Omaha and the CWS

My best friend from high school and I decided to drive to Omaha for the College World Series this year. We had been wanting to see the spectacle that is the CWS since playing baseball those years of secondary education. Baseball was about the only thing that kept me in high school. I had to get a C average in order to play, so that's about all I did.

The drive out there was a bit long, but wouldn't have been so bad if both lanes of the interstate would have been open. There was a ton of single-lane highway that slowed us down a fair bit. Once we were to Rosenblatt Stadium it was very quiet. We were there about three hours before the first game. We were able to grab some general admission tickets, but the security guys said we had better get in line right away in order to get a seat. So we waited with a couple friends from Denver, one of which was originally from Omaha – we were able to graciously stay at her parents house for the weekend. Once in line it was apparent that the Louisiana State fans were out in force. All kinds of Tigers out and about waiting to see their team take on Arkansas. And they were crazy Cajuns. Wow.

Once inside the stadium a series of storm cells moved in and forced the stadium personnel to clear the outfield bleachers because of the lightning. So we waited another two and one half hours in the pouring rain, as to not lose our seats in the second row. Once the storms moved on, the sun baked the moisture out of the ground to add several percentage points to the humidity factor. But the sun was out and we watched the LSU Tigers destroy the Hogs. We also had tickets to the amazing night game, featuring Texas versus Arizona State. After a bit of an issue with my backpack earlier in the day, we decided to ditch most of our things into another friend's car. I was really disappointed in myself for not taking my camera back in for the second game. The light was beyond amazing as it slowly descended into the horizon.

So here are some frames from the first game. I was more in sponge mode than in shooting mode for the day. Taking in the atmosphere was fantastic. The CWS will only be held at Rosenblatt Stadium one more year, before a new stadium is completed in Omaha. I'm really glad I was able to get there this year before the move. Something about baseball and tradition going hand-in-hand. But there's not much traditional about these frames, at least I don't think there is...









Just a bunch of frames...

Here's a smattering of images from last week up in Pullman, Wash. Nothing too fancy, just some fun. More stuff soon, I hope. If I'm not too busy hammering the pedals.






There's a couple more over on Flickr.


The long road back to roots and boots

Had to run up to Green River, Wyo. last week for a very sad funeral. A friend of mine had premature twins three months ago, but one of them just didn't have the strength to fight through all the infections, breathing tubes and general attacks of this world. Miss Mary Albrecht was placed in her resting place near a noisy interstate, with seemingly too many other little ones, in the southwestern Wyoming desert. Her brother Daniel is kicking strong and looks to be leaving the confines of the neonatal unit in Salt Lake City in the coming days or weeks.

Reminds you once again how precious life can be, as it always should be. My friends Heather and Hank are hanging in there as much as is possible in a time like this. Here's hoping they are blessed with nothing but happiness and joy from now on. They are probably two of the strongest and most amazing people I know. Real. Honest. Welcoming. They are people. It's very hard to find real people in the hustle and bustle of the big city. Whenever I make a trip to smaller western towns I am reminded of where I come from as well as how and who I should be despite being a converted city guy. Simple places make for simple people who know what is truly important. It's good to be reminded of all that. Just wish it hadn't been under these kind of terms. Though, maybe the situation only reinforced the need to recharge the roots and boots battery.

While on the ramble back from the small oil and gas congregation on the prairie, we stopped at a "rest area" along I-80. Old Fort Steele is just a bump in the road, but there's a pretty interesting vacant gas station across the highway that I decided to lighten up and make a couple frames. And yes, it IS windy in Wyoming. Nothing too great, but good to shake off the hard day and long 12 hours of driving. Was 15 total for the two days of accelerating, you know that hustle and bustle stuff.

More from another western state in the coming days...