Thursday, December 30, 2021

Some Favorites from 2021

 2021 was a prolific year! I have 38 photo folders for 2021 on my laptop. Each folder is a different hike or adventure. And on average, each folder contains about 150 photos. So in the ballpark of 5,000 photos total for 2021. Yikes!!

I feel extremely fortunate to be able to do these hikes. As long as my health holds out, and the health of my loved ones, I will continue. I am also thankful to all of you... for your support and your comments.

Prettiest arch in Joshua Tree National Park?  Maybe, and definitely one of my favorites!

Queen Mountain West  2021 was the year I really had a chance to hike a lot with my friend Mitch. An avid hike and professional photographer, I've learned so much from him, and I feel very fortunate. I took this photo up on a ridge on Queen Mountain on a very cold and extremely windy afternoon. On the other side of that ridge that Mitch is standing on is a precipitous drop off. I recall thinking Mitch is so tall and skinny, any moment now the wind is going to pick him up (the large brimmed hat might act like a wing) and propel him over the edge to certain death. Fortunately he survived, and it's one of my favorite photos of him.

White Orb Pictograph Site: This is one of the most unique pictograph sites in all of Joshua Tree. You have to crawl on all fours to slide under a large, hollow rock, and lay on your back looking up, but the payoff is amazing!

Crazy Lady Hill: Despite being yelled at by a crazy lady down below who claimed she owned this hill (she doesn't), the views and light were amazing!

Majestic Desert Skies: One of my favorite hikes in one of my favorite areas of Joshua Tree. On this day, the light and clouds were wonderful!
Bighorn Sheep: What a thrill to come across bighorn sheep! They are very elusive and seldom seen. It wasn't until looking closely at my photos that I noticed this ram was missing his right horn. It turns out that the horns of a ram can weigh up to 30 lbs, and weigh more than all their other bones combined. Talk about overcoming adversity!!

Mystery Oasis in the Desert: Not really an oasis, this site catches water runoff. It had been a hot, dry (for the most part) summer, and we didn't expect to find any water here. Boy, were we ever surprised!

For some reason I can't get the link for this post, but the post title is "A Desert Road with a View." A gorgeous afternoon on Keys Ranch Road, with everything bathed in golden light (my current header photo came from this outing). I like to think that this is what Bill Keys saw every afternoon as he returned home to his ranch house after a day of hard work!

White Tank Campground: Arch Rock (from this angle it reminds me of a goose or duck with it's head down!). 

White Tank (Part II): A beautiful sky over amazing rock formations. The campground was closed to camping, so I had the place all to myself!

Seal Beach: A fun getaway for a couple days, this photo was taken up on the pier. Something about these viewers always makes me want to take their picture. Smile!

Views from the Boy Scout Trail:  Hiking DOWN the BSC is easy. Hiking UP the BST is much harder. And hiking up to this overlook using a boulder-filled wash (which I call the Seven Challenge Wash) is perhaps hardest of all. I made my first attempt in 2021, and I hope to do it again in 2022!

Slide Rock (Part 1): We didn't go looking for this huge rock formation that looks like a water slide deep in the Queen Mountain wilderness. I'd never seen it, or even heard of it, so you can imagine our surprise. That's Roger and Travis making the descent down after climbing to the top. Mitch and I were content to observe from a distance... too steep for me!

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year,
and a safe and healthy 2022!
  Linking with Skywatch Friday.


  1. What can I say, you really picked the best photos of the year, they are awesome. I am still puzzling over how the crazy lady saw you right out in the middle of nowhere, does she sit and wait for people to go up the hill. The goose looks like it should be called Dead Duck Arch. Best photos for my mind are Majestic Desert, White Tank II and The desert road
    I'll be back next week have a Great new year

  2. Dearest Peter,
    You and Mitch make incredible photos and always a joy to read about your adventures.
    For being 'on edge' usually pays off with dream views, shared with others.
    May you both remain in shape for continuing to do this for quite a while.
    Happy New Year to you and yours.

  3. You had a lot of great adventures and I a appreciate you taking us along with you.

  4. Spectacular. Enjoyed every shot. I know you are proud and your family also. Happy New Year...
    The best to you
    Sherry & jck down in Florida

  5. Great shots. Have you gifted Mitch with that pic of him? I kind of think he should have a copy.

  6. Great collection of photos! Here's to an even more photographic 2022.

  7. A fabulous re-cap of your 2021 adventures! Thanks for taking us along for the ride! Happy New Year to you!

  8. Wonderful collection of photos and albums
    I like bighorn sheep
    Happy New Year

  9. Nice choices, for sure. I think almost every one of your pictures qualifies as "best of". I remember a movie about a robot who looked a lot like that viewer////

  10. Gorgeous collection of photo. I wish you all the best in 2022, a very happy and healthy New Year!

  11. Great collection indeed. Can only hope that you can make still some better next year but necessary it is not.Hard to top.

  12. Amazing series of pics.
    Best wishes for 2022.

  13. wonderful recap of wonderful trips. wishing you and your family a happy and healthy New Year.

  14. What a selection of photos and I am certain the tree in the last photo is crossing its branches in hopes that 2022 will be a better year for us all. Happy New Year to you, those who wait for your return at home, and your hiking friends!

  15. You produced so many beautiful photos in 2021 - it had to be hard to chose! Happy New Year!

  16. Really great photos Love your Header

  17. Lots of beautiful photography! Happy New Year!

  18. Wow! Wonderful series of photos ~ Mitch is awesome as is the Big Horn Sheep ~ you do great photography so glad to share with you ~ Xo

    Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year,

    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

  19. That Joshua Tree looks wonderful. Happy and Safe New Year.

  20. A wonderful review! Cannot even decide for a fav, but hope you keep the adventures and pics coming!!! To a Sportive, Great, Happy, Healthy New Year!

  21. I love the overview! So many happy times to store away in memory :)

  22. This is a wonderful review! It's impossible to pick a favorite, as all are outstanding. Wishing you a happy 2022!

  23. Happy New Year to you!! Thanks for sharing your photos and adventures with all of us.