mountains

A few Hot Springs and the National Bison Range by Chance Keso

IMG_20181006_110237.jpg

Our journey started out on a Friday afternoon where we headed out from Kellogg, Idaho on a mission to visit three different hot springs over the weekend. Our first day we had a late start and drove over to Lolo Hot Springs for the night. It was fun place to visit but we were only there for a short time since we arrived later in the day.

Kettle House Brewing, Missoula, Montana.

Kettle House Brewing, Missoula, Montana.

Early the next morning we headed to Missoula to visit a couple breweries in town there. We popped by Kettle ouse Brewing and Tamarack Brewing. Both the breweries were incredible. Some of the beers are only available in Montana which I really enjoyed. Seeking out those new beers to try is a blast.





IMG_20181006_220739.jpg

After our time in Missoula we headed North to Hot Springs, Montana for a night. I couldn’t resist sitting in the springs for as long as I possibly could. After the first soak we headed inside for a few drinks and live music. The artist that night was Larry Hirshberg. You can find his music over at http://larryhirshberg.com/


#86sqft in its natural habitat.

#86sqft in its natural habitat.

The start of our third day was a chilly one. I spent the night in the bed of my truck. It was a great reminder that I need to add some insulation to the bed to keep it a little warmer now that the colder months are back again. We warmed up our vehicles and hit the road to the National Bison Range. After driving for about an hour to get there we decided to take the longer two hour loop through the Bison Range. Which was well worth it. It was foggy and dark for the beginning of the drive. Slowly but surely as we drove the sun was making the fog burn off. By the time we reached the peak and began to head back down the other side the clouds broke.

Road side snacks in the Bison Range.

Road side snacks in the Bison Range.

Lost in the fog.

Lost in the fog.

As we descended back down the mountain we could see some of the bison off in the distance. Just a little too far away to get a photo of. Towards the end of the drive there was a great spot wide open spot that looked towards the mountains. There was about 20 bison in the field in front of us. Luckily one was just close enough for my 200mm lens to get a shot. Unfortunately the one nearest to us wasn’t looking too great. As you can see in the photo below. Before this quick trip I had never heard of the National Bison Range. I am beyond happy my friends showed me this place. It is truly gorgeous. I’m looking forward to making a trip back there and back into Big Sky Country.

_CLK1318.jpg

Deer Park Campground - ONP by Chance Keso

Nestled high in the Olympic Mountains is a truly magical place. The Deer Park Campground is a small campground on Blue Mountain, just outside of Port Angeles, Washington. The views from the campground and the summit are incredible. On my last trip there it was slightly different. It was foggy and rainy day. Typically you would see across to Vancouver Island and almost all the way to Seattle. Being up on top of the mountain in the rain was a very welcomed experience. Especially after all of the wildfire smoke that has been sitting across the North West lately. 

Foggy days from the summit. 

Around 14 sites are at the campground. With a few walk-in sites tucked away by the Three Forks Trail head parking area.

This last trip I took up the mountain was to do a little work for a brand. It was a nice little solo escape for a night. I pulled in around 1 PM and proceeded to set up camp for the night. Well, the little bit I have to set up for camp. 

Camp all set up.

This past trip in the rain made me realize I need an awning or a tarp for the rainy days. Probably a tarp..

The rainy days are always a nice change for shooting up there. I was looking forward to that. I've been in a creative rut lately and I felt like being back in one of my favorite places would be just what I needed. When it rains so many of the small plants on the mountain begin to sparkle in the light that casts across them. 

Just a short hike out from my campsite is a large open field where you can almost always find a group of deer wandering. I only saw two on my walk to here off in the fog. 

Just up from camp is perfect spot to sit and relax. I personally like to sit here and watch the clouds roll by. On a clear night its a perfect spot to stargaze. There is also perfect spots right next to your campsite to set up a hammock and spend the day relaxing. 

The fog makes for an incredible time to be at Blue Mountain. There is just something about the quiet stillness of the place that is something I have not experienced anywhere else. I always look forward to my time there. I can't wait to go back there.

In the meantime I have to head over to Spokane as I get ready for this next school year to start. I am heading over a little bit earlier than I normally would. I think it will allow me to take one last little trip before school starts. The tentative plan is to head down into Stanley, Idaho. Stay tuned..

A summer of Colorado. by Chance Keso

It's been about two years since I up and moved to Colorado on a whim for the summer. I was working a job I really did not enjoy. Stuck in the same routine every single day. I was growing tired of that. Out of the blue I had a direct message on Instagram from someone I haven't seen since 2012 when I was working at Silver Mountain.  It was from a family I had met while working there. The father worked as a general manger of Luxury Ranches that catered to the outdoor lifestyle. After meeting me he had offered me a job in Montana. A year later one in Moab, Utah. Then once again the summer of 2016. They were short handed and needed the help, and I needed to get away. Long story short I immediately took the job and left. 

I loaded up my Yukon and off I went down to Crawford, Colorado.

 One of my favorite things about being in Colorado was the roads were always so much fun. They also took you somewhere fun. Like Needle Rock Road, it was the road you took into the Luxury Guest Ranch I worked at. 

 Others took you deep in the forest and surrounded you with aspens.

 Another one of my favorites that was just a short distance from the ranch took you into Black Canyon of The Gunnison National Park. Which is by far one of the most impressive places I have ever been. The massive rock walls that just drop straight down into the Gunnison River below. In my time there I was able to hike down into canyon for a day. I only took a few photos while down in the canyon since I was taking a guest down into it for the day. 

In my time there I truly fell in love with the state. The mountains, the trees, the people, the lifestyles. There was so much to enjoy and I only was able to get a small taste of it. The fly fishing stood out here. I went as often as I possibly could. When I was able to have two days off I would pack up my SUV and head north to the Grand Mesa.  The Mesa is a truly gorgeous place. I still have so much there on the Mesa alone that I want to see. 

 I made friends and connections there that will last a lifetime. Sadly I really only had photos of just a few people. I spent most of time photographing the landscapes and the details of it. I regret not taking more photos of the people around me. 

As my time in Colorado dwindled, the seasons began to change and winter began to arrive earlier than expected. Something I would never complain about. Seeing the landscapes around slowly begin to have blanket of snow made me even more excited for the coming winter in the North West. 

I'll be back for you Colorado. It's been too long.