Go West, Old Man

The Old Man is me, and I’m going West. It’s still 26 days away, and the anticipation is killing me.

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El Morro National Monument (2004)

Usually, when I’ve announced trips in the past, I have a pretty well-designed itinerary to detail. This trip is quite different, and that is quite a departure for me. My inherent OCD combined with my love of planning have, on past trips, limited my ability to see where the road takes me. So far, when planning for this trip, I’ve yet to make a reservation that can’t easily be cancelled. This should allow me maximum flexibility.

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Montezuma Castle National Monument, Arizona

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Glen Canyon Dam

Much of this trip will retrace my very first National Parks trip in 2003. I’d come up with the idea in the spring to try and visit all of the National Park units in the lower 48 states. In May of that year, I headed out on the first of many long road trips. It was the last trip I would shoot with a *gasp* film, *gasp again* point and shoot camera. I couldn’t believe how many pictures I shot on this trip when I went to have them developed afterward. 618 pictures total, which was a lot for the time, but is usually less than a day’s total on my last 4 trips now.

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Helicopter Flight over the Grand Canyon

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The Mittens, Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park, Arizona

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Zion National Park, Utah

I will be revisiting many of the Southwest’s most well-known and beloved parks that I visited on that trip- Grand Canyon, Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reef, Monument Valley- which I’ve long looked forward to photographing with a ‘real’ camera. I can not wait to see some of the HDR images I can capture in these places. I will also be visiting quite a few parks I somehow missed on previous trips- Petroglyph NM, Casa Grande Ruins NM, Navajo NM & Cedar Breaks NM.

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Las Vegas Selfie from 2004

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Lowest Point in the lower 48, from 2004

I’ve certainly got some highlights planned- hopefully I can pull them all off. Among those are a photo tour of Antelope Canyon, a Padres game in San Diego, a flight over the Grand Canyon, a boat trip to the Channel Islands and visiting microbreweries in Albuquerque, Flagstaff and, of course, San Diego.

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Bryce Canyon National Monument, Utah

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Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

As with usual on my trips, I will be updating my blog Facebook page, my Instagram account (esmith7273) , and my Untappd account. There will be a few days I won’t have a cell signal, which is certainly a rarity in the US!

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