Hello! As of now I have at least two photography trips planned for the summer. With persistence I managed to get a $200 cheaper airline ticket. $447 ticket for a 1700 mile (2700 kilometers) flight! Selling the old Pentax 6X7 as well as my macro and zoom lenses paid for the airline ticket. This spring, two people here donated $110 total. One donation was $100 and the other was $10. Thank you to you two!!
For cheap flights my advice to you is to use Orbitz or a similar website (maybe Orbitz is only for the USA?). I didn't like Google Flights. Orbitz is a great research tool to peruse flights and rates. Usually you'll find the 'regular' cheap rate which but every once in a while you can find a much cheaper ticket. Be patient and start looking early. Be flexible on departure date. This year the Orbitz website failed to reserve the ticket. It was my bank's fault. They were doing maintenance. I called the airline directly since the Orbitz charges were being denied by my bank. At first, the airline didn't find the flight and rate by date so I quoted them the exact flight numbers and times+dates and they found the same exact rate! They usually charge a $25 fee for phone reservations rather than using the website but I told them (truthfully) that the flight didn't come up on the website. The nice woman removed the $25 phone reservation fee. This was one success and many more are still needed to bring you the photos.
At 48 years old I recently developed 'plantar fasciitis' for the first time while training for this summer's photography. It's a painful condition where the tendons on the underside of the foot are injured. PF can last for years. Many doctors fail to improve it. I did a lot of internet research on the topic. Been focusing every day on recovery by doing painful but very effective stretches. Just in case I've also been wearing toe spreaders to minimize what is called pronation where the foot can tend to roll inward while walking. Pronation is one cause of PF. I also just got some magnesium nutritional supplements which will hopefully help.
Also been soaking my feet in epsom salts. I'm still able to walk five miles on a walk but my feet did hurt today. When I get back from exercise/training walks I roll my feet on a frozen water bottle. That's supposed to help. When indoors I'm not supposed to walk without shoes. A more difficult thing I've been trying to figure out is that when getting out of bed and first standing up that's when the faciitis tendon is most likely to be reinjured. I'm not yet sure how to get the blood flowing there without walking - a paradox problem. Tomorrow I'll try gentle foot stretches.
On other fronts.. Last year I was very cold at night in the mountains so I sent my sleeping bag back for a 'down add' to improve it's thermal rating from 30f to 20f degrees. That cost $70. Suffering from below freezing cold in the Rocky Mountains in July of last year put a big damper on my morale.
I also purchased highly reflective emergency thermal blankets to put over my tent in the daylight hours. My tent is gray and at high elevations the dry of Colorado air combined with the burning hot sun brings the inside of my tent unbearably hot even with both doors open for a cross breeze. My idea is that the very reflective blanket will keep my tent cool during the day. The tent won't look pretty but I can then nap or escape the burning sun between the morning and evening photo shoots. I prefer to camp in the open country where the views and photography are best. If this doesn't work I'll camp under trees which is not as good but doable.
I have yet to buy a rain tarp, tent pad, SD storage cards and much more. I'm making a list. I had to buy three water filters and two sets of inner liner socks. That cost well over a hundred dollars. I will re-use my wool outer socks from last year. For sunscreen I am switching to a different type. Last year I used a stick type that did not work well at all. It only put a thin layer on and then my skin burned. With burned skin it was very painful to rub the stick on my face the next day. Yes I used a face mask but between my eyes and the facemask there was a three centimeter gap. My nose burned too. Also since the old brand has shea butter that might attract bears so I can't use that.
I bought some toothpaste powder but I'm reconsidering bringing it. It is strongly cinnamon scented. I want to eliminate odors. Three years ago a bear got into my campsite area and seemed to ignore the cinnamon scent in the covered up hole in the dirt but.... Bears are attracted to anything different. They are naturally curious.
There is much more work that I'm doing now to bring you more photography. What I've shared here is the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. If you would like to help I would so very much appreciate it!! I need to know you support what I'm doing. Please send paypal donations to email@example.com or if you are in Colorado and can offer help with a place to shower and sleep this summer, that is even better. A hotel room there costs $180 a night which is too much.
If you are wondering why I'm going back to Colorado it's partly due to a limited budget. Cant afford a flight and car rental to Alaska or Iceland or wherever.. However I can land in Colorado and use the free bus system in Aspen. Also I'm doing at least one trip again this year in the Alleghenies which is in the eastern US so you can look forward to more photography from there as well. The Alleghenies are amazingly beautiful but also much easier since the air is thicker and the UV index is rarely so bad there. Even when they say the UV index is bad here, I don't burn from it, unlike in Colorado.
Have a great weekend!
If you want to help please send paypal donations to firstname.lastname@example.org