November 9, 2019
Can you believe it's already November? Where did the fall go? Although for those of us here in Northern California, it feels like September or October weather.
If you're starting to feel ready for the holidays or if you want to get some of your Christmas shopping out of the way early, why not make a one-of-a-kind holiday card out of one of my photos here on Fro's World? I just added a greeting card option to all my photos, so now you can do just that!
To give you an idea of what you can do, see some of the mock-ups below. Once you find a gallery or photo(s) that you like, click on the photo and then click "buy." From the next window, you'll see an option down near the bottom that says "greeting cards." Once you click there, you can pick any number of different styles. Within each style are different overlays, different greetings, the option to go vertical or horizontal, and lots of other customizations. Play around with it until you find the perfect holiday card.
A great gallery to start with for inspiration is my "Winter Photos" gallery. If you need any assistance or need help with some mock-ups, feel free to contact me and I'd be happy to help.
October 21, 2019
Guess what??? I've got something new to share with all my viewers, and best of all, it's FREE!!!
For years my close friends have all had the benefit of me sharing some of my images with them to use as a screen saver, wallpaper, background, etc. on their phones or computers. Well, now you can have some too!!!
I just created a "Free Downloads" gallery. This gallery will be updated regularly with one landscape and one portrait orientation photo. These photos will be available for free download in that gallery until I post the next ones.
If you want to stay up to date on when I post new free downloads, follow me on social media (Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter) or sign up for my email list by providing your email in the section provided here (right below the menu bar).
Here's one of the photos you'll find there now. I picked pictures that are appropriately themed for the Fall months. Enjoy!!!
October 14, 2019
Are you enjoying this beautiful fall weather? So far, this fall in California has been amazing!!! I took off last weekend to seek out some fall colors along California's Highway 395, and it did not disappoint!!!
If you aren't familiar with Highway 395, it stretches from north to south along the eastern side of the magnificent Sierra Nevada mountain range. It's easily one of, if not my favorite highway in California. In the fall, it's one of the best places to see some fall color. From 395 you can access Yosemite National Park via Highway 120, you can hike into Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park, as well as many other wilderness areas, and you can experience lots of small mountain towns like Lee Vining, Bridgeport, June Lake, and Mammoth Lakes.
I highly recommend taking a drive along Highway 395 sometime, any season is gorgeous in its own way. If you want to check out the fall colors, I keep in the loop on where colors are changing by following www.monocounty.org. They do a great job keeping you up to date on where the colors are peaking. In fact, if it weren't for that site, my road trip last weekend would have probably not been as successful. Some of the pics from that trip are below, and I'd say it was a success. How about you?
September 30, 2019
Well, it's officially Fall around Northern California. If you follow the local news, you'll know that Lake Tahoe got their first significant snowfall of the season over the weekend, the leaves are changing colors, pumpkin patches are opening, and so winter must be right around the corner.
Fall is usually an interesting time for me. I like the fact that trails are less crowded and it's not as hot out when I'm out hiking. The temperature is kind of a love/hate thing though. Unfortunately, the cooler temps also make backpacking more difficult without warmer gear, and most of my equipment is primarily designed for spring and summer use. The shorter days also make it harder to go backpacking and cover a lot of miles each day. Nonetheless, I always try to squeeze in at least one last backpacking trip this time of year before I switch to car camping along the coast while I wait for ski resorts to open.
For many reasons, accepting the change in seasons this year was harder than years past. I think one reason is that I had such a fantastic vacation at the end of August that it felt like summer was just getting going in full swing. With the heavy snowfall this year, a lot of hiking at higher elevations didn't start until August, so the shorter hiking season and late summer vacation made it feel like I blinked and summer was over. Also, there are some differences in my personal life this year when compared to last fall that I think is also causing me some apprehension about the changing of the seasons.
Over the weekend, I read a motivational quote though that helped me get into the right headspace to accept the changing seasons. It said,
"The biggest lesson I learned this year is to not force anything; conversations, friendships, relationships, attention, love. Anything forced is just not worth fighting for, whatever flows flows, what crashes crashes. It is what it is."
This quote stayed with me all weekend and as I pondered it during my workouts, meditations, and other moments over the weekend, I realized I'm really fighting the change in seasons this year and that I've been trying to force the summer to last, I've been trying to force things to be like they were last year, and overall just not moving on from some of my own attachments that were causing me to be stuck in a specific place. The change in seasons is inevitable, just like changes in life. As opposed to fighting these changes, I should just flow with them and accept what is. So today I am turning over a new leaf (pun intended) for this Fall and am making a conscious choice to embrace the change in seasons and in life. I'm focusing on living in the moment, making the most of each day, and I'm going to go out and make this the best Fall yet!
Here are some of my all-time favorite Fall photos, let's see how many more great Fall memories I can create this year.
September 8, 2019
Last week I got to go on a "redemption" trip that turned out to be one of my best backpacking trips ever!
If you don't know what a "redemption" trip is, it's a term I use where the first trip didn't go as good as I expected so I go back to seek "redemption" and give myself a chance to have the experience I was looking for the first time around.
Back in the summer of 2015, I attempted to do the South Lake to North Lake Loop in Kings Canyon National Park. It's a loop that is one of the most popular loops in the entire Sierra Nevada because of how beautiful it is. This trip has everything you'd expect in the Sierras; valleys, ridges, alpine scenery, meadows, lakes, rivers, and streams. It's got everything amazing about the Sierra Nevadas packed into one week-long trip. The only problem was that on our second day a fire started nearby ruining the scenic beauty of the rest of the trip.
Longing to go back and experience the beauty how it was meant to be seen, I set off this summer without reservations and hoping I could get permits secured for the trip only this time I wanted to go from North Lake to South Lake. The opposite direction. After the wet winter we had, I knew that this summer the mountains would be in one of their most beautiful states and much different than the hazy gray and dry experience I had four years ago
I'm happy to say we secured the permits and I got to experience 7 days and 6 nights along one of the best journeys in the entire Sierra Nevadas. Here are some pics from each day of the trip sorted in chronological order. Stay tuned for more amazing photos from this trip and also a detailed trip report. Until then, enjoy some of the pics below.
Mt. Humphrey seen from near Lower Golden Trout Lake
August 12, 2019
Wow, this summer is going by fast! I haven't been posting much because I got a late start on hiking and backpacking season waiting for all the snow from this winter to melt. Pretty much every weekend since late June has been spent hiking, backpacking, fishing, or planning for my vacation.
If you want to know what I've been up to, check out my Summer of 2019 gallery and you can see some of my photos from this summer. Below are a few images from that gallery. Once things start to wind down, I'll add some more posts and info on what I was up to all summer. Until then, get outside!!!
May 24, 2019
Exciting things are happening here in Fro's World! I now have an official "Fro's World" Logo!!! With the new logo, you'll notice that I also did a quick refresh of the website so that I could include the logo in the menu bar.
Stay tuned for more photos, destination reports, etc!!!
May 6, 2019
Howdy!!! Is everyone starting to get excited for summer backpacking and hiking season???
If you're like me, you are, but you're also probably waiting for some of the snow to melt so you can get into the mountains. Well, once the snow starts to melt one of the places that you can access earlier in the season is the Five Lakes Basin area located north of Interstate 80. I went two years ago in early July after the big winter of 2017, and it was beautiful!!! This year, I'd imagine it should start to be mostly free of snow near mid to late June, but I haven't started exploring the area yet, so make sure to check with local ranger stations before heading out in the early season.
If you'd like to check out this hike, I just posted a detailed trip report to the Hiking Destinations section of my site that has pictures, hiking info, maps, etc. Click the images below to view the trip report. Enjoy and make sure to leave no trace since this is a highly used area.
April 29, 2019
Hello everyone! I want to share with all of you a new photo gallery that I just added to the site!
It's from the Tahoe National Forest an area up Highway 80 that is full of all sorts of good backpacking and hiking locations. Check out the gallery below for some of my favorite photos from there.
Soon, I'll also be posting a trip report to the 5 Lakes Basin in the Grouse Ridge Roadless Area. This is a great early season backpacking trip while you are waiting for the snow to melt at the higher elevations. Stay tuned and until then, enjoy these photos!
April 22, 2019
Happy Earth Day everyone!
And also an even happier birthday to my Mom!!!
It's pretty awesome to get to celebrate your Mom's birthday on Earth Day. In fact, I have a shirt which says, "My Other Mother is Nature." I guess that's kind of true. Aside from reminding me of my own mother, Earth Day reminds me of how important it is that we take care of our planet. The number one thing you can do is, please pick up your trash!!!
I always seem to find trash in the most pristine of places. It's enough to make me second guess even posting about where they are on my blog, social media, etc. But... but I hope that by people seeing the beauty of these places they will learn to appreciate it as I do. They'll pick up their own trash, they'll pick up the trash of others, and actually, leave no trace.
Now let me show you some of my all-time favorite places on Planet Earth...
April 20, 2019
Hello fellow hikers! With spring weather upon us but too much snow to get up into the mountains yet, it's a great time to visit Muir Woods National Monument or the Mt. Tamalpais State Park areas.
If you've followed my blog for a while, you know how much I love "sneaking" into areas that may be harder to get permits to. Muir Woods National Monument is another one of those areas. It's not really sneaking in, but it's just avoiding the hassle of getting tickets into Muir Woods via the main entrance.
This hike starts at the Bootjack Parking Lot and winds around the top of the canyon before descending into Muir Woods and then back up to where you started. For more details, check it out in my Destinations section. It's in the Muir Woods section and is called, "Ben Johnson and Bootjack Trail to Muir Woods Loop."
Here are some photos from this particular hike. Enjoy!!!
March 8, 2019
Hello! Wow, time is flying as always. This time of year in Northern California, I'm usually starting to get excited for spring hiking and summer backpacking. We've had a rather wet winter though so it doesn't quite feel the same as it usually does for the end of March. Instead of starting to balance my time between hiking and skiing, I've mostly only been able to go skiing.
It also feels different because as you recall, at the beginning of the year I shared that I had met someone who I was looking forward to going on adventures with this year. Unfortunately, that relationship recently came to an end, so many of my plans for the spring and summer are now changing. It's okay though. I learned through opening up my heart that when two people both care for each other and experience the beauty of the outdoors together, it makes that experience all the more rewarding. As the saying goes, it's better to have loved and lost than to have never loved at all. I would have to agree. Life is about growing, taking chances, and changing. I wouldn't change any of the chances or choices I made over the last 6 1/2 months. My path in life crossed paths with an amazing human being who showed me how much more beautiful the world can be with someone else. It gave me a new emotion to feel and capture when taking my photos and it also made me realize how important it is to keep pushing yourself and creating new experiences for yourself. Life is unpredictable. Maybe our paths will cross again, or perhaps new people will come into my life, and a whole new path will begin. That's the beauty of life, you never know and you just have to go along for the ride and make the most of each day.
I am going to take what I learned from this experience and apply it to my future. If meeting one new person and creating new experiences with them was this rewarding, why should it stop? I should honor that experience by continuing to push my life forward in the same way I did when I took a chance getting into a relationship. That's why I recently joined several different hiking and backpacking groups on www.meetup.com. Last weekend I went out on my first hike with them and it reminded me how great it is to experience nature and the outdoors with new people. It reminded me how we shouldn't get comfortable in our lives and we should keep pushing ourselves out of our comfort zones. I visited places I never knew existed, and it showed me how much is out there to explore still. I just had to find some new people to explore it with.
The lesson that I hope all of you take away from this is life is just like hiking, you have to keep moving forward with awe and wonder for what will come around the next bend or over the next ridge. All the while remembering all those fantastic miles behind you, all of their ups and downs, and all of the beautiful sights you saw along the way. It's these miles in the past that have made you who you are at this moment. Make sure they make you the best version of you that you can be for the miles you still have ahead.
With that said, here are some of the best moments from my last 6 months. It's these moments that are inspiring me to make the next 6 months of my life the best yet. Now go out there and make your next 6 months the best 6 months of your life.
February 11, 2019
Greetings!!! I hope everyone is enjoying their winter so far this year. While I'm getting excited about the spring and summer hiking season being just around the corner, I've been enjoying all the recent snow in the mountains. In fact, I think this winter I've taken some of my best winter photos ever! Of course, Mother Nature has sure helped make that happen.
Last weekend I went back to Yosemite. If you recall, last winter I went to Yosemite, but there was no snow. It was great for some winter hiking but not for winter photography. Well, this year was entirely the opposite. I was supposed to be doing some snowshoeing and hiking but instead spent almost the entire time inside during the coldest winter storm so far this winter. In fact, they got about 3 times the amount of snow they were forecast to receive, forcing the roads to close and my vacation to be extended until they could clear all the downed trees, snow, and ice from the roads.
I can't complain though because if I had left when I was supposed to leave, I wouldn't have still been in the park to catch Mother Nature dressed in her most beautiful wintery white. I was supposed to leave Tuesday morning, but since I was snowed in, I was able to get out and explore the park once the storm stopped Tuesday afternoon. I can't express in words how amazing it was walking around in fresh, untouched powder while the sun's rays broke through onto the valley for the first time in 4 days. That's kind of the way it seems Mother Nature and adventures work out the best, you just have to go with the flow and make the most of the moment when it strikes!
Big kudos go out to the hospitality crew at the Yosemite Valley Lodge. They made the inconvenience of being stuck so much easier and even got to know us quite well in the lounge where we'd retire every evening for dinner and drinks. If you're looking for a great place to stay during the winter in Yosemite, I highly recommend giving them a shot.
Here are some pics from the adventure. Enjoy!
January 1, 2019
Happy New Year!!!
To my loyal followers, sorry it's been so long between posts this year. I'll do my best to give you all a quick update on what I've been up to.
Every new year always causes me to go through a period of reflection on the past year and anticipation for the year ahead. 2018 was a year of ups and downs, but I am looking forward to 2019 more than I have looked forward to a new year in quite some time. I think 2019 is going to be a year that brings about some significant changes in my life. Now, instead of anticipating a year similar to the year before it's exciting to think about a year of new experiences and change.
You may recall from an earlier post this year that 2018 didn't start great for me. I started the year with several health issues that the doctors were never able to figure out. The good news is they didn't get worse, and I'm doing much better now. My worst fears of having cancer or some other disease never materialized. Although I still have some odd lingering health issues, I'm not letting it slow me down and keep me from looking forward to a new and exciting future.
2018 was a year that gave me a whole new perspective on life. When you worry that you may have a severe disease it causes you to view your entire life differently. In 2018, I found a new appreciation for skiing, hiking, camping, and backpacking. Every aspect of my life felt like a new experience because I wasn't sure how long I'd be able to keep doing those things. It's easy for us humans to get comfortable in our lives. Life can quickly become a mundane routine, even when doing the things you love because you stop taking the time to stop and smell the roses. I'm thankful for being able to see life differently in 2018 because it caused me to stop and realize what was missing from the way I had been living life for the last several years. I realized I needed to live life healthier, practice mindfulness, and stop to appreciate every moment. It also caused me to realize that while I am happy going out and experiencing the outdoors with my friends, what was missing was a companion. I was missing that shoulder to lean on, that special someone to share each moment with. I decided I was going to try to make time for dating again and open myself up to a world that didn't just revolve around me. Before 2018, I was so focused on doing what I loved doing that I never focused on dating. People came in and out of my life but they never became the focus of it, and my attention was always on the next adventure.
This is why I'm so excited for 2019. Late in 2018 I began dating again and am happy to say that I think I have found that companion that was previously missing. Making time for someone else took some adjusting, and one of the most significant sacrifices was keeping up with this blog. What didn't change though was my ability to go out hiking, camping, and to continue with the things I loved. What I gained was someone who I loved to do those things with and who made each moment that much more special than all the moments I've had in prior years. What I gained was a best friend, an adventure buddy, and a girlfriend all rolled into one.
As 2019 is now upon me, I am both and excited and scared for the unknown that lies ahead. No longer does my world just revolve around me, and when you open up your heart to someone else, there is always the chance it gets broken. However, I know that whatever comes in 2019 it will be one of my best years yet. All because I decided to make changes to my life in 2018 and most importantly I chose to take the time to find love, beauty, and appreciation in each moment. If you haven't made these commitments yet to yourself, what are you waiting for? Do it, life is short.
I hope to share more in 2019 with you all on how this new chapter in Fro's World unfolds. My posts may be less frequent, but never fear... I am still running around with my camera and will be sharing with you when I can. In the meantime here are some photos from some recent adventures with my girlfriend over the last 3 months.
October 1, 2018
I've been using Aurora 2019 for about two weeks now to edit my photos and have to say it is hands down the best HDR photo editor that I have tried. I don't consider myself a "professional" photographer, but I have tried my fair share of HDR solutions. Until Aurora 2019 there was always something I didn't like about them. I've used Photomatix, Lightroom, Photoshop, Nik Software, and both prior versions of Aurora. To find out more about it read my Aurora HDR 2019 Review. There is an excellent presale going on until October 4, 2018, with all sorts of bonus items, click here to check it out. If you miss the presale, then use code FROSWORLD upon checkout to save 10%.
I've also been using Photolemur to edit some of my photos lately and have found it to be a handy tool in my workflow, but where I think it shines is for people who don't want to spend time editing photos and want a better finished product. To find out more about it, read my Photolemur Review. You can use the same coupon code FROSWORLD to save 10%. Click here to get more info or purchase it.
September 29, 2018
Wow, summer sure went by fast this year. With all the fires here in California my hiking and photography has been somewhat limited. Now I'm trying to soak up the last few weeks of good hiking weather in the mountains before I turn to the coast and skiing for my hiking and mountain recreation.
Since I haven't posted all summer, click the image below for some photos from my adventures this summer.
Also, stay tuned for some upcoming reviews of some new photo-editing software that I've been testing out. I have been testing out the upcoming Aurora HDR 2019 from Skylum as well as their new AI Photo-Editor called Photolemur. Photolemur is an excellent resource for anyone who doesn't like spending time editing. It is literally a one-click photo editor. If you want to check out more about these programs before I post my reviews, go to my photography gear page to get more info
Until next time, make sure you are getting out and enjoying some of the fall colors before they are gone!!!
July 1, 2018
This year I haven't posted nearly as much as in year's past... I know... A few weeks ago, I read another adventure photographer's post on Instagram. After reading their post, it inspired me to share more on my blog and in particular to not be afraid to get personal.
It can be a scary thing to share personal details on your blog for all of the internet world to see, but after reading their post, I realized how sharing personal information could help others. In particular, I've been hesitant to share some personal details about my health that have kept me from posting and getting out on as many adventures this year. But with the first six months of the year behind me, I'm ready to start new in the second half of 2018.
You see, since late 2017 I have been having some health problems that are still unanswered. It started with what seemed like a cold that progressed and kept getting worse. As it progressed, my doctor gave me tests for all sorts of diseases like cancer, auto-immune diseases, HIV, etc. In the end, nothing came back positive, and my doctor diagnosed me with a mono-like virus that just hit me really hard. The problem was, after 2 months I still wasn't back to myself. I was experiencing muscle issues, skin issues, getting lightheaded easily, and didn't have my energy levels back to where they were. I was losing weight, muscle mass, and yet test after test came back without any answers for what was causing it.
Finally, by February I decided to hell with it, I'm not going to let this keep me from living life. I started hitting the ski-slopes, took a trip to Yosemite, and even if I didn't have my usual energy levels, nothing was going to keep me inside. Every time I was outside, I felt better, my lack of fitness caused me to start going to the gym, and slowly but surely I felt like I was getting back to myself.
I kept going like this for a couple of months, but by April I was now experiencing new symptoms. Now I was having trouble controlling my body temperature, my face would flush easily with the most basic of exercise, my throat would get tight, and I was still having some strange skin symptoms. I went back to my doctor for more rounds of tests. After another couple of months of tests, nothing came back abnormal except for slightly elevated hormone levels. That's when in late May my doctor suggested I try a new low-histamine diet. Since they couldn't find anything seriously wrong with me, his theory was that this virus had changed my body chemistry and a low-histamine elimination diet was the best way to give my body a chance to reset.
It's been four weeks now since I've started that diet and I must say, I feel so much better. The only remaining symptoms I am experiencing are skin related issues, and my throat still gets tight and sore easily. Over the last month, I've been backpacking twice and am looking forward to many more trips for the rest of summer. My fitness level may not allow me to do some of the strenuous hikes I had hoped to do this summer, but I'm out there, in nature, and back in my happy place.
Every trip I have taken this year has felt like a new adventure, I have a new appreciation for each step I take hiking, each turn I make in fresh powder, and each image I capture with my camera. There were several moments this year where I didn't think I'd be doing these things again, but I am.
The reason I chose to write this post is that I'm probably not the only one who has felt that something outside their control has taken away their ability to do something they love. The point of this post is don't let that stop you. Humans adapt, and we adapt to all sorts of crazy situations. The key is you just have to keep moving forward, even if the pace is a bit different. However, if you take the time to appreciate the moment, then the pace doesn't matter. All of this has taught me the importance of being in the moment and enjoying the journey and not the destination.
Thanks for reading and if this post helped motivate you in even the smallest of ways, then my goal is met. Seize the day!!!
April 8, 2018
Greetings! I know it's been forever since I've updated my blog. I'll try to do better at that this year. Even though the blog hasn't been updated, I have still been going out on lots of adventures and editing lots of photos to share with you. Remember, you can always stay up to date with the most recent pictures on my "Recent Uploads" page.
One of my most memorable experiences this winter was a trip to Yosemite National Park back in February. We had a dry spell with very little precipitation, so instead of skiing, I took off for a weekend in Yosemite, and it did not disappoint. The first night I stayed just outside the park at the Yosemite Westgate Lodge. They have very reasonably priced winter rates. The second night I stayed in the park at the Yosemite Valley Lodge so that I'd be closer to all the prime photo spots in the valley.
I have always wanted to capture those "classic" Yosemite photos. For example, Tunnel View, Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, etc. By going during the winter, I was able to visit many of these famous photo destinations with half of the crowds. If you've never visited Yosemite in the winter, I highly recommend it.
I've been busy editing some photos from that trip and recently created a Yosemite Photo Gallery to share them with you. Below are a few pictures from that gallery. Check it out!
Looking for old blog posts? You can access the archives below.
*** In full disclosure, I receive compensation in exchange for advertising for some of my favorite gear. However, I only comment and advertise for products that I have used extensively, believe in, and continue to use. The opinions expressed here about my favorite gear are my own and have been determined through my own personal experiences with the product.