Thunder Valley Motocross

© Matthew Jonas 2011/Evergreen Newspapers 2011

What a weekend! I almost forgot how much fun it is to cover motor sports. I definitely didn’t forget how much work it is. Last weekend was the annual Thunder Valley stop on the AMA circuit. The track is unique for the circuit and presents challenges for the riders. Carved out of the side of the foothills at 6000+ feet in elevation, it is unlike any other. Both riders and bikes had to be adjusted to the conditions. It was clear that some of the traveling press were having trouble adjusting too. More than once, I caught a few photographers sitting outside the track sucking wind and drinking water like they had just finished a 5k. I have to admit that toward the end of the day that I was starting to feel a little winded as well. Covering motocross at Thunder Valley entails a lot of hiking up and down the side of a mountain. That combined with the 95 degree heat, the unique smell of dirt bike exhaust and the lack of shade make for a tough day. Even with all of the obvious challenges I still had a blast. Here’s a collection of photos that I made during the weekend. Enjoy.

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Fun Prom Stories

© Matthew Jonas 2011/Evergreen Newspapers 2011

Prom usually comes and goes without much coverage at the paper. This year was a little different. A group of special needs students from Chatfield Senior High School got free makeovers from a local salon called Tanglz and Co before going to prom. A teacher from Chatfield, who is also a customer, was talking to a stylist about the students and the stylist offered to do hair and makeup for the girls. Making pictures on assignments like this is easy and these types of stories are fun to tell. After covering wildfires and bombs for the last week it was nice to have a change.

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Controlled Burn

© Matthew Jonas 2011/Evergreen Newspapers 2011

Last week I had the opportunity to make pictures during a controlled burn at Bear Creek Lake Park. Controlled burns are good training exercises for firefighters and also help to bring new plant growth to areas of the park. Here are a few pictures from the assignment.

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Good Weather, Good Light

© Matthew Jonas 2011/Evergreen Newspapers 2011

I am glad that spring sports kicked off this week. The weather was sunny and warm. The afternoon light was a nice change from the available darkness found indoors. It also feels really good to be sitting on the grass instead of a hard basketball court. LAX, track, soccer and baseball here I come.