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2011 in Pictures

January 3, 2012

They say a picture’s worth a thousand words.  I don’t know who “they” are, but by my calculations if 1 picture = 1000 words then 1000 pictures = 1000000 words.  While I don’t want to write an essay of that proportion, and you probably don’t want to read it, I figure you’d rather peruse my pictures than hear all the stories.  A ton of pictures with minimal narration.  Let your imagination fill in the gaps!

2011 began for me in a tiny village at the southern tip of Burundi.

Nyansa Lac

Nyansa Lac man carrying a palm branch on his head.

It continued with a trip up to Ngozi province to see Harvest For Christ’s work with the Twa Pygmies.

Passie passing out porridge.

Twa children let their porridge cool before sipping at what might be their only meal that day.

Twa women making pots out of clay. They do not use a potter's wheel. That's their home in the background.

The valley peeking into Rwanda across the river.

My time was winding down, so we had to make a trip to the zoo!  This is the only petting zoo I’ve ever been to that features 10ft reptilian carnivores, with an option to feed them too.

Pulling a Nile Croc's tail. Just a few minutes after this I fed him Pernickity the Guinea Pig.

Shortly after it was time to say goodbye to Burundi, so I wished my dear friends in Burundi farewell.  Perhaps one day I will be back.

Scott, Clare, Me and Liv saying our goodbyes at the airport in Bujumbura.

After a brief spell in the air, I arrived in Charleston.  After a brief stint in my old stomping grounds, it was yet again time to say goodbye to some dear friends for a while.

Alice, Ann, Ashley, Mel, Me, Blaine and Nicole.

So I loaded up my truck and moved to Beverly, Hills that is… well, pretty close anyway.

My El Trucko loaded to the max. You can see my copilot Hoola, the Burundian Crocodile riding shotgun.

Made a pitstop in Jacksonville on the way for one last dip in the Atlantic.

Tito and Me at The Poles in Kathryn Abbey Hannah Park.

I hopped on I-10 at its origin for my trip from Right to Left across the map.

My roadtrip took originated in Charleston, South Carolina, crossed Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisianna, Texas, New Mexico and Arizona and ended on the eastern edge of Orange County in Southern California.  Quite a trip.

Driving and taking pictures is dangerous, but often worth it.

After a brief camping trip in Arizona with a good friend, I finally crossed into beautiful California… definitely the prettiest state of the trip, and not just because it’s my home state.

Look at at that... much prettier than the South's trees and swamps and Southwest's deserts.

Of course, having been out of state for 3 years I had business to attend to…

Pleasure doing business with you In-N-Out, as always.

First order of business after getting home: surf the Pacific.  I took the exchange student that was living at my house along.  Good times surfing Doheny and hanging out at Dana Point.

Shortly after arriving home my next adventure began.  It was an adventure inside my body!

They told me I was pregnant. I had a little baby crystal growing inside me.

The doctors took a picture of me, which is fun if you’re not claustrophobic.  Thankfully, I am not.

My baby, later named "Hank" can be identified as a small white dot between my two hip bones. Also, pay no attention to the scoliosis, my doctor said I look sexier that way.

“This too shall pass” were my doctor’s words of encouragement.  After a week of drinking fluids and peeing through a strainer, Hank was born.  While he gets his charm from me, I’m not sure where he gets his “smile” from.  Hank lives in a small plastic jar on my bookshelf until the DNA testing is complete and the mother is confirmed.

I don't remember eating a clump of mutated sharks teeth, but what can I say? I peed this out. Science is science.

While I will always cherish Hank and the experiences he brought me, I had to move on.  I took a 3 day trip with my cousin Robert through Sequoia, Yosemite and Death Valley National Parks.  I saw more of California in those 3 days than I had in my entire life leading up to that.

The famous Joshua Tree.

The beauty of the Central Valley.

Horsies grazing.

Fire near Lake Isabella.

Orange groves in the central valley.

Africa? Is it you? No wait, still in California.

Stairs of doom (unofficial name), Sequoia National Park.

Robert, walking away from the edge looking rather defeated. Sorry, no pictures today.

Small diner on the backside of the desert.

Woman inappropriately dressed for Yosemite. Yes, I judged her for her choice of footwear.

Yosemite valley. No, it's not a model, it really looks like this.

The Stanislaus Pass, still decked with snow in June.

Robert and I standing near the snowbank. Yes, June.

Iron Door Saloon in Groveland, CA. Stopped in for a pint on the way out of Yosemite. Oldest Saloon in California.

Artist's Palatte, Death Valley National Park. Geologists hypothesize might possibly have been an ancient chemical waste dump.

The Salt flats. Robert was taking close ups too.

Robert and I developed the highly scientific "water bottle altimeter." We would simply seal a water bottle at different altitudes. Based on how deflated the bottles were, we could estimate our elevation. This one came from 9000 feet to Death Valley, this was maybe 50 ft above sea level.

Yet another ill-outfitted tourist. Seriously, you're gonna walk around Death Valley in those? Yes, judged her too.

Memorial weekend came around and a couple of dear friends showed up for the weekend.  It started off in LA at Pink’s Hot Dogs then to the Getty Center.  From there we went to the freak show in Venice Beach.  Wonderful.

Pretty buildings, but could use a little more content. Though, the Cuban Photograph exhibit was amazing... they have the original iconic "Che" photo in there. Would love to see the place someday.

We gathered a few more people and took a trip down to San Diego.  We spent a couple days on the beach, climbing the cliffs at Point Loma, watching “Top Gun” on a giant inflatable movie screen at the Oceanside pier, eating junk food, walking around Balboa Park, and watching Nitro Circus at Wilma’s house for several hours at a time.  Great weekend.

Wilma rescuing me from certain death.

I spent some time hiking barefoot in Julian.

Guerilla warfare is most fun when you really get into it.

One of the summer’s defining characteristics was Epic Movie Night.  A friend and I made a rear-projection screen out of wax paper and duct tape.  Now we can sit in the pool and watch movies well into the night.

I took a weekend trip to see my friend Adam up in Ventura and Santa Barbara.  Took these nuggets there.

I felt the call of the wild, and I had to return to the mountains.  I embarked on my first solo mission through the Inyo National forest and Yosemite.  5 days by myself in the wilderness.  A-MAZ-ING!!!

Descending Half Dome.

The climb up Half Dome. Well, the hike anyway.

In Yosemite, mule deer are like ants. They're everywhere!

Jumping off the cliffs at Gem Lake. Snow runoff may look pretty, but it's freaking cold.

A couple years ago I would have never seen myself doing this, but on the 4th of July I participated in a local interfaith activity of beautifying the local mosque.  It was so cool to see people of all different backgrounds out making friends with the Muslims in the area helping them clean up the grounds of the Mosque.

Still not satisfied with my time in the wild, I climbed local Mt. Baldy with my buddy Shon.  We did about 15 miles if I’m not mistaken, and climbed about 3000 feet in one day.

LA as seen heading down the Devil's Backbone Trail after dark.

Having a High Life and at the summit

I also got the chance to head down to Lower Trestles near San Clemente, California for the Hurley Pro.  Got to see Kelly Slater surf against Owen Wright in the finals.

Owen Wright heading to the moon.

Kelly spraying the heavens with a salty wet rooster tail.

I took a couple friends from work surfing.  It was Pho’reezing (for them). 

I finished the year in Oceanside, California.  Good way to end it.

No snow here!

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Robert permalink
    January 4, 2012 01:46

    Great Pictures as always, quite a few of our little road trip in June 🙂 California is so beautiful.

    • January 4, 2012 14:23

      Thanks Robert! I think I got the best pictures of the year on that trip. I had so many more to upload, had to leave several out!

  2. January 4, 2012 16:36

    John, you would’ve judged me in many hiking places after witnessing my flip flops and skirts. Mind you, I never intended on wearing those, it just happened I ended up hiking unplanned!

    • January 5, 2012 11:01

      Those times do happen, unfortunately, though I do enjoy taking pictures of tourists dressed oddly for the occasion. Last time I was in that pickle I hiked barefoot.

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