Lens Artists Photo Challenge – My Favorite Things

This week, Patti Moed throws us a softball challenge, share photos about our favorite things. As I love travel and all it’s possibilities of new faces and new places, I will focus my challenge response not on the locations but on the modes of travel. After all, for me, it is as much the journey as the destination. You can read Patti’s entire challenge post here. In my opening photo, this train carries passengers around a small area inside the grounds of the Labor Day tradition, the Western Minnesota Steam Thresher’s Reunion at Rollag, Minnesota. It’s a very short ride, but just seeing old 353 in action is the best part of the journey.

Regular readers of this trivial journal know of my love of aviation. Flying is truly one of my favorite things. Though I prefer to be Pilot in Command, I’ll take any excuse to get those gorgeous aerial views. Sometimes I sit in the back seat of our Civil Air Patrol aircraft and take photos out of the small camera port in the rear window. This image is a selfie captured when flying in the back seat of our glider tow plane. I discovered that the angle of reflection from the rear window to the mirror the pilot uses to keep an eye on the glider also happens to reflect directly on that back window. Of course, we don’t carry passengers when we tow the glider, but FAA regulations make removing the mirror when it’s not needed to be an exercise in unnecessary paperwork.

In recent years, our international travel has increased, but only to relatively nearby countries, and mostly travel by cruise ship rather than air. Lynn and I have discovered cruising to be one of our favorite things, so much so that in 2020, the year of our 50th wedding anniversary, we already have two cruises planned and will likely add a third trip before the year is out. One of my favorite images from cruising features a simple still life. I rise early most of the time and often just sit near a coffee dispenser to read and to enjoy the beginning of the day. I have a bunch of favorite images from cruising, but what could be better than hot coffee and calm seas in the morning?

Classic cars are yet another of my favorite things. Again, it’s the journey… a drive in the country, a visit with relatives you tolerate but they live in a great state, a nostalgic trip down a segment of Route 66, I’d be remiss in not featuring at least one of my favorite images of a classic car. This 1965 Mustang is the second generation of a car that enjoys extraordinary popularity some 55 years after the first units rolled off Ford’s assembly line.

Planes, trains, automobiles, ships… oh, and there’s one more mode of transportation that I should feature. Just plain old “put one foot in front of the other, repeat.” Hiking is a new favorite thing for me having only discovered the beauty and tranquility of a walk in the desert since wintering in Arizona. Again, it’s truly the journey. Who walks five to ten miles because they want to go somewhere these days? I captured the photo above on one of our hikes in Estrella Park in Goodyear Arizona. That year was the first for the park’s “100 Miles in 100 Days” challenge where hikers were given certificates for hiking 100 miles in Maricopa County Parks. I was lucky enough to have this photo featured on the certificates presented to hikers who met the challenge.

Thanks again to Patti for a great challenge and for allowing me to share some of my favorite photos of my favorite means of travel. As always, I look forward each week to seeing if I can be up to the challenge presented!

John Steiner


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