Best of 2016: Honorable Mentions

I wrote about my Best of 2016 photos here.  What a fun and enlightening experience going through all my 2016 photos was.  I feel super fortunate that I had enough good photos that I can do another Top 10 via this Honorable Mentions post… these were the ones that DIDN’T make the cut.. and a lot left that didn’t make Honorable Mentions.  Must mean it was a great year.. and it was.

So here are the second Top 10 photos of 2016… check it out.

fallsprayPSi.JPG1.  South Oregon Coast

moonboatPSi.JPG2. Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

powell rvr closPSi.JPG3. Lake Powell,  Utah 

rok-treerefltni.jpg4. Mogollon Rim,  Northern Arizona

twinsnowtreesPSi.JPG5.  Happy Jack, Arizona

j beam lookPS.jpg6. Canyon X, Page  AZ

fencegrassPS.jpg7. Lockett Meadow, Arizona

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8. Baddeck,  Nova Scotia

fogreflctnPSi.JPG9. Lunenburg, Nova Scotia

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10. Happy Jack, AZ

Check out the Best of 2016…. here.

What do you think?

A Year in the Grand Canyon

Every once in awhile you come across something you really want to share.  Point in case, my friend, Dave.  Dave, is like my dog… in a good way (I do love my dog, Journey, by the way, and Journey adores Dave – she has good taste.).  I mean that in the way that he has never met a stranger.  Everyone he meets is a friend.  He’s affable, friendly, talented, intelligent, and kind.  He’s one of those interesting people that you just love to know, and someone I am super proud and happy to call my friend.

But this isn’t a plug for Dave… not really.  It’s a plug for his book. You see, Dave is quite the aficionado on the Grand Canyon.  He has been down the Grand Canyon over a year. And by that I mean IN the Canyon OVER 365 days.  Pretty impressive.  In that time he has had quite the many experiences.  We are very fortunate that Dave heeded the advise of many who know him to write them down and publish them in a book.  He finally did.

His book, A Year in the Grand Canyon, is a collection of those adventures.  It reads like stories around the campfire.  It’s engaging, inviting, fascinating and intriguing.  It’s one of those books you just can’t put down.  It’s a man’s tales of life through passing through the Grand Canyon and it’s many lessons it teaches.  It’s fun, dead serious, and entertaining.

He got an impressive endorsement from none other than the famous Arizona story teller himself, Marshal Trimble who gives it a glowering review:

“Dave Elston’s passion for spending time in the beautiful Grand Canyon wilderness has produced a series of riveting stories that makes it a must read for anyone who’s ever been bitten by the “Canyon Bug.” His quest to spend 400 days in “Natures Grandest Architectural Masterpiece” over a period of years turned him from a green novice into an experienced veteran.

Elston’s stories also provide many important lessons in survival. Nature can be very unforgiving. The vicissitudes of the wilderness including the capricious elements, ankle-twisting terrain, lack of preparation, not understanding one’s limitations, and a myriad of others have endangered or cost the lives of many who fail to give it proper respect.

This book should be on the shelves of anyone who’s ever hiked the challenging trails of the Grand Canyon or ever wanted to.”

I don’t recommend a lot of books.  In truth, I don’t find the time to read a lot.  But this book is hard to put down, and a great read, one I highly recommend.  Check it out..

A Year in the Grand Canyon, by Dave Elston

It is published by Vishnu Temple Press, Flagstaff, AZ . Online orders can be made at vishnutemplepress.com. The price is $15.95, and the book will ship around mid-August. If you would rather have an e-book, it will be ready by the end of August. Both versions will soon be on Amazon as well.

Order yours today.

I’ll take Flagstaff over Sedona

Blasphemy, I know!  Sedona has stunning views, no doubt.  But there is something real and genuine about Flagstaff.   What’s not to like in city that is littered with start up breweries and coffee roasteries.  Flagstaff has more boutique breweries (NOT affiliated with any big beer company) than anyplace I know.  Let’s see there is Beaver Street Brewery, Flagstaff Brewing Company, Mother Road Brewing Company, Lumberjack Brewing Company, , Darksky Brewing, and Wanderlust Brewing Company.  That’s SIX small breweries.  You don’t have to like beer to understand that there is a mentality and state of mind that comes with small breweries.   The people are free birds, a little hippi-ish, and proud of their passion and want to share.

It doesn’t stop with breweries…  Flagstaff is home to not 1, but 2 Farmer’s Markets weekly PLUS a Farmer’s Market store PLUS an Urban Market every 2nd Saturday.   It has SEVEN coffee Roasters spread across it’s charming but condensed small city.  Now maybe that’s common in big cities… but it’s unheard of in such a small town.   This entrepreneurial mindset demonstrates the passion that Flagstaff residents exude and want to share with their community.  It’s not out of sense of making big bucks or charging high prices, but moreover sharing the products they care about and are proud of, with their community.

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While Flagstaff may not be have the stunning landscape that Sedona has, it makes up for it in character and the great outdoors.  It’s filled with walking paths, trails, hiking areas and National Forest.  It’s a great place to camp, hike, forage and enjoy the abundant wildlife and unburdened (no fee) forests.

It also DOESN’T have the high prices, ticky tack souvenir stores, floods of tourists, or hoity toity-ness that define Sedona.  You don’t have to pay to park on the side of the road (like in Sedona) or fight the insane traffic to get from one end to the other (though Flagstaff has it’s fair share of traffic – unfortunately).

Did you know that Sedona has the only McDonald’s in the world with a turquoise arch (rather than the standard yellow)?  The Sedona city council deemed the yellow McDonald’s arch ‘too garish’, despite the fact that many business (including Hertz) have yellow logos along the same street.  That’s Sedona.  Flagstaff’s McDonald’s arch is yellow.  Need I say more?

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Mountain Snow

My friends in the Phoenix are all talking about the torrential rains they are having.  The storm this week has given us some much needed precipitation… all in one week.  While Phx is dealing with their large volumes of rain… we GOT SNOW!

 

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Our local ski resort, Snowbowl, is reporting the best year in a decade, with up to 100″ of snow!  55″ this week alone.  Flagstaff is reporting 30″ this week, and here in Happy Jack we probably got about 16″ this week.

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Our dog, Journey is loving it.  What is it about snow and pets… they are like little kids …. oh boy, oh boy… SNOW!journey snofac_Ssi.JPG

Totally fun to watch.

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Sand Patterns

While I’d like to post my 3rd and final video on the pizza oven, it’s just still a long way from done.

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It’s coming along… slowly though it may be.  Here’s a pic to show you the current progress.  So many people think… pizza oven, what’s taking so long.  So let this picture give you a different perspective and a teaser until the final video details it’s many still left undone steps.. like building our own roof, our own doors, countertop border, stone facade, etc.

So this blog entry offers a distraction from the pizza oven.  Wouldn’t want anyone thinking we’re all work and no play.

We recently got back from Page, AZ.  Now there isn’t much in Page, AZ as far as charming towns, shopping, or restaurants.  But it is full of natural wonders, textures, shapes and colors.  Page is home to Antelope Canyon (see my photos posted on kritterspix.com).

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I am far from an avant garde photographer.  I concentrate mostly on landscape & wildlife.  Having said that, Page is full of interesting difficult-to-capture textures and colors.

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I love what my friend Gayle shared… now all I have to do is learn to make countertops out of my textures.  Thanks, Gayle.  You’re awesome.  You’ll be the first to get a set when I do!

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