Red Wing Roots IV

Day 1bsomeIMG_7880bsomeIMG_7879bsomeIMG_7766 bsomeIMG_7792 bsomeIMG_7752bsomeIMG_7969bsomeIMG_7966bsomeIMG_7964 bsomeIMG_7796 bsomeIMG_7762 bsomeIMG_7798 bsomeIMG_7748bsomeIMG_7878bsomeIMG_7845

Front CountrybsomeIMG_7808bsomeIMG_7812bsomeIMG_7833bsomeIMG_7841bsomeIMG_7909

Sierra HullbsomeIMG_7888bsomeIMG_7898bsomeIMG_7908bsomeIMG_7889bsomeIMG_7915bsomeIMG_7918bsomeIMG_7922bsomeIMG_8182Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens

Bumper JacksonsbsomeIMG_8062bsomeIMG_8066bsomeIMG_8071bsomeIMG_8169bsomeIMG_8186

Hiss Golden MessengerbsomeIMG_8187bsomeIMG_8207bsomeIMG_8198bsomeIMG_8217bsomeIMG_8219bsomeIMG_8225bsomeIMG_8227 bsomeIMG_8236bsomeimg_9678bsomeimg_9679 bsomeIMG_8234 bsomeIMG_8231 bsomeIMG_8237bsomeIMG_8245


Steep Canyon RangersbsomeIMG_8350bsomeIMG_8323bsomeIMG_8359bsomeIMG_8364bsomeIMG_8377bsomeIMG_8381bsomeIMG_8385bsomeIMG_8388bsomeIMG_8400bsomeIMG_8394

Jarekus SingletonbsomeIMG_8421bsomeIMG_8437bsomeIMG_8463bsomeIMG_8495bsomeIMG_8529bsomeIMG_8535bsomeIMG_8548bsomeIMG_8515bsomeIMG_8521bsomeIMG_8478



Day 2


Dom Flemons Trio
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The Judy ChopsbsomeIMG_8819 bsomeIMG_8823 bsomeIMG_8824bsomeIMG_8828bsomeIMG_8847bsomeIMG_8848bsomeIMG_8854bsomeIMG_8869bsomeIMG_8870bsomeIMG_8873bsomeIMG_8881bsomeIMG_8885bsomeIMG_8882bsomeIMG_8892

Chris SmitherbsomeIMG_8891bsomeIMG_8899bsomeIMG_8900bsomeIMG_8896bsomeIMG_8902bsomeimg_8947bsomeimg_8950bsomeimg_8954bsomeimg_8958bsomeimg_8959bsomeimg_9012bsomeimg_8969bsomeimg_9687bsomeimg_9016bsomeimg_9017bsomeimg_8922bsomeimg_9685bsomeimg_8910bsomeimg_8907bsomeimg_8917bsomeimg_8934bsomeimg_8941bsomeimg_8944bsomeimg_9007bsomeimg_8973

Walking Roots Bandbsomeimg_8977bsomeimg_8982bsomeimg_8985bsomeimg_8986bsomeimg_8995bsomeimg_8968bsomeimg_9197bsomeimg_9026bsomeimg_9214bsomeimg_9208bsomeimg_9033bsomeimg_9052bsomeimg_9064bsomeimg_9062bsomeimg_9044bsomeimg_9046

Drew Holcomb

The Steel Wheelsbsomeimg_9227bsomeimg_9229bsomeimg_9239bsomeimg_9246bsomeimg_9248bsomeimg_9250bsomeimg_9233bsomeimg_9334bsomeimg_9272bwbsomeimg_9276bsomeimg_9304bsomeimg_9296bsomeimg_9344bsomeimg_9387bsomeimg_9394bsomeimg_9445bsomeimg_9442bsomeimg_9409bsomeimg_9418bsomeimg_9420bsomeimg_9402bsomeimg_9427bsomeimg_9457

JP Harrisbsomeimg_9467bsomeimg_9503bsomeimg_9643bsomeimg_9475bsomeimg_9478bsomeimg_9487bsomeimg_9488bsomeimg_9519bsomeimg_9490bsomeimg_9486bsomeimg_9634bsomeimg_9639

The Lone Bellowbsomeimg_9534bsomeimg_9525bsomeimg_9556bsomeimg_9565bsomeimg_9568bsomeimg_9574bsomeimg_9578bsomeimg_9577bsomeimg_9617bsomeimg_9554

Day 3


The Hot Seatsbsomeimg_9660

Sarah Lynna & The Misfit Toysbsomeimg_9669 bsomeimg_0011bsomeimg_0038bsomeimg_9682bsomeimg_9686bsomeimg_9688bsomeimg_9692bsomeimg_9726bsomeimg_9719bsomeimg_9733bsomeimg_9728bsomeimg_0268bsomeimg_0165bsomeimg_0176bsomeimg_9696bsomeimg_9697

Nora Jane Struthers & The Party Linebsomeimg_9701bsomeimg_9986bsomeimg_9996bsomeimg_9971bsomeimg_9704 bsomeimg_0013 bsomeimg_0021 bsomeimg_0030 bsomeimg_0009bsomeimg_9738 bsomeimg_0031bsomeimg_9720bsomeimg_0042bsomeimg_0062bsomeimg_9743bsomeimg_9750bsomeimg_9749bsomeimg_0047bsomeimg_9792bsomeimg_9821bsomeimg_0163bsomeimg_0040bsomeimg_9783bsomeimg_9761bsomeimg_9764bsomeimg_9770bsomeimg_9777bsomeimg_9786bsomeimg_9808bsomeimg_9791bsomeimg_9815bsomeimg_9834

Shenandoah Alleybsomeimg_9859bsomeimg_9890bsomeimg_9874bsomeimg_9895bsomeimg_9897bsomeimg_9898bsomeimg_9910bsomeimg_9932bsomeimg_9921bsomeimg_9944bsomeimg_9936bsomeimg_9960bsomeimg_9957bsomeimg_9963bsomeimg_9965bsomeimg_0005bsomeimg_0067

Aoife O’Donovanbsomeimg_0074bsomeimg_0081

Dustbowl Revivalbsomeimg_0142bsomeimg_0144bsomeimg_0149bsomeimg_9970bsomeimg_0107bsomeimg_0106bsomeimg_0151bsomeimg_0155

Shovels & Ropebsomeimg_0203bsomeimg_0200bsomeimg_0198bsomeimg_0233bsomeimg_0236bsomeimg_0218bsomeimg_0222bsomeimg_0245bsomeimg_0264bsomeimg_0254bsomeimg_0259bsomeimg_0068

Red Wing V dates have been announced! Mark your calendars for July 14-16, 2017!


took a hike, took a camera: Hawksbill

A harmless invite and there I was in a panic. “Meet us at the park,” she suggested. “The kids can play.” Time paused a moment as my world zeroed in on me: my son doesn’t play at the park. My son doesn’t play at the park! He’s a teenager. Teenagers don’t play at parks. Little kids play at parks. And he is not little anymore. When he stands our eyeballs meet. He will soon surpass me in height. Seemingly impossible considering I just paced a path into the living room floor after mid-night feedings, rubbing his back, shooshing him the way mothers do to relax his ten pound little body back to sleep. That tiny life that I raised, that I’m raising, is too big for park swings. One day you wake up and everything is different.

I am peeved by mottos instructing us to “live like there’s no tomorrow.” Sayings like this are far removed from their intended meaning and used as an excuse to live an irresponsible and reckless life. Living like there’s no moment after this moment, in the literal sense, is not realistic. Tomorrow my electric bill is due, therefore today I have to plan how to pay it. And that probably means I’m going to say no to dinner with friends a time or two in order to work to earn said money for said bill.  If everyone lived like there was no tomorrow, the world would be in complete shambles. The laundry would never get cleaned, the seeds would never be planted, shelters would never be built, books would never be written, families would fall apart, everyone would be broke and uneducated and the world would turn black and die! I exaggerate, but really, who has the time and resources to truly live like there’s no tomorrow? Not me.

Every now and then, I am reminded that time isn’t waiting for my electric bill to be paid. It’s not waiting for invites to the park. It’s not waiting…it’s moving. So there are times when even if I’m tired, even if the dishes are dirty, even if I haven’t had a moment to shower in three days, even if it means we’re having Nutella and granola bars for dinner…I just go and do something that deposits memories in the bank. That’s what the sunset hike to Hawksbill was for us. It was a long day and I was tiiiiired with endless to-do’s to check-off but we went anyway. We couldn’t have timed it more perfectly and arrived at the summit with thirty minutes to spare before the sun fell below the blue ridge. The looks on my kids’ faces at the vast, spectacular view are the moments I live for. Uninhibited awe. We snacked and explored and sat together and said prayers for people who need them. With the setting sun came almost immediate darkness so we strapped on our headlamps and headed back down the trail to the car. With nearly no light pollution and tree leaves covering the starlight, the walk back was the darkest dark I remember. My daughter squeezed my hand and chatted with me the whole hike back. The boys searched for deer and frogs with their flashlights and clonked their every-growing teenage feet behind me. It was the coolest hike of the year.

While you can’t plan every second and you can’t realistically live like there’s no tomorrow, you can enjoy right now. You never know when you’ll give them their last push on the swing set. You probably won’t remember the last time you helped them wash the shampoo from their hair, the last time you had to walk around the grocery store with a babydoll in your cart or the last time you cut up their dinner. But the last time will come for all of these things, as it should. Their childhood is moving and changing and fading and with good effort, it will be a fond memory they tell stories about one day. I hope to keep giving them stories to tell. ❤

Hawksbill_IMG_9413 Hawksbill_IMG_9421 Hawksbill_IMG_9428 Hawksbill_IMG_9431 Hawksbill_IMG_9434 Hawksbill_IMG_9437Hawksbill_IMG_9507Hawksbill_IMG_9444Hawksbill_IMG_9457Hawksbill_IMG_9459Hawksbill_IMG_9450Hawksbill_IMG_9453Hawksbill_IMG_9504Hawksbill_IMG_9472Hawksbill_IMG_9466Hawksbill_IMG_9493Hawksbill_IMG_9510Hawksbill_IMG_9517Hawksbill_IMG_9518Hawksbill_IMG_9526Hawksbill_IMG_9539Hawksbill_IMG_9549Hawksbill_IMG_9552Hawksbill_IMG_9561Hawksbill_IMG_9563Hawksbill_IMG_9568Hawksbill_IMG_9569Hawksbill_IMG_9573

took a hike, took a camera: Storybook Trail

I can’t comfortably call this a hike post without a disclaimer: this is not a hiking trail. This trail is a walking path. A user-friendly sidewalk through the woods. I’m not putting it down, in fact, I think it’s great to have a trail so pedestrian-friendly that you can roll a wheel chair along it, push a stroller on it, walk through the woods with your accident-prone friends or just enjoy a short, leisurely stroll to a beautiful view. The incline is gradual, the path is wide and paved and the overlook is a big metal deck that sits on the edge of the mountain. It was Sunday morning, July 5th when we decided to pay the trail a visit. We were all puffy-eyed, fireworked and slow moving from the previous day of Team America: parades, beer, ice cream, meat, heat, fried things, and condiments…always with the condiments. It was a foggy ride up to Storybook Trail, which is located on top of the mountain that sits between New Market and Luray. I didn’t plan on taking photos on this particular morning but as the fog got thicker, I was high-fivin’ myself for bringing my camera anyway. My friends Kirsten, Chris, Jack and their two dogs joined me, Ben and my kids. At the overlook, we were literally in the clouds. White clouds moved over us, on us, through us and we could see nothing below. It was eerie but awesome and mysterious. And what better way to kickstart a slow Sunday morning than with a little bit of mama nature…followed by sangria and a cheese plate.
Storybook_Trail_IMG_6595 Storybook_Trail_IMG_6600Storybook_Trail_IMG_6599 Storybook_Trail_IMG_6605Storybook_Trail_IMG_6655Storybook_Trail_IMG_6620Storybook_Trail_IMG_6635Storybook_Trail_IMG_6624Storybook_Trail_IMG_6632Storybook_Trail_IMG_6628Storybook_Trail_IMG_6614Storybook_Trail_IMG_6609Storybook_Trail_IMG_6639Storybook_Trail_IMG_6633Storybook_Trail_IMG_6645Storybook_Trail_IMG_6646Storybook_Trail_IMG_6601Storybook_Trail_IMG_6657Storybook_Trail_IMG_6660

Cell phone summary:Storybook Trail

See more from my series took a hike, took a camera here.


took a hike, took a camera: Stony Man Mountain

I forgot about my approaching birthday until the day before it. Not because I’m a doofus but because I had a ridiculous schedule the two weeks prior. I shot a wedding on a Saturday, left for Alaska on that Sunday, hiked 1, 2, 3 mountains, returned home way late Thursday, Friday was my son’s birthday and dinner, Saturday I shot another wedding, Sunday we went on a group hike to celebrate his birthday and all of the sudden, it’s Monday and my birthday was the next day, Tuesday, June 30. When I list it, it feels like I’m lying. But I’m not. For my birthday I wanted to do a hike and luckily the weather was in my favor. My friend Danielle met me in New Market and we headed to Skyline Drive. There is truly never a dull moment in her company. On our way over the Luray mountain, there were a few whoops and hollers and fragmented sentences and white-knuckle clutching coming from the passenger side.  I got the impression my driving was making her nervous. We laughed. A whole lot. I almost hit a deer. Then we laughed some more. I’ve heard of Stony Man Mountain before but it wasn’t until I read the description in my hiking guide that I learned how the name was given. As we rounded mile 38ish on Skyline Drive, we could see the profile of ol’ Stony, and his chiseled manly nose, looking west. I couldn’t wait to get up there and look with him. Within moments of being on the trail, we met hikers ranging from diapers and pacifiers to fanny packs and canes. A really mild hike and certainly enjoyable for all ages. At the top we had a granola bar while enjoying an amazing view of the Shenandoah Valley. Danielle is a photographer, too, so we each got lost in our lens for a bit before returning to real life where we sat on Stony’s forehead and chatted about life. One of my favorite things about the trail guide I have, is that it tells about the flowers and trees you see along your hike and often it gives some history of the area.  For this hike it said that we’d “pass red spruce and balsam fir, remnants of the Ice Age.” That’s pretty cool! So on our walk back down, we set out to find the trees. I was so eager I tripped over the same rock twice. We found what we think is a red spruce and/or a balsam fir. (You can judge us below.) We left the mountain content and with minds and hearts recharged from the vast beauty of our Valley. Our post-hike treat was a cheese plate and wine on my deck because Happy Birthday to me!

The profile of Stony Man from Skyline Drive.

The profile of Stony Man from Skyline Drive.


photo by Danielle Campbell

photo by Danielle Campbell

photo by Danielle Campbell

photo by Danielle Campbell

Stony_Man_Hike_IMG_6453 Stony_Man_Hike_IMG_6432 Stony_Man_Hike_IMG_6450 Stony_Man_Hike_IMG_6452Stony_Man_Hike_IMG_6437 Stony_Man_Hike_IMG_6435

photo by Danielle Campbell

photo by Danielle Campbell

photo by Danielle Campbell

photo by Danielle Campbell


photo by Danielle Campbell

photo by Danielle Campbell


A cherry tree?

took a hike, took a camera: 13th Birthday Group Hike!

And just like that, I have a teenager. My son, my precious baby boy, is a teenager. We’ve all heard it before, and it’s true enough to repeat: time moves impossibly fast. It’s just leaving, right now, right past us. My children, who souls are most beautiful, remind me of this daily. It’s like I have three hearts and two of them beat outside of my chest. They exist, enclosed in the ribs of my children. A nearly perfect combination of me and his father, Blake is a kind young man with a heart of pure gold. He is wonderful with small children, has a ridiculous sense of humor, is sharp as tack and, most importantly, he loves his mama. (swoon) When I asked him what he wanted to do to celebrate his 13th birthday, he said he wanted to hike to one of his favorite waterfalls, Whiteoak Canyon, and invite friends and family. His request made me proud. I’ve intentionally been taking them hiking more frequently this year and we hiked Whiteoak in February. Then, the trail was covered in ice, snow and mud and there was hardly any green to be seen. This time, it was a completely different hike with lush life all around us. The air was surprisingly cool for a June afternoon so when we arrived I looted the soon-to-be-dropped-off-at-Goodwill bag in my trunk and tossed sweatshirts out to our shivering group. There were 11 of us total: a good group of adult friends, kid friends and family.

Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6352 Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6299Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6300 Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6310 Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6307Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6345 Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6306 Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6320 Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6312 Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6314 Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6330 Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6334 Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6341 Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6342Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6351Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6349Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6361Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6372Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6377Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6374Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6369Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6356Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6380Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6357Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6397Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6414Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6404Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6409Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6401Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6400Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6408Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6416Whiteoak_Canyon_IMG_6418In lieu of my usual cell phone summary, I give you an Instagram screenshot. (My phone is toast and I’ve lost all the photos. Boo.)



Blueberries and Sunshine

Last week my phone fell to it’s death. On it’s way down I tried to catch it and instead, slammed it down to the floor even harder. I’ve never claimed to be graceful. I murdered my phone; an open and close case of phoneslaughter. Since then, I’ve taken more photos with my camera. My real camera. While I’m no stranger to lugging that thing around, it’s just not always practical. But last Friday morning, it was beautiful outside, the kids and I were heading back to Ratliff’s Blueberry Farm and the combination of those two things just sounded too cute to leave my camera at home. This was our second attempt at blueberry picking. The first time we tried, they were all picked out before I finished my morning coffee! We woke up early enough to get there before the masses and we weren’t the only early (wise) birds. Our goal was to get enough to make a big batch of blueberry pancakes for Sunday brunch for our friends. With buckets hanging around their necks, the kids moved from bush to bush, picking the bluest ones they could find. At the checkout tent, we transferred our berries to the jars we brought along and the kind ladies told me the blueberries would taste best if I set them out on the counter for a couple of days. I trusted them and they were right. Those pancakes were the best I’ve ever made…and I’ve made a lot of pancakes. Go pick for yourself…soon they’ll all be gone and you’ll be heading home with a Christmas tree instead (same farm, different season).Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8428Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8424Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8421Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8415Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8390Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8410Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8414Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8418Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8400Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8392Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8391Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8399Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8417Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8411Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8423Ratliff Blueberry_IMG_8425Ratliff's Blueberry_IMG_8759 Ratliff's Blueberry_IMG_8757 Ratliff's Blueberry_IMG_8766 Ratliff's Blueberry_IMG_8768

This was the last shot I took before the pancakes were made and soon after – gobbled right up. Ah well.


Red Wing Roots II: Day 3

It felt a lot like a Sunday when I parked my car on the third and final day of the second annual Red Wing Roots Music Festival. Time moves differently on Sundays. It ticks away and reminds us to notice the smells and colors and faces and light, to slow ourselves down and enjoy one last little morsel of, in this case, a mid-summer musical dessert. When I shut my car door, there were no echoes on this third day…no soft melodies or harmonicas bouncing off the Chimney’s. There was quiet. A little alarming, I admit, for a music festival…but I proceeded anyway, with curiosity and camera. As I moved towards the back of the seated, silent crowd, I heard Trent Wagler wailing out a line from his gospel set. It was an experience to be there in that moment, watching this community church under overcast skies, surrounded by beauty and bodies who needed this healing sound. People napped and recovered and carried themselves to the stage to wake up. Dang good way to start a day.

Next up was Willie Watson, who I found to be a pleasant surprise. I love watching passion pour from a face with each lyric…eye wrinkles forming in the delivery of a verse, veins bulging with blood pounding from an aching heart and a shaky esophagus to distract from a tear. I got to see this in Willie’s performance of Rock Salt and Nails, among others. I feel you man. But before I let myself get stuck in my own head, I wandered around to mingle and grab images of smiling faces. It was a good move, the sun joined us and the rest of the day came with a smooth, steady beat as each new band took the stage.

bsomeIMG_9686bsomeIMG_9699Above: Lucas Roasting Company saved the day for a lot of folks. Below: Year-old swag…we missed you this year Caleb!


Above: Blackfeather Furniture made taking a break look goooood.bsomeIMG_9632

JP Harris & The Touch ChoicesbsomeIMG_9603bsomeIMG_9626bsomeIMG_9645bsomeIMG_9636bsomeIMG_9602bsomeIMG_9612bsomeIMG_9646bwbsomeIMG_9623bwbsomeIMG_9655bsomeIMG_9613bsomeIMG_9677bsomeIMG_9678bsomeIMG_9671bsomeIMG_9668bwbsomeIMG_9667bwbsomeIMG_9582bwbsomeIMG_9477bwbsomeIMG_9480bwbsomeIMG_9482bw