Thursday, January 1, 2015

The Year That was 2014

Wow, I can't believe that another year has gone by.  It seems like it was just yesterday that I was doing a review of 2013.  I guess that is the sign of a year that was pretty full or something.  It's been a tradition of mine to review the year that was and to attempt to preview the year that will be.  Normally, I try to finish this post on December 31st, but I had a ton of other posts to do.  So here it is being done as I listen to the Rose Bowl.
 Does 2 years make a tradition?  Well, I will start the post with my somewhat trusty Michigan Hat.  Granted, I've been wearing my Eastern hat a little more but the Michigan Hat is usually my main travelling hat.  This one doesn't look as worn as ones in the past though.
 January started off kind of slow.  The unprecedented levels of ice made shipping difficult and with that it meant that I didn't get many ship pictures.  However, the levels of ice made for some pretty cool ones.
 It was a pretty hard winter that continued into February.  That gave me the opportunity to get some nice snow covered lighthouse pictures though when the weather decided to cooperate.
As March rolled around, I was starting to get tired of the winter weather.  It made travel plans difficult but I did decide to head up to the Soo for the opening of the Locks.  While the locks were officially opened, there were no ships to be had.  In fact, it wasn't until about two weeks later that the first ship made it's way through the locks.
 April found me in Pennsylvania (which also seems to be a tradition).  This time, I ended up going to Altoona in order to see the Horseshoe Curve.  It is a pretty impressive destination for rail fans, as you can see trains that wrap around a valley.
 It also found me in Pittsburgh for the first time.  I don't know how many times I've passed by Pittsburgh without stopping but I figured I should stop there at some point.  I'll have to say that it was pretty impressive and I will have to go again.
 May found me in Duluth for the first time ever.  It has been a desired destination for me since I became a boatnerd in earnest.  I was getting a little worried as the ice levels still weren't coming down.  I thought I would end up there and not have any ships to see but that wasn't the case.  In fact, it made for some of my best ship pictures ever.
 June found me in several places.  First up was a glimpse at the Nickel Plate 765.  This would bode well for later in the year as I rode the Nickel Plate from Dearborn to Fort Wayne later in the year.  I would ride her again through the Cuyahoga valley.
 It also found me at Engineer's Day again.  This time there were a few more ships, so I had a chance for some cool pictures.
 July found me in Ludington for the fireworks again.  I didn't get many good firework pictures but I was pretty happy with my picture of the Badger.
 August found me on the boatnerd cruise.  It took me to places that I don't normally get to see.  One them was a trip down the Rouge River.  This is not a view that I normally get.
 August also found me in Fostoria, Ohio for the first time.  This is another destination spot for railfans as there are at least 5 trains per hour.  There are two main east-west lines and one main north-south line.  This makes for many opportunities to take pictures.
 September found me on the Nickel Plate again.  This time, it wandered through the Cuyahoga Valley.  I hope that they do this trip again because I will take it.
 That month found me taking football pictures.  Eastern was playing under a new coach but they still weren't very good.  This picture is from their short trip up to East Lansing.  There were a couple moments that gave some hope but they were way overpowered by the Spartans.
 October found me in Grand Haven to get a picture that I've wanted to get for a while.  Namely, a picture of a ship passing by one of the West Coast lighthouses.  In this case, it was one my favorites, the Algorail passing the Grand Haven light.
 It was in that month that I lost my buddy Zappa.  I still miss him.
 But I got myself a new buddy at the beginning of November.  Her name is Chessie and she is a pretty cool cat but will never replace Zappa.
 December found me shooting Eastern Michigan basketball again.  They are still under the same coach and as of this post, they are 11-2.  The team looks pretty good.
I found a couple of places in Toledo where I can get some decent ship shots.  I will have to explore these some more next year.
But the biggest moment for me this year was being on the court to watch Eastern Michigan defeat Michigan in basketball.  It has been a long time since this has happened.

There were many more events from last year but this is a good summary.  I hope 2015 is as much fun.

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