A Glance at the Rearview Mirror

fishing the South Platte, CO.

As 2020 drives itself into the ground, a lot of us would say, Just let ‘er rip. Most would agree that the past year has been odd, to say the least, and, in some cases, down right tragic. From this perspective, though, with Winter Solstice just around the corner and with prospects of a cheerier 2021 in view, there’s some reason for encouragement.

Rescued Spanky the Duck from a torrent above Marble, CO. and he’s been enjoying the ride ever since…

Glancing at the rearview mirror, I can see that there have been some perks for many of us this year, despite the presence of a few sketchy characters sitting up front (times when we could actually step away from this monstrosity and walk). One of the highlights for myself was traveling, carefully, with daughter Alyssa through the high ground of this nation’s westerly zones. To commemorate the journey, I thought it might be nice to share some of Alyssa’s photos that she took.

Okay, so I took daughter’s pic at watering hole near Devils Tower…

So here’s hoping everyone stays healthy and sanguine as we steer into Christmas Lane and all of its associated crossroads, and a New Year Boulevard of Hope. Cheers!

heart of stones…

on the headwaters, Roaring Fork, CO…

Independence Pass, CO…

Covid wasn’t the only danger in 2020…

Grand Tetons…

Grand Tetons Nat’l Park…

Lamar cutthroat…

badger crossing…

near the Gallatin, MT…

trouting the Shoshone, WY…

The “Old City of Jerusalem,” Shoshone River, WY…

Fairy Falls, Yellowstone Nat’l Park….

About rivertoprambles

Welcome to Rivertop Rambles. This is my blog about the headwaters country-far afield or close to home. I've been a fly-fisher, birder, and naturalist for most of my adult life. I've also written poetry and natural history books for thirty years. In Rambles I will mostly reflect on the backcountry of my Allegheny foothills in the northern tier of Pennsylvania and the southern tier of New York State. Sometimes I'll write about the wilderness in distant states, or of the wild places in the human soul. Other times I'll just reflect on the domestic life outdoors. In any case, I hope you enjoy. Let's ramble!
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22 Responses to A Glance at the Rearview Mirror

  1. Brent says:

    2020 wasn’t without its pleasures, that’s for sure. Let’s ditch the baggage, of all varieties, and move forward to what is hopefully a more unalloyed slate in 2021. Gorgeous photography here from Alyssa, although I’m somewhat ashamed to admit that the Yellowstone sign artwork made me chuckle a bit.

  2. plaidcamper says:

    Well, it wasn’t all bad! Thanks, Walt – the fabulous Western scenes have got me looking ahead…

  3. JZ says:

    I did a lot of fishing in 2020 for brooks. Semper Fi

  4. Don T. says:

    Thanks for sharing. Pics are beautiful.
    Wishing you and your family a Merry Christmas.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Really enjoyed the end of year photos and reflection! The very best of health and happiness to you and all you hold dear. I’m confident that even better days are on the horizon.

  6. Pete Ryan says:

    Wonderful way to end the year!!! Great memories to cherish and looking forward to more water and less virus in 2021!!!! It was great bumping into you several weeks ago and exchanging pleasantries and world views. Always look forward to meeting AU grads on our precious “secret
    waters”! Pete

    • Thank you, Dr. Pete! I told my wife how I enjoyed bumping into a fellow AU grad on a favorite trout stream and exchanged true pleasantries there. Here’s hoping you & yours & all our wonderful waters have a healthy turning into the new year & beyond!

  7. Bob Stanton says:

    I absolutely love and for some reason it made me unexpectedly happy to see the pictures of you plying your trade (or one of them. As a newly-minted retiree, your trade is whatever you want it to be) west of the hundredth meridian. Yes, 2020 was not without its merits, even if they were few and far between. Here’s to the Winter Solstice, a soon-born New Year, and let’s plan – nay, vow to get together and toss some bugs when the sweet of the year comes back around. As always, thank you for taking us on your journeys with you, Mr. Franklin.

    • Looking forward to that sweet of the year, Bob, when I swear that an angling rendezvous must have priority! There’s a lot of catching up to do. “As a newly-minted retiree”/ old fart, I probably have a looser schedule than you have at this point, so give me a holler when the planets align. Till then, Winter Solstice/Xmas/New Year cheers!

  8. alex55manta says:

    Some great pictures for sure! “Vast” comes to mind! Is that you ‘high-sticking’ in the Roaring Fork? Nice pictures of you applying the trade. Beautiful scenery and rivers for certain. Looks like you had good company – not much more you can ask for (maybe a fish or two and I think you had those). Take care RTR – have a safe and healthy holiday – Merry Christmas. UB

    • That’s yours truly in the Roaring Fork, a sweet spot while we had some solitude… Thank you for this & other support you’ve shown throughout the year, and a Merry Christmas & a fab & healthy new year to you too!

  9. loydtruss says:

    You and your daughter found the perfect way to escape the horrors of a year that all of us will never forget! Gorgeous images of places where fly fishing for trout is King! Hope you guys have a Merry Xmas and Happy New Year—thanks for sharing

  10. Pingback: The year in beer – OldPlaidCamper

  11. Jet Eliot says:

    Dear Walt, I so appreciated this refreshing look at the beautiful west and your upbeat attitude toward 2020 and 2021. Your daughter’s photos are remarkable. Wow, seeing a badger is so very cool, how great to get a photo; the photo of you in the crystal clear waters and rocks of the Roaring Fork is excellent, you are a rocker in the world of fishing; glorious photos of the Tetons, WY and Yosemite. And how very very special for you to have the love and companionship of this amazing young woman, your daughter. My very best to you and your loved ones, Walt, and thanks so much for this journey.

    • Thank you for the great kindness & appreciation, Jet. Alyssa was a great companion, camera gal & navigator, taking time out from her education studies to steer us through some very memorable mountain days. We can hope for more rewarding trail time in 2021, and wish you & yours the same & better for a fun, creative & healthy new year!

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