Tag Archive | travel

The Cell Block

The wind whistled through the empty corridor. Plastic covering the windows flapped as the wind blew. Footsteps echoed the length of the building. One would say it was the consequence of an old building; others would say that it was the sound of ghosts from prisoners gone, walking the hall and whistling to pass the time.

I have to admit that I loved wandering this old prison. Mind you, if you go during the winter, take gloves. The woman inside recommended I grab my coat if I had one. I had a shacket (which I’m pretty sure is just a fancy way of saying flannel shirt) on, which isn’t as heavy as my winter coat but was surprisingly warm so at first I wasn’t worried about it. Yeah, about that. My issue ended up being my hands and the lack of gloves, those I never even thought to grab before making the four hour trip to Ohio. I regretted it within an hour. Thankfully, I had also forgotten to grab a backup battery and ended up having to run back out to my car before finishing my tour. I went ahead and grabbed my heavy coat because the pockets are better.

For those wondering, it was a self-guided tour (masks required) and it took me about two hours. There is the option to add a audio thing to your tour. Like a little wireless speaker that tells you the history, I opted out of it. I liked making up my own stories as I shuffled around.

I hope you enjoy the photograph.

Live, laugh, love, and let it ride.
SMH, Montana Rose Photography

Stairway to Redemption

The stairway to redemption starts with knowledge. Maybe. Hopefully.

I know that I have posted like one picture (maybe two or three) over the last year; if you have stuck around-I cannot thank you enough for that.

The weight of the world has been heavier than usual. I’m sure many of us have felt that, but it has gotten a bit of the best of me. I began to feel like there were too many irons in the fire. Between jobs and school and just trying not to lose my mind, well, as I’m sure you can imagine, it has been a lot.

With the weight of 2020 behind us and the future weight comes with uncertainty, I’ve decided to make some changes. I don’t know what this means for my photography. I still want it to be one of those things that I do, but there are so many photographers, and I’m not entirely sure where I fit in the mix business wise. I’ve decided to get back to some of the basics and focus on my strengths. I plan to produce new pictures every few weeks (I’ve got some day trips lined up), so I will be doing a “series” type thing, I guess. Of course, this is dependent on me staying caught up on school.

This first series will be from the Ohio State Reformatory. It is a historic prison, for those that do not know, that has hosted numerous movies, videos, and shows since its historical inception. The famous movie filmed here was The Shawshank Redemption. The reformatory lost its right to be a functioning prison in 1990 after a court ruling.

I know to most this facility will appear bleak and whatnot, but I found it peaceful and beautiful, but those who have followed me for a while know my fondness of the old and “abandoned.” I hope that you enjoy this series as much as I do.

Live, Laugh, Love, and let it ride.
SMH, Montana Rose Photography


DSC_0319This will not go the way that you think that it will.  This is a testing time that has taken a toll on many souls,  but that is not the lost that I will delve into.

I really just kind of wish that I was lost right now.  Somewhere in between the canyons and the mountains. Getting that good, apple red canyon sunburn.  That fresh mountain air.  Stalking cows and chasing horses.  Having stare downs with wild burros.  That is where I should be.

It is vacation week.  I was foolish enough to think that I would be able to travel, so I took the week off.  I could travel.  Most would frown upon it, some would not.  Even ones, that I know, that were demanding people to stay home have taken out of state trips.  Trips to Disney and the Outer banks.  Still, I cannot bring myself to do it.  Pack up and leave this state for a few days.  The places I want to go, well…they are far.  So far and hot (too hot for the Zone dog), gas expensive, and more than anything…right now, they will be crowded.  So very, very crowded.

I don’t know what side I stand on where I stand on the virus anymore. I’ve grown tired of that dialogue.  The same with other outside factors that I’m trying to ignore.  I just want some fresh air, a fresh perspective, and for us to get back to living life right.

For now, I’ve  been stalking birds, geese, and squirrels.  I put up a bird feeder on my patio, the squirrels and geese get most of the food.  It’s funny watching them, but they no longer fear me.  Both the squirrels and the geese have decided that it is their patio and I have no place on it.  Most days we compromise, as long as it is because I’m filling the feeder.  I’ll share those photos at another time.

I have now managed to lose my train of though…shocker.

This photo, it was taken on the Utah side of the Utah/Colorado border.  Deep in the heart of the canyon where you could still see the mountains just beyond the miles of canyon dirt.   It was a  beautiful scene.  I managed to avoid the crowds, somehow.   I don’t recall the time of day, but time doesn’t really matter.   I like the picture and I hope that you do too.

Live, laugh, love, and let it ride.
~SMH, Montana Rose Photography~


DSC_0625I thought what I needed was time.  Time to process my thoughts.  Time to work through a new array of emotions and visions that have entered my life.  Time to process what is happening and to move above it, but time is not a friend.  There is never enough of it and it gets lost when you are not paying attention.

I was told not too long ago that I was at a point in my life where if I had something to say that I needed to say it.  If only it was that easy, because we are no longer in a time where people are receptive to hearing things that do not fit their narrative.  People on my friend’s list will unfriend people left and right for disagreeing or questioning something that they want to understand.  You have to come off the fence for it and choose a side.  It seems simple enough, but what if it really isn’t?

There are things that I’ve made it a point to try and avoid talking about.  Once in a while they slip out, but I’ve gotten better about it.  There is a reason for it.  Sometimes, I have discussed certain things in attempts to tell my story; however, these days that story seems moot and irrelevant.  My story doesn’t fit the narrative and so no one really wants to hear it.  I’ve come to terms with that, because I’ve questioned why I need people to hear my story.  Why is it so important for me to say my truths?

I could say that it was because I needed people to see me as different.  I could say that it was because I wanted to be different.  Or it was simply because I just do not know.  It can never be as simple as, “It just is.”  We always need there to be a reason, an explanation, a justification.  We foundation to every thought and feeling that we have, but sometimes it really just “is”.

This picture just “is”.  It is nothing special.  It is just something that I liked the look of when I snapped it.  I’m sure there was something that I wanted to catch at the time, but that was over a year ago and now it just is.  I’m not even sure what that means, but I like it.

I wish that I was there right now.  Gallivanting all over the west and forgetting all the woes that 2020 is divvying out to us.  Forget all the racist, political, and covid stress.   A place where I can just disappear into nature.  It is what I should be doing, but alas….2020.

I hope that time heals whatever it is that is truly going on.  I’m scared to think of what else time will bring us at this point.  With that said, it is our friend, our enemy, our nemesis and our hope.  Let’s just hope that it decides to be good to us while we have it left.

Live, laugh, love, and let it ride.
~SMH, Montana Rose Photography~


DSC_2174That is basically what I have done.  Abandoned pretty much everything.  It is not really a choice that I have made, that I wanted to make. The realities of 2020 have just taken their tolls on a spirit that was already wavering on the edge of a steep cliff.

This past Friday, I slept.  I couldn’t really keep my eyes open and I just slept, all day except for 1-2 hours here and there.  Long enough to walk the Zone and realize that I really just wanted to go back to bed.  This is not something that I do ….ever.  It happens when I’m sick, but even that is rare to never.

I know now that this was something that my body needed.  That it was what my minded needed.  Maybe it was the world needs.  To just sleep for a day and reset.

I have many opinions on the going-ons in the U.S. right now.  The virus. The protest.  People’s opinions on the going-ons, but alas I just sit back and take it in.  People are hateful.  People are self-ish.  People are scared.  People are angry.  People do not want to hear anything that does not agree with their narrative of the situation.  For the most part, I get it.  For the other part, that is the problem….we don’t listen.  More importantly, we do not hear when others talk.

There is no solution for the situations on hand.  We can say that there are, but the truth is….we are too divided as a society for any of them to ever work.  Most of society is too selfish for any of them to work.

I didn’t come here today to rant.  As much as I want to, I want more to not feel this turmoil and this anxiety.  I do not want to feel scared or angry.  That is what I want to accomplish with whatever can be salvaged from this year.  It feels naive and very much like a pipe dream. Maybe it is that it means eliminating people from my life that I’ve held on to for whatever reason.  I do not know, but it feels like a must.

For me, this was supposed to be a good year.  I had travel plans, which are scrapped but there are other things.  I got into the grad school program from my choice.  I start in fall.  I start transitioning into a new job today.  It was not a job that I chose, it chose me…as in, my manager had to give all the names of her remaining employees and their skills, there was a need in this unit and so here I am transitioning.  I’m thankful, because it means that I will not get laid off.  I also still have hope that “the one” will show his head.  Seems so foolish.

In this world, the way that it is today. It seems foolish to have such high hopes and hold on to the positive aspects, but we have to. I think.  No, we do.  What other choice do we have?  To retreat into our beds and sleep our lives away?  Not that 2020 is really giving us a lot of options right now, but just the same.  I’m convinced there has to be some balance and that something has to get better.

I don’t really know what that has to do with my blog, or my photography.  Probably nothing.  Writing gives me solace, though.  Even if it is pointless rambling that no one cares about.

I took this picture last year on the way from South Dakota to Wyoming.  I’m not a fan of new Fords, but I do love old Fords.  More importantly, I love old abandoned cars and trucks; especially, those tucked away beneath the highlights of mountains and hills that people want to call mountains.  It was early morning, I could look up the camera settings but it doesn’t really matter.

I hope that you didn’t mind the ramble and I hope that you like the picture.  Most of all, I hope that you are maintaining a balance throughout all of this that is keeping you on the lighter side of things.

~SMH, Montana Rose Photography~

The Words…

DSC_2163I was once reminded that our words are always out there.  Once we put them on the internet, that is it.  Whether we delete them from the original posting or not, they can always be found.

I have been thinking about that a lot lately.  Like a lot, even for me.  I have also been thinking about how one my uncle’s told me once that i had become too different.  The way I thought, my thinking process…it had become too different.  I now sit and wonder the implications of that statement.

I have had a lot of thoughts and I’ve said a lot of words.   I used to think that I never said anything that I didn’t mean, but now I wonder if that is true.  There are so many psychological aspects to why we do and say things that we do.  I am sure that mine came from a place of meaning at the time, but now…looking back, they stand with more question than they did at the time.  Hindsight, am I right?

I won’t delve into all that right now.  I’ve just been thinking about my old blog post and whether they represent what I want them to.  What I thought was me?  I know deleting them may be pointless. Maybe be moot.  Still, I don’t know.  Just bouncing thoughts for now.

The picture above is Picasso.  He is a wild mustang in the basin in Colorado.  He was the first to greet me when I entered the basin.  Let me know I was on the right course, because it took me a while to find it.  The directions failed me, go figure.  The “Verizon go anywhere” apparently has its limitations.  Always has its limitations, or I’m just really good at finding those places that Verizon doesn’t go.

Anyway, at the time Picasso was a lone bachelor.  From my understanding he was ran out of his herd.  The younger generation.  I don’t know what his status is today, I was hoping to make it back there this year to see if he was still about and to spend more time in the basin.  Here’s to hoping that is still an option as we maneuver through our current reality.

Until the next time.  Enjoy the picture.

~SMH, Montana Rose Photography~

The Lizard

DSC_6252In my last post, I posted how I stopped at a cemetery just off a Utah highway.  Well, never in my life have seen so many lizards in one place.    The place was crawling with them.  I won’t say literally, but I will say that I had to be careful about where I stepped.

As I was thinking about this post, I was intrigued and wondered what the lizard symbolizes.  The lizard symbolizes a true survivor and how you should be open to surrendering what doesn’t work for you so to open yourself up to regenerated energies of life.  At least according to one of the many animal totem websites.  DSC_6277
I am still learning about the whole spirit animal thing.  Like that they can change dependent on where you are in your life and what you need to learn, see at the time.  If I was to believe in signs, which most the time I do, I would say that the powers that be were trying to throw this meaning up in my face.  DSC_6303I won’t be all whatever about it.  It just struck me as interesting as we head into a new year. A new decade.  DSC_6330I believe these little guys are Sagebrush lizards.  Apparently, Utah is littered with them.  I’m torn on how I feel about them.  I will hold a snake, I will hold a baby alligator, but I’m torn on how I feel about these little guys scattered about and running rapid.  Hey, a girl has to have her limitations.

I’m just kidding.  I really do not mind lizards.  I don’t want to feed them, because then I have to touch things like crickets…and that is just gross.  🙂   DSC_6437
Live, laugh, love, and let it ride.

~SMH, Montana Rose Photography~

Off a Utah Highway

DSC_6267My first experience in Utah was not the greatest.  The unnecessary pullover by an overzealous cop because I had out of state plates.  The ridiculous woman that yelled out me for walking up under an arch, which is totally allowed.  The crazy amount of tourist at 6am.  Sleeping in my car because I couldn’t find a place to set up my tent.  Paying for one night in a motel room, what I would have paid for a week at a campsite.  The ridiculous sunburn that I got.  I mean…talk about red and even the breeze hurt but I digress.  Not the greatest experience, but it had perks.

I absolutely loved the scenery and I wasn’t opposed to driving the highways and roads that ran through it.  I can’t deny that it was a bit of heaven.

Off that main highway I was on sat a little cemetery up on a hill.  I’ve seen plenty of cemeteries and this wasn’t like the rest.   I’m not sure what it was, but there was something.  It seemed like it both a garden and cemetery.   It is also apparently a tourist type destination as picnic tables have been placed about.  I don’t think it is for typical tourist, but for some other kind.  I guess my kind of tourist.  Not really sure what that is, but there are different types I think.  I’m one of the other kind.

Not only did this little garden, memorial type cemetery have a ridiculous amount of lizards running amuck; a few visitors sat afoot.  Or maybe guardians at this point.  You can tell by their fur they had been there a while.  Through the rain, the wind, and whatever else has come their way.  They have been through it all. I suspect a few tears by those who left them.

These two seemed to be life long friends, placed together.  One or two others sat by themselves.  I can see the tiredness in the way they slouched and the sadness is in the reality of where they sit.

I saw not the dates on the plots where they sat, so I know not the age of that in which they watch over.  Still, I wonder their story.  Were they left by a devastated parent?  Maybe a heartbroken child.  Maybe they were left because the one that passed loved stuff animals.  Or had them for years.  I don’t know.  It may not have been out of sadness at all.  The possibilities are endless but limited, I’m sure.  Still they have a story and I cannot help but be intrigued by what I see.  They say so much without saying anything at all.

I hope that you like this picture.  Until the next time:  live, laugh, love, and let it ride.

~SMH, Montana Rose Photography~

The Window

DSC_0604.jpgI have many of pictures yet from my trip this past year out west.  I still have many that I have not edited, and so many I’ve not posted.  At first, I was surprised that I had not posted this one yet and then I remembered that I’ve actually posted very little this year; especially, here of late.

I really thought that I had posted this one, but I think I posted it to FB and Instagram, not here on WordPress.  I’m posting it now, so better late than never I suppose the story goes.

I took this picture in the Arches.  I can’t recall which arch this was, but most of them had quite the view.  There were a couple that I didn’t get to see because I became a little uncomfortable on the hike.  There were some passages with steep drops and a lot of people.   I don’t know if I was about to have an actual panic attack, or if I just thought that  I should have but I didn’t finish it and turned around.  I think had there been less people, I would have been more opt to travel across the first rocky bridge thing but there were just so many people.  This arch wasn’t one of them, but just the same….still a lot of people.  Apparently, everyone gets an early start in Arches National Park.  The early bird still has to fight for the worm in this one.

I have been working on editing tricks and am thinking that I might try later to re-edit this one, but for now…I think I like it the way that it is and hope that you do as well.  ”

I thought I had more to say, but that train has derailed.  Until the next time….live, laugh, love, and let it ride.

~SMH, Montana Rose Photography~


DSC_2051 I have been thinking a lot about my area of expertise as far as the world of photography.  Then I wonder how much of it is the area of which they are posted.  Facebook vs. Instagram vs. here on my rarely posted anymore blog.  The truth is, I love photography and I do want to make hobby money but people are not my area of expertise…on so many levels.  However, what is my area of expertise?

If I was to pay attention to Facebook, it is hit and miss.  Really, Facebook probably shouldn’t be an accurate measurement because pages have a hard time getting exposure because Facebook wants money.  Friend list…well, anyway.  If I was to pay attention to Instagram…horses and most animals.  On occasion, certain landscapes but as I’m typing this…well, I’m realizing that it probably comes down to what people are actually looking for.  We all know art, poetry, photography…the beauty and meaning and what not are all in the eyes of the beholder.  Perception is a cheeky monkey and we all have our own.

So far this above is my least liked photo in a long time. It has gotten a decent amount on Facebook since posting (in comparison to others), but Instagram like two people like it.  There could be many reasons why.

For those that do not know, this is the Devil’s tower inside of the Sacred Circle of Smoke.  The placement of the sculpture was strategic and shots like this one have come a regular and sought out view for most tourist.  The fool in me didn’t think much of it at first, but when I went to take it and saw many others going for the same shot, it made sense and I realized mine would not be amongst the first.  I did want it to be different.  Not the usual typical version.  I played with it.  I like it….but this one is also not bad.

As always, I’ll let you decide what you think but I hope that you at least like one of them.  Opinion and thoughts are always welcomed.

Live, laugh, love, and let it ride.

~SMH, Montana Rose Photography~