I pick up Mackenzie Smith in Westgate on Saturday morning. After a quick stop for gas, we head toward the old Pinawa Dam to meet up with From Here & Away founder Joseph Visser and a group of fifty or so photographers. We have every intention of arriving on time.
The fog stops us. We pull over just past the perimeter to explore by the river. Quickly, we stumble on two men fishing. One sits on the rocks with a pair of stray kittens found this morning tucked in his coat. "We just picked up some milk for them." The other tells me.
We stop again near a smaller river out in the country. Mackenzie lies in the grass taking photos with his film camera. We throw rocks in the water to see how big they'll splash.
We realize we're going the wrong way and turn around.
When we arrive at Pinawa, two hours late, participating photographers are wandering the area solo or in small clusters. Some tote Nikon or Canon DSLRs; Nate Forest obligingly poses for me with his Yashica medium format; still others capture the day with just their phones.
Mackenzie and I separate, and I find Joseph with a small group of young photographers on the trail leading back to the parking lot. He's excited about the turn out and age range of the crowd, saying, "I think the nice day tipped anyone on the fence."
More portraits are taken; cookies are passed around. Mackenzie and I climb back into the car worn out, but happy. On the way home, we stop for greasy burgers and the best coconut cream pie I've ever tasted.