Update

So, my last post that I had here, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…was about my trip to Iceland in March of 2016 where I hitchhiked the Ring Road. The last post was only a summary of day one and I was there for 11 days, that meant I had set myself up to write another 10 posts summarizing the rest of the trip; that’s a lot.

Believe me, I have no problem writing about the trip, in fact I love it. It’s been about 16 months since it happened, and it’s still fresh in my mind. But, as someone who was balancing two jobs working about 70 hours a week to pay for the next trip, time was not a luxury I had. Simply put, it wasn’t feasible for me to write that much, or even be able to. So, like many things, it got put on the back burner and never made it to fruition.

Now why did that happen, here’s why. The last 6-8 months or so have been pretty much a shit show to say the least. As some of you who know me personally, I was supposed to be headed out to Colorado the first of October for the winter to ski, followed by a road trip around the western US, Canada, and up to Alaska in a Volkswagen Vanagon that I got. #VanLife

So, October comes around and the Van needs more work than I planned on. Start really working on the van only to find out it has a blown head gasket and I need to rebuild the motor as well as a number of other things. Over the next couple months, me and my uncle fix up the van, more so him teaching me how to go about fixing it and giving me the knowledge to do so. (Thanks again for all the help and teaching.) That took more time and money than expected, so there’s the first big setback that I had.

At the time, I’d only been working my one job at a motorcycle shop since I was under the assumption I’d be leaving soon anyways. Well, once the van needed to be fixed back up, I knew I needed to get that second job to recuperate some of the losses, so that’s what I did. Started working two jobs again around mid-November and everything was going well for about a month or so. Mid-December rolls around and we get notified that the motorcycle shop is closing down. It wasn’t too bad since we were getting a severance package. Couple weeks go by though and I get sent home thanks to being screwed over by my team lead. There goes the severance package and three weeks of pay and there you have setback number two.

At this point I realized that Colorado was most likely not going to happen and for the second time I would postpone my road trip. Started debating what I wanted to do next and decided on hiking the PCT. It was something I had talked about doing before and seemed like a good idea. Got all my gear together, had all my transportation set up, I was good to go just waiting to get my hiking permit once they opened on January 24th and 35 permits per day became available. But, on January 19th I tweaked my back at work. Didn’t think it was too bad, maybe a strained back or something so took it easy over the weekend. Well, it hadn’t gotten better and I was having shooting nerve pain in my left leg and I knew something was up. Went to see a doctor on Monday and she thought it might be just a back strain, so she prescribed some oral steroids, I on the other hand was not too confident in her diagnosis.

Tuesday rolls around and it’s time to get PCT permits. Go to fill out my application for the first or second week of April, arguably the best time to go if headed northbound, but the site was overloaded and for about an hour and a half I sat there trying to put in my application, but nobodies would go through. Well, I had to leave the house for about an hour, and immediately once I got home, I scrambled to my computer to try again. Open up the site, and SHIT, all the days in April are taken, the whole first week of May is taken as well as the last week of March. I didn’t want to start too early as it was looking to be a high snow year in the Sierra Nevadas, so I put in my application for May 10th as I figured I’d be more than able to quicken my pace in order to not be stuck in Washington once the snow started. Still had it in my mind that my back would be healed and I’d be ready to go.

Week goes on and I take the steroids for the week but they didn’t help a bit, the pain was still progressively getting worse. Saw the doctor again that Monday and she still thinks it’s nothing major, but prescribes two weeks of Physical Therapy to see if that helps. I’m sitting there thinking why not an MRI scan, but I go along with the PT order. The next couple weeks go past and nothing is getting any better. The doctor then decides that she’s not too sure what’s wrong so she refers me to a pain management doctor and that doctor orders an MRI scan, finally someone who doesn’t waste time. A week goes by and see the doctor again with my MRI results and found out I have two herniated discs in my lower back; not good. This is the point I realized the PCT is not going to happen either. On April 17th I had a microdisectomy spinal surgery to repair the herniated discs and for the last three months I’ve basically just been recovering from that trying to get back to 100% so I can finally go on another trip. And that was my biggest setback.

I don’t write any of this looking for sympathy or anything. It is simply a fact of my life and the root causes as to why I haven’t been active here, nor really anywhere else for that matter. I’ll have to quote Paulo Coelho again as he has a couple quotes that speak volumes to exactly what I’m going through. “There are moments when troubles enter our lives and we can do nothing to avoid them. But they are there for a reason. Only when we have overcome them will we understand why they were there.” “Life has a way of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all, or by having everything happen at once.” And it’s absolutely true. I’m not frustrated, angry, sad, or resentful to anything that has set me back, if anything, I’m most likely grateful. It gave me lots of time to think about things, ponder what I really want, and the fact is, is that a lot of people would have had this happen to them and just give up thinking that it wasn’t meant to be. In my eyes, going through this, and realizing that I still want to do all this stuff really solidifies it in my mind and is almost inspiring. By no means am I saying this is the worst thing in the world, it’s not. There are millions of people out there doing way worse than me, both physically and mentally, and I understand that very well.

What’s next? The tentative plan, assuming I continue to get back to 100%, is to take a two-month trip overseas to hike some places I’ve wanted to go for a while and from there start taking trips more frequently. Should be going to Iceland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Egypt, India, Nepal, and possibly Australia as well. That’s at least the plan.  The site should also be getting updated more often as well as making a final summary of hitchhiking Iceland in a post in the next day or so. If you’ve taken the time to read this, thank you, it means a lot. J

Advertisements

Night Walking

So, currently, I am living on campus at the University of Louisville. A close 5 minute drive down 4th street, or take a bus, will get you to the heart of downtown Louisville.

A lot of people have this mindset, that downtown Louisville is extremely dangerous at night. I disagree. The whole main city hub is lit and the majority of the people you pass, don’t even look at you. Now granted, there are places you shouldn’t go to while downtown at night because they are legitimately dangerous, every city has those areas.

Every now and then, I like to go into the city at night. I’m there for as long as I please, going wherever I choose. I usually take my camera, my phone, a couple tripods, headphones, and a book. Tonight I only took my phone as to be my camera. I didn’t do any timelapses as I do quite often, instead, I just sort of wandered around taking pictures of things I found interesting.

I have a good interest in parking garages, as I like to go to the top floor and look out over things that I wouldn’t normally see from the ground.

21D37444-D93F-44C0-95E1-E013C36169D7_zps7qdptg3v

649A2A46-18AA-4179-86F8-9E3810D81499_zpshtjm0ymt

0F82C9DB-2FAB-41EB-A620-0C02B21DB826_zpsp5suw7xo

A44E72ED-271A-4702-915B-E28B1692C382_zpszcfseips

2B962551-B7BA-48E7-B5B5-F21A935F0121_zpsfui1txiu

I’ve come to the realization that it doesn’t matter what other people like, it’s what you like that matters.

62A2A244-40FD-4582-B9F4-C37D2166640B_zpsttmdgmxs

33F43CA4-CE67-4DDC-A055-6AF90D4FBFBC_zps2k3ropjp

I was walking past a building and the front desk where the security guard is supposed to be at night, was missing. I wonder where they were.

A6E2C449-4B20-4EFB-908E-C63FCA91BC85_zpsro76xycq

C644A6ED-BB33-439E-9F64-D21981DF7F81_zpswnljwnll

FD73087E-0242-4E67-AD64-D8EAB8B6A3E1_zpsvnt8pxfo

5C739A91-6277-4CCA-ADBE-E64041D191FD_zps05movfkt

EFBD8276-5542-468B-BCED-1D9F166BFC5F_zpsw2ktypxz

1358CE8E-C8C3-48FA-9238-F2C005623585_zpsmlydmm59

One thing about walking around a city at night, is that there usually are people doing the exact same thing. It’s interesting to ponder what they’re doing. Why they’re doing it. The crazy thing however, is that I’ll most likely never see them again.

74BA66CA-403F-4E02-8247-0848E79F7275_zpsutevmbu5

49688107-1AFD-4698-93C3-78C52242BCCC_zpse6lqpehm

I like to walk around and take pictures of things that most people wouldn’t think of to capture. “It’s not important. It’s not famous. It’s a normal object.” That doesn’t make it any less beautiful. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder they say.

FDEB7505-22D3-4A3D-8113-FCAD919DF300_zpsqexp64cm

04ABD05A-7B35-45F4-90AF-25605532128B_zpsmrr2xyp6

I like to get a different perspective on things, rather than just seeing them at face value.

94BB472E-D231-42E2-9780-1D2451803CB3_zpsvqgenrxw

D803630E-D677-42A0-9593-0AD27B246F98_zpsp9j1cv8e

10044D85-C780-4121-907F-AA159F7FBA0E_zpsqjzdr2um

177546DF-DBEB-4623-BC6C-1131880A5B7F_zpshf2yqoyn

587FE525-DBDE-4558-AB07-61A13267746C_zps9phcu2om

8F466AC1-C28B-44E6-B725-09B72AA16895_zpsjhqscpyy

When one door in life closes, another door opens. It’s interesting how quickly an image will change over a few seconds of time.

55C7868B-956F-4A16-9923-9F1C4BAFEA0D_zpsnw84imqz

F59BE911-8CFA-4E0C-8025-E5866223F2E5_zpshaxejgkj

795CBF2D-4B42-400E-B47F-D9D0103493D0_zps1avtlqlz

C3565BEA-DED0-41D2-9195-07CCFA99F27F_zpsdcat4jqg

I really do like to wonder what people are thinking to themselves.

9DBDD22D-F486-47D9-AE62-FF01F1D44F36_zps31advvck

C935F442-6CF8-4F97-B84C-B297E4044514_zpseoss6wdv

Funny how light works.

0EAEF91B-C388-419B-A95B-A468355C9ED6_zpsxrpjv2kz

9637530E-FBD2-4299-BCA2-ADC4DDA6AE02_zps9jhjh0gl

F1A73553-1885-4258-86EB-6CC2AA990AC7_zpsng85pds4

944BBDE9-E1EA-4925-81F0-31980B74B6E4_zpsy2sfy9c2

One thing about walking around downtown, especially at night, that I do not like, is the sense of negligence for your fellow man, that many people have. People you walk past, even after you give them a friendly smile, or nod of the head, will continue walking past with disregard as if to say, “You’re not worth my time.” Really quite saddening that that is what has become of so many people.

621961BF-8015-4904-91F9-623C6B14B5FD_zpsdksdzjdt

05C469EB-39B0-414B-A2BE-FCD10275EBC4_zpsww3hfz8k

5469FA19-6EF3-4DF9-BA8E-3813E7850797_zpsgkxb2iml

So many people are too worried about the potential negatives of a situation they could put themselves in, to where they don’t realize that the positives outweigh the negatives man times over.

Flight

Flight from Louisville to Chicago

Recently took a trip out to Los Angeles for a week and had a blast. My first flight was from Louisville to Chicago. It was an early flight so I knew the sun was going to be rising as we were making our way to Chicago. I was sitting with a friend and kindly asked her if I could have the window seat in order to take some pictures and what not; she obliged and we switched seats. I didn’t have anyway to mount my iPhone anywhere so I resorted to holding it against the window. Not bad for the first ten minutes; but after 30, it starts to hurt.

The footage isn’t as nice as I’d like it to be, but oh well. Next time I fly out this summer, I’ll be sure to have my gorillapod, Shoulderpod s1 iPhone tripod mount, and take the video in landscape instead of portrait. I’ll also use the Lapse-It app as it is a much better option for time-lapse photography on iPhones.

Hello world!

Hello, my name is Jacob. I’ve created this website for a variety of reasons. One, it can serve as a portfolio for my photography and get my name out there a little more. Two, it gives me somewhere to blog about topics that I feel I need to discuss and share my opinions on. This will mainly serve as a travel and photography blog, yet I will discuss other topics as well on occasion.

Hope you stick around and enjoy!