After a two-week delay, it’s time for another edition of The Year in Review. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive overview I’d suggest reading this, but for now, here’s what I’ve got. My little Passport to Your National Parks book earned three new stamps, one from Redwoods NP, another from a sailing adventure around the Channel Islands and third from a Comfort family vacation to Olympic NP. My best friend DM came to visit some penguins in SLC; I attempted to help JM KonMari his apartment; SS hosted a wonderful puja ceremony at her new home; Gatsby got a(nother) cat bed. D and I spent some quality time wearing banana costumes on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River, traveling to Boise to watch MH and Ferro earn a blue ribbon at the Idaho Dressage Festival, thwarting United Airlines’ most valiant attempts to prevent us from returning to Quimby’s, mingling with saguaros and watching 1/4 of the Raiders’ winning games for the season, avoiding the dance floor at DG’s Portland wedding and again at TM’s Bay Area wedding, navigating hay bale mazes in Half Moon Bay and finally relaxing with family over the Christmas holiday. As for me personally, I’ve somehow become a reluctant part-time early riser, am making a half-hearted effort to wear more pink and am still fighting the urge to skip leg day every week.
I'll leave it to Dave Barry to summarize the world in 2017, but as for me: I woke up on January 1st in my sleeping bag the middle of the Grand Canyon, said hello to Portland, the Bay Area, Colorado, Vermont, Boston, Catalina, Arizona, Lodore Canyon and Annapolis, then fell asleep on December 31st in my bed in Utah. Aside from the ongoing circus that is our current world climate, this past year felt relatively tame in my little life, a result that I've come to realize is due to the fact that after two and a half years in Utah, I'm finally learning to call SLC home. ♥
What can be said about this past year that hasn't already been said? From the roller coaster that was the X-Files reboot (thank God the Duffer Brothers didn't consult with Chris Carter) to Derek Carr's broken fibula to the heartbreaking tragedy in Oakland to the utter circus that led up to the horrifying reality of what will be the next four years in America, 2016 just may take the cake for the Biggest Shit Show in recent history.
On a more personal - and thus admittedly worldly insignificant - note, however, 2016 treated me, individually, extremely well. My first full year as a Utahn started off on a high note with a dogsled ride through Bridger-Teton National Forest, a snowshoe trek in Grand Teton National Park and a snowmobile ride though Yellowstone. My next few National Parks Passport Stamps came from Zion, earned after a dry-suit-clad hike through the Narrows, and then from Death Valley, during a visit to admire the amazing Superbloom. A trip to Oakland then helped to bring a horrible accident to a positive conclusion, we began our first big home remodeling project, a dear friend of mine came to visit, we spent a long weekend in AZ with family (and a bunch of cacti) and I wrapped up my first full year at Westminster. We adopted some new feathered family members (now laying more eggs than we can eat); these two characters came to town; I flew back to the Bay Area to catch a really great show at The Fox, drink some ridiculously expensive coffee and pay a visit to my farm hero friends; my best friend came to SLC. A trip to Scotland included more sheep, shorelines and scotch than I'd ever seen in one week, then we returned stateside just in time for the fall semester to begin. My parents came to town amidst peak fall foliage; a(nother) visit was paid to Oakland to watch the Raiders beat the Chargers. My birthday was (once again) spent on the river, this year in Cataract Canyon; we watched hundreds of bison traveling across Antelope Island during their annual roundup; a ton of food was consumed during this year's Friendsgiving. The year ended with a whirlwind push to simultaneously wrap up the fall semester and prepare for the spring semester, and, finally, we took off for an epic 22-day river adventure, back on the Colorado, this time through the grandest canyon of them all.
All in all, 2016 was an absolutely wonderful year for me, full of adventures near and far, the continuation of old friendships and the cultivation of new ones, and the slow but sure embracing of Utah as my new home. I'm eternally grateful not only for the opportunities this past year provided to me both personally and professionally, but also for the good health and presence of this guy, this guy and these two in my life. Looking ahead, 2017 promises, for better or for worse, to be Quite a Year - SLC is moving ever so slightly forward; California finally legalized weed but doesn't quite know how to deal with it; microblading, pecans, and oversized cactuses are In; and, of course, one of the most ridiculously offensive and utterly unqualified human beings will now be the leader of the free country that I call my own. Here we go, 2017, hold on to your butts.
This past year was a crazy whirlwind, to say the least. 2015 will forever to me be remembered as a year of goodbyes and a year of hellos - goodbye to my life as I knew it for ten years in the Bay Area, and hello to an entirely new start in SLC. I owe a huge "Thank you" to my family, to my friends and to D, for providing me with the support and stability I desperately needed last year - it's because of each of you that I found the strength to start this new chapter in my life, and to learn how to appreciate and enjoy every step along the way. Below is a collection of a few of my favorite memories from the past year - ones that make me cry, ones that make me laugh, and, most of all, ones that make me smile. ♥
Related – The Year in Review: 2014
So, so many thanks to 2014 for providing a wonderful year of travel, sightseeing and general wandering opportunities. A quick look back at some of my favorites: Antelope Island / Solitude / Jackson Hole & Grand Teton NP / Pescadero / Portland / Big Sur / Hello, SLC / Green River / Capitol Reef / Ben Lomond / Quimby's / Hello, Boise / Mono Lake & Yosemite & Bodie / Yellowstone & Craters of the Moon & Sawtooth Wilderness / Gates of Lodore / Clayton Peak / Arches & Canyonlands / Bonneville Salt Flats / Philly / DC / Annapolis
... See you in all in 2015, xo.