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I know the trail starts somewhere…

…I’m just not 100% sure where it is.

And that I think is the great takeaway here.  You may have a plan on what to do next.  In school.  In travel.  Hell maybe even in life.  These trails that we take however are never as simple as we’d like to think.  Things come up.  Plans change.  Little spur trails pop up on the side as options for you to take.

Embrace the spur trail.

I have a phrase that I like to utter to myself when things mysteriously come together.  Serendipity strikes again.  By placing yourself in the world, showing it your truths, and allowing yourself to be present; you give yourself the opportunity to take part in things you could have only dreamed of.  That’s how I saw Weird Al perform for $5 at a food festival.  That’s how I found myself at Yale University, being lead by a pretty girl back to her dorm room.  That’s how I got myself to two degrees of separation from Leonardo DiCaprio; by meeting a world famous National Geographic photographer who had partied with him on a yacht.  The craziest thing about this?  It all happened on one trip.

This is the idea behind The Spur Trail.  I truly believe that humanity has evolved to require some amount of adventure in our lives.  This blog is dedicated to adventure in all of it’s forms.  Your far off destination is another person’s home, and vice versa.  What changes is the lens through which we perceive our current actions.  Here on these pages you will find stories from distant lands.  You will find tales within a hundred miles of my home.  You will find a platform of posts that can both inform, and inspire ways you can live a life rich in experience, rich in relationships, and rich in truth.  You will find that sometimes when you let yourself get a little lost that maybe, just maybe…you actually find yourself.

By this point you might be wondering, “What is this spur trail thing he keeps blabbing about?”

I’m terrible at telling stories shortly but I’ll try to sum it up for you.  In 2017 I made it a goal to see if I was any good/had any interest in ever doing a long distance thru-hike.  Deciding to start small instead of failing large, I picked the Superior Hiking Trail of northern Minnesota.  Being only 300 miles instead of 2,000+ like the big boys, I figured it’d be a good taste of what walking for days really felt like.  On this trail you often see signs for little things called ‘spur trail’s.  These little guys, for lack of a better verb, “spur-off” to overlooks, towns, sights of interest, fresh/unmarked graves…AH I hope not!  They take you places, adding spice & intrigue to your already epic trip.  Fast forward a year and I was playing charades, trying to describe the word spur.  Nobody understood my description with the trail but they got it as soon as I mentioned cowboy boots.  However, and this is where SERENDIPITY STRIKES AGAIN, my sister-in-law remembered my first description.  Days later when I came begging to my family for help naming this blog, (nearly impossible to come up with unique names that make sense and aren’t taken in 2018) she mentioned The Spur Trail.  And here we are.

If I had to use terms that are specific and easy to understand, I would describe The Spur Trail as this.  It is ultimately a travel blog.  Within that realm you’ll find posts that feel technical, How-To’s, Review’s, and Wish-I-Knew’s (I love rhyming).  Additionally, I am extremely passionate about photography and there will be content that may simply be photo-based.  After that, and these are not in order of importance, you will find stories that really have no hard goal other than to reach out and be your best friend for your own adventures.

Where Do I Go From Here?

Well you know what the blog is about, come check out my About page and see who I am.  Just a regular guy with big dreams and possibly never grew up.  But I’ll explain all of that over there.

  • “You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. They know it's going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kinds of dogmas or goals, it's always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt.” -  Robert M. Pirsig⁠
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#baldeagle #mnzoo #dayatthezoo #natureupclose #BW #nikond850 #animalportrait #perfectpose #intensestare #magnificence #findyourspurtrail #onlyinmn
  • “Every man ought to be inquisitive through every hour of his great adventure down to the day when he shall no longer cast a shadow in the sun. For if he dies without a question in his heart, what excuse is there for his continuance?” – Frank Moore Colby⁠
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#touchedbyaspider #begentle #seenotsobad #bw #onlyinMN #mnexposure #arachnid #orbweaver #socute #witnessnature #getcloser #godeeper #cuterthanyouthought
  • “When it hurts - Observe⁠
Life is trying to teach you something.” -  Anita Krizzan⁠
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#monkeys #charleybitme #whattodoinazoo #onlyinmn #mnzoo #B&W #findyourspurtrail #monkeysofinstagram #primates #friendlybite #dontstoptillyougetenough #sometimeslovedontfeellikeitshould #lovehurts
  • “It’s autumn, the very carnival of transience; the roses have an inflamed flush, their blood-red colour tinged with a wonderfully hectic hue.” -  Knut Hamsun⁠
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#thatsalake #findyourspurtrail #minnesotaexposure #onlyinMN #almostasunset #travelogue #ThisIsMyMinnesota #NikonD850 #afterthetouristsleave #stayandwander #treatyoself #ifoundagem #nikonartists #earthishome #roadtrip #foresthiking #beautifulvantage⁠
  • “And all at once, summer collapsed into fall.” -  Oscar Wilde⁠
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#donorthmn #onlyinmn #wokeupnorth #captivatemn⁠
#visitcc #fallcolor #leaves #leafpeeping #fallfoliage  #findyourspurtrail #captureminnesota #changingleaves #fallishere #experiencethebiglake #leaves🍁⁠
#watchcarefully #littlediscoveries #NikonD850⁠
  • "Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all." -  Stanley Horowitz

I had a weekend free without a wedding during the fall season and I knew I had to take advantage of that.  I opted to turn my car north looking for colors.  Either bad timing, late color changes or simply just missing them, I found myself jumping around the Lake Superior coastline waking up for sunrises instead to photograph some more traditional scenes that I had never done myself.

After missing Split Rock a couple of times from waking up too late or bad date planning, I finally made it.  This was the second to last day of the trip and last morning of photography.  I was set up in position long before sunrise, completely dedicated to not missing a thing.

Indecisiveness crept in as I wondered if I had the right spot.  At a time when you don't know that you'll get to come back again, ever, you want to nail it the first time.  Best case scenario is I get to try a fall sunrise again next year.  A WHOLE YEAR away!

Then I took the sunrise photos and thought to myself...meh.  They were alright.  It was a beautiful morning and I was layered up so I could simply sit and enjoy the start of the day.  But my images did not blow my mind.  I had seen a man's image from another vantage earlier that week on social media so I sought out some pools in the rocks to try and get a reflection now that I had my safety sunrise shot.

What I found were some wild waves instead.  No still water here, and I thought to myself, "Let's try something." I got closer and closer to the waves, loving the way the sun burst through them at its early morning angle.  They weren't huge but of the nice, medium variety that didn't overpower the rest of the scene.  This last wave you see here would eventually round past the rock...and completely over the top of me.

That's when I called it.  Wet, but happy, I walked back to my car to make pancakes in the parking lot.  It had been a great road trip, and I felt like a million bucks just knowing I'd done something I'd always wanted to do.  To go solely on a trip for the purpose of making pictures..
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#onlyinmn #sprayandpray

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