The gallery begins with Bella as a regular companion, living a life of semi-frequent adventure as she has been my companion for lengthy road trips across the country. The story changes, however, as she was diagnosed with osteo-sarcoma (bone cancer) and the decision was made to take her front left leg. "If you don't want to take the leg, you should put her down today, because she's in so much pain. However, it won't save her, because the cancer is in her lungs, and you're looking at 3-6 months."
The decision was tough, but it turned out to be the best one we could have made. I am typing this 14 months and countless memories later. Today is July 4th 2016, Independence Day, and I am posting this on our 2nd trip to the East Coast, the first was supposed to be her "Farewell Trip." We traveled for 5 months, and covered thousands of miles, and spent countless nights sleeping in the 4Runner, with many havens on couches and guest beds of the friends I've been fortunate enough to make across the country in my short lifetime. It was an incredible and unforgettable experience.
However, When we got back to Nebraska from our first trip....it just didn't seem complete. The journey wasn't over....yet there we were...back where we started as if we never left. Once the opportunity came up to hit the road for another trip...we took it. Starting only a few hundred miles to Southern Missouri, the trip got extended to Kentucky, then to Nashville, then clear to the Carolina coast to help a friend. We hurled ourselves right back into it, again, without a plan other than seeing who we know where and who would like to meet Bella along the way.
Today, we are in Savannah, Georgia, spending time with some great Ranger buds to celebrate the 4th. Tomorrow, we are getting ready to head down to the Florida Keys to find some white sand beaches for her to enjoy. From there, the plan is to get back to Nebraska...pack up my things from my house, and head West/Northwest to tour more of the country. The mountains and more arid weather seem to do both of us well. We're trying to stay as fluid as possible, so not trying to set many plans in stone, but we are truly looking forward to continuing this amazing journey for as long as we can keep going.
Bike Park: Taking Flight
Though I Love to get out on my mountain bike and let the air flow across my face as I crank down on the pedals, I'm nowhere near the skill level of most of my friends that I ride with. Recently, I offered up my services to my buddy to get some photos of him bombing down the Erie Single Track bike park in Erie, Colorado, North of Denver. In fact, a guy I ran into in Colorado showed me this park...because he and his friend built it. I'm not sure how many folks out there would be willing to pay for shots like these of them hitting their favorite trails, but I've often thought of offering up those services while out traveling. Would be a win-win for me. I could put a little coin in the bank while getting a little riding in myself, not to mention hanging with great people. Well, hope you enjoy the pics of my bud tearing up this park! -Rob K
Wheels done Turning
One of the highlights of Venice Beach is the public skate park. Observers from near and far form crowds to watch the skaters work their magic in the cement playground made just for them. It's amazing to see the range of age and skill in the park. It seems that as long as you're on wheels, you're welcomed in the crowd. Make sure to check it out if you're ever in the area. Venice Beach is definitely an alternate reality and it's worth the visit….just be prepared to for a parking battle and pay attention to the countless posted signs.
While traveling to visit family in rural Nebraska, I cannot help but pull over and listen to the stories that these abandoned structures have to tell. Seeing them printed on and their stories come to life on the wall has been a powerful experience.
None of my photos say "Home" quite like this one.
A Touch of Color
These images have been collected from various places through my travels and are an example of my exploration of photo-illustrating. I've printed a few of these in 24x36 for myself and friends and they look fantastic mounted on foam board and hung on the wall. This style may not be for everyone, but that's the beauty of artistic expression, it doesn't have to suit everyone.
Saved in a folder on my computer as "Heavy Edits," I wasn't sure what would become of these photos. A good friend of mine who is a professional photographer told me about the category of "photo illustration." Of course, beings that this is site is titled: "Life Illustrated," I was happy to apply that name towards these pics.