I wasn’t going to blog a best-of for 2008, mostly because the end-of-year recap on my 2008 resolutions was already nagging at me. The national implosion of the publishing industry directly impacted my Highway 89 project, and by the end of December, I was glad to see the calendar flip to a new start. But Jim Goldstein hounded me for a contribution to his collection of best-of blog posts, so here is my list.
February: Parry Motel, Kanab UT
I made the first of the 2008 trips to Arizona in February. A heavy snow blanketed southern Utah the day before I left. I learned that gas doesn’t pump so well when the night time temperatures drop below -10F. And I made the first of many neon discoveries on my way south. I haven’t blogged this image before.
February: Gold Rush Days, Wickenburg AZ
The Wickenburg Chamber of Commerce invited some street fighters to add some local color to Gold Rush days.
February: Hells Angels Prison Run, Florence AZ
About 1,000 bikers come from across the west to ride in the Florence Prison Run. Until 1992, the road between Tucson and Florence was an official segment of US89. By far, my most popular 2008 image on Flickr.
February: National Elk Refuge, Jackson WY
I rushed back from Arizona to get into Yellowstone before the winter season ended. I also took the sleigh tour for the first time at the National Elk Refuge, which I blogged about, but did not show this picture.
June: Ear Mountain, Choteau MT
In 2007, I spent a month in Montana not making pictures because of the smoke from the record-level forest fires. So when I saw that Choteau had an unusally late snowfall predicted, I burned some frequent flyer miles to get up there. It was a quick but eventful trip: I hit a deer, saw a grizzly, met some nice people. I blogged a different picture from my motel room in Choteau; I revisited my images on a proper monitor when I got home. This one was slightly earlier in the sequence, and I greatly prefer it.
June: Lava Fields, Flagstaff AZ
I was given a great help on this project when Adriel Heisey flew his plane to Flagstaff to take me over Sunset Crater Volcanic NM. On the way back from our second flight, we explored these lava fields outside the monument boundaries.
July: Glacier NP
The June trip to Montana was targeted and short. We went back at the end of July to finish more leftover work from 2007. I blogged this image later for my 5-year blogiversary.
August: Grain Elevator, Wilsall, MT
On my way back from Glacier, I found some great light in Wilsall and missed my intended target in Yellowstone. It was worth the extra night in Livingston.
August: Horseshoe Bend, Page AZ
Driving alone, I can make it from Salt Lake to Phoenix in one day, but I’d rather not. I stopped in Page to see Maria Langer on my August voyage, and she surprised me with an impromptu ride in her amazing machine. Anyone who wants to do aerials over Arizona needs to call Maria.
August: New Windsor Hotel, Phoenix AZ
I went back to Arizona in August for monsoons over Saguaro NP and a happy picture of Nogales to start the Highway 89 book. Having achieved both (after the book comes out, I will get to tell the story of the rainbow over Nogales), I called a blog buddy for a mini-Photowalk. On our way back, we found this fabulous neon in downtown Phoenix.
October: Grand Teton NP WY
The best day ever at the Oxbow.
In the end…
Eleven images, about 7,000 miles on or to Highway 89. I held back a few for a surprise when the book comes out. So many people have helped me along the way, and the serendipitious gifts that have come just when I needed help to make a photo that this book is going to needs it out into the wild, just to say thank you to them. It will, one way or another. If you want to get a head’s up when it does, sign up for an email notification on this secure form. I promise I will not use it for spam or other evil.
2009 officially starts now!