Rocky Mountain Cocker Rescue Fundraiser

Rocky Mountain Cocker Rescue Fundraiser

Hey everyone~

As you might have known from my previous post Max Seigal Photography, I’m good friends (I’d even go as far as to say best friends) with Max Seigal, who takes epic pictures. Seriously, they’re epic– check them out.

If you’d like:

1) the chance to honor Max’s mom Alice, a veterinarian in Boulder, Colorado and all-around amazing woman, who passed away in October,

2) to support the Rocky Mountain Cocker Rescue,  and specifically a dog named Coco Puff who needs cataract surgery, and

3) the chance to win one of Max’s pictures (makes the perfect Christmas present!), then check out this Facebook link:


Post by Rocky Mountain Cocker Rescue.

For only $10 you can be entered into a drawing to win one of Max’s pictures. There’s no limit to the number of tickets you can purchase. The RMCR is trying to raise $4,000 to pay for cataract surgery for one of their dogs, Coco Puff.
(Click on the link, or the picture of CoCo Puff below to read more about him). 

Rocky Mountain Cocker Rescue

To purchase tickets, write a check payable to:

RMCR, c/o Shannon Matthews, 2138 Doris Court, Loveland CO 80537.

You will be sent a receipt with your ticket(s).The winner will be announced Sunday, December 8th via email, and also posted on the RMCR Facebook page and RMCR website. Said lucky winner will receive a promo code to use on Max’s site for the 20×30 print of their choice, on either paper or metal (go for the metal– they look fantastic, don’t need to be framed, are much lighter than a traditionally framed picture of that size– no glass!, and are quite durable and easy to clean).

If you need any help selecting your photo, I’d be happy to make recommendations. My first recommendation is this: buy a couple tickets, and then go over to his site and buy a few pictures. One Max Seigal photograph is pretty sweet, but two (or more!) is even better.

 nature and wilderness photography

Max Seigal Photography

Hey Everybody!

My good friend Max Seigal has a new photography website, which everyone and their dog (and other pets) should be checking out right this instant! Here’s the link (I’ll make it real big so you can’t miss it):

Max Seigal Photography


Max and I have known each other since college: classmates, friends, rock climbing partners, travel buddies… ah, what memories (some, like the time I indirectly puked on his foot, or when we trekked up to Annapurna Base Camp in Nepal, are more epic than others). I’ve been along on many of his photography trips, and have slept through a number of his award-winning shots, including the lightning strike at False Kiva (the first picture you see on his website. I wrote about it here: The eyes of this place). It’s hard to stay awake at night when you have to sit in the dark for long periods of time. He was worried that we were going to get struck by lightning, or soaked to the bone in the pouring down rain. I sat up, remember saying, “Oh look, that’s some big lightning,” and then immediately fell right back asleep. My mom did always used to say that you could send a marching band through my room and I wouldn’t wake up.


Myself and Max, about to chow down on some delicious quesadillas in Moab, Utah.

I’m also asleep just out of the frame on the left in his self-portrait at Delicate Arch with the Milky Way (in both Personal Favorites and Night Shots). I tucked myself out of the way behind a rock, determined to sit there and enjoy the night sky. It was cold, so I had brought a down sleeping bag to sit in, and, well, when I’m warm and tired and it’s dark I tend to fall asleep. Max actually didn’t even know where I was, and had to call out for me a few times so I didn’t get left behind.

I also almost got lost trying to get out to the Arch that night (actually, I believe it was technically early morning), because my headlamp battery was dying, and I could only see in a 1 foot circle around my feet. Which isn’t so bad when you’re on a trail, but once you’re on slick rock and relying on rock cairns to direct you, it gets a bit trickier. There were a few moments I thought about just sitting down and waiting for Max to come find me once he was done taking pictures. Luckily, I’ve been out to Delicate Arch a number of times, and was fairly familiar with the trail. And, another photographer had left some glow-sticks at a few strategic points along the trail, which helped.


Hiking the Narrows, in Zion National Park, with a bum foot. I think the freezing-cold water actually helped, because I went numb from the upper-thigh down.

He’d left me behind, as usual, because he was in a hurry to get up there and start taking pictures, I had to use the outhouse before I left, and I had badly sprained my foot just before we left on our trip and couldn’t really walk very well. In hindsight, I probably should have just stayed in the car. I should have also probably gone to the doctors and had it checked out, but we Smiths tend to follow the “walk it off” recovery method. Which could explain why my knee, which I dislocated a few years ago, still bothers me every once in a while (after my kneecap eventually popped back into place, it didn’t hurt as bad so I just kept working).

Well, while I reconsider my health/injury decision making, make sure you look at Max’s fantastic photographs! I shall include the link here again, so you don’t have to scroll up to the top of the page to find it:

Max Seigal Photography

Happy Picture Perusing!


Joby, myself, and Max, enjoying breakfast on the trek up to Annapurna Base Camp in Nepal. The porters and other people we met along the trail all got a kick out of our sweet hats.

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

Horseshoe Bend AZ

Max getting ready for sunset by gazing into the sky, in the wrong direction. The sun sets over the bend in the river, straight across from where we stood on the rim.


We spent about a day in Page, Arizona, saluting the day both at its end and beginning from the rim of Horseshoe Bend, a “horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River.” We made the mile-long trek to the edge of the canyon rim, overlooking the water below by about 1,000 feet. There are no railings, so you are left with only your own common sense to protect you from going over the edge.

Horseshoe Bend, AZ

Pretending to be a photographer, and being very careful not to stumble and knock the tripod over the canyon rim.



It’s windy here on the rim of Horseshoe Canyon, and the wind blows sand in our faces, camera lenses, and down one thousand feet to the river below. I can see the wind ruffling the surface of the water. It’s not really cold, just when you’re sitting still the wind gets to you, blowing your warmth away across the desert. The sunset tonight was all a photographer could ask for, streaks of pink clouds, blues and purples, orange. I hear violet-green swallows flying below me along the canyon walls, and lower still I see a soaring raven, which from my perspective looks the size of an ant, an ant with a paraglider.



Horseshoe Bend, AZ

Some of the people who joined us to watch the sunset. After I took this picture, more people arrived, until there were at least 100 total loitering on the canyon rim.






I’m sitting on the edge, much closer than Mom would be comfortable with, my left foot braced parallel a few inches from the edge, the rest of me a couple feet back, no danger of losing my balance. The wind isn’t that strong. As the sun goes down, the people leave with the light. I try to eavesdrop, but most of them speak different languages and I don’t know what they say. They don’t seem to be speaking of the view though, because those who really look don’t say anything.



Horseshoe Bend, AZ

The canyon walls glowed a beautiful orangish/red in the vanishing sunlight, a living color that to me is the essence of this place.