2020 Year in Review

 

2020 was a whirlwind of a year! It’s officially the first year that I opened up my online gallery. When life gives you that much time at home, you quickly run out of excuses for stuff not being done yet. But even with the restrictions this year, it ended up being the year I traveled the most. I visited the most national parks I had ever gone to in one year—4 of which I had never been to before, drove over 20,000 miles, and visited 7 states. Now the real crazy part is that most of that traveling (no joke) happened between January to March—total craziness. So the year started with my family and I traveling to Vegas for a framing expo to brush up on some rusty skills and to learn some brand new ones. Not to mention I got to take Daniel to see a Criss Angel show for the first time (I love magic!!!). Absolutely loved the road trip and discovered many interesting places we have to make time for on future trips!

Sedona followed hot on the heels of Vegas. I’m honestly shocked it took me so long to get there, and I hope that it doesn’t take equally that long to return. The food was amazing, the exploration never stopped, and, of course, I made the family go to every museum we could! Even though we were so close to downtown Sedona, the night skies were absolutely stunning. If I didn’t have to sleep, I would have been out shooting all night long, everyday we spent there. The conditions were perfect every night—I couldn’t have asked for better. It was exciting to cross yet another National Park off the list and finally get to see the Grand Canyon. Definitely expect me to make a trip just for the Grand Canyon.

After Sedona, mom stayed home, and it was just Dan and I off to conquer another new national park to us: The Redwoods! Still can’t believe how tall and fascinating the Redwoods are—they just go up for forever. We went to photograph our friends’ adventure elopement there, and on our way home we made quite a few stops in Oregon along the way. Stopping in Crater Lake, the Oregon Sand Dunes, and, of course, more Cannon Beach! We went from the mountains with snow 10 feet high to the beach and saying “hi” to the sea lions at the Sea Lion Caves along the coast.

Returning home, we caught the planetary alignment at Mt. St. Helens. It was simply remarkable to see the MilkyWay and such bright planets over the mountain quietly covered in snow. When we got home, the lock down began in full swing. At least I had all these pictures and the new website to work on while everything went on pause. 

Fast forward to July when Neowise came to town! You bet I chased that comet for days! And I made my family chase it with me—for 2 weeks, in fact. Chasing it up Mt. Baker, Mt. Rainier, and Lake Wenatchee. I tried to go to Diablo, but there was a landslide, and I really wanted Mt. Hood, but it got massively clouded out. Then, of course, we had to get the iconic Mukilteo Lighthouse shot. Like I said, it was two magical weeks of never sleeping. Every night I tried to go somewhere, and not all were successful, but the ones that were, rocked!

August brought bioluminescence to the coast, and—let me tell you—I have been waiting 5+ years for the chance to photograph bioluminescence. So I threw the bags in the car and we made our way back down the coast. I had to go get the shot in Cannon Beach (yes, I go there almost once a quarter and no, I’ll never change). I also got to meet a photographer and introduce them to the wonderful world of astrophotography at Crater Lake (I know twice in one year). Astro is quite a solitary art form so when I can get people interested in it I just have to help them out!

Finally, we hit the “Christmas Star” or Great Conjunction, where we had to travel to Utah to get some clear skies. We had one crazy long night adventure to photograph a once in 800 year conjunction between Jupiter and Saturn. I marked Canyonlands off the list of national parks (finally), and we went to Arches too, as they are a short 30 minute drive away from each other. We planned out the perfect place to capture the “Christmas Star”, and we captured the once-in-a-lifetime astronomical phenomenon. Then we finally headed back home to celebrate Christmas and close out the wild year of 2020.