beans. The result was a bag that weighed 20 pounds when filled. Yep, 20 pounds! Like an idiot, I did not read the instructions or follow the advice of those who made it. One needs to find lighter stuffing, but not to the detriment of what the extra weigh means. The whole idea here is to have a solid surface on which to mount a very heavy tripod mount (most photographers use a Wimberly with it), a very heavy lens and professional grade camera. A five pound bean bag configured like this won’t work very well. It has to be heavy.

There are some other nice features about the bag. It has two straps and buckle that allow one to anchor it to a door handle, or whatever seems handy. Why is that? Cause you don’t want to run into the assembly and have your $8,000 camera and $6,000 lens wind up on the pavement! Having a way to secure the bag to whatever then is a really good idea.

Photo Courtesy of Travis Peltz

Course there are many ways to use this bag because of its unique design. For example, it makes a great table top tripod. And, I can see it used on the ground for doing landscape photography as well. Or even on a car hood.

Photo Courtesy of Travis Peltz

Perhaps the most important feature of the Apex Bean Bag is that it is easy to pack for a long trip. One simply empties the earth friendly contents, rice, beans, or bird seed onto the ground and it all folds nice and flat, hardly taking up any room in my luggage. When I get to my destination, I fill it with whatever is available. That could be anything from pine straw to leaves, or dried beans bought at a native market. And if worse comes to worse, sand will do nicely as well, although that would be dern heavy!

My only regret is that this product was not available when I went on my last trip to Africa. I sure could have made good use of it while driving from one end of Kruger Park to the other, all 2,300 miles of my journey.

Ever since Essential Photo Gear got started, what has impressed me is that the stuff they sell is designed by photographers. Imagine that. And, each time I buy a product from the company I find the quality to be well beyond my expectations. In other words, a group of expert photographers with good business ethics and a friendly helpful attitude are making stuff that I can use because they have been at the same place I have and have faced the same issues I have. And they are making stuff that will last a lifetime.

In sum, if you have a need to support a heavy lens and camera from a vehicle, you should consider the Apex Bean Bag seriously, it is the perfect solution for such situations. In my view, if I am headed on a safari to Africa, this would be the first item I would pack. And frankly, I will use it in Florida repeatedly because I know that early one morning, some deer will pose for me in light that demands that I have a solid surface to support my lens and camera cause I am shooting at 1/20th of a second.

This product is not for everyone. It is for the photographer who wants solid, high-quality support for a heavy tripod mount, camera, and camera lens.

But, if it meets your needs, I highly recommend that you buy it.

Guest Article – Driving Canada’s Dempster Highway

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The ritual emerges early in the trip: Leap into the truck, slam the doors and spend the next few minutes killing all the mosquitoes which have followed you in.

We’re headed up the Dempster Highway, the most northerly highway in Canada and one of only two highways in the western hemisphere that cross the Arctic Circle. It winds 743 kilometers from its junction near Dawson City in Yukon Territory, crossing the continental divide three times before it reaches Inuvik in the Northwest Territories. Except for a few kilometers of pavement at each end, the road is a gravel challenge; the Dempster is not for the ill-prepared or the faint of heart.

Dawson City

The first morning gets off to an ominous start. I’m traveling with Ben, my father-in-law, in a big one-ton 4×4 truck pulling a fifth-wheel trailer. The mosquito killing begins and when I swat one (gently, I swear!) against the inside of the windshield, it cracks. Must have picked up a rock chip somewhere.

As we leave pavement just north of the junction, I’m acutely aware of our isolation. There is very little traffic on the road and it’s almost 370 kilometers before we’ll come to any services. We have a full tank of fuel, three spare tires for the trailer and one mounted spare for the truck, plus an extra tire. Mechanically, I’m hopeless if the truck breaks down (I could change a tire) but Ben is a farmer used to fixing his way out of problems like that.

But the anxiety gives way to awe as we climb up North Fork Pass where we traverse the magnificent Tombstone mountain range, part of the Ogilvie Mountains. The clouds hang low this morning as we stop at the viewpoint and we can’t actually see Tombstone Mountain itself.

Tombstone Mountain

Past the viewpoint a sort of eerie silence descends upon us. I’ve never seen landscape like this before. We travel up a wide valley with very little vegetation and soft, round gray mountains on each side. There’s a low cloud ceiling and it looks like it will rain. We move up the valley, but there are no vehicles and I start to feel perhaps we are leaving the planet Earth.

While the views make one feel very small and alone, my other eye is on the rain clouds. Before we left Dawson, we had heard stories of the weather up the Dempster. The service station at the junction had seen a steady flow of vehicles coming in with flat tires for repair. Someone had a friend at the Department of Highways and learned that it had been raining for the last three days and that the highway was quite a mess in some sections. The unspoken message was: Are you sure you’re ready for this?

It took 20 years to complete the Dempster. Construction started in 1959 but wasn’t finished until 1979. The challenges of building a road through permafrost are enormous and this accounts for some of the potential for mechanical problems. The road is constantly being maintained and in some sections the road bed is shale which can be very hard on tires.

Blackstone Uplands

Blackstone Uplands South

So now, as we move through the Blackstone Uplands, I’ve got one eye on the scenery and the other on the clouds, hoping the rain will stay in the mountains. We come to the northern edge of the uplands plateau and start to climb into the Taiga Range toward Windy Pass. Again, the scenery is like none I’ve seen.

Much of this area is in Beringia, one of the few sections of North America not glaciated during the last great ice age. The mountains are round, gray limestone lumps with virtually no vegetation. The only erosion they’ve ever seen was by wind, water and frost fracturing. We reach Windy Pass summit and the view today looks very much like it would have when the first people crossed the Bering Strait and arrived in North America.

Windy Pass

We’re aiming for the campsite at Engineer Creek to stop for lunch, but somehow we miss the entrance. You’d think that with almost no side roads for hundreds of kilometers, you wouldn’t have much trouble recognizing one when you see it. But it’s difficult to turn this rig around so we carry on up the road a little ways until we find a small turn-out by the creek. Just as we’re getting lunch organized in the trailer, a highways water truck comes along and the driver tells us we need to move so that he can back down to the creek to pump water into his tank. He tells us we can pull into the maintenance yard just up ahead.

Ogilvie River

After lunch, we’re following the Ogilvie River up its valley, then up Seven Mile Hill along the edge of the Eagle Plain escarpment. The hill rises 300 meters and we cross the continental divide for the second of three times before we get to Inuvik.

The remoteness of the Dempster means that there is not much traffic, but we meet a group of motorcyclists headed back down south. This is a popular way to do the Dempster and we’ll see many more motorcycles before arrive back in Dawson.

Finally, we make it to Eagle Plains. This oasis of civilization in the middle of the wilderness consists of a gas/service station, a hotel and restaurant, an RV park, a highways maintenance yard and huge gravel parking lot in front of the whole works. It’s not exactly pretty but we need fuel and coffee. Eagle Plains was deliberately placed here at the half-way point as a service center. The site was chosen because it sits on bedrock and the buildings could be constructed without the need of driving pilings through permafrost as is the case with most northern communities.

With human and vehicle fuel tanks full, we push northward again. It’s not long before we arrive at the Arctic Circle monument. At this time of year (we’re crossing the Arctic Circle a few days before the summer solstice) the sun never sets below the horizon. In fact, it’s very disorienting. In the evening, your body is waiting for a visual cue that it’s time to go to bed, but the sun is still blazing in the sky. You look at your watch and discover that it’s 11:30 PM. No wonder you’re so tired.

Arctic Circle Monument

Arctic Circle Richardson Mountains

This evening we’re sharing the little campsite by the Rock River with a half-dozen other travelers and unimaginable swarms of mosquitoes. Because of its sheltered location at the bottom of a small valley, the Rock River boasts a forested area of fair-sized trees. But as we leave the campsite the next morning and climb out of the valley, the effect of altitude and latitude become apparent as the trees give way to tundra.

The other thing that changes as we climb toward Wright Pass through the Richardson Mountains is the weather. It was sunny when we left the river but within a few kilometers, the clouds start appearing low, dark and gray. But, for some reason, the apprehension I felt about rain yesterday isn’t there today. In fact, the low cloud seems to compress all the sound and fear out of the world. I don’t even really hear the truck as we climb up to the pass. Tundra spreads out all around and the mountains are low and not far away. Neither of us speak; we’re so awestruck by the view.

We reach the summit of Wright Pass which is also the territorial border between Yukon and the Northwest Territories. We stop to take our photograph at the border but the light is dim. The clouds are so low you can almost reach up and touch them. The wind is howling, but there is no rain. To the northeast, there is sun on the horizon.

Descending from Wright Pass

Wright Pass

From the pass, we descend down toward the Peel River and the vast valley of the Mackenzie River. We’ve been on the road for over an hour without seeing another vehicle headed in either direction. We pass a highway construction crew working on a section of the highway and eventually come to the Peel River.

The Peel is the first of two ferry crossings. In the summer, you cross the river by ferry. In the winter, you cross an ice bridge built up on the frozen river. During freeze-up and break-up, you don’t cross at all.

Peel River Ferry

This morning, there is only our unit and a semi-trailer on the ferry. The crossing only takes five minutes and we’re on our way to Fort McPherson, the first real settlement on the highway. I want to make a stop here because I’ve become fascinated by the infamous story of the ‘Lost Patrol’ of the Royal North-West Mounted Police, the predecessor of today’s RCMP. In the winter of 1910-11, a patrol of four police officers led by Inspector Francis Fitzgerald, set out on dogsleds from Fort McPherson for Dawson City. Although this was an annual event, it was the first time that the patrol had traveled in this direction; normally they went from Dawson City to Fort McPherson.

The result was a disaster. Enduring winter conditions that saw the temperature drop to -65 Degrees F, the men lost their way in the Little Wind River, a tributary of the Peel. Running out of food (at one point they started to eat their dog teams), they eventually gave up and tried to make their way back to Fort McPherson but all four died on the Peel River only 25 miles from their starting point. Their bodies were eventually recovered by Inspector W.J.D. (Jack) Dempster, the man for whom the highway is named.

The Lost Patrol is buried in the cemetery of St. Matthew’s Anglican Church in Fort McPherson. The sun is shining as Ben and I wander through the graves and a local native elder comes up and introduces himself as Frank. He shows us the graves of his grandparents, buried next to the Lost Patrol. For over 50 years, his grandfather, John Firth, had been a clerk at the Hudson’s Bay Company post here. In fact (as I later learned) his grandfather’s dog team was used by Dempster to recover the bodies of the Lost Patrol. The poignancy of the story comes crashing through the years when you’re standing there in the sunshine so far removed from that frozen winter a hundred years ago.

Fort McPherson Lost Patrol Gravesite

Back on the road and it’s about half an hour to the second ferry, this time crossing the mighty Mackenzie River. I grew up on the west coast of Canada and thought I had seen big rivers: the Fraser, the Columbia. But I was unprepared for the scope of the Mackenzie. It drains one-fifth of the fresh water in North America. They say that when the ice comes out of the river in the spring, the water level can rise 80 feet in 15 minutes and the cliff on the south side of the river near the ferry landing displays the scars of ice flows.

Today, the water is moving fast and strong, carrying a steady flow of broken trees and branches. There is no dock because the river would simply take it away, so the MV Louis Cardinal pulls up and beaches itself on the gravel landing. It empties its load of vehicles heading south and then we board for the short crossing. The ferry has to work hard against the current, but eventually we land on the other shore.

Mackenzie River Ferry

From the other side, it’s only 126 km to Inuvik and the end of the road. Since we are now traveling pretty well at sea level in the heart of the Mackenzie Delta, the terrain is fairly flat. The delta itself is about 75 km wide and 200 km long, full of winding channels and ponds; but traveling up its east side you don’t see much of it until you get to Inuvik.

Pulling into the campground in Inuvik we congratulate ourselves on surviving the trip (remembering that we still have to drive back).

Inuvik Igloo Church at Midnight

Logistics

Since this is a driving trip, the first planning will likely involve how to get a vehicle to the junction of the Dempster Highway. There are a couple of alternatives. The first is the self-contained option for those with a motor home or camper, however, this means getting yourself to Dawson City, probably via the Alaska Highway if you are coming from the south.

Another option is to fly to Whitehorse, YT and rent a vehicle, preferably a 4×4 truck or something equally heavy duty. This option adds about 536 km (one way) to the trip, but there are not many services in Dawson City. Air North offers regular passenger service to Whitehorse from Vancouver, BC and Edmonton, AB.

An indispensable travel planner is The Milepost, a guide to all the highways in Alaska, northern British Columbia, Yukon and the Northwest Territories. Updated annually, it provides detailed information about services and points of interest along every kilometre of these highways – don’t even think about making a driving trip in the north without getting a copy of this guide.

Dawson City is a funky and historic little town at the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers. In 1896, gold was discovered in Bonanza Creek, a tributary of the Klondike triggering one of the biggest gold rushes in North America. Gold is still mined in the area and there are many interesting artifacts from the past that will help you understand the industry. Plan to spend some time in Dawson at either the beginning or end of your trip.

Inuvik is on the east side of the Mackenzie delta and has about 3300 residents. There are four hotels and the Happy Valley Territorial Campground (open June 1 to Sept 1) is a good place near the center of town for motor homes and RVs.

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Bruce Pollock got his first real camera in 1973 and has been learning about photography ever since. He works with 35mm and large format film cameras and is working hard on his Photoshop. He lives in Victoria, BC and thinks that travel and photography are a perfect marriage.

Guest Article – Adventure in Peru

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Each year one of my friends and I set a goal that will cause us to work on our fitness during the year, preparing for the adventure.  In 2007, based on an article we read in the NY Times (http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/06/03/travel/03inca.html) our goal was to hike in the Andes mountains of Peru to a somewhat unknown Inca ruin known as Choquequirau, the Cradle of Gold.  Built by Topa Inca, son of the Inca ruler who built Machu Picchu, it was built with similar architectural styles and techniques causing its reference as “Machu Picchu’s sacred sister”.  You can actually hike to it from Machu Picchu, but it is a much more strenuous and lengthy journey than our goal required.  So, we decided to take the more common route, a 4 day hike from the town of Cachora.

Cathedral and Square, Cusco, Peru
You get to Cachora via a flight to Lima (from Miami in our case) and then a flight to Cusco, which is the same launching point for Machu Picchu.  We spent two days in Cusco acclimating ourselves to the almost 11,000 foot altitude.  I had never been to Machu Picchu, so I took the train up and spent the day touring the site.  It is an unbelievable experience to sit on the side of a mountain and imagine the architectural knowledge and sheer effort to construct something like this in the 1400’s.

Our trip was arranged by Lima Tours (http://www.limatours.com.pe/english/index.asp) and our guide, Sergio Cuba, who worked for Pachatusantrek (http://www.pachatusantrek.com/)  met us in Cusco.  There were three of us on the hike, my friend Gary, his wife Linda and me.  We met Sergio the night before and he gave us an overview of the adventure as well as the do’s and don’ts for the next few days.

Maccu Picchu
We all got up excited the next morning and met our guide and driver for the four hour drive to Cachora.  When there, we met Amer, the owner of the horses who would be packing all our gear for the four day journey.  We ended up with 5 horses and a staff of 4 in addition to our guide.

Sergio, Mike and Gary with a local lady
We had lunch in Cachora and then set out walking on our trek.

The Hike

This was a hike over 20 miles and two days to get to Choquequirau.  We start at roughly 10,000 feet, go down to 5,000 feet where we cross the Apurimac river and then back up to 10,000 where the ruins are located.  You hike on trails that are fairly good, but very dusty.  There are a lot of places where the elevation is fairly steep and, of course, you are either going up or down.  While 20 miles doesn’t sound like too much, when you throw in the elevation it becomes all I could handle.  The first day you go mostly down and then camp for the night.  I had a tent and Gary and Linda had a tent.  They also pitch a latrine tent with a portapotty and a mess tent.  We ate great meals each day.  They boil water each evening and you fill your water bottles for the next day.  It is warm and very dry in the mountains and you need to drink a lot of fluid.

On day two you cross a bridge over the Apurimac river and start the hike up to the ruins.

Apurimac River View from Bridge
Along the way you see few other people.  They limit the permits and this place really hasn’t yet been discovered by the traveling public.  Its rugged and remote location probably contribute as well.  There are a few rest stops and you do see locals who will sell you a soda, but mostly, you are putting one foot in front of the other, looking up occasionally to take in the incredible scenery or take a picture.

Late in the afternoon of day 2 you reach Choquequiriau.  You first see it from the other side of a valley.  After getting the the camp area, the tents are pitched and the four of us walk over to the ruins for a short stay.

One of the adventures is a walk down the steps shown here.  They look (and feel) like they fall off the side of the mountain, but really just connect the various terraces.  One thing that I found interesting is that you have to take big steps to climb with the risers sometimes over 2 feet.  Yet the folks who lived here were relatively short.  They must have been in great shape.

After dinner, its dark and time for bed.  Sleeping in the mountains wasn’t a problem for me, mostly because you are really tired at the end of the day.

We spend the next morning exploring the ruins.  It is somewhat anti-climactic as they are only 30% excavated at this time.

One of the highlights is the fairly recently discovered “White Llamas”, a wall with Llamas inset on each terrace level.

Close up of White Llama
The hike back is just as majestic as going there.  One thing about going both directions is that you really see everything.  I felt like we were on top of the world, and imagined the Incas must have felt the same.

Here is another source of information about the hike.
http://www.besthike.com/southamerica/peru/choquequirao.html

The Photography

On a hike like this, obviously you need to travel light.  I carried a Canon Digital Rebel with 17-85 and 70-300do lenses.  I also brought a light travel tripod which proved helpful for pano’s in Machu Picchu, but not too useful on the hike.  You are moving a lot.  To add some color, I had a Canon TX-1, small video camera which was used to provide some short clips for my slide shows back home.  Finally, my trusty digital elph which was handy for snapshots in camp and on the trail.  More images are here: www.pbase.com/mikeojohnson/peru

Mike Johnson
www.mojphoto.com

*****
Mike Johnson is an avid amateur photographer who enjoys mixing travel, wildlife and landscapes all over the world. He retired from business in 2004 and moved from Minnesota to Florida, where he currently resides with Jan, his wife of 37 years. Photography became a passion post retirement and we have been fortunate to see a lot of wonderful places, meet a lot of wonderful people and experience a lot of the earth’s most exciting creatures. In the past few years Mike has been trying to raise the level of his photography by joining several well known photographers on photo safaris. Grizzly Bears in Katmai, Polar Bears in Churchill, Eagles in Homer and the Big Five in Africa have all been captured. You can find Mike’s images at: mojphoto.com

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