Fat Tires in the Land of Enchantment

Monsoon season arrives. Macky Franklin races the rain on the trails of Northside at Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico.

Two days of mountain biking in the mountains of northern New Mexico.

Fat Tires in the Land of Enchantment

July 2019 saw me teaming up with fat tire power duo Syd and Macky for the second time. Our first collaboration had taken place in the Wasatch near my home, this time we met up on Macky’s home turf, Taos, New Mexico.

Monsoon season arrives. Macky Franklin and Syd Schulz take in the view from Frazer Mountain, 12,163′, the highest point at Northside at Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico.

Ingredients for this project:
Four products
Two days
Two locations in mountains/forest
Miles and miles of single-track trails
A plethora of scenic views
Decent weather
Two psyched and capable riders
And one person with a camera who hopefully can keep up

Place all items in brown bag then shake until completely saturated. Enjoy!

Gear explosion at the Northside at Taos Ski Valley trailhead, New Mexico.

Osprey Packs had asked for new imagery of the Siskin/Salida and Savu/Seral packs in action. We considered a few locations before agreeing on the Sangre de Cristo Range of northern New Mexico. Then in the weeks leading up to the dates wild fires broke out and rapidly spread. In response the Forest Service closed most public trailheads.  Luckily Syd and Macky have friends in high places and they called in a favor to two. One to the land owner of Northside at Taos Ski Valley, Roger Patterson, and another to Kailah Tucker at Angel Fire Resort.

Monsoon season arrives. Macky Franklin and Syd Schulz riding the trails at Northside at Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico.
Monsoon season arrives. Macky Franklin riding the trails at Northside at Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico.
Monsoon season arrives. Macky Franklin and Syd Schulz race the rain on the trails of Northside at Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico.

On day one we shot the Salida/Siskin packs at Northside at Taos Ski Valley. Having only visited Taos in the winter I was excited to soak it up during the warmer season. Single track climbing above 12,000 feet, moody skies, constant laughter, and views for days without another soul in sight. This was a treat. We raced the weather shooting for several hours before making it back to the van just as the skies opened up. Soaking wet we met up with Roger at Tim’s Stray Dog Cantina. Brisket tacos, yum!

Monsoon season arrives. Macky Franklin and Syd Schulz take five on the summit of Frazer Mountain, Northside at Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico.
Monsoon season arrives. Macky Franklin and Syd Schulz make it back to the van just as the skies open up, Northside at Taos Ski Valley, New Mexico.

 

 

Day two arrived with cloudy skies hanging over Angel Fire Resort. We switched the focus to the Savuand Seralhip/lumbar packs rode the lift. The rumors are true. There’s a reason Angel Fire has been voted best in the southwest for five years in a row. 2000 vertical feet, 60-plus miles of well engineered trails. Flow, super chunk, and jump lines led to fast and fun times ending with a little sprint session on the town trails, but not before mowing down a huge taco salad at El Jefe.

The sound of silence. Syd Schulz and Macky Franklin find solitude on the trails of Angel Fire Resort, New Mexico.
Macky Franklin rolling the trails at Angel Fire, New Mexico.
Couples who play together stay together. Macky Franklin and Syd Schulz rolling the trails at Angel Fire, New Mexico.

 

The two fun filled days flew by were the conversation wandered easily from wedding plans, training, travel, making ends meet, and a whole lot of bike talk. Thanks Syd and Macky for the solid good times.

Under/Over. Syd Schulz and Macky Franklin having fun at Angel Fire Resort, New Mexico.
The Green Belt Trails of Angel Fire with Syd Schulz and Macky Franklin, New Mexico.

Have any summer plans? Drop me a line.

Cheers,

Louis

 

Urban Vibes

Someone once told me that lifestyle photography can be some of the most difficult to pull off and I happen to agree.

Kelly Halpin and Rob Aseltine cruising through the Sugar House neighborhood of Salt Lake City, Utah.

In July I received an email from Dan Holz, the photo editor at Osprey, asking if I could create new images of their Tropos and Talia packs in an urban setting. Street cars, city streets, and coffee shops? Find a male and female to play the part? And have it done in a week? – Sure thing! I replied and then felt my stomach drop.

Rob Aseltine enjoys his outdoor office in the Sugar House neighborhood of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Turned out I have a friend who owns a coffee house located not far from a streetcar stop in the Sugarhouse neighborhood of Salt Lake City. Check. The week prior to the email, local skier/marketing guru Rob Aseltine happened to reach out asking to shoot some lifestyle images to add to his portfolio. Check. And Rob told me his friend, an Osprey ambassador and endurance athlete, Kelly Halpin was coming to town in a few days and was totally down. Check, and check! That was hard. Next up was “The Plan”.

Kelly Halpin at her work station inside Sugar House Coffee house, Salt Lake City, Utah.

My approach to lifestyle is fairly simple. Create a reason for the people to be where they are or make it look like they are actually doing what they are doing and hope that everything works out. The basic storyline was two people commuting to a work meeting/or to remotely work at Sugar House Coffee. I reasoned that if we gave everyone a purpose we just might find that quiet, and believable moment. Luckily, both Kelly and Rob had actually done that exact thing at Sugar House Coffee so it wasn’t such a stretch… All I had to do was push a button.

Coffee meeting. Rob Aseltine and Kelly Halpinget down to business inside Sugar House Coffee house, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Over the last 6 years I have been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to work with Osprey Packs. In addition to making quality products, their team is filled with incredibly talented, patient, and giving people who keep offering me a place to expand and explore. Here are a few selects from that day.

Kelly Halpin exits the streetcar in the Sugar House neighborhood of Salt Lake City, Utah.