A wonderful practice looking back at the year 2012. Taking inventory. What worked and didn’t. What changes were made and what more to work on. Was feeling like I hadn’t done anything much, but turns out I was busy. It wasn’t all good but it certainly hasn’t been the end of the world.
January lured me back to one of my favorite places in the world, Grand Canyon National Park. I attended the 3rd Grand Canyon History Symposium where I learned from many canyon historians and toured the historic boat collection plus slipped in many trips to the rim in between. Snow at the canyon is a treat for this summer seasonal.
February warmed up enough in the lower desert to enjoy walking around at the annual Gold Rush Days in Wickenburg just down the hill from where I winter. Always a lot of creative arts and crafts to tempt the pocketbook plus carnival rides and western foods. Then for a special treat, Berta and I took a little trip to Laughlin, not to gamble, but enjoyed the hot tub and buffets.
March brought a month of new. I met some fellow bloggers who camped out in the desert just down the hill. RVSue tows her little Casita with crew Spike and Bridget sharing her adventures. And Kelly, Al and Pheebs from the Bayfield Bunch were also boondocking in the area. Due to the dusty wind all four adults plus three dogs had a great visit in Sue’s little trailer.
I bought my first DSLR camera and love the quality of the images. Now if I’d just take the time to learn what all this smarter than me camera can do. Of course a new camera also meant accessories which were purchased throughout the year.
At the end of the month, and on my birthday, I launched the new website with post #1000. The new blog has taken off very well and I plan to continue posting more travel pieces, if I ever get out of the house and off the computer.
The end of April I headed back to my seasonal Park Ranger job at the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. Although I relish my winter of no work, I’m always excited to return in the spring. Yet I wasn’t very happy about being towed in to Flagstaff and all the truck troubles that ensued. Even more disappointing was getting sick and not hiking rim-to-rim with my fellow Rangers.
May kicked off the beginning of several interesting astronomical events and I wanted to test out my skills with the new camera. Due to a time glitch on my part I missed the actual rise of the Perigee Super Moon by several minutes yet have to say I wasn’t that impressed. The superest moon I’ve seen was in Mexico from a bus with no camera, a long time ago. However the Annular Solar Eclipse more than made up for that disappointment. So glad I came up with an inexpensive solar filter and a borrowed tripod to capture this amazing experience through 100s of photos.
The Venus Transit in June moved a little too slow for me to catch it all and especially as it was still pretty cool at 8000 feet on the North Rim. A week and a half later everyone still wore jackets for the Grand Canyon Star Party yet the combined energy of people and telescopes under clear skies had everyone enthralled.
Due to the low snowpack from the previous winter explorations into remote areas came early. Every season I try to get out and discover more about the surrounding area. My maps continue to be highlighted with pink lines on the roads I’ve traveled. Another way of looking back over time.
Nothing kicks off July better than the North Rim’s answer to fireworks bans in national parks, the 4th of July water parade. Everyone gets to participate even from the “dry” zone. The National Park Service, Wranglers and concessionaire Forever Resorts employees fancy up their vehicles and mules with the red, white and blue. Then grab the water pistols, free to the kids with giant barrels full of water around the Lodge parade route for quick reloading.
Western Arts Day mid-month entertained visitors and staff. Cowboys, and girls, are part of the history of the northern Kaibab Plateau. Demonstrations by artisans and mountain men shared on the lawn by the Lodge. Between the foot-stomping music and cowboy/girl poetry the entire day was a Hoot.
Because I finally own a 4×4 truck I ventured out to Point Sublime, an appropriately named Grand Canyon overlook. The drive over rutted narrow roads is not for the feint hearted, or low clearance vehicles. Yet the view…
August displayed some of the best monsoon thunderstorms and much needed rain which brought out loads of wildflowers and mushrooms. This year, for the first time, I relished this rainy season that displayed some most amazing sunsets and lots of photo opportunities.
I met several fellow bloggers who ventured up to the North Rim. The Good Luck Ducks boondocked outside the park in the adjacent Kaibab National Forest driving their towed into the park almost daily. I know they saw the canyon yet also spent a lot of time at the WIFI hotspot by the camp store. One day we loaded into my truck for the remote canyon views from Crazy Jug Point.
Plus Chuck & Geri visited on the weekend of Native American Heritage Days and even though Geri was feeling under the weather we managed to have a wonderful time overlooking the canyon from several drive-to sites. Many native peoples helped visitors celebrate their heritage at Grand Canyon through song, dance and art displays.
The monsoon thunderstorms continued through September occasionally filling the canyon with clouds. But the highlight of the month was flying to Chicago for my 40th High School Reunion, my first one. I met so many people I didn’t know or remember and had a wonderful time. Plus got lost in my old neighborhood and went hiking in one of my favorite natural places, Starved Rock State Park.
On the way back to the North Rim after Chicago the beginning of October I met up with a fellow Ranger and we camped at Toroweap. This incredibly remote and difficult to get to site within western Grand Canyon National Park offers an iconic view of the canyon yet is not seen by many. We also went hiking to the intriguing Nampaweap rock art site.
November was a month of indecision. Early winter is always a time of quiet for me, to regroup after a busy summer, to look inside and around. Yet I usually take some little trips in the area and that didn’t happen this year because of my truck troubles. I sat at home working on travel plans at first focusing on Costa Rica then changed my mind to return to South Africa.
It really does feel like I’ve done nothing in December but that’s not true because I’ve been researching and making the plans for my winter travels. Plus my computer is conveniently located to watch the birds. Enjoyed a warm and friendly Christmas dinner and look forward to a quiet and early to bed New Year’s Eve, as usual.
What have I learned from this past year? Mostly, to make every waking minute count, be with those you love and let them know it. The world didn’t end, maybe we can all look forward to some new beginnings.
What do I see the new year bringing? Well, January was suppose to start with my first blogger conference in Las Vegas at NMX formerly Blog World. Unfortunately that isn’t going to happen but on the up side I sold my early-bird ticket so someone else will get to attend. I hope to travel more and experience new places, people and activities. At the end of April I return to the North Rim of Grand Canyon, unless budget cuts eliminate my job. I have a lot of personal improvements to make like being more patient with myself and others, ask for help when needed, face the fears that come from my past to haunt my future, and continue to write and take better photos to share with all of you.
Thank you all for following, commenting and just plain reading. You make Geogypsy continue to happen.
Happy New Year!
Capturing the present for future memories of the past.
Geogypsy is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com