Many of the other blogs I read do year-end "recap" posts. I really enjoy reading them. It's interesting to look back and remember places and faces from the past 12 months. At the end of 2010, I wanted to do something like this, but didn't quite get it together. This year I resolved not to lapse again.
This blog is many things. It's a skiing blog, a hiking blog, sometimes a running blog, and also a place to showcase my family's activities. But most of all, it's a photography blog (it is named "Linda's Lens" after all!). With that in mind, I give you the year 2011 in photos - one representative image from each month of the year. Some of these pictures were chosen not because they were my best work, but because I wanted to commemorate an event in 2011 that was special to me.
|Skiin' the pow in Steamboat, CO
January - this month I was busy skiing, skiing, and more skiing. Thursdays, I was riding the ski bus, and Sundays traveling up to Mt. Hood Meadows with my good buddy Kim. But the highlight of the month was the trip I took to Steamboat, Colorado. While there, the weather gods provided a dump of the finest Colorado powder, that hence forward would spoil me for skiing in Oregon.
|Happy B-day to me!
February - February is my birthday month, and this year my kids surprised me with dinner and a homemade red velvet cake. Not wanting a blaze of candles on my cake, Cody and Denise managed to advertise my age in a different and creative fashion. What can I say? My kids are the best!
|I never tire of this spectacular view from Mt. Bachelor
March - Still more good skiing to be had. But there was also the Shamrock Run (where Roger ran his first 5K). However, the trip I made to Mt. Bachelor to ski with my brother Dale was memorable. It was a beautiful, clear (but cold) day. Perfect to showcase the spectacular views from the mountain!
|Cami and I celebrate our Eugene marathon finish
April - A transition month. I began the month skiing and ended it hiking and running. I cut my ski season short so I could concentrate on training for the Eugene marathon, which I completed with my best running friend Cami.
May - So many hikes, so difficult to pick just one photo. With the higher country still snowed in, my explorations were limited to trails in the Columbia River Gorge. A Friday visit to the Eagle Creek trail reminded me why this is one of Oregon's (and my) all-time favorites. I had to wade into the creek to get this shot, but I think it was worth it.
|Amazing display of Bachelor Buttons near Bald Butte
June - Again, many more hikes, with some family and running activities thrown in for variety. But the best hike from this month had to be the trip I made up Bald Butte with my hiking buddy Chuck. We hit the wildflower season just right and were rewarded with a fabulous display of every variety you could imagine. I loved the Bachelor Buttons the best. I've never seen such a large concentration of these flowers in the wild.
|My parent's 50th anniversary celebration
July - More hiking. Roger and I made our first backpacking trip since 2004 (and it was a success!). The big event of the month was traveling back to South Dakota to celebrate my parent's 50th wedding anniversary. The first time my entire family was together in many years, I commemorated the day with a photograph.
|Smith Rock State Park
August - So much happened this month, it was really hard to pick just one image to represent. There was the Haulin' Aspen half, the Styx concert, loads of zucchini, and - you guessed it - lots of hikes. However, I finally made it back to Smith Rock State Park, a place I've wanted hike again. It was the day after I'd ran a half marathon, and hot weather to boot, but I had the most amazing time. The views were phenomenal. I got some great photographs (it's hard to take a bad photo here).
|Wildflower paradise on Mt. Hood
September - Another action-packed month. There was the Hood to Coast relay (hands down my most favorite running event of 2011), another great backpacking trip with my hubby, Oktoberfest with my folks, and - yes - more amazing hikes. This month I hiked one of the best places of 2011, the Paradise Park Trail on Mt. Hood. The lingering snow delayed the wildflower bloom, and I enjoyed a summer floral paradise in the middle of September.
|Mt. St. Helens from Norway Pass
October - A little bit of everything to blog about this month. One more half marathon completed, Halloween, fall colors starting to show, OSU football games (and tailgating!) and, oh yes, a couple more hikes. A trip to Norway Pass near Mt. St. Helens, made it onto the "best hikes of 2011" list. This trail has been on my bucket list for years, and I finally got there. This view of Mt. St. Helens was so worth all the time spent driving and hiking to reach it.
|Fall colors at Multnomah Falls Lodge
November - Fall colors ruled the blog postings. I tried to squeeze in as many hikes as possible before the bad weather hit. The Gorge was the place to be in November, and I had many incredible fall foliage photos to choose from. This image of the bright orange leaves against Multnomah Falls Lodge was the eventual winner.
|The 2011-12 ski season has begun!
December - Transition back to ski season. However, the weather wasn't very cooperative, so only two posts about skiing this month. But there was another half marathon to recap, holiday goings-on, and a fun limo tour of the Oregon wine country. The eventual photographic choice was this self-portrait of myself on the first day of ski season. I was so happy to be back sliding on the snow, and it showed.
|Lupine and St. Helens Lake
Before ending this post, I wanted to include a final photo from my number-one favorite hike of the year. August's hike to Coldwater Peak near Mt. St. Helens takes top honors. Not only were the flowers in full bloom, this hike included an amazing view of both Spirit Lake and the incredibly blue St. Helens Lake. Visitors have a head-on look into the crater of Mt. St.Helens, which appears eerily close. Hiking the desolate plains and forests flattened by the blast gives one an idea of the gravity of the devastation, and a new respect for the power of Mother Nature.
I had the most difficult time choosing just one image to represent the hike, but finally settled on this shot of St. Helens Lake rimmed with dark purple lupine.
I hope you enjoyed reading and viewing this recap of 2011 as much as I had fun creating it. Here's to an exciting, adventure-filled 2012, with hopefully lots more blog posts, and, of course, tons more photographs.
Happy New Year!