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CosmicAdventures 2020

Updated 2/24/21
2020- it was the best of times, it was the worst of times, and it was the most boring of times. The pandemic really put the brakes on everything we normally would have done this year, but it wasn’t all bad. We took the opportunity during quarantine to rest, reevaluate, and reboot. With the exception of one day trip to nearby California Mojave desert, we never left the state or southern Nevada all year. It just didn’t feel right to try and force travel plans when so much chaos was going on in the world. Instead, we decided to lay low and do what we could to stay safe and keep others safe. That is still our plan until we can get vaccinated. Our sympathies go out to anyone who has suffered any kind of loss or hardships over the last year.

We are thankful that despite the crazy circumstances of everything that went on in 2020 things have been ok for us. We’ve done a lot of puzzles, video games, reading, movies, cooking, crafts, projects, local hiking, and revived some old hobbies. I’ve taken up playing guitar again after not touching a guitar for over 20 years. Although my guitar playing is pretty dreadful, it’s been really fun learning and has kept my spirits up over the last year. 2021 has been somewhat of a continuation of last year, but vaccines are slowing rolling out and the outlook for a return to mostly normal life later this year is looking good. The last year, and really the last few years have been crazy times. Without going on too much about it, I’ll just say that things seem to be going in a better direction now, and I’m hopeful for a more positive and united future. To everyone out there, stay safe and may your tomorrows be better than your yesterdays.

The 2020 collage captions start in the upper left hand corner and go left to right, except for one spot in the center right of the collage where I had to restart in the middle.
1. Hiking in the California Mojave desert close to the China Ranch date farm.
2. Charlotte and Immy pose for a hike on Whitney Mesa hike in Henderson NV. Yes, it's hard to believe this is right in the middle of town. In the background is Frenchman Mt.
3. We vote every 2 years and any other time a chance comes up to vote. People talk a lot about politics, but the only thing that really makes a difference is if you get out and vote.
4. The Vegas strip and endless suburbs from the top of Lone Mountain Peak in Summerlin.
5. Beautiful view from the Keystone Thrust trail in Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area just west of Vegas.
6. Just another day at the local park for Immy and me.
7. Charlotte and Immy hiking at Lone Mountain Peak. The spiked looking plants are Mojave Yucca.
8. Immy and I looking for a new pandemic hobby at guitar center. I ended up starting with an electric guitar this time, but adding an acoustic guitar to the mix is inevitable. Immy already has a Ukulele but might is starting to show some interest in guitar.
9. Nope, we didn't make an unexpected trip to Italy, and this isn't a blast from the past in 2005 when Charlotte and I were in Firenze on this historic bridge. However, this is a pretty impressive replica of the Ponte Vecchio bridge located at Lake Las Vegas.
10. A view of Vegas from an offshoot of the Anthem East trail in Sloan Canyon National Conservation area. We are lucky to live in this area which has a huge network of trails, parks, and some hidden gems like historical petroglyphs. The fuzzy looking cactus tree/bush in the picture is a jumping cholla.
11. Our shadows on the trail at Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
12. Immy posing with a giant rabbit at the Nature Discovery trail by Bootleg Canyon in Boulder City.
13. Someone finally lost a tooth!
14. There are some aliens and other interesting things in Baker California.
15. Immy's first grade official photo which was taken at home because schools have been closed in Las Vegas since the beginning of the pandemic.
16. Immy having some fun with apps on the tablet.
17. Seven Magic mountains just south of Vegas is a great spot day or night for photos. This summer everyone was photographing the comet Neowise and this was a great spot to see it. I was a little late to the comet show so it isn't as big as in some other photos, but its still looks pretty cool between the left and middle rock stacks.
18. Family hike at the Amargosa Trail. Mulder struggled with this one but he loves walking and going on hikes so we took our time and the old boy made it up to the top of the hill for this Spring family photo.
19. A night photo of the Excalibur Casino during the Pandemic when it was closed.
20. Immy visits Charlotte at work.
21. We are fortunate to live in a state where the governor took the pandemic seriously, and did his best to compromise between keeping people safe and keeping people working. Nevada started requiring a face mask in all public places early on in June 2020. I’m so glad to say that most people in Nevada came together and followed all safety guidelines in a community effort to keep everyone safe.
22. Sadly we lost Mulder late last summer. He will always be in our hearts, and we will remember all the great times we had together. I made this photo in a photoshop class 8 years ago, it always reminds of Mulder's awesomeness.
23. We didn't adopt a cat, but this cool cat named Elvis has adopted us as his second family. He lives across the street and we see him almost every day when we go for a neighborhood walk. Sometimes he waits outside our front door or even visits us in the back yard.
24. It has been a year of hobbies, to-do lists, games, books, guitar, and lots of other things we never had time to do before. This 1500 piece puzzle is just one of many we have done together as a family in the last year.
25. I've always loved night photography probably more than any other types of photography. There have been many photos of car trails, train trails, star trails etc over the years, but I've never taken airplane trails. What else was there to do during a pandemic? This is my first effort at taking airplane trails by the Las Vegas airport. It turned out pretty cool with a trail of a plane landing and another one taking off farther away in the other direction.
26. Another night photo of the Guardian Angel Cathedral, located on the Las Vegas strip just north of the Wynn. Maybe this is where people go after they lose all their money in the casinos.
27. A night photo of the Las Vegas strip from Henderson. I have yet to find a really good perch to get this photo since the strip is right in the middle of the valley.
28. A turkey vulture caught with the zoom lens at the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve.
29. Immy likes to draw, paint, and just create. This was one of hundreds of cool drawings and paintings she made this year.
30. Another creation from Immy, the 15% monster, as in the tablet is down to 15% charge and almost out of battery!
31. This one was drawn by Charlotte in memory of Mulder.
32. This nice sunset was taken by the Seven Hills area over by the Henderson Executive airport. I thought it looked cool because there is a small plane near the top of the picture taking off. It just kind of reminded me of everything that we missed out on this year as far as travel and many other things to. But through it all we still got to enjoy a lot of nature, nice sunsets, and did plenty of other things we might not normally have.
33. The super pink moon (that wasn't pink) last spring was the biggest of 2020. Captured using just a tripod and a cheap 300mm lens. Maybe someday there will be an upgrade to a telescope.
34. The guitar family photo. Charlotte and I got our strats, Immy has a ukulele, and there is a piano keyboard too. When there is nothing else to do might as well make some music, or at least try to.
35. Immy riding her bike at the local park.
36. This is at the Pinball Hall of Fame in Vegas, back in January, you know when you could still go out in public and touch things without worrying about viruses. We followed that up with dinner at Shaq's Big Chicken restaurant, not pictured but deliciously memorable and worth checking out.
37. Doing a photo shoot at Eldorado Dry Lake bed just south of Boulder City.
38. Immy made lots of friends with all these geese, but we aren't sure if that friendship goes both ways.
39. More friends from a distance at the bighorn sheep park in Boulder City. At certain times of the year they come down from the mountain to feed here. This is probably our 5th time trying to see them but the first time they were actually there.
40. Mulder loved hanging out with Immy, here they are at the local park scootering around in the hockey rink.
41. The old man still has some moves, which reminds me I need to double-check how much our insurance deductible is.
42. What other relics can we drag out of the garage, how about some roller blades. It's all fun for Immy, bike vs rollerblades.
43. The China Date farm in California. Lots of great picture opportunities, hiking, and goodies for sale in thier store.
44. When else would a picture of just sitting around at home on the couch make the cosmicadventure collage, in a pandemic year because this is what we did most of the year.
45. Immy graduated Kindergarten by finishing out her schoolyear with zoom classes. Her teacher was awesome all year, but really stepped up when things went sideways in March with the Pandemic and school closings.
46. Self portrait at the Pinball Hall of Fame.
47. Fun flying a kite. This last year hasn't been easy but we found new ways to have fun, so in a way it was kind of refreshing. Who knows what the future holds but whatever happens we will just keep moving with the cheese.