Traveling: Tucson, Arizona

Laura is my “oldest” friend. We met in the 5th grade, which means we’ve known each other for nearly 40 years. That is almost unfathomable to me – not only that we are *that* old but that our friendship has endured for so long. Late in 2019 I decided that 2020 had to be a year when I let go of almost everything else and instead committed to traveling and to re-connecting with friends. So I told Laura and Mark that I was coming to Arizona! I had not seen them in 10 years! And I bought my ticket in early February and I flew on virtually the same day that everyone started freaking out about the Corona Virus. So the flight over and back was filled with internal reminders not to touch your face! And constant hand sanitizing! And hoping I didn’t end up on the plane next to someone who was coughing or sneezing. 

I arrived at the Tucson airport around noon and my friends had a full weekend planned for us! We went directly to the good stuff: Saguaro National Park. Because we were getting a late start we just did the driving tour and got out of the car for a couple of small forays off the road and into desert to take a closer look at things. Of course, this was like nothing I’d ever seen before! I was immediately in awe at the beauty of the Sonora Desert. 

Day 2 we went to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum and saw a variety of different animals in addition to all the unique cacti. I was so enamored with the landscape and those Saguaro littering the hills in every direction you looked. And I don’t think I could begin to count the number of different types of cacti that I saw. 

Day 3 we were threatened with rain but we drove over to Sabino Canyon anyway and took the open air shuttle tour up to the top.  I didn’t snap too many pictures because I didn’t want my camera to get wet. I think the rain clouds made for some very dramatic scenes. It was another day of feeling in complete awe of the beauty of this planet. Sabino Canyon was like nothing I’ve ever seen before. It was pretty magical.

On the morning of my last day we drove over to Tubac, Arizona, which is a small artist community with tons of small stores full of local art. 

Traveling: New York City

Just after the first of January I flew to New York City for work. I only had a couple of days and so only had a few free hours each day to take photos. I’m not one to stay out late so instead I got up a bit earlier than I might normally and got out on the streets. I knew I wanted to see the Highline because I have wanted to visit for years. On my first morning that was my destination and I walked over there from my hotel and walked south the length of it from 34th Street to the Meat Packing District. It was a really foggy day and that made for mostly interesting black and white photos. I really loved it. I had the place virtually to myself and took my time exploring almost every inch. I had never seen “The Nest” before and I really enjoyed the public art along the Highline. Near the end you will see a couple of pictures around/near The Village. But here are my favorite photos mostly taken of the Highline and from it.

On the second morning the sun was out but it was really windy and really pretty cold. I made the decision to go back to the Highline to explore with the blue skies instead of fog. This time I started south in the Meat Packing District and walked the entire length to the north entrance. Here are a handful of my favorites mostly in color this time.

On the third morning I decided I needed to try one of NYC’s famous bagels at one of their most famous locations: Ess-a-Bagel. So I walked from my hotel toward their 3rd Ave. location. Maybe I’ll make some enemies from this statement but I found the bagel to be pretty much, “meh.” Sorry, sorry. But on my way back to my hotel I sorta stumbled upon Rockefeller Center – I’m not a person who has much of a sense of direction so I didn’t realize I’d see it on my walk back. It was another somewhat overcast day but I snapped a few photos from that area of town that I think turned out pretty well. Ended up with some in black and white and some in color depending on how I felt. 

Overall I loved my trip! I fell in love with NYC all over again and can’t wait to go back!

Traveling: Colorado

My adventure this summer was another trip out West first to South Dakota and then a drive through Wyoming to Colorado. In South Dakota we ended up in a freak spring snow storm (May 21) where the area got 1.5 feet of snow. On the first heavy night of snow, try as we might, our rental car got stuck on the side of the road on our way back to the cabin. The snow was very wet and we came to a full stop because we missed a turn off toward our cabin and we just couldn’t get the car (despite 4-wheel drive) back into the rut that would give us the traction to get us home. And so our rental car was stuck on the side of a desolate mountain road for about 12 hours until the locals could come and plow the roads and pull us out. Our hope was to visit Custer State Park and or Badlands and or Spearfish Canyon for hiking and appreciating nature but the snow storm prevented all of that. We did have a wonderful birthday celebration for my sister-in-law and we spent the greater part of one day snowed into our cabin. We had a massive day-long game of family monopoly. It was fun in its own right! 

Invariably the snow melted and we headed west and south through Wyoming toward roughly Glenwood Springs, Colorado. Our overnight was in Saratoga, Wyoming and I got the chance in the early morning light to take some photos that are definitely more in my Photos by Frances style. The weather was gorgeous and the town was deserted and the North Platte River is spectacular. 

Our ultimate destination was a cabin in Redstone, Colorado and we had the luxury of spending a full day hiking along Avalanche Creek, which was just a couple of miles from the cabin. I fell in love with this area of Colorado and can’t wait to go back! Highlights of the hike included seeing a mama hummingbird in her nest and a bear (!) at the trailhead who was very obligatory toward the paparazzi gathered there to take photos (I didn’t get a good one).

Using Format