I just had an awesome trip out to Washington State to visit one of my dear friends Maggie Browne. Maggie and I met in Rollerderby. To be specific in the back of a bus in Las Vegas in 2008. I actually have a picture from the exact moment we met. I didn't fall in love at first sight. I was actually quite put off. She seemed like an aggressive jerk. I spent the whole next year thinking "I sure don't like that Quarterboy." Little did I know that jerk would become one of my most enduring and important friendships. The photo below is from the back of that bus. Aunt Flo and Quarterboy RollerCon2008. The hand gesture they are throwing up was that of the "Vagine Regime" which was the queer Roller Derby Club. The VR used to throw the most amazing parties usually called Dance of Pants offs...but thats a whole other blog post...lol.
The year following RollerCon 2008 Grand Raggidy was the fist away bout of the season for the 2009 Chicago OUTFIT, of which I was honored to be the team photographer for at the time. It was an awesome super competitive bout. The captains of Grand Rapids skated into the locker room after the bout with iced buckets of beer and passed out swag bags while inviting us to the after party where there would be free pizza. The one thing the Outfit always won was the after party, so we happily accepted the invitation. That night was an amazing coming together of teams and killer roller derby personalities of skaters who would go down history. That night the Quarterboy I thought I didn't care for wedged her way deep into my heart and here is a picture of it happening.
I cherish this image. It hangs framed in my foyer. I have always had an obsession with plutonic love affairs. My favorite movies are Shawshank Redemption and Beaches. I have been so blessed to have the best friends. There isn't enough Gratitude to express my Thankfulness to the ONE for these blessings. I see my friends as pure essence. This human right here, is one of my life's great gifts. We are very different but enough alike to have a non stop good time doing anything and everything anywhere and everywhere. Our friendship has spanned many states, many teams, many girlfriends, and many years. My cup overflows as I look toward the years left of it yet to come. Thank you for the wonderful friendship, it's one of my favorites.
Grand Raggidy in true fashion of midwest Michigan hospitality invited us to the Derby After After Party in some wild Derby/Tiki basement where we proceeded to play dirty jenga. It was nights like these that I still can't believe. Rollerderby brought situations that were even better than what I could dream up. It was like living inside of your favorite fantasy or comic book. Back in those days there was a lot of jersey trading. We were all so in love and envy of each other that when you would meet a skater and you two shared this fascinating admiration you would trade jerseys. Here is it happening below. Pictured left to right: Daddy's Girl, Tera Nuone, Lola Blow, Quarterboy, Shutterspeed, Jackie Daniels and Althea in Hell. Quite a collection of pretty colorful Rollederby personalities from all over the country.
This photo always seems pretty perfectly representative of our friendship. Probably taken by Shutterspeed.
The shot below is from RollerCon2009. The Vagine Ragime used to host a super fun and outrageously ridiculous Scavenger Hunt every year at RollerCon. It was a huge success and grew more infamous every year. In 2009 I was asked by Injure Rogers Founder of the VR to be one of the esteemed judges for the HUNT. I could hardly contain my excitement at this opportunity. Every year this group was made up of some of the most well known Queer Rollerderby party Monsters and Colorful personalities, all around roller derby favorites. Just being in a room with these people was a dream come true and an energy explosion. Well everyone knows about my obsession with bathroom photos so obviously when I found myself amongst these shining stars of Rollerderby we took a bathroom photo. To this day this photo remains one of my all time favorites. These people were my heroes. There is Quarterboy right in the center, holding the VR flier of activities for the week featureing Althea N Hell from the VR expo bout the previous year.
Photo below is from the 2009 Vagine Ragime vs the Caulk Suckers expo bout that took place on Fremont Street. It was awesome to be bouting in the center of it all. The public loved it.
But enough about RollerDerby...back to the current Adventures of Shoot To Kill and Quarterboy. I got to Seattle on a Sunday afternoon. We dropped off my luggage and headed out for some alfresco dinning and drinks as the weather was a dream at 73 degrees at the end of September. The next morning we packed and headed out to a cute little place called Lake Tyee out near Mount Baker about an hour south of the Canadian border. QB loves it so much she tattooed the totem on her leg, so obviously we had to snap a shot.
The lake was so still and the skies so bright every thing I pointed my camera at seemed worthy of a click or two.
There was a hiking trail that takes about two hours that circles the lake that I pleaded QB to take with me. She packed a few beers into a pack and I got the camera strap on and off we went. We took a break half way around for a drink break when QB busts out a Glass City Rollers cozy which is my home town Roller Derby Team.
We headed into town for a few things and stopped at the cutest brewery called Birdsview Brewing
Her plot of paradise looked out over a ravine with a babbling brook at the bottom. Which of course we took the camera down to check out. Every morning we woke to the sound of rushing water and every night fell asleep to it. It was pure magic. The light was like nothing I had ever seen. The quality and color temperature of it by the time it filtered down through all the trees and dampness was just gorgeous. The greenest of green, moss everywhere.
I attempted to catch some star trails but my camping companion didn't posses the patience required for night photography.
As most people know I am usually a very early riser. So the next morning I decided to hit the lake trail on my own for a pensive photographic early morning trip around the lake before QB even gets up. The lake was covered in a layer of flaming fog. There is nothing like the stillness and rolling smoke of morning.
Lake Tyee was a magical experience and I was way over due for a connection to nature. Thank you so much QB for sharing your hard earned spoils with me. It was a healing experience to bask in the sunlit nature and shining love of your friendship.
After a few days in what to me seemed like a Rainforest we headed back to Seatle where I forced QB to take me on all touristy adventures like the space needle and Pike Street Public Market.
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