This blog is for the people who don't get in nature very much but love it. It is for the people who want to explore more but maybe something holds them back. It is for the people who like to see a great view, but just doesn't have the experience. It is for those who hike a ton but may forget how important it is to value the environment. It is for those who don't realize how big of an effect social media can have on pretty much everything This particular blog is for some of us, most of us and all of us!
The last Adventure Elopement I photographed was in Durango Colorado. I had never been there until I rolled in the day before the elopement. It was beautiful! The views were gorgeous, the weather was perfect and the people were wonderful. The perfect place to get married for sure. But what you don't understand (or maybe you do if you are in nature a lot) is the bride had to do a ton of her own research to find the perfect location to say their vows. It can take a lot of work and effort to find those amazing locations for that amazing day! She did just that. I won't say exactly what trail and where this took place in order to preserve its location but what I will say is that I was honored to have been invited as her photographer and be able to witness those views!
I think what some of us don't really understand is due to social media most of our trails, and favorite destinations are becoming destroyed and over crowded. You can't even get to some of our favorite places anymore because of the hype surrounding the social media outlet. My personal opinion, and it is just that, an opinion, is when you go somewhere and see that brand new peak, don't say where exactly it is. Don't tag it. Don't put it in your description or in your comments. You could tag the state, even the city or national forest, but don't tag the trail head. I always say things like #somewhereincolorado or #lostingeorgia when I hike or explore so people know what State I was in but never know the exact location of where I was. There are 2 reasons for this. #1. Places are being destroyed! If we work together we can preserve some of these places which brings me to my #2. Most people will not do their own research to find these amazing places. It takes to much effort.
If you are anything like me, I research days, weeks, even months on end to go places in an area that is off the beaten path. It takes me hours upon hours sometimes to plan that trip. For instance, we visited Moab, Utah last year. We were going in September and I started researching and planning in May. I had our 10 day trip planned out with my bucket list of places I wanted to see and do along with their location, mileage, difficulty estimate, what I needed to bring for the hike, what time was best to see the view, etc etc etc. . Why on earth would I do all that work just to post the locations I had been so someone else can come in behind me and do the exact same thing I just did but without having to put in the work. That sounds really selfish of me I know but I feel like if I do the work for them, it makes that person appreciate this scenery less, which in turn becomes a trickle effect. It really gets under my skin when I post a picture of this gorgeous scene that I most definitely had to research to find and put my body to the test to get to and someone comments on the post "where is this". It makes me want to scream. I quit answering comments like that publicly and started private messaging the people I knew would research and put the effort in themselves if they needed to. It was an alternative to just publicly blasting an areas location.
Now listen.. I am 100% guilty of doing exactly both of those things. I have tagged my location and I have gone somewhere that other people have tagged. It is such an easy thing to do. But once I started realizing that there are waiting lists at places there have never had waiting list before, there are trails being closed because people don't "pack in, pack out", hiking and camping areas are being destroyed by trash and other things I won't mention. It was then I started realizing what social media is capable of doing to our nature experiences. I started talking to locals, and asking questions that I knew I didn't want to hear the answer to, but it changed my view on a lot of things. I hope after you read this, it will change your view as well if you haven't already. It's such a simple gesture "tagging your location" but it is becoming devastating for the nature enthusiast and to our environment in general.
So the next time you go for that hike, try to come up with a hashtag or location that suits you but doesn't say where you are exactly. This way you get to enjoy these places over and over and the risk of them being closed forever goes down by one person. We can make a difference if we just try. It is the smallest things and takes very little effort.
Now That I have had my rant. .. Lets get you married in nature!