2017 – In Review!

What a year. It is difficult to write a “year in review” for 2017 and not bear witness to the horrible political, judicial, and societal issues that have reared their heads. Watching this past year has been like watching your annoying Uncle Leo at a holiday party dancing with his zipper down; you don’t want to watch, but you just can’t look away.

As a country (and in Canada) we had massive damage, loss of life, and disruption caused by horrific weather this year; fierce hurricanes, storms, floods and fires.

Our thanks and appreciation go out to all first responders, volunteers, fire fighters, military personnel far and wide, National Park personnel, and the absolute majority of normal, decent, caring citizens everywhere who make all our lives a little better. Thank you.

On a more personal level our family has enjoyed good health, we are proud Drew and Michela graduated from their respective schools and became meaningfully employed, and we enjoyed many months of travel and exploration in our continuing retirement.

The 800-pound gorilla in the room was our trip to Alaska, but we’ll get to that. And let’s keep in mind that in 2017 our RV travels touched 27 states as well as 4 provinces and territories in Canada, so the year was not just about Alaska.

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While needing to stay at home in January due to some pet issues, I was afforded, being the amateur camera geek that I am, the opportunity to explore some local Atlanta highlights. Places like the Doll House Trail, the Krog Street Tunnel, and the Atlanta Zoo all presented some photo opportunities – all very cool!

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When we did begin travels towards the end of January, our route heading west through Texas took us to Waco where we visited the Magnolia Silos, Marathon where we got a look into Eve’s Garden B&B, Big Bend – one of our favorite National Parks, and Marfa – one of our favorite quirky little towns.

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Marfa Prada

Arizona included Bowie (one of our favorite off-the-grid camping locations, Lost Dutchman SP in the Superstition Mountains, Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument, McDowell Regional Park, the most awesome Musical Instrument Museum in Scottsdale, and Lake Pleasant.

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Bowie

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Superstition Mountains

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Organ Pipe

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McDowell

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New Mexico held for us White Sands and Carlsbad Caverns. Oh, and the Owl Café in San Antonio – my absolute favorite place for green (Hatch) chili cheeseburgers.

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White Sands

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The Owl

Our trip into Denver, CO was in search of an apartment for Drew’s upcoming move to Denver – mission accomplished.

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Denver

Our return trip through Texas took us through West Texas into San Antonio to meet up with friends, in to Austin for SXSW. Austin is another of our favorite places!

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San Antonio

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Austin

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Garth Brooks at SxSW

We returned home to Atlanta for a couple of weeks, long enough to unload and reload, made a trip up to the UP for Drew’s graduation, down to Durham for Michela’s graduation, and then off towards Alaska.

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Our four month, 16,000 mile trip to Alaska covered nothing less than spectacular views and experiences. I have previously posted over 30 posts related to this trip so I won’t try to recap this extensive trip – other than to say it was epic. But here are a few pictures from the journey, and you can always review my previous Alaska posts.

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This past October we were able to attend again one of our favorite events – Alumalina, an Airstream (mostly) event hosted by two of our favorite people – John and Susan Leake. Another great time with old and new friends.

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As we do every year, we make sure we are back in the hood for Halloween. This year’s theme was The Villages. As per usual, don’t ask.

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And earlier this month we returned to one of our favorite places – Fort Desoto, in St. Petersburg, FL.

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So all in all, we feel (and are) very fortunate to have made these journeys, experienced these incredibly gorgeous sights, and met a lot of absolutely wonderful people this year.

May you enjoy happy holidays – regardless of your beliefs, traditions, or faith!

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