About a year ago, I spent a few days with Ace Kvale and his 10-year-old blue heeler, Genghis Khan, in their home in southern Utah’s canyon country. I have met, petted, walked, spoken English to, and been briefly enamored with a lot of people’s dogs, but I thought I saw something special with Ace and Genghis.
They were devoted to each other, Genghis’s big eyes always tracking Ace around the house making sure he wasn’t leaving; Ace the adventure photographer having more or less stayed home from big expeditions since he’d gotten Genghis in 2005 so they could hang out together. They went everywhere together, from the coffee shop down the road, to day hikes, to their 27-day backpacking trip a couple years ago. And, Ace said, for his 60th birthday, they were going to do a 60-day backpacking trip, walking out the front door of the house and covering 400-some miles in a big loop of mostly trailless desert terrain.
You probably have a friend or acquaintance you wish everyone in your life could meet, just for a few minutes, just to experience what that special friend is like in person. Well, most of the time, that’s impossible, sadly.
But, if you get a few of the right creative friends together, you can make a film about that person, and if you try really hard, it might come close to a sort of in-person meeting. At the very least, it could be better than, for example, saying, “My friend Ace and his dog Genghis are wonderful. I wish you could meet them.”
My friends Forest Woodward, Stefan Hunt, Max Lowe, Seth Neilson, Joe Peters, and I worked really hard on this film. I hope you like it, just in case you never get the chance to meet Ace and Genghis.
[photo by Forest Woodward]