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Gallery: 2012 Was a Good Year

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2012 brought all kinds of delights and hilarious disasters behind the scenes around here. Here's a gallery of photos I hope you'll enjoy as I look at the pictures and events that shaped the year. Click the thumbnails, or scroll through using the arrows under the main image. Descriptions are at the bottom. Enjoy.

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Stuck: Sonora, Mexico

Oh, what would we do without Wil? Would anything funny ever happen again? On the last morning of a pleasant road trip along the Sea of Cortez coast in Mexico, we chose to drive the sandy beach for several miles to get to the next town. It was one of those happy mornings with the windows down and five vehicles crusing in a line. I was leading the pack, came to this suspect mudhole and decided to get out before trying to drive through it. That's when Wil pulled up with his 37" tall macho man tires and just drove in. The dude got stuck. He got out, we chatted for a sec about what to do, which was one thing only: hook up at least one winch and send off some prayers. He had his wife, Wendy, two kids and a dog inside waiting. He killed me, though, when he said, "Yeah. Wendy's kinda pissed now."

Photo of the Day: Hurry, It's A Little Drippy

Little girl camping holding messy smores

You need another picture of s'mores like you need a hole in your head. Or, what the heck, maybe not. What do I know? So let's do it. My daughter and I have taken an annual camping trip just the two of us the last two years — yeah, kind of odd to declare that an annual tradition, but the sweetie is just 5 years old. Not a bad ratio. Both times we drove up into the mountains two hours from home, swam in the lake, made a tree swing, and ate like mom wasn't watching.

Because she wasn't . . .

Photo of the Day: The Pursuit

four peak sunset saguaro cactus

My wife puts up with me when I pull over to take photos like this one. She's known for a long time that I'm the sort of road traveler who stops to check things out and take a deep breath just for the experience. And I like to eat at small town cafés, ones with knotty pine floors where they offer just two kinds of coffee (decaf and regular), and where the staff uses words like darlin' . . .

Photo of the Day: Canoeing With Dad

canoeing dad kids verde river arizona

The hot springs we were marinating in seep out of the rocks above this mellow river by 30 feet. We woke up the morning after a heavy, soggy storm that started the afternoon before and never stopped until just before dawn. It was our first camp out with our new daughter, and it went as expected. That is, rather sleepless. An evening with a baby is about the same at home as it is in a tent, just less comfortable. Way less comfortable — then add ceaseless rain and a leaky tent. So when the sun rose and revealed a spotless blue sky, we were recharged and ready for a fresh start . . .

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