Grand Tetons National Park, by Ann Torrence
Have you ever dreamed of quitting your job and devoting yourself to one of the many neglected interests that now taunt you with thoughts of, “If I only had more hours in the day, I think I could be good at that.”
Ann Torrence had that dream.
But it wasn’t until she experienced a run of bad luck, from a long sickness to the loss of her beloved camera into the depths of the Pacific Ocean, that she decided to stop dreaming and turn her budding photographic skills into a career.
That was eight years ago, and in that time Ann has become an extraordinarily gifted artist. Not only that, but she’s gained the respect of her fellow photographers. She is now in demand as an instructor at the University of Utah and the Moab Photo Symposium. And this year she was named the 2010 Artist-in-Residence for the Entrada Institute of Torrey, Utah.
However, she realized one of her biggest goals this past fall when her first book of photography was published.
U.S. Highway 89: the Scenic Route to Seven Western National Parks is a project Ann first envisioned seven years ago. She began traveling the historic 1,600 mile route from Mexico to Canada, and visiting the seven national parks along the way, driving over 15,000 miles and collecting a massive number of photos and stories. It was only natural that it would all come together into a stunning book that bears witness to a part of the American West that is rapidly changing.
As I read through U.S. Highway 89, I’m amazed at how much time and effort Ann put into this labor of love. It all shows on page after page of beautiful images and engaging text. She tells stories about legendary trappers, modern cowboys, and other aspects of the West. Best of all, she ties it all to the Highway that winds through Arizona, Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana, and provides access to such national parks as Yellowstone, Glacier, Zion, Saguaro, and Grand Canyon.
I know what you’re thinking: “Sounds like a road trip!”
If you can’t hit the highway, you can do the next best thing and order the U.S. Highway 89 book through Ann’s website, where you can score an autographed copy, or from Amazon.
Ann has been a friend for over 30 years, and I’m thrilled to see her realize a dream. It makes me think about my own goals and aspirations for the future once the job of being a homeschooling stay-at-home dad comes to an end.
For now, I’m happy to be able to devote an hour or so each night to this blog. And to see what it might become.
You know what else makes me happy?
Giving stuff away!
Ann has generously provided a copy of Highway 89 for me to give to one of my readers. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post.
I’ll pick a winner next week.