On Twitter it's apparent that reviewing one's photos for the year is all the rage. I consider myself a non-conformist but I kind of like the idea. This is true even if the exercise is nothing more than an oppportunity to review my travels and tribulations for the last 12 months. For me, it's easy to do that and one of the reasons that I started this website. I enjoy sharing the beauty of the West and looking at my photos will be an enjoyable activity. I am not, however, inclined to pick my "favorite" 12 photos. While ranking is cool I think that activity might make my head explode. Maybe next year...
This was my first year traveling with my little travel trailer, a fiberglass egg, called, "El Correcaminos". It is quite different than sleeping in a tent or the back of my truck. In fact, it's so dang convenient that the first few months I traveled with it I'd get in the cozy little space and just want to stay there. This rather defeats the idea of getting a trailer which is to enjoy the great outdoors. I suppose it's natural though, when in a safe cocoon, to want to stay there. However, get out we did!
Here are my some of my favorite photos from my trips this year. I started the year using JPEG and a Nikon D3300, editing using the Nikon software, and finished the year making RAW images with a Nikon D750 and editing them in Lightroom.
The first photos are from Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument last January.
For my birthday, the last one of my FIFTIES, Lupe and I took Banjo to Point Mugu.
My next stop in the little trailer was Death Valley. I'd been there before but never during a "super bloom" or for so long. It was a good trip.
In March I visited my Bay Area family. The last 6 years have been challenging for me in many ways but Lisa, Kara and Steve have always been there for me. How I love them... The photo below is of Lisa, Kara and their Dad, Jack. Jack is maybe, just maybe, the coolest guy I've ever known.
In March Lupe and I went to Arizona. We spent time in the Superstitions and out at Organ Pipe. We had a wonderful time. Lupe is the perfect traveling partner.
In late March Banjo and I spent a few days at the other-worldly Red Rock Canyon north of Los Angeles. It's a really cool place and reminded me of Utah or Abiquiu, NM.
In April, I headed out to Utah. I was able to spend time at Zion, Bryce, Escalante State Park and Kodachrome State Park. Magnificent.
In May I spent some time in Joshua Tree and at San Onofre Beach.
In June I was able to visit the newest National Park, Pinnacles, with my remarkable daughter Lilly and her friend Kennedy. Pinnacles is becoming a favorite as it is (relatively) uncrowded and sits in the heart of the scenic part of Central California. I'll be back next March for some spring photography in "Steinbeck Country".
Lupe and I had to forego a planned trip to Glacier but we managed to spend a wonderful week in Lassen Volcanic National Park. When we returned we decided to establish an annual family and friends trip up there and 2017 will be our inaugural event.
In August my friend Marty and I spent a week at Gaviota State Beach and on the Central Coast of California north of Santa Barbara.
The next "big trip" I took was way up the Northern California coast to Redwoods National Park and then I spent another few days near Brookings, Oregon at Harris Beach State Park
In October I visited my thoughtful and smart and long lost friend Eric Flaherty and took a short trip to Oak Creek Canyon in Arizona.
In November I visited the wonderful Mojave. I love it out there...
In December I took a very short trip to a local campground, Casper's Wilderness Park, and my truck began to have mechanical problems. I had to cancel my Anza Borrego trip and deal with having the truck in the shop 3 times in a two week period. Since I was convinced that my troubles with the truck were only beginning we bought a new Toyota Tacoma which will bring less worry to my travels in the next couple of years.
This, then, wraps up my short review of the year's travels. I'm hard at work planning for 2017. I do hope each of you who read this have a magnificent holiday season and that next year is one of the best of your lives.
BIRTHDAY PARTIES and LOCAL CAMPING
For many reasons this has been an interesting period of time. I've been attempting a blog post, for a month now, about my revulsion regarding the US Presidential election but I'll save that and for now just tell you about the birthday party for my twin grandchildren in LA and about some time spent nearby in the Casper's Wilderness Park off the Ortega Highway near San Juan Capistrano.
Joaquin and Finley turned two in November and here are a few photos of their party at a park in the San Fernando Valley. I know this is a travel blog and not Facebook (thank heavens) but I'm hoping you'll indulge me just a bit for my family pride.
I also decided to spend a few days at a local campground. Near San Juan Capistrano, off the Ortega Highway, is a large expanse of land that hasn't been completely over-developed so I guess that passes for a "wilderness" these days...
It was difficult to find locations for photos that didn't include, roads, telephone poles and lines, people and/or cars. I did manage to take a few short hikes which has a bit more of a wild feel but it wasn't a "photo trip" anyway. It got very cold. Down to 30F one night and was I glad I had the cozy trailer. A highlight was that my young buddy Tim joined me for a night. Tim's father and grandfather lived on the same street as my grandparents when I was a child and they both became very good friends of mine. Tim is Lilly's brother by a different marriage. Lots of interesting connections! Timmy has had a lot of challenges in life and it was good for both of us that he came along...
My next plans are on hold right now as my Nissan Frontier Pro-4X has been in the shop for 5 days and the dealership still can't figure out how to fix it. A light on the instrument panel illuminated and, apparently, the greatest minds at Nissan are baffled. Can you say amazed and frustrated? I told them I'm an obsessive vagabond but I don't think they quite understood.
I do hope that each of you, my dear friends, has a beautiful and peaceful Holiday season and let's hope for a good 2017. We may need a little good fortune...but we all deserve it.
This will mostly be a journal of my travels. I may include other items that interest me. Feel free to join in.