After being used to either solo or duo (with Nick Fucci) journeys up to the South Fork Campbell Creek valley for moose, it was a bit of a change to go up there with four other photographers: Joe Connolly, Josh Martinez, Chris Beck, and Brian Weeks. Quite the motley crew, not only in terms of photo styles and emphases, but in terms of how we all met. But that is the way it is with photographers; we often meet new people who are already known to our existing friends. For example, I met Chris Beck five or six years ago after joining a local chapter of Business Networking International. A couple of years later, I met Joe Connolly at one of the many wedding fairs, where photographers like he and I would provide information about our business to prospective clients. Yet separately, Chris and Joe became friends through their own experiences. Perhaps that is also a great example of life in Alaska; America’s biggest small town.
We all gathered at Joe’s house at 8:00 in the morning; I knew from my experience that it would be way too early to bother looking for moose because it would be hours before any sunlight hit the valley floor. But Joe’s home is conveniently located just up the hill from the Glen Alps parking lot, a premiere location for launching any moose photo exhibition. As we were chilling out up at Joe’s house, enjoying his hospitality, I noticed the dawn colors starting to form, so I sprinted down (in my car) to the Glen Alps lot, arriving with barely enough time to capture some of the color before it faded.
I went back up to the house, and we all gathered together our gear to head out into the wilds. Well, at least out onto the Powerline Trail, a wide, gravel trail for hiking and mountainbiking in the summer, skiing and snowmachining in the winter. Unfortunately, there were no moose anywhere near us, and the ones we could find way off in the distance were all cows. Quite frankly, I was not interested in hiking all the way across the landscape for photos of cow moose in crappy light (the sun quickly became obscured in clouds following sunrise). But it was a great opportunity to get out, go for a hike, enjoy some company, and photograph the changing landscape. We stopped and spent some time along the South Fork of Campbell Creek, which was starting to form ice along its banks and various pockets of ice capturing leaves and other remnants of the autumn.