Yes, I’ve been noticeably absent for a while. That’s how I roll in the present time. It’s been five months today that Mr. Jim departed and earned his wings. I would expect that he'd be busting his buttons with pride on how well I am doing, summoning courage and getting on with a new life.
Photography travel is a critical part of my plan to emotionally heal and find a new pathway. Last month, I completed my first solo vacation journey, and it was an short car trip away in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Now I have returned from my first solo vacation journey that was long distance – the Grand Teton National Park in western Wyoming.
- To keep down wear and tear on my healing foot, I used wheelchair assistance in the big airports. Delta’s staff was surprisingly courteous and helpful.
- The tour participants were positively delightful, and I forged new friendships with fellow photographers. I laughed a lot.
- I was happy to see the Tetons once again, after a 43-year absence, and this time I got to witness the spring season underway out there. The photography tour provided many landscape and wildlife opportunities. Among the various animals, I was thrilled to see bears, including two grizzly females, five cubs, and one black bear. The weather kept threatening to rain, but the tour guide managed to steer us to areas in the big park that were dry.
- The days were long and my healing foot successfully endured many hours of standing and walking. It is a little bit sore since I got back, but it should calm down by the end of the week. After 13 years of use, I noticed that my hiking boots are finally starting to come apart. I'll need a new pair before traveling adventures this fall.
- The rest of my body was extremely weary during the trip. It was definitely an endurance contest, hitting the road at 5 a.m. to catch sunrises. Lack of sleep, dehydration, and a high altitude took their toll. I noticed some faint tinges of blood in my left eye’s vision for a couple of days. So I took things easier and started belting down the water. Today, my eye doctor declared that my eye was fine. Whew! And I am now getting needed sleep and recuperating from the rigors of traveling.
- I took two Nikon camera bodies, my older D7100 and a new, fresh out of the box, D7200. I used them both. After shooting with a Fuji mirrorless camera last month, I was a bit slow out of the starting gate, trying to remember different menus and the location of controls. It’s my own fault for having too much equipment to remember.
- After making room on my hard drive by transferring older photo files to external hard drives, I finished downloading my digital cards today. They are now in folders, but not reviewed and culled. The official tally? 5339 files at 164.85 GB. There were many occasions that I did 5 and 7 multiples of a scene, and each of those was taken with a different exposure. That way I can play and try some HDR and Photoshop blending techniques. I have a lot of work ahead of me!
- Angel did very well at the kennel, and she was treated like a rock star. Angel has such a sweet and easy-going temperament, it is very easy to fall in love with her. The staff workers were showing me selfies that they took with her! After a week of “camping,” she’s undeniably glad to be back home and getting attention and cuddles again from her human mom.