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Mike L Renner mikerenner77 mikerenner77 Posts

mikerenner77. Happy Friday.  That is all.

Happy Friday. That is all.

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mikerenner77. The Devil’s Tower never ceases to amaze.  There good reason it was hel

The Devil’s Tower never ceases to amaze. There good reason it was held with religious significance by indigenous people and later recognized as our first National Monument by T. Roosevelt and that today masses of humans still congregate at its base and marvel upwards. Many times at iconic places like these, I will leave my camera in the car, thinking to myself, “does the world really need another picture of the Devil’s Tower?”. On this day, I wanted to at least document my daughter’s first encounter with this great wonder. I simply stepped off the trail, snapped a few images, and was pleased with how this turned out. For the sake of the image, It helped that my wife’s go-to vest is a cherry red. Something about that red vest suggests a super-heroes cape, which is not far from the truth. #DevilsTower #thatswy #yeswy #travel #FindYourPark #usinterior #theoutbound #wildernessculture #exploretocreate #exploremore #nationalpark #nationalparkgeek #optoutside #choosemountains #goparks #folkscenary #liveoutdoors #adventurenthusiasts

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mikerenner77. There’s a book about trails by Robert Moore called “On Trails” that ex

There’s a book about trails by Robert Moore called “On Trails” that explores how and why trails form in nature and by man. It’s a great read for any hiker or walker. Of course, many trails serve utilitarian purposes, while others, like this one, may exist merely for enjoyment of the wild, consisting as a series of “aha” vantage points like some kind of earth-bound constellation you travel upon from star to star. The beauty and majesty of some trails unfurls with such balance and composure, they seem curated, as if each tree limb, boulder, and bend in the stream were deliberately placed there. The trail leading up to this little gem of a waterfall felt that way for sure.

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mikerenner77. Five years ago, while returning from Yellowstone via Cody WY, I stumbl

Five years ago, while returning from Yellowstone via Cody WY, I stumbled upon this mountain oasis, the Bighorn National Forest and have returned each year since. If a person draws a concentric circle from the flatlands of Bismarck North Dakota, the first alpine zone the hit resides here. I hasten to even identify this place by name, because its remoteness and obscurity are part of its charm. On the 15 mile round trip to dip my hand in the waters of the second Lost Twin Lake I encountered only one couple, early in the hike, who were returning from a night of fly fishing. Aside from that, I enjoyed an entire day of rare and potent solitude. Of course, there was the occasional moose to keep me company. That said, the Bighorns is not a Yellowstone, or is it as obvious as the Tetons, or as sweeping as the Bearthooth area. It doesn’t announce itself loudly from the road. Both access, remoteness, and weather seem to filter out the casual visitor. It’s true charm, in my mind, is its constrained foothills and reserved views that only barely hint at what lies within its boundaries. It’s deep into the trails where this place really opens up and its majesty becomes known, like some kind of old friend whose wild stories must be coaxed out around a fire or long drive. I can’t wait to reconnect next year.

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mikerenner77. Annual canoe trip from last month. A few quick days down the river. Su

Annual canoe trip from last month. A few quick days down the river. Sunburned, windburned, rained on, dirty, sore, mosquito bitten, dehydrated = completely restored.

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Made a trip up to Mt. Evans last month in a quest to fill my quota for alpine scenery and crisp air and found "the highest elevation road in America". Highly recommended visit, even if just for the insane white knuckle driving experience, but don't stop there. The hiking, of course, is where it's at. This is one of the few fourteeners you can practically drive to the top of, but, in my opinion, there's more fun available the long way. Hiking up Mt Spalding and following the ridgeline makes for a good string of miles, a few decent boulder scrambles, and an earned view from the top. Bonus: meeting two cool Puerty Rican hikers who joined me route finding the way down and glissading on our butts across a snow field. Other bonus: half a green chili breakfast burrito in the car for when I returned, wind whipped and hungry. #mtevans #colorado #hiking #mtevanscolorado #fourteener #alpine #hikecolorado #treeline #visitcolorado #whiteknuckle #glissade #mtspalding #idahosprings #outside #hikeon #hiking #rockymountains #allaboutadventure #themountainiscalling #optoutside #stayandexplore #letsgosomewhere #ourplanetdaily #beautifuldestinations

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mikerenner77. From last month's little jaunt in the Indian Peaks Wilderness of Color

From last month's little jaunt in the Indian Peaks Wilderness of Colorado. Hiking down can sometimes feel like reentering orbit after being in deep space.

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mikerenner77. This is one of my best friends, Chad, standing atop Arapaho pass. We a

This is one of my best friends, Chad, standing atop Arapaho pass. We are both flatlanders from North Dakota but occasionally we climb the sides of mountains and bask in the superlative glory of the high alpine. Then we hike down and eat Chinese food. Life is good.

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mikerenner77. Got to sweep the front steps, you know? Arapahoe Pass July 2019.

Got to sweep the front steps, you know? Arapahoe Pass July 2019.

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Standing atop Arapaho pass first week in July. There really is no equivalent to visiting that other world that is located just above the treeline.

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mikerenner77. Today's ride across a good stretch of Morton County gravel backroads f

Today's ride across a good stretch of Morton County gravel backroads felt like pedaling through a dreamscape. Such completely epic scenery in every direction! I'm sitting here now thinking about it and savoring the slight windburn that reminds me that cycling heaven exists and it can be found on County Road 83. 😘

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The historic Railroad Bridge in Bismarck is getting national exposure after being designated as one of America's 11 Most Endangered Historic Sites. Learn more at @savingplaces . Locally, connect with @friendsoftherailbridge who are doing amazing things to save the bridge. On a personal note, it was cool to see a few of my photographs floating around in articles today by the likes of USA Today, Newsweek, and CNN. These were taken almost 10 years ago, after I got my first digital SLR. I'm stoked these images are having a second life as part of the large effort to preserve this important historic landmark. #savingplaces #thisplacematters #historic #preservation #northdakota #ndlegendary #bendlegendary #capturenorthdakota #nodak #bridge #missouririver #bismarck #mandan

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mikerenner77. Just dusting off the old tent for the season. I'm hoping to spend more

Just dusting off the old tent for the season. I'm hoping to spend more nights outside this year than the previous. It's a quality of life thing.

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mikerenner77. There's just something transcendent about cycling down a muddy rural g

There's just something transcendent about cycling down a muddy rural gravel road in central North Dakota. I am getting pretty stoked for my favorite race of the year: The Burleigh County Cup!

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Cumberland Island National Seashore Georgia. From earlier this year. The island and its trails are teaming with wildlife. The nine banded armadillos are as numerous as prairie rabbits in the springtime. A hiker can barely walk a few feet without stirring one up from the brush. While more rare, a hiker may also encounter a band of the much-celebrated feral horses that still roam the island. Here is one near the Plum Orchard mansion.

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mikerenner77. From earlier this year. Cumberland Island National Seashore. As a Nort

From earlier this year. Cumberland Island National Seashore. As a Northern escaping the cold in Florida, the allure of spending a few nights camping outside was too great to ignore and I booked passage to Cumberland Island (its only accessible via ferry). I had heard of the island previously but didn’t fully comprehend the grandeur of the place. Prior to leaving I thought to myself, this will do. As I discovered, a trip to Cumberland does more than simply suffice. While it’s directly off the coast of Georgia, the island retains that elusive hush of seclusion. Feral horses roam the island, appearing silently on the trail like benevolent specters. What few roads exist, are nothing more than upturned dirt. Like an illusion of two mirrors facing each other, miles of deserted pristine beach stretch in each direction. With a very rich and varied history behind it, Congress declared the island a protected national seashore in 1972. To this day it remains largely undeveloped and only accessible by ferry, meaning all the nuanced history, beauty, and mystique are well preserved. The shaded canopy of maritime forest is nothing short of a cathedral. The experience can leave a person fairly well spellbound. It did for me.

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mikerenner77. Georgia's Cumberland Island:  There was a definitive moment upon arriv

Georgia's Cumberland Island: There was a definitive moment upon arriving on the island that felt akin to passing through dimensions. On the side left behind is the modern world - the stifling reality of cell phones, internet, traffic, deadlines, distractions, turmoil, media etc. On the other side, by contrast, is an almost overwhelming cascade of potent nature. As I walked into the maw of the forest I felt as if I was being purified, as if the inconsequential worries I held were being filtered through the splayed fronds of the palmetto and the woven limbs of the live oak. The experience was dizzying and intoxicating.

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mikerenner77. Hello after a half year silence from this little world of Instagram.

Hello after a half year silence from this little world of Instagram. Looking back over the posts I’ve made, I realize they paint a very abstract broad-strokes chronicle of my life. While my feed has never meant to be autobiographical, these posts convey a jumbled tale of some kind. Like many people’s finely curated Instagram feeds, it’s an incomplete and grandiose story, but a story none the less. As I tend to post my best photos, therefore this little collection is a highlight reel of sorts, the most amazing of what I have seen or done. With all of that said, I would be remiss if this next post didn’t reflect the amazing journey I’ve taken into parenthood, with my wife and I welcoming our first child into the world in November.

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mikerenner77. Fourth annual visit to the Cloud Peak Wilderness last weekend. This ye

Fourth annual visit to the Cloud Peak Wilderness last weekend. This year's theme: freezing rain and hail. No complaints whatsoever. It was nice to have some forced tent time to relax, read a few pages, and listen to the patter on the rainfly. As a flatlander I'm thankful this place exists, just a *short* 7 hour drive away.

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mikerenner77. The first time I canoed/kayaked from Washburn to Bismarck on the Misso

The first time I canoed/kayaked from Washburn to Bismarck on the Missouri River was 2005. Since then, a group of friends and I have attempted to do so again every summer. Throughout this time the river has changed much, from its sandbars to its shorelines. From year to year the changes can be almost imperceptible, then one year, to your astonishment, you find yourself paddling over what used to be a sandbar or your favorite island camping spot is overtaken by green ash saplings and creeping thistle. During this last weekend it dawned on me how much my friends and I have changed as well. Over the last decade, to everyone’s astonishment, vows have been made, children have been born, long and eventful years have transpired. Life, for everyone, has shifted just as much as the Missouri River basin sand. It’s no mistake that a well tread (or should I say paddled) metaphor for life is a river. The comparison of time flowing to a river flowing makes too much sense. Just remember to wear sunscreen, stay hydrated, and smile to all the other boaters – both on the river and in life. This image of my tent in the fog was captured my first morning out on a sandbar just south of the “tailrace” of Riverdale.

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mikerenner77. The thing about hiking alone is no one is there to take your picture.

The thing about hiking alone is no one is there to take your picture. Here is my summer of 2018 ultimate selfie. Medicine Bow peak in Wyoming took me completely by surprise. Hiking along the glimmering quartzite scree fields and alpine lakes one gets the sensation they are surrounded by the ancient and arcane. It may just be the elevation or the scenery, but the area feels sacred. The tendency is to pluck a rock off the trail to keep for yourself as a good luck charm, a talisman, as a keepsake to bring some of the magic home with you. However, aside from it being national forest, one gets the feeling that everything should be left exactly as it is, that they are mere visitors through a place as old as time. You can sense it in the scope of the space, which leaves a person feeling insignificant in that particular way. You can see it in the striations of the rock that has cleaved apart through the eons and tumbled down the mountainside. The Medicine Bow area, like all mountain areas that astound and inspire, seems like a small gallery of creation itself. After returning from Medicine bow, I discovered that this area of the Snowy Range actually dates back to the Precambrian period, which is the earliest part of Earth’s history. That’s some old rock. . . . . #ThatsWY #Wyoming #medicinebow #medicinebowpeak #nationalforest #hiking #exploreoutside #exploremore #ventureout #hikingadventures #roamtheplanet #hikingculture #adventureislife #staywild #followyourfeet #keepitwild #greatnorthcollective #passionpassport #travelstoke #roamtheplanet #campingcollective #BackpackingCulture #summeroftrails #itsallyours

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mikerenner77. On my recent foray into the Medicine Bow National Forest I hiked until

On my recent foray into the Medicine Bow National Forest I hiked until I literally could barely walk any further. It was like I was in a trance state, beckoned forward by the alpine lakes, the sparkling quartzite, the wide open skies above tree line. I simply couldn’t stop, not when I spend most of the year on the prairie. The mountains present too much of a gravitational pull. In the way of sunburns, mosquito bites, wind burns, sore feet, grime, lack of sleep, etc, the trip was totally exhausting. In the way of my soul being filled to the brim with sunshine, fresh air, mountain views, and solitude, it was totally restorative. #liveoutdoors #letscamp #goatworthy #campingcollective #campoften #campeveryday #campbrandgoods #awakethesoul #visualsoflife #wyoming #thatswy #medicinebow #nationalforest #wyominglife #adventuredog #mountainlife #backcountry #camping #wilderness #hiking #wildernessculture #goneoutdoors #thegreatoutdoors #takemoreadventures #mountainstones #ourcamplife

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mikerenner77. I took a break from this platform and landscape photography for a whil

I took a break from this platform and landscape photography for a while. In March I purchased my first home, a neglected 1929 fixer upper. Since that moment I have willingly lavished the place with my time and attention, leaving nary a moment to wander the countryside with a camera. During this exile, my IG account went dark. I could have posted pictures of the remodel or commercial work, but that wouldn’t fit the motif I have established here. Instead, I sat in the digital darkness in a sort of unintentional reprieve. As I’ve always known, photography is time consuming in the way only the best of hobbies can be. A landscape photographer is at the whims of the seasons, the light, distance, and ultimately time. A stout patience is required. In many regards, photography is like fishing. Sometimes your gear to the shore and never get a bite. Other times you land a whopper your first cast. The light on the horizon is just like that elusive fish. The point is to cast the line night after night, day after day. All of this is not even to mention the time entailed post capture from file transferring, to archiving, to processing, ad nauseum. So when I found myself completely consumed in a remodel project with little time for creative pursuits, I didn’t mind it. Occasionaly I thought about the party that might be raging hard on Instagram but I quickly reminded myself that the horizon itself is not going anywhere. It will still be there when I pick up my camera again. By the end of last month, I brought the house to a habitable level and promptly flung myself into vacation. As I have done for the last 3 years in a row, I spent the Independence Day holiday immersed in nature of the Rocky Mountain variety. I spent 2 weeks on the slow road to Colorado and back, camping along the way. As I suspected, the mountains had not moved from their spot on the horizon. My camera was there as well, in the bag where I left it, along with its all -consuming, nearly hypnotic allure. And here is Instagram with its torrent of vibrant imagery and ideas, a 24 hour a day party where the hashtags billow through the air like so much colorful confetti. How have you been?

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