“Was that girl topless?”

This past weekend, Tara and I tried out a new style of camping: Yurt camping.  A yurt is a Mongolian style dwelling.  Chances are, you’ve seen one before, you just didn’t realize that it was called a yurt.

Cheating, for sure.

There is a fair number of these dwellings throughout Utah backcountry.  We chose the ones at East Canyon State Park (no, not the place that the Donner Party spent the winter—I made that mistake myself).  These are by no means rustic or in the backcountry, but it was a fun, unique way to ease into the camping season.  The yurt had a thermostat-controlled propane stove for heat.  As much as we liked this feature, we were slightly disappointed because it meant we didn’t get to try out our new 15 degree sleeping bags.

Could have been made by Amish people


Must have one of these in my backyard some day!

We set out Saturday afternoon after we got there in search of hiking.  We were headed up a highway that we knew was closed, but were hoping that we’d find a trailhead before the closure.  Just beyond a sign that said “Road closed ahead”, we rounded a bend and stumbled upon what was apparently a nude photo shoot.  A topless girl took off running, covering herself, to a vehicle parked just off the road.  The photographer stayed by his equipment—in the middle of the road, laughing as we drove by.  We were utterly confounded by it all.  The guy looked pretty legit—he had quite the setup, but they couldn’t have picked a less scenic spot.  And did they really think nobody would drive up there just because the road was closed ahead?  We never did find the trail.  We ended up walking up the closed road for a ways.  We did not encounter any more nudity.

After dinner that night, I gathered up my own photography gear, and we headed down to the lake for our own “shoot”.  And by “shoot”, I mean the sunset, of course.  I found a good spot long before sunset, so we passed the time with Tara throwing rocks in the water and me shooting the splashes.

I think that one nailed a fish.


Thank goodness she puts up with my "artistic" attemtps


Then we played Hide & Seek.  Sort of…

Used manual focus on this one.  Is that like the photography equivalent to tuning by ear?


I love sage


Then Tara said I should photograph my tripod down on beach.  It ended up being a pretty good suggestion. 😉

Stay away, duck  


Then at last the sun was low enough.




The next morning it rained heavily, so we curled up with our Nooks in the warmth of the Yurt enjoying the patter of rain drops on the canvas roof.


Then when we got back down to the valley that afternoon, it was sunny and warm, so I had to mow the lawn…

5 thoughts on ““Was that girl topless?”

  1. First of all, the whole experience sounds like a lot of fun. If only Ben and I liked camping so much, I would be a little more jealous 🙂 Sounds like you and Tara are really taking advantage of your time together as newlyweds (yes, you’re still newlyweds; I think I’ve heard the first 5 years) in the environment that you’re in.

    Secondly, I love the variety of shots. It is so fascinating to see snippets of what you guys experience (I miss the mountains so!) and to see your photography improve and styles change. Keep it up!

  2. @Laura-Gee, thanks, that means a lot! And yeah, we’re trying to get the most out of our kid-less years.

    @Dad-No, that was not my intention by the title, but I’m sure it didn’t hurt.

  3. Andrew – I had definitely not heard of a yurt before. Neither Kevin or I are big campers, but this looks like a pretty darn good way to camp to me. We’re actually going to try to go on a camping trip with Kait Henderson and her fiance Jake. Any recommendations around Omaha?

    Oh, and I really like your pictures 🙂 You should post the settings you used like the do in the professional photo magazines. I’m just starting to get into photography myself and seeing what the settings are is pretty helpful.

    Take care!

  4. @Amanda-I occasionally post the settings with the photos. I really like to see what settings people used too.

    I like Platte River State Park. They have cabins and tee-pees as well as traditional tent camping. Also, it doesn’t get as crowded as Mahoney. If you go there, you definitely need to hit up Louisville one of the nights–they’ve got the coolest small town bar there! Two Rivers SP is also good–they have cabooses you can stay in.

    Thanks for reading!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *