Normally, I’m a lightweight.  Anyone who knows me will tell you that about the time they roll their eyes.  That doesn’t mean I can’t be serious (as witnessed by my past few blogs) but for the most part I like to laugh and concentrate on pleasant thoughts.  On a day when one of my favorite photography forums is showing signs of blowing up and there is snow in the forecast, I’m sitting home after a follow up visit with my doctor and listening to the drivel being spouted over and over again by the talking heads on ESPN and CNBC.  I’m bored out of my skull and starting to lose concentration so I need an outlet for my thoughts before they run amok.   That must mean it’s time to think about…(drum roll please)…next year’s photo trips!

I didn’t really take a full fledged photo trip in 2011 for reasons that I’ve documented previously and since I frequently suffer from a serious Photography Jones and also love road trips, I guess you could say I’ve been saving energy for a 2012 Tripapalousa.  I’ve got some pretty definite ideas but they remain pretty liquid since things can change quickly around here but here’s what Spring, 2012 looks like.

January and February won’t be too active photographically for me.  That’s the time frame I use to take care of all my health stuff:  Annual physical, dental stuff, eye doctor, that kind of stuff.  Once all the appointments are done I’ll be free to plan some trips…Bosque Del Apache anyone?

March is the beginning with a triple purpose trip to Phoenix.  My daughter and her family live there and I can NEVER get enough time with my granddaughter so I try to get there a couple of times every year.  This is also the time of year when Baseball Spring Training fires up and with the Rockies’ new facility being about 20 minutes north of my daughter’s house, I’ll be perusing the schedule to figure out how to maximize my time and catch a couple of ballgames in Scottsdale.  Also, when I plan this trip I usually take a little extra vacation time and take a couple of photo trips in the area around Phoenix.  When I drove down there in September for Sean and Erin’s wedding I came across a couple of shots I wanted to get but was never there at the right time of day.  These will be high on the shoot list.

April is still undecided for a couple of reasons not the least of which is a need to replenish the discretionary photo travel account.  Also there are a couple of other things occurring later in the year that are still kind of up in the air.  For the most part, I’ll be home in April unless something special comes up.

May is the “fire it up and wind it out” month.  Last year the RMNP Spring Fling happened over the weekend of May 7.  IF there is another Spring Fling and IF it’s in May, I’m going to lobby like heck for it to be a couple of weeks later, ideally the weekend of May 19.  If it happens earlier I’ll make it a long weekend in Moab but that weekend would fit perfectly with my proposed Pacific Northwest/Palouse/Yellowstone trip.  Leaving Moab around May 21, driving to Portland, then working my way up the coast and over to Seattle.  After that, a day’s drive to the Palouse for some shooting time then pick my daughter, Heather, up at the airport in Spokane and heading to Yellowstone for a few days.  The “shoot” list would include:  Columbia Gorge, Oregon and Washington beaches, Hoh Rain Forest, more beaches, some Urban Gorilla photography in the Seattle area, The Palouse, and Yellowstone/Grand Teton.  Pretty ambitious plan but I think I can pull it off.  Time will tell.

From that point I suspect my discretionary photo travel account would be depleted and I have no trips in mind for the rest of the year except maybe July wildflowers and September aspens in Colorado.  Mostly by this time I’m starting to save up for a trip to Alaska in 2013 for my wife’s high school reunion.

So there you have it.  Like I said, pretty ambitious but manageable.  As I always say, you either run the fields with the big dogs or stay on the porch with the puppies…and I ain’t no porch puppy.