Hello friends - while 2022 was a banner year for travel it was not a particularly good year for my photography. I have gotten to the point in life where if I start reading a book and it doesn't grab me? I just put it down. In years gone by I would slog through but these days - hey life is too short. Same with my photography. Truth is I seldom go intentionally looking for photos - I try to let them come to me. Nevertheless - I DO travel often and I DO enjoy taking photographs - I think this will always be so - so, as long as I am upright, I'll keep 'em coming. These are my faves from this years batch in no particular order. I hope you enjoy them.
I'll start with a photo I made on a rainy winter day at an isolated and lonely spot on the Oregon Coast. Somehow, this photo resonates with me and my occasional dark moods. It is the only black and white of the bunch and I think 2023 may be the year of the black and white. I'd like to work at that.
Next up is a bright and hazy morning at my desert home away from home - Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.
The following photo - taken out of the window of Amtrak's Empire Builder doesn't quite capture the stunning beauty of the Columbia River Gorge -it is a magnificent place - but it'll give you a taste.
The next photo is a photo that no one liked on social media so maybe you had to be there! Nevertheless the Hōlei Sea Arch in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park is a sight to behold. I am told it may not be around much longer due to the relentless pounding of the surf - so - I was lucky to see it like this.
Speaking of luck - the Nahuku Lava Tube also in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park was closed a week or so after I made this photo (it has since re-opened).
More Island of Hawai'i here. This is famed 'Akaka Falls near Hilo. The green and the falls are cool but I love that ominous sliver of sky too.
Here's another photo I took from the train. This is the Rockies in Autumn and the Colorado River near Kremmling, CO from the California Zephyr headed west.
One last photo from the island of Hawai'i. This is the Waipiʻo Valley Lookout near Honokaa. Located on the Hāmākua Coast, the Waipiʻo Valley was the boyhood home of King Kamehameha I.
You didn't think I could go year without a photo of roads and telephone poles - did you? Here ya go... from the great Midwest.
In the years I have been doing these lists (is it SEVEN now?) I don't believe I ever included a photograph from my iPhone. That changes this year due to this image of the sunset while waiting for a train - the Southwest Chief - in Fullerton, CA last October.
And there it is - another year flown by. It was quite a year... I am not a big fan of self promotion but these photographs and more are available for purchase by clicking here. I am grateful to have sold several photographs in the last few years and for those of you who have purchased you are appreciated and help me keep traveling!
Speaking of the years flying by - I feel myself slowing down a bit. I have big plans for 2023 but not as big as 2022 and my hunch is 2024 will be a bit less than 2023. As my Pop told me, "The years have a way of catching up with you". Yes, sir... they do. I wrote these words to express my gratitude to you for following along with my adventures - my friends - new and old - you have enriched my life immeasurably - thank you and may good fortune smile upon each of you. We deserve it. Let's make 2023 a damn good year. Much, much love to all.
In the month of February 2021 I was able to get out to my happy place again - the Sonoran Desert. It was an especially enjoyable trip for a number of reasons but, primarily because it, "cleared my head". I honestly believe that that human race is a mess but since the pandemic we are a mess times 2 - at least. While I like to see myself as a bit above the madding crowd - I'm not - and the pandemic made me a bit kooky too.
So it was with relief - blessed relief - that I escaped to perhaps my favorite place on earth - the Sonoran Desert. I was also able to meet some of my dear pals along the way. Thanks to Paul, Holly, Joel, Scott, Jen, and Liz. Love you all...
My first night was in Chiriaco Summit near the southern entrance to Joshua Tree National Park. I love it out there.
Next morning I hung out with Paul and we made some photos - then on to the magnificent Superstition Mountains in Lost Dutchman State Park in Arizona. There is nothing like them in all of the West.
I was disappointed to discover that the Apache Trail scenic drive was closed due to a washout with NO plan to fix it. I've been traveling that road since I was 9 years old on my first trip to Arizona. The trip that I fell in love with the Sonoran Desert. I've often thought that it would be a great place to toss my ashes. Alas.
Nevertheless I did travel what I could of it and made a few photos.
After a few fabulous days in Apache Junction I drove to Gilbert Ray Campground near Tucson and Saguaro National Park . The following photo went kind of "viral" on the twitter machine giving further pause as to what I think is good vs. the rest of the world...
Arizona certainly has some sublime sunsets.
I spent a marvelous day in the eastern section of Saguaro National Park. It had been years since I'd been there.
The Signal Hill trail, with it's petroglyphs, is a treat in the Park.
From Saguaro I went to Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument driving through Tohono O'odham land. I have been distraught over what is happening at the border. The wall is destructive and does not impede border crossings. Candidly, only fools would believe that to be the case. It does, however, mar and, in some instances, utterly destroy important natural resources and the ecology of the borderlands - and its beauty too. I try in these pages to bring joy and not sorrow but this is a sorrowful story. Here is what I found on my drive to magnificent Quitobaquito - a desert oasis and sacred land to the Tohono O'odham.
I was so grateful to find that the springs still had water although geologists fear it may have been irreparably harmed. Time will tell. The wall is right next to it. I did spend a few hours there - breathing in the beauty and history and was joined by only a few people. As I was leaving a number of Tohono O'odham friends arrived. It was good to see them too.
Here are a few more photos from my trip.
I am grateful to each of you who reads this blog. I hope that it provides a bit of fun and relief. I also want to tell you that next year will be my 65th on earth and my 20th of sobriety. I plan on celebrating in epic style with a 2 month long trip around the USA - literally from sea to shining sea. Perhaps I will be coming to your town? Or perhaps you'd like to join me for a portion of the trip? I will be writing a blog post about this trip soon - let's talk! I am planning on seeing many of my friends along the way...
Thanks for joining me on this little trip. I feel like a weight has been lifted - and now to get vaccinated... and back to concerts, restaurants, and the ballpark!
I write about it all the time and you know, if you've been following this blog for awhile, that I am a regular at Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. I hope you have a place that fills your heart the way Organ Pipe fills mine.
I'm not going to bore you with too much narration on this post - if you haven't been to Southwestern Arizona and you're ever interested in going let's talk... It was nice to go when it was warmer and quieter this year in April. I was on the lookout for snakes and scorpions and the mythical Gila Monster...but, alas, I saw none...
Let's get on with the photos. With this post I'll do things a bit differently than previous posts - since I focused, to a large degree, on black and white images for this trip, we'll start there. These photos are from the first few days in Sonoran Desert heaven. The ruins at the bottom are from the Victoria Mine site.
The next series of photos are from the Ajo Mountain Drive and Puerto Blanco Road which includes photos of Bonita Well and Quitobaquito Springs as well as the trappings of the US Border Patrol. Perhaps, one day I'll devote an entire post to my interactions with the Border patrol since I'm often along the border in Arizona and New Mexico and see them regularly.
The next photos are from the Desert Walk near the Twin Peaks campground on my last day. The photo at the bottom - with the early morning sun on a saguaro - is my favorite B&W of the trip.
Let's move on to color. For those of us growing up around the Mojave the Sonoran Desert always surprises us with its color. This year- after all the rain - and going in April was marvelous.
There is an oasis out there called Quitobaquito Springs home to the Quitobaquito (Sonoyta) Pupfish. I cherish it. Here is an afternoon panorama and other images.
I've spent many hours on the bench in the photo above simply soaking in the beauty and history and solitude. No place on earth I'd rather be...
I hope you enjoyed coming along. Catch ya down the road...
I recently returned from a gorgeous 3 days out in "Sonoran Heaven"- Organ Pipe Cactus National Park. Please look at the pictures under "Trip Reviews" and enjoy. I'm planning on heading out there again February when the wildflowers should be "popping"- especially with the recent rains down there. I can't tell you how much I love this place. I've been traveling there often since my first glimpse of this marvelous place in 1992.
This will mostly be a journal of my travels. I may include other items that interest me. Feel free to join in.