At the time I took this shot I was way outside of my comfort zone. This is a shot I took just before landing on a mountaintop in sub-zero temperatures while in New Zealand. In this case the scale is difficult to convey because there is nothing to use for reference. However the copter landed on the icy plateau on the upper left and it would look like a small toy if we could see it here.
I remember this stop in particular because I walked a little ways down that slope on the left. It was nothing but ice and the incline increased with each step as it dropped into the abyss. I realized that just in time and froze in my tracks then took several steps backward until my footing was sure and the panic subsided.
We landed in spots that were pretty much inaccessible save for experienced climbers. As it turns out our pilot was a mountain climber and used his knowledge of the area to choose our landings. In fact, he had been up in the area on foot a short while before. Some of the peaks seemed to me nearly impossible to reach and I was always looking for a route down should we get stranded. In places like this I’m not sure what options there would have been.
Despite the extreme landings I was so occupied with capturing landscape images that I had no time to be afraid. It’s only on reflection from the comfort of my home that thoughts of potential danger return. Certainly I had the same thoughts on that day as well, but they were crowded out by the task at hand and the rare opportunity to capture these images. In reality the pilot was super competent and never put us in any real danger. Lucky for me he was well within his own comfort zone.
Here is another shot of Miami that was taken as we were pulling into port after a three-day cruise. As far as cool cites in Florida go, Miami is number one. There are a lot of high rises and yachts at every turn and you easily get pulled into the alternate reality of South Beach. I can never get enough of this place and as I write this I’m talking myself into another trip down.
Speaking of alternate realities, have you ever noticed how different places have their own feeling? Cities and regions are made up of the landscape and the people that inhabit them. Together that forms a unique energy that you can almost feel. Take New York City and Des Moines Iowa, completely different. There’s no good or bad, just different.
Anyway, Miami is an international mix if hyper excess and tropical dream, what’s not to like? I have a little tradition in that every time I visit I go to South Beach for dinner, sit at an outdoor table and order Paella. There is nothing like the sites, sounds and flavors of Ocean Drive. Just don’t be in a rush, anyone who’s anyone cruises the strip in their hot cars and bikes and no one is going anywhere fast.
Then, after a few days, it’s back to small town I go. I live in a city where the population could barely fill a block of Miami. But that’s kind of nice. I’m no high roller and a small town suits me just fine. I love the suspended reality of places like Miami, but I can only suspend it for so long.