A Trip to a Frozen Tropic

I am still recovering from the month of January. I was home a total of 4 days the entire month. I traveled to Arizona, Nevada, Florida and around my home state of Colorado. Today I figured I would share one of the most memorable adventures from that month, a trip to the frozen tropics of Florida.

I have been working as a hired gun for Andersen C bar C photography since December. I was invited to attend the National Team Roping League finals in Jacksonville, Florida. I was so excited to visit a state I have never been to and not to mention the warm weather I was hoping to experience while I was there.

I traveled from Durango to Denver to Jacksonville, reaching my final destination at 11 pm. It may seem like a small easy trip, which yes it would be if you didn’t leave something on your last plane with only 50 minutes to catch your next flight.

I did the unthinkable at an airport. I lost my wallet. I didn’t realize until I was all the way at the other end of the long B terminal at Denver Airport as I was ordering a quick lunch. Luckily, I have a Tile in my wallet that shows its location in real-time. It showed my wallet on the tarmac. I was so panicked. I hustled all the way back from gate 20 to 80 and as I walked up to the desk and the lady was handing it off to security. I quickly informed them it was mine. They quizzed me heavily on who I was and where I was going. Finally, I got it back then had to run back to my gate as my phone notified me the plane was boarding. I made a quick pit stop to get water and headed on. Once I got to the gate I was sweating. I had my sweater on, was carrying my camera bag and a duffle bag. I caught my breath and made it onto the plane.

I arrived very late. I was a little worried. I am in a city I have never been to. I had to catch an Uber to our house that was 25 minutes away knowing everyone is asleep from here to back home. Thankfully I had an amazing driver who funnily enough drove one of my coworkers the day before.

Thankfully we were able to sleep in but adjusting to the time made for a difficult five days. We enjoyed breakfast at Cracker Barrel, one of my favorite restaurants. There were five of us working the event. I got to reconnect with people I met in Las Vegas in December and made new lifelong friends.

We finally headed to the arena and going outside was a little disappointing. It was 40 degrees. In Florida. I went to a warm state when a record-breaking cold snap came through. We got alerts that iguanas could be falling from trees and to be aware of that. I couldn’t believe it. Thankfully I went from SCI Convention where I got some new gear from WSI that was a lifesaver.

I was fortunate enough to shoot all five days. We all had small propane heaters stationed by us and we wrapped up in the packing blankets. Each day I shot roughly 300-600 teams a day. The highlight was getting to shoot the Women’s Pro Rodeo Association (WPRA) team roping. There were about 30 teams of all women. I got to see these photos featured in Team Roping Magazine which was so exciting.

I was so thankful for the new friends I made at this event who brought me lunch, snacks, hot cocoa and released me when my eyes were worn out from looking through a camera for hours. I learned so much about team roping, getting “the shot” and keeping your personal items in a safer spot.

In February I haven’t traveled as much but the next three months are going to be a whirlwind. I am excited and ready to continue to grow.

Until my next adventure…

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