Hiking twenty miles. Driving 300 miles. Taking 1,000 photos. Those were just some of the challenges the Pikes Peak Guy had to take on in order to capture the perfect picture of the mountain.
Starting on June 1, 2010, and ending 365 days later, photography enthusiast and Woodland Park resident Shaun Daggett trekked to Pikes Peak every day for a year in rain, sun and sleet to photograph the mountain. "You can't plan a photo shoot with a mountain," the self-proclaimed Pikes Peak Guy explains.
Still, he managed to get enough good shots that he's compiled the photographs into a book, Capturing 365 Days of Pikes Peak: The Journey, that will go on sale soon at the Tattered Cover stores, as well as various Colorado Springs bookshops and gift shops.
The Pikes Peak Guy project consumed nearly eight hours every day -- and Daggett still had to fit in his day job (he declines to reveal what that job is) and his duties as a single dad. "It's that dedication that makes it special," he says. "There are a million distractions in life. It was an extraordinary effort, which is why I think the results are so extraordinary."
But then, the project focuses on an extraordinary natural wonder. "The nation has a connection to this mountain, and the fan base to this project has grown worldwide," the Pikes Peak Guy adds. "I blogged and wrote about that journey every single day, whether it's falling off a hill or almost being eaten by a bear. I had so many unbelievable experiences."
Like so many success stories these days, the Pikes Peak Guy project started on Facebook. Currently, there are more than 3,000 people who "like" him there, and he credits social media for his popularity and success: The first printing of 250 copies (at $99 each) has already sold out. The official Pikes Peak Guy website is also taking requests for a 2012 calendar.
You won't find Daggett's name in the self-published book, though. He prefers to use "the Pikes Peak Guy" because it makes the project something that belongs to the community, he says, rather than a vehicle for self-promotion.
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"I wrecked my truck, drove it into a ditch. I had to rent a car, pick my son up from school and take a picture," he explains. "It would have been easy on that day to say, 'I can't do it today,' but it was the fans that kept me motivated and going."