When planning the perfect backpacking trip I like to try and push the limits just as far as they’ll go. So, even though the Western States Trail is best known as an ultra-marathon that runners finish in less than 24 hours – Jesse and I thought we’d turn the same trail into a challenging backpacking trip at about 25 miles per day.
Adventure for me is all about pushing limits – be it skiing out of bounds, backpacking for a month, or in this case, pushing 100 miles of high sierra in 4 days.
Jesse taking a rest while climbing up Squaw (Lake Tahoe in the background)
Looking out over the Western States Trail and the terrain we’d be covering over the next few days.
As a photographer I probably shouldn’t post this photo – but…. the Western States Trail is not the most well marked trail, it really only sees use 1 day a year. So, probably 5 times each day we would lose the trail, either to hike 9 miles out of our way (that happened) or in this case, wander aimlessly through a forest hoping to cross the trail again at some point in the near future – this was in the middle of having bush wacked for nearly two hours and still having no idea if we were any closer to picking up the trail again.
California is known for it’s fires – the last big fire of the year in our area ended up halting our hike at one point and sending us in one huge loop out away from the original trail and basically killed all hopes of finishing as we’d hoped.
Thankful for being careful scanning the trail when backpacking – this littler rattler didn’t make a single noise as we approached. (really glad that Phil wasn’t with us or there might be another video of me screaming like a girl)
I brought my roller on this trip as I was having some knee issues coming into it and was worried about locking up and being stuck in the middle of nowhere.
This was probably the best campsite the entire trip (also I think there was a sign to the left saying camping isn’t allowed…. hmmmmm)
As we got a bit closer to the end of the trail my ankle started to feel a bit funny… on the last day as we tried to push hard to get out to civilization and we sat down for a quick lunch break, this was what I was looking at:
This cabin in the middle of nowhere was the first place we got lost. I blame the dirt bike trail (it was calling to me to follow it)
Thanks to my wife for making the amazing beanie for the trip! so warm, so colorful – and thanks to Jesse for snapping a shot me me happily eating dinner before falling asleep only to wake up to a bear walking into camp (yes, that happened, and yes, we spent most of the night trying to chase it away)
Backpacking is a weird mental game for me – I can’t wait to go, I LOVE the gear, and once on the trail, I’m 80% miserable the whole time, but I LOVE it. After I finish a trail, I have no interest in going back – but give it a few months and I always find my mind wandering back – and seeing as the fire chased us off the trail, and as Spring starts to try and make an appearance in California – I’m beginning to make plans to push this trail again this year, possible in 3 days, but more realistically in 4 – now to get someone to push the miles with!
An and Ric’s Kunde Family Estate wedding in Sonoma Wine Country was what a winery wedding is all about. Rustic yet elegant, indulgent, but understated.
I loved how playful An was and that she was game to head out into the dirt for the perfect image.
Their musician was the perfect accompaniment to the day with the acoustic in the background from pre-ceremony through the reception.
Ric may be a bit more reserved, but he didn’t hold back his emotions when he saw An.
I loved how they incorporated Ric’s son into the ceremony and the importance they put on being together as a family.
The rustic ruins at Kunde Family Estate were featured in the movie Bottle Shock – as well as multiple other amazing sites on property.
My idea of an adventure is getting lost in the woods, and An and Ric had their own version of this during their reception under the trees on Kunde’s Olive Hill wedding site.
Ric and An put a huge smile on my face when they asked me if I would meet them for a “day after” session back on property to help them get a ton more beautiful photos of them exploring different spots and letting loose more than they were able to on their wedding day.
Having them walking up and down rows and rows of vines and playing on property was my idea of a perfect session.
I can’t wait for my next Kunde wedding. What an amazing wedding location with soooo many different nooks and crannies to explore and get lost in!
Josh and Tia had their beautiful Sonoma Vineyard wedding at the Styker Sonoma Winery and made my day by having their dinner reception in the middle of the vines! Great wine, amazing food, perfection of indulgence in wine country.
Getting ready on property at Mayacama Golf Club in a private home created the perfect atmosphere to indulge the camera with beauty and sophistication around every turn.
What a GREAT wedding with some amazing wedding professionals! Rachel from So-Eventful made it all come together and Gustavo from Silver Tie Films create a beautiful film of the day!
Sometimes you are asked by a media outlet or photo contest to look back through your imagery for something specific – This week I was asked to dig back and look for any outdoors photos that reflected my adventurous side and featured water as a large part of the photo.
That’s when I remembered this beauty:
Melanie and Dan made my day when they contacted me about their wedding in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico! Melanie has been a “fan” of my mine for a number of years now – when I was just finishing college I started a blog where I posted one photo a day (It was carefully named “Photo A Day” – I’m deep like that)
Through all of my url changes, blog updates and moving to Northern California, Melanie has kept up, and as soon as Dan proposed, she already knew she would be working with me to capture her day, and I couldn’t be more honored by her stalking.
We schedule an evening in Los Angeles to head to Union Station for their engagement photos.
One of my favorite moments of their session was when I put the camera down to change cards, turned back around and they were dirty dancing together – I was cracking up sooo bad – yes, I got a photo of it, but I figured I’d let them cherish the moment on their own. But watching them together reminded me of how much fun loving someone is – as I stepped back and gave them space, I always found them touching and laughing. I love laughing.
If you follow me on Pinterest, you might already know, I’m a sucker for red – and I’m especially a sucker for heals – and a little toe cleavage… well – yes.
- Published -
. . . . . .
. . . .
Tim Halberg is a destination wedding photographer with a focus on adventurous and gregarious couples and indulgent weddings in Napa and Sonoma's wine country as well as the Lake Tahoe and Squaw Valley/Truckee region. Tim also travels across the United States and abroad for clients each year.
Whether your wedding adventure includes backpacking, extreme sports, or just experiencing a new part of the world, Tim's gregarious personality is there to keep spirits up throughout the event.