Category Archives: Layla

Eclipse Road Trip – Day 2

On Day 2 of the Eclipse Road Trip I woke up in the comfort of the bed. Did my business in a toilet with running water. Brushed my teeth. Still opted for a whore’s bath and then decided to do a little bit of exploring while the rest were sleeping I decided to sneak off and do a little exploring. I had done a little research on the Gosport area and found out that there was a beautiful waterfall nearby. There was also an interesting sculpture park, but that didn’t open until 9 AM and by the time I explored it, I wouldn’t have had time to get back to Linda’s to leave for the eclipse party.

Through my research I also learned about a cool bakery in Gosport that had an open kitchen that allowed you to watch them bake all of the tasty goodness.

Here are some pictures from the day:


Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
This cool drive-in theater reminds me that one of my goals this year is to go watch a movie at a drive-in movie theater. Who is in?

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
It was a beautiful sunrise on a foggy morning. Almost magical.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
It cost an outsider like me 9 smackers to visit Cataract Falls State Park. If I was from Indiana, it would have been $7. I thought about how lucky I am to be able to visit Ledges or Mines of Spain or Backbone anytime I want for free, but then I’m also reminded that we don’t even have park rangers any more and are parks are poorly maintained. So maybe it is a wash.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Going over the Eel River was this sweet covered bridge.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Even though I wasn’t there to see the eclipse I got a 5 minute lecture about it from 2 different park rangers. Even though I told both of them that I was just there to see the Niagara Falls of Indiana.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
It is really the largest waterfall in Indiana. You might scoff, but it is way bigger than any waterfall in Iowa.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
After leaving Cataract Falls I visited the town of Cataract to check out the famous Cataract General Store and the Cataract School. This sign should hang everywhere.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Is that good? That seems good.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
I stopped at the cool bakery. I bought a piece of red velvet cake and a piece of carrot cake. I also bought this chocolate milk. I have a longstanding belief that it is impossible to get great chocolate milk outside of Iowa (or outside of the AE Dairy footprint). Kind of like how you can’t get a good tenderloin outside of Iowa. The clerk at the Bakery ranted and raved about this chocolate milk. It was an okay chocolate milk, but if I somehow ever get back to Gosport I’m taking a gallon of AE into the bakery and I’m blowing some minds. Anyways, this chocolate milk comes from a local dairy.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
This truck is parked just outside of Paragon. Nobody I talked to seemed to know the story. Rest in peace Jack Brown.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Jen came back from Indiana with one more fur coat. A beaver fur coat this time.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
I witnessed quite the wrestling match. I’m not sure who won. But it was quite the match.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
I ate so much food at the Eclipse Party. Linda’s ribs were delicious. So was Pete’s chili. I tried something called “fluffy” that Evie was certain was going to change my life. I don’t know it did, but I ate plenty of it. Also a ton of peanut butter bars.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
It’s starting!

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Styling and profiling!

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Totality!

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
During the eclipse there are these crazy crescent shadows.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
My camera filter.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
This is the road outside of Linda and Pete’s house. I swear every road that isn’t a highway looks like this road.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
After the eclipse we packed up and headed back. We had a hotel booked in Normal, Illinois.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
We ended up getting gas in Danville, Illinois. Apparently the no buying gas in Illinois thing was just an elaborate ruse.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
I’ve been to shadier gas stations. One in San Antonio comes to mind, but this one was pretty shady.

The drive from Indiana to the hotel was crazy busy. There were a ton of people fleeing Indiana after the eclipse. The last 5 miles or so on the interstate took me over 30 minutes. It was great to get to the hotel. I watched part of UCONN’s dismantling of Purdue. Then watched the kids swim in the pool before calling it a night.

One more sleep before finishing the trip home the next day.

Oh… here is one more bonus image. Evie took this picture of Derrick. We were trying to teach him about Snapchat.


Eclipse Road Trip - 2024

I think we failed and honestly I’m not that great at Snapchat. Evie knows way more than me. So maybe she can keep working on him.

Eclipse Road Trip – Day 1

The last total eclipse to be visible from the United States for the next 20 years was on April 8. Unfortunately to see the 100% totality, I had to leave my beloved Cyclone State. I originally perused a few options. A spot in Missouri. A spot in Illinois. A spot in Arkansas. A spot in Kentucky. I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do. Cause I knew that hotels in the areas were outrageous. I was considering driving to like the Quad Cities on the Sunday before the eclipse and then driving the rest of the way in the morning. Then driving back that night. Then the most magical thing happened. I had a trip just kinda fall into my lap.

The Gorshes are well-known eclipse fiends. They went to New Mexico for an eclipse last year. They were going this year. Travelling to Indiana to camp on Jen’s Aunt Linda’s land. They were going to drive all the way through on Sunday. Watch the eclipse on Monday. Then drive back to Illinois and stay in a hotel in Normal. Then drive back to Iowa on Tuesday. They graciously offered to let me 7th or 8th wheel it on their trip.

They were pulling a camper behind Derrick’s serial killer van* with 2 adults, 4 kids, and a dog. As roomy as the van was I elected to take the RAV4 to the Sycamore State cause for 1 person, I pack a lot of stuff. I think the offer was on the table for me to sleep in the camper as well, but I decided to pack a tent and an air mattress and sleep the way the pioneers did. In a tent. On a queen sized air mattress. With electricity for their CPAP, cause I still haven’t hit 3 months and I have to average over 4 hours a night for the old insurance company to kick in some ducats. Also electricity to charge their cell phone and listen to their sleepy time podcasts. Also electricity to charge their fitness watch. Those steps don’t count if they aren’t tracked! Some real old-timey pioneer stuff.

However, a couple days before we were set to leave, Jen texted me and let me know that I had been upgraded from the tent to Linda and Pete’s camper. With the only caveat being that it was still winterized, so there would be no running water. Me? An old-timey pioneer camper? I don’t need no stinking running water! I could brush my teeth in the rain. Or with the water in my Owala water bottle. Just like the pioneers did. And I had already planned on a whore’s bath for Monday anyways. You know. Pits and… well you know.

According to the Google maps, it is a nearly 8 hour drive from my domicile to Linda’s house in Gosport, Indiana.

I don’t want to brag, but we made it in a touch over 12 hours. That is without accounting for the time zone change.

I didn’t take many cell phone pictures on Day 1, but I took a few and here they are:


Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Stop 1. They also had a bathroom with running water, but in case you wanted the ambiance of a port-a-potty, “To The Right”. The capitalization of every word on this sign disturbs me and haunts my dreams.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Stop 2. This gas station was very serious about not letting backpacks in their store.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
It was in Davenport.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
And they brook no nonsense from kids.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
I think they aren’t really sorry for the inconvenience. We stopped at virtually the last gas station in Iowa because it was very important to not buy gas in Illinois cause it is apparently very expensive there.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Stop 3 – Sweet insect exhibit at an Illinois rest area.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
All rest areas should have giant rubber bugs. This is not open to debate.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Bug needs to work on his arms. Needing a condiment cup to hold himself up. Do you even lift bro?

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
I am such a sucker for taking pictures of where I am.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
This rest are had a sweet lookout and somebody actually wrote a Joe Dirt quote on the railing.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Do sex drugs own the rock-n-roll? Is this person really into rock concerts sponsored by Viagra?

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Stop 4 – Another Illinois rest area. I told you I’m a sucker for taking pictures like that.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
This rest area was a dump. Just filthy. No urinals. The only positive was these cherry blossoms.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
This thing was cool too. While there Harrison had a meltdown in the restroom because he refused to wash his hands. This standoff lasted like 10-15 minutes. I don’t blame him. It was a bathroom that was so dirty that your hands were probably dirtier after washing them. In retrospect, I should have just offered him some of my Bridgerton scented hand sanitizer. Perhaps Bridgerton Study. They have a light scent. Easy on the nose. I’ve never heard anybody claim they are way too strong and demand that I leave their immediate area, shortly after using one. That seemed like an oddly specific denial.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
I’m not sure which stop this was. We stopped at a gas station in Crawfordsville. Then we stopped at a Steak ‘n Shake, also in Crawfordsville.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
The Steak ‘n Shake had this weird thing. Weird to me, maybe some of you will look down your nose at me and call me a country bumpkin, but I had never seen it before. When you ordered (which by the way the only option to order was via kiosk – which super boo! Shouted this old man at the clouds.) Your receipt also printed out a QR Code. You had to scan this QR Code to use the pop machine. It only activated the pop machine for so long, so you better act fast AND it only worked like 3 times.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
When we got out of the restaurant, Derrick’s van wouldn’t start. Neither us have jumper cables (I keep mine in the Camry) so I had to give him a ride to Home Depot to buy a set.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
We got his van going and were on the road again. Willie Nelson would have been proud.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Turns out, Linda and Pete didn’t really live in Gosport. We drove through Gosport and then 10 miles more through 3 different towns before getting to their house.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
They live closest to Paragon. But they have a Gosport mailing address because that is the only post office in 3 counties. Also, that is the toilet.

Eclipse Road Trip - 2024
Layla teaching the boys the globalist lie.

When we pulled up to our home for the night Linda approached me and asked me if I played the lottery today. The answer is of course not. I don’t play the lottery. It is a self-imposed tax designed to move the tax burden from the wealthy to the poor, uneducated, and the just plain bad at math.

But what I said was, “No.”

She told me I should have because it was my lucky day. I had been upgraded to sleeping in the house, in the guest bedroom. Not only that, I would have my own bathroom. Suck on that whore’s bath! That might have been an unfortunate turn of phrase but no turning back now.

I got a bed, inside a house, with access to all the running water my heart could desire and all the electrical outlets a true pioneer man could use. I should have brought other things into charge, just cause I could. I should have just sat there flushing the toilet. Cause I could. Brushed my teeth 10-12 times. Cause I could.

But I didn’t. I eventually called it a night and drifted into a nice sleep listening to a Cyclone Fanatic podcast. Tomorrow was a big day after all.

*It isn’t really a serial killer van. It has too many windows. But I like to pretend.

WPC – WEEK 446 – #INSTAGOOD

#INSTAGOOD! A great theme! A theme so easy that you could participate if you took one picture this week. But did many people take at least one picture to be able to send us the best picture that they took this week to make #INSTAGOOD a popular theme? You’ll have to keep scrolling to find out!

As of 12:01 PM on Monday, March 25, this was the current list of ACTIVE streaks (ignore the numbers in parentheses):

1-Evie Gorshe – 1 week (IA)
2-Willy McAlpine – 1 week (IA)
3-Tim Panages – 1 week (IA)
4-Elainie Hernandez – 2 weeks (IA)
5-Deanna McClain – 2 weeks (IA)
6-Johnathan Stensland – 2 weeks (IA)
7-Adam Gordon – 4 weeks (2) (IA, MS, MO)
8-Stehanie Kim – 6 weeks (NY)
9-Becky Parmelee – 6 weeks (AR, IA)
10-Sara Lockner – 10 weeks (IA)
11-Lowell Davis – 12 weeks (IA)
12-Michelle Haupt – 12 weeks (IA, MO)
13-Alexis Stensland – 12 weeks (IA)
14-Brandon Kahler – 13 weeks (IA, MN)
15-Scott Degeneffe – 31 weeks (IA, FL)
16-Sabas Hernandez – 32 weeks (2) (IA)
17-Mike Vest – 36 weeks (IA, MO)
18-Sheri Fakhouri – 41 weeks (2) (IA)
19-Logan Kahler – 42 weeks (IA, MN)
20-Nathanial Brown – 43 weeks(IA, SD, GA, TN)
21-Jesse Howard – 43 weeks (IA, MO, NE)
22-Tamara Peterson – 55 weeks (IA, MN)
23-Mindi Terrell – 58 weeks (2) (IA)
24-Linda Bennett – 87 weeks (KS)
25-Sarah Toot – 88 weeks (2) (PA, NY, VT, NV)
26-Angie DeWaard – 92 weeks (IA)
27-Dawn Krause – 96 weeks (2) (IA)
28-Kim Barker – 102 weeks (2) (IA, CO)
29-Joe Duff – 103 weeks (TX)
30-Teresa Kahler – 114 weeks (2) (IA)
31-Carla Stensland – 114 weeks (IA, MO)
32-Micky Augustin – 116 weeks (IA, IL)
33-Andy Sharp – 117 weeks (IA, NE, AR, MS, MO, TN, LA)
34-Bill Wentworth – 118 weeks (NE)
35-Cathie Morton – 121 weeks (IA, FL, BHS)
36-Elizabeth Nordeen – 123 weeks (IA)
37-Shannon Bardole-Foley – 125 weeks (IA)
38-Kio Dettman – 127 weeks (2) (IA)

An observant observer might be wondering why Carla’s streak is intact. She did get a submission in at the horn, but not soon enough for it to be included in the email blast. But is up on the website. You can go look at last Monday’s post and verify.

Here is the list of rules for Year 11 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE:


1. The picture must be taken between 12:01 PM today and 11 AM next Monday. This isn’t a curate your photos project. This is a get your butt off the couch and take pictures challenge!
2. There is a limit of 2 submissions per person per theme. If you send me more than 2, I will use the first 2 that you submit.
3. Deadline to submit your submission is 11 AM next Monday.
4. To be considered the photographer of an image, you have to be the one that clicks the shutter. If you hand your camera over to somebody else to take a picture of you, you are NOT the photographer of that image.
5. No screen captures. This is a photography challenge. Not a “look at what I found on the internet” challenge.

There are still 2 ways to submit:
1. Email your submission to bennett@photography139.com.
2. Text your submission to my Google Pixel 8 Pro.
3. Sometimes, for special people, for special circumstances, we can negotiate something.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me talk all tommyrot about participation rates or streaks or the rules of the challenge or how to submit. You came to see the submissions and what streaks continued and what streaks flamed out:


WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - SUZIE BRANNEN
Suzie Brannen (Iowa) – 1 week

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - JEN ENSLEY-GORSHE
Jen Ensley-Gorshe (Hampton, Virginia) – 1 week

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - LAYLA GORSHE
Layla Gorshe (Iowa) – 1 week

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - MARY GREEN
Mary Green (Michigan) – 1 week

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - MONICA JENNINGS
Monica Jennings (Ankeny, Iowa) – 1 week

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - AMY PETERSON
Amy Peterson (Ledges State Park – Boone County, Iowa) – 1 week

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - WILLIAM MCALPINE
Willy McAlpine (Boone, Iowa) – 2 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - TIM PANAGES
Tim Panages (Ankeny, Iowa) – 2 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - DEANNA MCCLAIN
Deanna McClain (Perry, Iowa) – 3 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - JOHNATHAN STENSLAND
Johnathan Stensland (Ogden, Iowa) – 3 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - ADAM GORDON
Adam Gordon (Iowa) – 5 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee (Tulsa, Oklahoma) – 7 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - SARA LOCKNER
Sara Lockner (Ogden, Iowa) – 11 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - LOWELL DAVIS
Lowell Davis (Boone, Iowa) – 13 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt (Overland Park, Kansas) – 13 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - ALEXIS STENSLAND
Alexis Stensland (Ogden, Iowa) – 13 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - BRANDON KAHLER
Brandon Kahler (Story City, Iowa) – 14 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - SCOTT DEGENEFFE
Scott Degeneffe (Boone County, Iowa) – 32 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - SABAS HERNANDEZ
Sabas Hernandez (Ogden, Iowa) – 33 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest (Madrid, Iowa) – 37 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - SHERI FAKHOURI
Sheri Fakhouri (Ankeny, Iowa) – 42 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler (Boone, Iowa) – 43 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - NATHANIAL BROWN
Nathanial Brown (Des Moines, Iowa) – 44 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard (Iowa) – 44 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson (Perry, Iowa) – 56 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - MINDI TERRELL
Mindi Terrell (Johnston, Iowa) – 59 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett (Kansas) – 88 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - SARAH TOOT
Sarah Toot (E. Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania) – 89 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard (Iowa) – 93 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause (Boone, Iowa) – 97 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker (Nevada, Iowa) – 103 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff (League City, Texas) – 104 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler (Boone, Iowa) – 115 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland (Ogden, Iowa) – 115 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin (Iowa) – 117 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp (Red Oak, Iowa) – 118 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth (Omaha, Nebraska) – 119 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - CATHIE MORTON
Cathie Morton (Norwalk, Iowa) – 122 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen (Iowa) – 124 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley (West Des Moines, Iowa) – 126 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman (Boone, Iowa) – 128 weeks

WPC - WEEK 446 - #INSTAGOOD - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett (Mines of Spain State Recreation Area – Dubuque County, Iowa) – 550 weeks

42 participants! That is a great week! Breaking the previous high for this year held by DECORATION at 40. I believe 42 ties the all-time high. Held by the #INSTAGOOD theme from last year. But I’d have to check my records to confirm that.

Thanks to Becky’s trip we added Oklahoma to the Photography 139 Submissions Map!

Thanks to Jen’s trip we added Virginia to the Photography 139 Submissions Map! Virginia was one of the states we didn’t get a submission from in 2023! So that makes it extra exciting!

There were submissions this week taken in the following places:

+ Iowa (34)
+ Kansas (2)
+ Michigan (1)
+ Nebraska (1)
+ Oklahoma (1)
+ Pennsylvania (1)
+ Texas (1)
+ Virginia (1)

Here is the Year 11 list of places where submissions have been taken (submissions taken in each places):

+ Arkansas (6.5)
+ Bahamas (1)
+ California (1)
+ Colorado (4)
+ Florida (3)
+ Georgia (1)
+ Hawaii (2)
+ Illinois (1)
+ Indiana (2)
+ Iowa (444)
+ Kansas (19)
+ Louisiana (2)
+ Michigan (5)
+ Minnesota (6)
+ Mississippi (1.5)
+ Missouri (8.5)
+ Nebraska (18)
+ Nevada (1)
+ New York (9)
+ Oklahoma (1)
+ Pennsylvania (12)
+ South Dakota (3)
+ Tennessee (2.5)
+ Texas (20)
+ Vermont (1)
+ Virginia (1)

25 states so far! 1 foreign country! Not bad! So far, the following people have submitted from multiple places:

+ Andy Sharp (IA, NE, MO, AR, TN, MS, LA) – 7
+ Jen Ensley-Gorshe (IA, CO, MO, TX, TN, VA) – 6
+ Nathanial Brown (IA, SD, TN, GA) – 4
+ Sarah Toot (PA, NY, VT, NV) – 4
+ Christopher D. Bennett (IA, MO, NE) – 3
+ Adam Gordon (IA, MS, MO) – 3
+ Mary Green (MI, IA, IN) – 3
+ Michelle Haupt (IA, MO, KS) – 3
+ Jesse Howard (IA, MO, NE) – 3
+ Cathie Morton (IA, FL, BS) – 3
+ Becky Parmelee (AR, IA, OK) – 3
+ Micky Augustin (IA, IL) – 2
+ Scott Degeneffe (IA, FL) – 2
+ Susanna Funk (IA, CO) – 2
+ Brandon Kahler (IA, MN) – 2
+ Logan Kahler (IA, MN) – 2
+ Sara Lockner (IA, MN) – 2
+ Tamara Peterson (IA, MN) – 2
+ Carla Stensland (IA, MO) -2
+ Mike Vest (IA, MO) – 2

Andy holds a 1 state lead over Jen to be crowned “The Most Travelled THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE Photographer!”

There were no big milestones reached this week. However, Layla submitted for the first time this year! WooHoo! There was some sadness. Evie couldn’t build on her submission from last week and her streak is over before it began. Elainie’s streak is over after 2 weeks. But worst of all, Steph’s streak goes down after 6 weeks!

But enough dwelling on the past. Time to look to the future. We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives. And remember my friend, future events such as these will affect you in the future! This week’s theme:


WEEK 447 - PASSION
PASSION – SUGGESTED BY SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY

PASSION! What a great theme for Year 11 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE!

I’m not describing the themes this year unless I think they need a little explanation. One thing to remember that PASSION is not just something you like bunches and bunches. PASSION is something you are willing to suffer for. When you take your pictures, would you be willing to take a punch to the face for this thing? Would you be willing to take something worse for this thing? If the answer is “yes”, then you have a PASSION subject.

I look forward to your interpretation!

That is all I got, so if the good Lord’s willin’ and the creek don’t rise, we will see your idea of PASSION in this place that is a bit of passion project next Monday.

RAGBRAI – Ames

On the first day that I followed RAGBRAI, the final stop was Ames. Ames was an overnight town. I went to downtown Ames to check out their festivities and met up with the Gorshes.

Here are some pictures:


RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

RAGBRAI - Ames - 2023

Honestly, the Ames RAGBRAI experience was a little bit of a disappointment. But on the next day I would follow RAGBRAI to Slater and Madrid, and both of them more than made up for Ames!

Iowa State Fair – Day 1 – Beta

Today seems like a good day to share the rest of the pictures from my day at the Iowa State Fair with Jen, Evie, and Layla. We saw some big chunks of the Fair and ate some great food and made some great art!

Here are some of my favorites:


Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023
You may recognize this artist’s style. Some of her work hangs up at Jimmy’s Barbecue.

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023
I love this idea.

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023
I’m a sucker for a picture of people looking at art.

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

I have a standing, handshake deal, with Evie (and hopefully Layla is in too) to go to Snakes Alive this year and get our picture taken with a snake. This going to Day 1 of the Fair with the Gorshes has become one of favorite little traditions!

Iowa State Fair – Day 1 – Alpha

Time to start sharing pictures from my numerous trips to the Iowa State Fair last year. Once again, I made a traditional visit on Day 1 of the Fair with Jen to watch Evie and Layla dance with their Irish dancing group. They performed early in the morning at the Mid American Stage. The bad thing about this is that the Mid American Stage faces east. I repeat, they performed in the morning. If you don’t know, the sun rises in the east. In the morning. That is just science.

I bring this up because it had to suck for them dancing while staring into the sun. I’m going to share pictures from their performance, and as you will see right away, they are dancing with their eyes closed… cause they were staring into the sun.

Here are some pictures from their performance:


Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

Iowa State Fair Gorshes Trip - 2023

After the performance we hung out at the fair for a few hours. I have plenty of pictures to share from that as well!

Calendar Favorites

Today is Lowell’s birthday so I need to wish him a happy birthday!


Day 138 - May 18, 2022
HAPPY BIRTHDAY LOWELL!

If you don’t know, Lowell is not Kim and is not the tall guy.

It is one of my most profoundest birthday wishes that today is a good day.

+++++++

This is one of my favorite posts of the year. To share what people said was their favorite calendar image from the 2024 Photography 139 Calendar. There is still 1 calendar left to distribute, but I don’t know when that will happen. I got a response back from most people I gave a calendar to. Some people must have just immediately thrown it in the garbage and never given it a second thought. But that’s okay. Maybe opens up new calendar recipients for 2025…*

Some of these picture below are of different people in the same family that got one calendar, in case you are wondering if I gave, say 6 calendars to the Baiers.

Here we go:

FRONT COVER
2024 Calendar Favorites
Brandon Kahler

2024 Calendar Favorites
Nora Yoon

JANUARY
2024 Calendar Favorites
Jay Janson

2024 Calendar Favorites
Jen Ensley-Gorshe

2024 Calendar Favorites
Sabas Hernandez

2024 Calendar Favorites
Sara Lockner

FEBRUARY
2024 Calendar Favorites
Jesse Howard

2024 Calendar Favorites
Kevin Krause

2024 Calendar Favorites
Layla Gorshe

2024 Calendar Favorites
Olivia Baier

MARCH
2024 Calendar Favorites
Andree Jauhari

2024 Calendar Favorites
Andy Sharp

2024 Calendar Favorites
Bill Wentworth

2024 Calendar Favorites
J.J. Baier

2024 Calendar Favorites
Kim Barker

2024 Calendar Favorites
Russ Kahler

2024 Calendar Favorites
Scott Degeneffe

2024 Calendar Favorites
Will Baier

2024 Calendar Favorites
Willy McAlpine

APRIL
2024 Calendar Favorites
Colleen Hobe

2024 Calendar Favorites
Joe Duff

2024 Calendar Favorites
Michelle Haupt

2024 Calendar Favorites
Monica Jennings

2024 Calendar Favorites
Teresa Kahler

MAY

2024 Calendar Favorites
Ben Baier

2024 Calendar Favorites
Fran Duncan

2024 Calendar Favorites
Beck Gorshe

2024 Calendar Favorites
Jason Carpenter

JUNE

2024 Calendar Favorites
Carrie Baier

2024 Calendar Favorites
Logan Kahler

2024 Calendar Favorites
Mike Vest

JULY

2024 Calendar Favorites
Jason Baier

2024 Calendar Favorites
Russell Kennerly

AUGUST WAS UNIVERSALLY UNLOVED

SEPTEMBER

2024 Calendar Favorites
Becky Parmelee

2024 Calendar Favorites
Elizabeth Nordeen

OCTOBER

2024 Calendar Favorites
Alexis Stensland

2024 Calendar Favorites
Derrick Gorshe

2024 Calendar Favorites
Jorge Rios

NOVEMBER

2024 Calendar Favorites
Carla Stensland

2024 Calendar Favorites
Elainie Hernandez

2024 Calendar Favorites
Jeanette Duff

2024 Calendar Favorites
Johnathan Stensland

2024 Calendar Favorites
Kio Dettman

2024 Calendar Favorites
Melissa Degeneffe

2024 Calendar Favorites
Nader Parsaei

DECEMBER

2024 Calendar Favorites
Anders Runestad

2024 Calendar Favorites
Dawn Krause

That is it. I’m done writing about the calendar until the next one comes out!

*This is facetious.

The Weekly Photo Challenge Year in Review

As yesterday closed the book on Year 10 of THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE, now seems like a good time to review all that happened.

There were 59 different people that submitted photos. Ranging from submitting 1 picture to 124 pictures.

There were 2,311 photos submitted.

The average week was 31.1 participants.

The average week had 44.4 submissions.

The most popular week was Week 422. The theme was #INSTAGOOD. There were 41 participants.

The most popular week by submissions was Week 405. The theme was FLOWER. There were 62 submissions.

3 themes tied for least popular theme by participants. TRAINS, PLANES, & AUTOMOBILES; REFLECTION; and SUNRISE, SUNSET each has only 25 participants.

TRAINS, PLANES, & AUTOMOBILES was the least popular theme by submissions. It received only 30 submissions.

Here is my favorite submission from all 59 different people that submitted and some statistics about each participant.


WEEK 397 - FRIENDS - HEATHER COURTNEY
Heather Courtney
1 week – 2%
1 submission
No current streak

WEEK 422 - INSTAGOOD - PEPPER DUNCAN
Pepper Duncan
1 week – 2%
1 submission
No current streak

WEEK 419 - BLACK & WHITE - COREY FAUST
Corey Faust
1 week – 2%
1 submission
No current streak

WEEK 423 - VINTAGE -  ADAM GORDON
Adam Gordon
1 week – 2%
3 submissions
No current streak

WEEK 423 - VINTAGE - HARRISON GORSHE
Harrison Gorshe
1 week – 2%
1 submission
No current streak

WEEK 382 - TRAINS, PLANES, & AUTOMOBILES - MICHELLE HAUPT
Michelle Haupt
1 week – 2%
1 submission
No current streak

WEEK 400 - HAPPY - STEPHANIE KIM
Stephanie Kim
1 week – 2%
1 submission
No current streak

WPC 433 - HUMANS - CARRIE MOELLERS
Carrie Moellers
1 week – 2%
1 submission
Current Streak: 1 week

WEEK 398 - ROAD TRIP - MIKE PARMELEE
Mike Parmelee
1 week – 2%
1 submission
Current Streak: 1 week

WEEK 418 - SKY - ERNIE REDD
Ernie Redd
1 week – 2%
1 submission
No current streak

WEEK 426 - FOOD - DIANE SHARP
Diane Sharp
1 week – 2%
1 submission
No current streak

WEEK 425 - SIGNS - JULIE SHARP
Julie Sharp
1 week – 2%
1 submission
No current streak

WEEK 422 - INSTAGOOD - LORI BACKOUS
Lori Backous
2 weeks – 4%
3 submissions
No current streak

WEEK 401 - HAPPY - MELISSA DEGENEFFE
Melissa Degeneffe
2 weeks – 4%
3 submissions
No current streak

WEEK 422 - INSTAGOOD - DERRICK GORSHE
Derrick Gorshe
2 weeks – 4%
2 submissions
No current streak

WEEK 403 - TEXTURE - LAYLA GORSHE
Layla Gorshe
2 weeks – 4%
2 submissions
No current streak

WEEK 388 - FRAME - SARAH KARBER
Sarah Karber
2 weeks – 4%
2 submissions
No current streak

WEEK 405 - FLOWER - JOHNATHAN STENSLAND
Johnathan Stensland
2 weeks – 4%
2 submissions
No current streak

WEEK 401 - HAPPY - NADER PARSAEI
Nader Parsaei
3 weeks – 6%
3 submissions
No current streak

WEEK 421 - RELIGION - MYRIAH SHARP
Myriah Sharp
3 weeks – 6%
5 submissions
No current streaks

WEEK 394 - BLUE - PORTER DEGENEFFE
Porter Degeneffe
4 weeks – 8%
4 submissions
No current streaks

WEEK 422 - INSTAGOOD - EVIE GORSHE
Evie Gorshe
6 weeks – 12%
6 submissions
No current streak

WEEK 406 - 'SCAPE -AMY PETERSON
Amy Peterson
10 weeks – 19%
14 submissions
Current Streak: 1 week

WEEK 429 - HOMETOWN -ELAINIE STENSLAND
Elainie Stensland
12 weeks – 23%
15 submissions
No current streak

WPC 430 - LINES - SUSANNA FUNK
Susanna Funk
14 weeks – 27%
19 submissions
No current streak

WEEK 422 - INSTAGOOD - JEN ENSLEY-GORSHE
Jen Ensley-Gorshe
19 weeks – 37%
22 submissions
No current streak

WEEK 387 - PLAY - BECKY PARMELEE
Becky Parmelee
23 weeks – 44.2%
26 submissions
No current streak

WPC 430 - LINES - SHERI FAKHOURI
Sheri Fakhouri
29 weeks – 56%
53 submissions
Current streak: 29 weeks

WPC 430 - LINES - SCOTT DEGENEFFE
Scott Degeneffe
32 weeks – 62%
46 submissions
Current streak: 19 weeks

WEEK 409 - A SHAPE - MARY GREEN
Mary Green
32 weeks – 62%
68 submissions
Current streak: 2 weeks

WEEK 422 - INSTAGOOD - SARA LOCKNER
Sara Lockner
33 weeks – 63%
39 submissions
Current streak: 1 week

WEEK 416 - NATURE - WILLY MCALPINE
Willy McAlpine
34 weeks – 65%
37 submissions
No current streak

WEEK 395 - ODD CAMERA ANGLE - SUZIE BRANNEN
Suzie Brannen
35 weeks – 67%
50 submissions
No current streak

WEEK 410 - GUILTY PLEASURE - ALEXIS STENSLAND
Alexis Stensland
35 weeks – 67%
72 submissions
No current streak

WEEK 408 - TIME - SABAS HERNANDEZ
Sabas Hernandez
43 weeks – 83%
43 submissions
Current streak: 20 weeks

WEEK 419 - BLACK & WHITE - MONICA JENNINGS
Monica Jennings
43 weeks – 83%
60 submissions
No current streak

WEEK 399 - SCHOOL - MINDI TERRELL
Mindi Terrell
46 weeks – 88%
124 submissions
Current streak: 46 weeks

WEEK 423 - VINTAGE - NATHANIAL BROWN
Nathanial Brown
47 weeks – 90%
77 submissions
Current streak: 31 weeks

WEEK 419 - BLACK & WHITE - JESSE HOWARD
Jesse Howard
49 weeks – 94%
62 submissions
Current streaks: 31 weeks

WEEK 396 - SCENES FROM YOUR COUCH - MIKE VEST
Mike Vest
50 weeks – 96%
50 submissions
Current streaks: 25 weeks

WEEK 402 - PARK - BRANDON KAHLER
Brandon Kahler
51 weeks – 98%
55 submissions
Current streak: 1 week

WEEK 419 - BLACK & WHITE - LOGAN KAHLER
Logan Kahler
51 weeks – 98%
81 submissions
Current streak: 30 weeks

WEEK 416 - NATURE - TAMARA PETERSON
Tamara Peterson
51 weeks – 98%
56 submissions
Current streak: 34 weeks

WEEK 395 - ODD CAMERA ANGLE - MICKY AUGUSTIN
Micky Augustin
52 weeks – 100%
55 submissions
Current streak: 104 weeks

WEEK 418 - SKY - SHANNON BARDOLE-FOLEY
Shannon Bardole-Foley
52 weeks – 100%
55 submissions
Current streak: 113 weeks

WEEK 420 - ARCHITECTURE - KIM BARKER
Kim Barker
52 weeks – 100%
60 submissions
Current streak: 90 weeks

WEEK 396 - SCENES FROM YOUR COUCH - CHRISTOPHER D. BENNETT
Christopher D. Bennett
52 weeks – 100%
52 submissions
Current streak: 537 weeks

WEEK 408 - TIME - LINDA BENNETT
Linda Bennett
52 weeks – 100%
91 submissions
Current streak: 75 weeks

WEEK 427 - PORTRAIT - KIO DETTMAN
Kio Dettman
52 weeks – 100%
107 submissions
Current streak: 115 weeks

WEEK 404 - TEXTURE - ANGIE DEWAARD
Angie DeWaard
52 weeks – 100%
59 submissions
Current streak: 80 weeks

WEEK 423 - VINTAGE - JOE DUFF
Joe Duff
52 weeks – 100%
71 submissions
Current streak: 91 weeks

WEEK 419 - BLACK & WHITE - TERESA KAHLER
Teresa Kahler
52 weeks – 100%
111 submissions
Current streak: 102 weeks

WEEK 419 - BLACK & WHITE - DAWN KRAUSE
Dawn Krause
52 weeks – 100%
89 submissions
Current streak: 84 weeks

WEEK 395 - ODD CAMERA ANGLE - CATHIE MORTON
Cathie Morton
52 weeks – 100%
58 submissions
Current streak: 110 weeks

WEEK 422 - INSTAGOOD - ELIZABETH NORDEEN
Elizabeth Nordeen
52 weeks – 100%
72 submissions
Current streak: 111 weeks

WEEK 416 - NATURE - ANDY SHARP
Andy Sharp
52 weeks – 100%
72 submissions
Current streak: 105 weeks

WEEK 419 - BLACK & WHITE - CARLA STENSLAND
Carla Stensland
52 weeks – 100%
90 submissions
Current streak: 102 weeks

WEEK 406 - 'SCAPE - SARAH TOOT
Sarah Toot
52 weeks – 100%
96 submissions
Current streak: 76 weeks

WEEK 385 - SILENCE - BILL WENTWORTH
Bill Wentworth
52 weeks – 100%
54 submissions
Current streak: 106 weeks

Here are a few quick stats from last year:

+ 44 different participants
+ 1811 photos submitted
+ Least popular theme for participation was ROCK with 16 participants
+ Most popular theme for participation was SELF-PORTRAIT with 31 participants
+ Least popular theme for submissions was ROCK with 20 submissions
+ Most popular theme for submission was LINES with 51 submissions
+ The average week had 24.6 participants
+ The average week had 34.8 submissions

To put in perspective compared to last year:

+ 15 more different participants.
+ 500 more submissions.
+ The most popular theme had 10 more participants.
+ The most popular theme by submissions has 11 more submissions.
+ The average participation was up almost 7 participants per week.
+ The average submissions was up nearly 10 per week.

Hopefully Year 11 has a similar amount of growth!

But Don’t Tell Me You’re Sorry, Boy

Today is Veterans Day. A day that celebrates all those who served in the U.S. Military.


Buchanan County

Happy Veterans Day to all the veterans I know! And to the ones I don’t know too.

+++++++>/h2>

Time to hit up the backlog again. These pictures are from March and they just didn’t fit into any previous post. Some are sunset pictures. Some are from Gretchen’s birthday party. Some are pictures of gas stations.

Have a look:


But Don't Tell Me You're Sorry, Boy

But Don't Tell Me You're Sorry, Boy

But Don't Tell Me You're Sorry, Boy

But Don't Tell Me You're Sorry, Boy

But Don't Tell Me You're Sorry, Boy

But Don't Tell Me You're Sorry, Boy

Gretchen's 2023 Birthday Party

Gretchen's 2023 Birthday Party

Gretchen's 2023 Birthday Party

Gretchen's 2023 Birthday Party

Gretchen's 2023 Birthday Party

Gretchen's 2023 Birthday Party

Gretchen's 2023 Birthday Party

Gretchen's 2023 Birthday Party

Gretchen's 2023 Birthday Party

Gretchen's 2023 Birthday Party

Gretchen's 2023 Birthday Party

Gretchen's 2023 Birthday Party

Gretchen's 2023 Birthday Party

Gretchen's 2023 Birthday Party

Gretchen's 2023 Birthday Party

Gretchen's 2023 Birthday Party

Unfortunately I didn’t get any pictures of Gretchen or Maven. I kinda suck.

There are still plenty more images in the March backlog to share.

Happy Halloween – Late

Because last week was so messed up, I didn’t get my planned Halloween post put together, so here it goes.

I hope everybody had a good Halloween. I had 51 trick-or-treaters, which was less than last year, but about average.

Now time for my annual Halloween Candy Bar Power Rankings

CANDY BAR POWER RANKINGS


10. PayDay
9. Snickers Almond
8. Skor
7. Pretzel M & M’s
6. Twix Caramel
5. Snickers
4. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
3. Peanut M & M’s
2. Take 5
1. Whatchamacallit

Please respect my decision. There will be no interviews at this time.

About a week or so before Halloween I made a trip to the Reiman Gardens annual Jack O’Lantern thing with the Gorshes.

Here are some pictures of my favorite pumpkins.


Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

Garden Spirits - 2023

It was a great event! I definitely go back.