renewal year

i’m not a fan of new years celebrations.  getting dressed up, paying inflated party fees, and sipping head-ache inducing champagne, is not my idea of ending or beginning any year.  so, a last minute decision placed me in big bend national park, alone, to ring in ’09.

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i climbed to the top of the dodson trail, on the outer chisos mountain loop, and received a clear view of the year passed and the year to come.

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my new year suite… a perfect little spot in the high mountain desert.  ocotillo surround and protect my tent.

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first cup of coffee of 2009.  what a beautiful morning… and hey… no headache!  i traded my tuxedo from the night before for the “german tourist” look – wool hiking socks and chacos.  sexy, huh?

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the mountains were magical as always.  it was a real treat to spend the first hours of 2009 in quiet reflection.

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i hiked up to cattail falls, a highlight of every one of my dozens of trips to this great park.  the flow was just a trickle… like usual.  but it was cool and calm in the small canyon.

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as i hiked down from the falls, i was again rewarded with an amazing view.  i am hopeful for 2009.  cliche or not, i am hopeful.

all images © andrew r. slaton | photographer 2008