- Blue Lines -Highways between destinations.
- Yellow Trailer Symbols – Campsites.
- Green Camera Symbols – Photo Spots
A note about the above map. Despite hours of effort to compile this map, there were destinations that Google My Maps refused to show and instead wanted to show routes that were hundreds of miles away from my actual route. For example, from Madison in Yellowstone to Mammoth, there is no road on the above map because Google refused to show that route! The only way I could resolve Google’s desire to reroute me hundreds of miles between these destinations was to skip a few routes completely in my mapping. Got to love technology.
The Year to Slow Down
After two years of full time travel, I made the decision to spend more time in Yellowstone/Tetons and Arizona this year and reduce my travel time. I have a lot of work to do to complete my website rebuild as well as other photography projects. Also, I find constant travel exhausting and time consuming.
My main photograph destinations/subjects for the year:
- Spring wildflowers in Arizona
- Yellowstone and the Tetons
- Winter in the Tucson area
Of course I did photograph areas that were along my route such as the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Upper Antelope Canyon.
Unlike previous years, I did not deal with fires or floods. The only major weather event I dealt with was a very early and strong fall cold front with 65 mph winds. Temps of single digits forced me to flee south much sooner than planned. Otherwise, I enjoyed very good weather most of the year and had some of the prettiest skies I have ever seen in Yellowstone.
Bucket List Photos:
My top photography goal this year was to create very good landscape and scenic images of Yellowstone, especially Steamboat Geyser. Additionally, I had a few other subjects that I really wanted to capture.
Now let’s take a quick look at how I did. And to see my top images, please check out: Favorite 8 Photos from 2019
The first photo goal was to capture Steamboat Geyser erupting. It is the tallest active geyser in the world with eruptions reaching about 400 feet high. In 2019, Steamboat was erupting about every 3-15 days but had historically gone 50 years between eruptions. After 9 days waiting at the geyser, I saw my first but not last eruption of 2019. It took me 20 visits to the park to see Steamboat Geyser erupt and it was worth the wait.
Last year was another Superbloom for wildflowers in the desert southwest so of course I had to seek out flower locations as close as possible to my 2019 route. Bartlett Lake just northeast of Phoenix did not disappoint.
The San Xavier Mission
This historic mission has been on my want list for many years and I was finally able to photograph it this winter. It is such a beautiful place that return trips are certainly planned.
Mammoth Hot Springs Area
Mammoth Hot Springs was a part of Yellowstone that I had not spent much time photographing in the past but was high on my list for 2019. Mammoth is a intimate landscape photographer’s version of heaven!
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Upper Antelope Canyon
Sorry but I have not processed the images from this stop yet! I did the photo tour into the canyon and found it way too rushed for any decent photograph. By the way, as of 2020, there are no longer any photo tours in the Upper or Lower Canyon due to the crowds. And trust me it was no longer worth the money.
Photo of grizzly bear 399 with her cubs
I arrived two weeks too late in the Tetons to photograph the world’s most famous grizzly bear, 399 with her cubs. She had just kicked them out. I did see the cubs on their own but only fleeting glimpses.
I was able to photograph grizzly bear 610 with new cubs as well as the subadult cubs from grizzly bear Blondie. Blondie’s cubs had only been on their own for about a week before I encountered them.
Griz 610 with cubs (you can only see one)
The last part of my travels for 2019 have been spent stationary just east of Tucson where I have been photographing saguaro cactus, sandhill cranes and historic mining towns.
Sadly, I am heading to Florida to face knee surgery for an injury that is now impacting my ability to hike any distance. I will not know until late March if my knee can be scoped or require a total joint replacement. Therefore I am making no travel plans until later summer where I plan to head to Glacier National Park.
What are your 2020 Photo travel plans? I would love to hear from you.