As terrible as 2016 was for the world, I had a good time. A look back at my photos from the year tells an interesting and almost chaotic story. Here are the most unusual, exciting, and memorable moments from my 2016.
The night of New Year’s Eve 2015-2016 also featured a white elephant gift exchange in which I got a literal white elephant.
The walkways in my town turn bright green after extended periods of wet weather, even in the middle of winter.
I was in the right place at the right time, and captured one of my favorite pictures of the year from a viewpoint a couple miles south of my childhood home.
My first trip to Seattle this year was in April. I visited an awesome lakeside park with a couple good friends.
I also checked out the Emerald City Comicon, which had an overwhelming number of awesome vendors and an even more overwhelming number of people.
My main reason for attending the comicon was to meet Nathan Fillion, get a picture, and have my tenth anniversary Firefly poster signed.
My first big hike of the year was the spectacular Dog Mountain trail.
I collected stickerless Rubik’s Cubes from 2×2 to 7×7 and learned how to solve them.
While scouting locations for a short movie, I stood at the top of a cliff and my brother took a picture from across the gully.
One of my favorite big hikes in this area is Table Mountain, and my brother dangled his legs over the 1,500 foot cliff at the top when we climbed it this year. It was almost too much for even him. Normally he’s not afraid of heights at all.
The first big highlight of my road trip in June was Arches National Park.
Driving up Mount Evans and standing on the highest rock at the summit was one of my favorite parts of the trip.
Buckhorn Exchange in Denver served me possibly the most delicious and satisfying meal of the entire trip. I also sat next to a very interesting old man at the bar. Read all about it here.
I got my feet in the Gulf of Mexico for the first time at Pensacola Beach, Florida.
I climbed on top of Liberty University, photographed security cameras from behind, and explored Jerry Falwell’s church in the middle of the night. Don’t ask how.
The Smithsonian was another of my favorite destinations. Especially the Apollo capsule.
The sunrise over Brooklyn that I saw from the Staten Island Ferry was unexpectedly awesome.
Sometimes I have a different perspective on things, like bronze bull testicles.
My direct paternal ancestor immigrated to America, and arrived at Ellis Island in 1904, according to records I found online. I visited the island 112 years later.
During an evening that has a good shot at winning Best Evening of the Year, I went swimming in Jackson Lake in the shadow of the Grand Tetons and then lay on the shore as the sun set, with no other humans in sight or earshot.
The grand finale to my road trip was a two-hour jet boat ride on the Snake River through Hells Canyon. I highly recommend it for anyone in or visiting the northwestern states.
Several times during the summer I went kayaking in nearby lakes with friends and brothers.
I frequently visited the former island about a quarter mile from my house, which has spectacular views in every direction.
I successfully recovered a four millimeter bead of gold from about 75 sticks of old RAM, using hydrochloric acid and hydrogen peroxide to remove it and the giant hydrogen torch at work to melt it down. You’ll be hearing more about this and related adventures in a future episode of Thing Creation.
I filmed a short movie in early August with a few of my siblings and a couple friends. We spent most of our time at the Deschutes River, a beautiful place about 90 miles east of my town.
At the end of the final day of filming, I captured a vivid rainbow from my porch as I relaxed.
My favorite brewery started bottling my favorite beer.
At the beginning of summer I traded my old laptop for a charcoal smoker, and then I proceeded to make a lot of delicious barbecued meat.
I acquired a crazy little Subaru Justy with minor front end damage. The Justy is one of very few three cylinder 4wd hatchbacks that have ever existed. It will be properly introduced along with repair updates in a future article.
One day there was a spectacular sunset and I ran around the house taking many pictures.
For my 25th birthday, I bought myself a one-of-a-kind handmade ring made of silver and copper with about a gram of gold nuggets.
After taking advantage of an offer for free photo prints, I strung together pictures of all 29 vehicles I’ve owned so far and put them on my wall. I think I need a 30th to round out the collection, and I think it should be yellow.
I tried gold panning, but haven’t found anything yet. I did come home with a bit of black sand, which is so magnetic a neodymium magnet could hold up a vial of it through my fingers.
During another trip to Seattle, I sat on a throne in the EMP Museum, bought a meteorite and a Star Wars poster at the Pike Place Market, and ate chocolate covered cherries.
For Thanksgiving this year I perfected my pecan pie recipe. An entry in my High Cooking series will eventually be devoted to this wonderful dessert.
I got a lot of balls. This isn’t even all of them.
I fixed my truck’s four wheel drive a day before the snow hit. The problem was just a $14 switch on the transfer case.