Thoughts, ideas and memories of photography, cooking & the outdoors (not in that order!)

Sprained Southwest & the Future

I recently went on a photography workshop with Marc Adamus to the Southwest as he’s been one of the photographers who’s work I admire greatly.  The workshop itself was a lot of fun; I had never previously been to the Southwest so having such a knowledgeable and dynamic guide as himself was quite an experience.  There was a lot of driving, waking up for sunrises and shooting of course.  We went everywhere from Zion, slot canyons, Sonoran Desert complete with cholla (they are quite good at pricking you), to Death Valley.  I’m still going through all of the photos and have barely edited any yet.

Unfortunately there was a bit of an accident on the trip, I manage to sprain my ankle being a bit careless while running down a hill to get more photography gear.  It’s mostly healed at this point, but still a little sore.  However, a bigger change was in the works.

I’ve decided to focus my life (for at least a few months) on travelling and photography full-time.  It seemed like the right opportunity as being with my previous employer for almost 4 years and wanting a change, plus personal life planning and choices in the not-too-distant future may prevent this sort of experience from happening (at least for quite a long time).  I won’t belabor all the downsides to this decision, but I will say that I will miss many of my colleagues and consider myself very grateful and lucky to have the experience and benefits I had while working there.

So, while my official last day is Monday I do consider the start of my travels as of today with a weekend trip to Antelope Valley and Carrizo Plain to enjoy the incredible wildflower blooms.  There’s been some mixed reports on whether this is a rare super-bloom or not, I think a lot has to do with location and types of flowers involved.  Death Valley had one last year, so this year was supposedly less; I only saw a brief area on the workshop as had to leave early with the injury.  However, from the pictures I’ve seen some (if not many) areas in the area are simply breathtaking.

Once we return, I will swap out a few items in the car and then head out the next day with likely a return to SoCal to either revisit these areas or possibly see others that may still be in bloom – a few, such as Anza-Borrego (reports here) are already past-peak, so will probably focus efforts on others.  From there, a drive up to see more of Death Valley, up through the Eastern Sierras making my way to Oregon to see the wildflower blooms along the Columbia River Gorge.  I’d also like to visit Mount Bachelor and spend some time snowshoeing around Sparks Lake.  After that, who knows.  Olympic National Park, Yellowstone, Banff, Colorado and revisiting other areas in the southwest are all possible options.

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