A Summer Hello
Adjusting. I think we are all adjusting. All the time. Have you ever watched a great running back in football avoiding would-be tacklers? Isn't that a bit like life from time to time? The evolution of the pandemic has been a damn 100 yard kick off return except it feels like the other team has 20 guys and you have no blockers. Getting vaccinated felt like a miracle. I started traveling again. And, now, here we are again headed toward more mask requirements and overflowing hospitals of the unvaccinated. Sigh. Misinformation is everywhere and seems to rule the internet. Despite all this I wanted to check in and send a bit of love. Speaking of love...do you know my new grandson William? Man, he makes my heart overflow. I'm still trying to figure out who that old man is in the picture with him.
This last weekend I was able to spend time with all three of my grand-kids. and, you know, when I am around them the problems of the world just melt away. Here are Finley and Joaquin in grandpa's backyard hammock.
Here is a short synopsis of my travels. I have had, for almost a year now, problems with my Dell computer but I will save that rant for another day - it's only worth mentioning because of the impact it has had on my photography - which has been an significant unfortunately. Having said that, here are a few photos from the last few months. The first set (and the top black and white) are from my annual trip to Gaviota. My pal Dell met me for a few days and we had an excellent time.
After Dell left I drove over to La Purisima Mission in Lompoc and spent the day there. I made a couple of indoor photos that I find interesting.
Marty and I drove up to see the Bay Area family and stayed at Half Moon State Beach. While we did go for a couple of short walks the trip was really about hanging out with loved ones. Every post vaccine get together feels like an overdue reunion.
Don't know about where you live but the fireworks around here for the 4th of July were insane last year. It makes our dog crazy. I think each boom is a message to his mind that his life is in imminent danger. It's painful to watch. I know he's not alone and don't fully comprehend the joy of making loud noises for a week before and a week after July 4. Chalk it up to just another thing that baffles me (the list grows daily). Regardless, we decided to go camping with our boy in the Eastern Sierra Nevada. We had a marvelous and relaxing time.
How about you? Get away? You know how fast this life goes... do the right thing - get the shot and get out there!
My next trip is to Lassen Volcanic National Park in August and then meeting old college buddies in Las Vegas in September - if it's not locked down - the virus is bad there now (again). And, well, you may know that Vegas isn't my "cup of tea" but I am hoping to see my pals.
Next year, God willing, I will be celebrating my 65th year of living and my 20th year of sobriety. I will be meeting my dear family in Organ Pipe in January and then, in April, I am taking a once in a lifetime nationwide tour on Amtrak with several cool stops including the Baseball Hall of Fame, Mississippi Blues Trail and Negro Leagues Hall in Fame in Kansas City. Man, I can't wait to tell you about it.
In the meantime - thanks for coming along on my little 2021 getaways - meager as they may be. It's always a joy to say "Hello"! Love to all.
The Thing to Do? 2016 in Review
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.
This will mostly be a journal of my travels. I may include other items that interest me. Feel free to join in.