Sunrise Above the Fog – Patience Paying Off

Recently I wrote a post titled 10 Things Photography Has Taught Me About Life. In that post, the item that I gave the most value to was patience. A few weeks ago this paid off for me in the best way.

Mount Evans is a 14er which sits on the front range just outside of the Denver metroplex. On it is the highest paved road in North America which is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year. Since moving to Colorado in 2007 I’ve kept a daily eye on the weather hoping to see a prediction of slow moving storms which bring low fog through the valley below the peak’s summit. Time and time again I’ve left my house at 3:30 AM only to catch a cloud-free sunrise or a dense whiteout. Watching a new day begin from 14,000 feet made each trip worth it, but continually not getting what I set out to see was a huge test to my patience.

That all changed last week.

Loveland Pass Colorado Stars

My Bucket List

The following is my bucket list. It’s a list of things to see, to do, and to be before I die. I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not to make this list public. I consider this list very personal and for a few years it has set in a dirty, wrinkled notebook that I’ve occasionally added to. Pages are beginning to fall out of the notebook, so instead of converting to a private digital copy, I’ve decided to put this list on my site to share with the world. I believe it’s important to put things out there – both to inspire and also to be held accountable.

Be prepared – this list is long. Some of it might be considered unrealistic. Some things I’m more passionate about than others, and some things may be easily achievable. My greatest fear is leaving this world having not really experienced it. Having a list that I can turn to for inspiration keeps me driven. This list will continue to evolve – both checking off and adding to.

Because this is just a giant list of text, I would love to hear tips on a better way to organize this. Contact me if you have any recommendations. If you have a bucket list I would encourage you to put it online. Share it with the world. Put a link in the comments below so that we can take inspiration from each other.


  • Fly first class
  • Hike the Overland Track, Tasmania, Australia
  • Attend a Kentucky Derby
  • Motorcycle from Goa to Kathmandu
  • Explore the Temples of Angkor
  • Live at least 3 months in San Francisco, CA
  • Live at least 3 months in New York City
  • Live at least 3 months in Vancouver, BC
  • Live at least 3 months in Anchorage, AK
  • Live abroad for a period of time
  • Have a straight razor shave from an alley barber in New Delhi
  • Drink tea with a lama
  • Take the next flight out
  • Obtain dual citizenship
  • Spend a night in Everest Base Camp
  • Drive the PCH
  • Drive Highway 1
  • Drive Highway 1 in a convertible
  • Get a second passport
  • Volunteer for a month at an Italian winery
  • Take a gondola through the Venice canals
  • Ride camelback across the Sahara
  • Ride an elephant through any jungle
  • See the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower
  • See the view from the top of One World Trade Center
  • See the view from the top of the Sears (Willis) Tower
  • See the view from the top of Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro
  • Ibiza, Spain for New Years Eve
  • See Niagara Falls lit up at night
  • See Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet
  • See Jerusalem’s Old City
  • See The Hagia Sofia mosque in Istanbul, Turkey
  • See The abbey of Mont-St-Michel in France
  • Tour the MOMA in New York City
  • See the ancient city of Petra, Jordan
  • Rent a Tuscany villa for the weekend
  • See the Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza near Cancun
  • Drive through The Dark Hedges, Antrim, Ireland
  • Attend Holi Festival of Colors in New Delhi
  • Explore the ice caves on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia
  • Walk the circumference of Uluru
  • Stand on top of Victoria Falls
  • Stay in the Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai
  • Explore Benagil Cave in Algarve, Portugal
  • Swim in the Maldives
  • Camp among the Italian Dolomites
  • Attend the floating lantern festival of Loy Kratong in Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Stand in the Solvay Hut on the side of the Matterhorn
  • Stand in the valley below the Eiger
  • Work on an archeological site
  • Walk the Great Wall of China
  • Hot air balloon over Bagan, Burma
  • Explore rice fields in the Vietnam Red River Delta
  • Visit Japan during the cherry blossom festival
  • See the aurora borealis over Crater Lake
  • Bathe in the Ganges River as the sun rises
  • See the 7 Wonders of the Modern World
  • Drink wine in Paso Robles
  • Drink wine in Napa Valley
  • Follow the Buddhist pilgrimage from birth, enlightenment, to death
  • Boat from Laos to Vietnam on the Mekong
  • Convince my parents to take an International trip
  • Attend a live sporting event for the 5 major professional sports
  • Ride across Mongolia on horseback
  • Set foot on every continent
  • Prepare a meal for a family in another country
  • Eat real Kobe beef at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant, in Los Angeles
  • Ride the London Eye
  • Ride the Santa Monica Ferris Wheel
  • Have a glass of champagne at an Aspen ski lodge
  • See the Cardiff Kook
  • Play guitar for one hour on a street in another country
  • Participate in the Brazilian Carnival Festival
  • Stay in an over-the-water bungalow in Bora Bora
  • Have a beer at Oktoberfest in Germany
  • Golf at Pebble Beach
  • Wake up to fog and snow on Jenny Lake, WY
  • Drive the Amalfi coast near Sorrento, Italy
  • Have an hour long conversation with a local in a foreign country
  • See the Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens, Greece
  • See the Sistine Chapel and Vatican City in Rome, Italy
  • See the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy
  • See the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  • See the Banaue Rice Terraces in the Philippines
  • See the Borobudur stuppa in Java, Indonesia
  • See every US National Park
  • Attend Sundance Film Festival
  • Watch a traditional Muy Thai fight in Thailand
  • Attend Telluride Mountainfilm
  • Attend Cannes Film Festival
  • Attend Burning Man
  • Attend the Iditarod
  • Attend Coachella
  • Drive the Pan-American highway including the Darién Gap
  • Attend a World Cup
  • Take a food and wine tour throughout Italy
  • Saint Patricks Day in Dublin


  • Climb an active volcano
  • Climb the tallest mountain in Colorado
  • Climb the tallest mountain in all 50 states
  • Climb the 53 Colorado 14ers
  • Climb the 91 US 14ers
  • Climb Everest
  • Climb the Grand Teton
  • Climb the 7 Summits
  • Climb at Railay Beach, Krabi
  • Create a campfire with no tool
  • Walk on flowing lava in Hawaii
  • Hike The Narrows in winter in Zion National Park
  • Hike the Subway in winter in Zion National Park
  • Camp with no tent under a clear night of stars
  • Camp on a beach in Alaska
  • Hike the Stampede Trail to Magic Bus
  • Surf in Costa Rica
  • Follow any river from mouth to source
  • See the aurora borealis from the summit of Denali
  • Become certified to scuba dive deeper than 30 meters
  • Swim with dolphins
  • Camp on the beach
  • Zipline through a jungle in another country
  • Raft a portion of the Amazon
  • Skydive
  • Hike Angels Landing in Zion National Park
  • Take in the shoreline view of Teahupo’o while straddling a surfboard
  • Hike Lago 69 in Peru
  • Surf in solitude at the end of the world
  • Cage dive with sharks in South Africa
  • Search for Javanese Rhinos in Indonesia
  • Learn to sail
  • Catch a wave at Pipeline
  • SUP Lake Tahoe
  • Call a loved one from the Everest Summit
  • Cliff dive higher than 30 feet
  • Dive in Great Barrier Reef
  • Run with the bulls in Pamplona
  • Go zorbing in New Zealand
  • Catch a wave off Kodiak Island, Alaska
  • Heli-ski
  • Make friends with a penguin in Antarctica
  • Sleep on the side of El Cap
  • Speedfly


  • Watch sea turtles hatch and make their run to the ocean
  • Save a life
  • See the Papal Inauguration in the Vatican
  • Witness the first show at a band’s reuniting tour
  • Experience a double rainbow
  • Watch the sunrise from a peak above 14,000 feet
  • Witness the last show of a band’s farewell tour
  • NYC for New Years Eve
  • Catch a home run ball
  • See a concert in the rain at Red Rocks
  • See a grizzly in the wild
  • See wild horses
  • See a grey wolf in the wild
  • Witness a concert at Wembley
  • Kiss under the Eiffel Tower
  • See the Dali Lama speak
  • Shake hands with a president
  • Build a kid a treehouse
  • Witness a sunset that you won’t shut up about for years
  • Return to a place where initials were carved into a tree years earlier

Photography / Video

  • Publish a photo in Outside Magazine
  • Photograph the Milky Way over the Easter Island Moai
  • Go on a photo expedition with Chris Burkard
  • Capture a unique photo of the Taj Mahal
  • Capture a unique photo at Machu Picchu in Peru
  • Capture a unique photograph at Horseshoe Bend, AZ
  • Photograph a keeper black and white photo of El Capitan
  • Photograph Santorini, Greece at night
  • Document something important
  • Photograph from a boat at Pipe Masters
  • Publish a photo in National Geographic
  • Film and edit a short travel documentary
  • Capture a unique photo of Moraine Lake
  • Photograph the Milky Way over Stonehenge
  • Fly an octocopter through Heaven’s Gate, China
  • Photograph The Racetrack in Death Valley at night
  • Serve as a photo guide in Antarctica
  • Photograph Na Pali Coast, Kauai, Hawaii by airplane
  • Photograph something that needs to be made aware to the public for the first time
  • Present a short film on a humanitarian issue at a festival


  • Help at least one person escape extreme poverty
  • Pay for the person behind in the drive through
  • Develop a family secret recipe
  • Build a house/cabin with my own hands
  • Donate more than $1,000 to an important cause
  • Attend a TED conference
  • Inspire someone
  • Take ballroom dancing lessons
  • Complete a Masters Degree
  • Learn to play guitar
  • Play a sport with a current professional athlete
  • Run a 5K
  • Run a 10K
  • Run a marathon
  • Be a mentor
  • Win more than $1K in Las Vegas
  • Tribute someone by releasing a paper lantern
  • Front row seats for a game 7
  • Be able to speak another language conversationally
  • Milk a cow
  • Plant and eat from my own garden
  • Leave any wealth or assets I have when I go to people who really need them
  • Discover my passion
  • Dine with Shamu at SeaWorld
  • Have coffee with the CEO of a Fortune 500 company
  • Sit in the co-pilot’s seat of an airborne 747
  • Live for more than one month without Internet
  • Hit a walk-off homerun in beer league softball
  • Meet all of my neighbors
  • Sell a house for profit
  • Adopt an animal
  • Have a picnic of champagne and lobster on a beach at sunset
  • Stand in a crowded place wearing a FREE HUGS t-shirt
  • Read 10 books in 10 days
  • Marry someone who wants to do half of this stuff together


  • Get a travel article published online
  • Write an eBook
  • Take my blog to over 10,000 subscribers
  • Write over 100 Haikus
  • Get a travel article published in print
  • Write (and play) a song for someone
  • Write and publish a book Justin Vernon style


  • Grow my passive income to greater than $2K a month after taxes
  • Grow my passive income to greater than $4K a month after taxes
  • Live self-sufficiently on passive income
  • Collect people
  • Sell a successful product online
  • Create a product that makes over $50K
  • Create something that makes over $100K

Friend’s Bucketlists


Monday Inspiration, Volume 2

Continuing on from last week’s inaugural post here is your Monday morning inspiration. This week is the video edition with four inspiring videos from across the Web and a bonus photo. Enjoy your week, everyone!


Monday Inspiration, Volume 1

Like most people, I’ve always had a love/hate relationships with Mondays. On one hand, it’s leaving behind weekend fun usually spent in the mountains or traveling with my long-distance girlfriend and returning to the daily grind of working at the office. On the other, after hours, it gives me a chance to get caught up with inspiring things that I come across that I might have missed while out playing on the weekends. I follow endless amounts of blogs and inspiring sites, and each Monday I would like to share a few things that hopefully inspire you throughout the week.


The Unofficial List of All Google Plus Photographers Lists

Google Plus LogoNow that Google + has hit some sense of mainstream, everyone has their lists of photographers to follow. Everyone has one, me included, so you might be wondering which list has the best, or where can you seek out all the lists. The following is the unofficial list of all Google+ photographer lists. Confused yet? Just click these links.

Generic Google+ User Search

Google Spreadsheet of Every Photographer on G+ (hypothetically)
Add yourself to the above list

Trey Ratcliff’s Cumulitive List #1
Trey Ratcliff’s Cumulitive List #2
Trey Ratcliff’s Cumulitive List #3

Google+ Counters Top Photographers

60 Google+ Photographers to Inspire You

Top 104 Amazing Photographers to Circle on Google Plus

51 of the Best Photographers on Google Plus

Jarek Klimek’s list of 80 Users Google+ Photographers Need To Follow

Jeremy Hall’s list of Utah Photographers

Group As General Photographers List
Group As Analog Photographers List

Find People on Plus List

Recommended Photography Users List

Photographers You Should Follow on Google Plus

30 Awesome Photographers on Google Plus

HDR photographers of Google Plus

The Best Wedding Photographers on Google+

These lists are popping up left and right, so if I left any out I plan to make this a blog post that is continually being edited. Contact me or leave a comment below to get your list added here.


The First 10 Photographers You Should Follow on Google Plus **Updated**

Google Plus LogoGoogle’s new social networking site, Google+, has exploded recently and looks as though it’s going to serve as a legit competitor to Facebook. This presents new opportunities for photographers to market their work, as well as learn and interact with fellow photographers. This list is photographers who are on-board with making Google+ a successful place for networking and sharing. They’re all active in posting links, articles, sharing photos, and even writing articles. Add them to a Photography circle to start a great networking base in Google+.

1. Trey Ratcliff

Trey is widely known for his Stuck in Customs site and as the leader in HDR photography. Regardless of your views on the craft, Trey has brought it into the photography mainstream and has done an excellent job at marketing his work.

2. Colby Brown

Colby is a Denver-based landscape, travel, and humanitarian photographer. He recently wrote a blog post debunking the recent Scott Bourne myth that using Google+ means that Google owns your images.

3. Thomas Hawk

Thomas has had a huge Internet following for some time, so it only makes sense that he would be one of the first to migrate to Google+. His portfolio is excellent, but I enjoyed his recent post of Top Ten Google+ Tips for Photographers.



7 ski/snowboard films for 2011 that you must watch

A quick warning that what lies ahead is a quick and easy way to waste away an hour of your Monday afternoon. For whatever reasons, ski/snowboard film companies release all of their movie teasers for their fall movies in the dead heat of summer. While I’m out riding mountain bikes and rock climbing, now I can come back to my computer and dream of riding fresh powder in January. Here’s a preview of 7 of the films that I’m looking forward to watching most this fall.

The Art of Flight (Brain Farm Digital Cinema)

After 2009’s That’s It That’s All, I thought the best of the best had been reached in snowboard films. I was wrong. Travis Rice and crew are back filming with Brain Farm and the trailer looks amazing.



From the Edge with Peter Lik (Sponsored)

From the Edge with Peter Like on The Weather Channel

Colorful afternoon sunsets, turbulent thunderstorms, and brilliant clouds. Weather is something photographers thrive on in order to turn an otherwise boring scene into the foundation of a dramatic photograph. So, it’s only fitting that The Weather Channel would have a new tv show about a photographer and his adventures taking landscape photos across the United States.

Recently, I was contacted by The Weather Channel to do a writeup on this new photography show, From the Edge with Peter Lik. From the Edge airs Thursday nights with back-to-back episodes at 8 and 8:30PM EST.

Peter is an award-winning Australian landscape photographer who currently lives in Las Vegas, which at first might seem odd considering the nature of his craft and Las Vegas’ notorious reputation for being covered in dirt. Actually, though, the city is one giant hub for some of the most beautiful National Parks in the US. Death Valley, Mount Whitney, and Zion are all located within a few short hours drive, and Peter has numerous photos of all three in his portfolio.

On the first two episodes of From the Edge, Peter visited Hawaii to shoot Kilauea’s flowing lava fields as well as Red Rocks Canyon in Northern Utah. Tonight (4-21), he will be shooting the salt flats of Death Valley as well as ice climbing in Montana’s Glacier National Park in the second episode of the back-to-back.

On the program, Peter goes into detail about the geographic nature and history of the landscape as well as the detail involved in getting the best shot that he can.

He also touches briefly on camera tech, functionality, and best practices for beginners that are just getting into the photography hobby.

Currently on the From the Edge Facebook fan page, Peter is having a photography contest with the opportunity to win an all expenses paid trip to Las Vegas. Be sure to check out From the Edge with Peter Lik Thursday evenings at 8/8:30 PM EST and let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

You can find out more about Peter at his web site, blog, or the show’s web site