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2021 Year in Review

2021 Year in Review

2021, the extended transition from 2020 to 2022? However it will be described, it was an interesting year on many fronts and, in looking back, not a bad one at all for us.

As I try to do each year, I’ve selected 20 30 (I tried to get it down to 20, but gave up) of my favorite images of the year. It’s always fun to look back, see where I’ve been, and relive moments that seem so long ago but really were not.

Here are my personal top 30 from 2021.

Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland
Iceland: Snæfellsnes and the Westfjords

Iceland: Snæfellsnes and the Westfjords

This past fall we were fortunate to travel internationally for the first time in two years. We chose Iceland and the Faroe Islands for their relatively easy access (i.e. direct flight from Denver), manageable travel restrictions, and the fact that most of our activities would be outdoors.

We had both been to Iceland before separately and had seen the sites closer to Reykjavik, so for this trip, we headed to the western side of Iceland to experience Snaefellsnes and the Westfjiords region. 

I’ll post photos from the second portion of the trip, to the Faroe Islands, soon.

Happy New Year and safe travels in 2022!

Trip planning. I bought some Icelandic beer at home for added motivation. Fun fact: Beer makes booking airfare even more fun.
Faroese Folklore

Faroese Folklore

One of the things I love about travel is the tales you come across, from the religious-based, to mythology, to folklore. They can seem so ridiculous on the one hand, and yet oddly charming on the other. I just imagine the circumstances that led to the genesis of these stories (I mean, assuming they’re not real…), and I suspect that at least in the northern latitudes that the fickle weather and long nights of winter had something to do with their creation.

Here are three such tales from the Faroe Islands that we heard while visiting there this fall. 

Then and Now: Alberta Falls

Then and Now: Alberta Falls

This summer I spent a morning in Rocky Mountain National Park and made my way to Alberta Falls. This is one of the most popular hikes in the park – a well-built trail, only about a mile, and a great payoff at the end. In part due to that popularity, I hadn’t been to the falls in some time, or just briefly looked that direction while heading further down the trail.

On this particular day, I decided to stop and take some photos. It was early, I had time to spare, and the crowds had yet to arrive.

The photos I got were some of my favorite from the day. And while editing, I got to wondering when I actually last photographed here. So, through the archives I went, and, to my surprise, it had been 17 years since I last photographed Alberta Falls. Thousands of photos in RMNP since and not one of Alberta. No wonder it was so fun to photograph again.

Packing with Llamas

Packing with Llamas

I don’t know when I really fell in love with southwest Colorado, but for as long as I can remember it’s been my favorite area of the state. The peaks are a  little more rugged. The foliage is a little greener. And the views are a little more rewarding.

Southwest Colorado from the Colorado Trail

And while I get to call this state home, the southwest is just far enough away to prevent regular escapes from Denver. One silver lining of the pandemic, however, was that we had more time for in-state travel and recreation this year.

So, in the summer of 2020, we set out for a long weekend in the Weminuche Wilderness, located in the San Juan Mountains and surrounded by the towns of Silverton, Durango, and Pagosa Springs.