It's been a month since I've returned from this trip. I want to keep referring to it as 'a trip of a lifetime', but I'm hoping that's wildly inaccurate. I want to go back. Soon! And many more times!! One of the most interesting aspects of my sharing of this trip is that my wife really wants to go along next time. Maybe not for two weeks, but she's just amazed at the beauty and wonder of the places that we visited. That, and she really likes rocks. I'm so grateful that she was willing to deal with the house and livestock on her own while I went out on this trip.
A huge thank you goes to Rick Decker for arranging this trip and being such a great travel guide and partner. Rick does this fairly regularly, and I can completely understand why. It's easy to be drawn into the stark beauty, the bizarre and wonderful colors and weird formations, and the lush barrenness that we experienced. I will mention that it was nice to get back to the humidity of Wisconsin (although I'm sick of it now...). We take a lot for granted around here. Green. Lots and lots of water. Visiting this area was in many ways like visiting another world!
Speaking of the 'other world', the inhabitants were terrific. Friendly, accommodating, generous, and incredibly helpful. We were really well taken care of, and that really added a terrific dimension to our trip—one that isn't easily captured on film (or X3 sensors, as the case may be). For those unnamed friends—thank you for your wonderful and kind hospitality!
Thanks also to Kendall Gelner, who had to leave us too soon. I hope to have a chance to go shooting with you again soon (maybe it'll be in Chicago). And it was great to see Laurence again—it seemed like only last year that we were planting some rhododendrons for him in the woods... :-). And a big thank you to Sigma, for sending us lenses to test out and shoot with, as well as the preproduction SD15s.
And finally, for those of you who have had the patience to read all this rambling and go through the photos—thanks to you! I started this to share with my family and friends: I thought it might be nice to do a 'trip report'. But the response I've gotten has been better than I had ever thought. Not only family and friends, but friends of family and friends of friends. I checked my host data and saw that I had nearly 2000 unique visitors to the site for this month. My normal totals are more like 200. I hope for all of you who visited that you found something that caught your fancy. I hope that I was able to share some of the marvelous wonder of these places. And I really hope that some of you will have this same opportunity to make a trip like this. If you do—do it! I almost talked myself out of taking this trip—and I'm so glad that I didn't.
And one last thanks to Grace, who let me borrow Domo for the trip. It helped keep me connected to you all back home—especially when the cell phone wasn't working.