The 2009 Yearbook is done. 50-60 hours of work went into the layouts over the course of the year (this year, I did them as we went instead of all at once over the holidays). This is a monumental undertaking, but the final product has always been worth it.
At 80-pages, we reached the maximum allowed by PhotoWorks – and I dare say the maximum possible in a year. I’d have to check, but out of 52 weeks, we might have taken two or three off.
So please enjoy. You can play with the final book in a cool little java-applet from PhotoWorks by clicking here.
Or you can just browse the pages below.
The Yearbook Account of the year in words is below:
Don’t be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. ~Charles Richards
In 2009, we made use of them all.
As with most people my age, most of my days were dedicated to my job. And this year saw some major changes at work. In January, I was promoted to Communications Director for Congressman Denny Rehberg, the only Representative and the top-ranked Republican in Montana. After more than five years, and more titles than I care to remember, I finally found a role that really fits. In addition to a new role for me, there was big turnover in the office, and I found myself working with a great new group of co-workers.
But it was the vacations and the weekends that defined the content of this book. The fact that this is by far the longest yearbook yet is indicative of how we used those days. To say that Tiffany was a great sport through it all is to misrepresent her enthusiastic participation. Each weekend, when the alarm sounded before the sun came up, I thought the hiking boot would drop and Tiff would finally say enough was enough. But it never happened.
Through terrifying ski runs, rainy hikes, ticks, bee stings and death-defying whitewater adventures Tiffany maintained an indomitably positive attitude. I couldn’t ask for a better companion with whom to share a year of adventures.
The re-emergence of Montana Jed continued early with the resurrection of a long-lost winter sport. For the first time in her life, Tiffany strapped skis on and bravely took to the slopes. While I grew up skiing, for her it was a completely new sensation, and even though the first time was scary, Tiff was on board to buy ‘09-’10 season passes and invest in our own gear. She amazes me.
In February, we jetted down to Costa Rica for a week. Half of trip was in the shadow of an active volcano and the other half on the beaches of an ex-pat hippy refuge. Each day was full of new experiences and plenty of excuses to use the awesome new waterproof camera that Tiff got me for Christmas. Costa Rica was a perfect marriage of relaxing and adventure.
Went to New York in April and Los Angeles in June, but the most common travel was the almost weekly 1-2 hour drive to an exciting new trailhead.
Using our REI refund, I bought hiking guides for Maryland and Shenandoah National Park. Each week, we’d pick a hike—always “strenuous” and with increasing mileage each time out. By the end of the year, we’d covered almost 100 miles of trail with an ever-evolving group of hiking buddies.
Hiking highlights included: The Third Annual Old Rag Ho! Adventure, Rocky Mount where we were swarmed by ticks, Cedar Run & White Oak Canyon which now rivals Old Rag as my favorite in the area and of course the Montana hikes that I’ll get to soon.
We also hit the water with two Capitol Hill Tubing Society adventures and one nearly fatal adventure on the Yough River where we hit the infamous Dimple Rapid almost perfectly wrong.
Through it all, if I had only one word to describe 2009, it would be “family.”
Over the course of the year, we had visits from Ruth, my Mom and Tiff’s Dad. Both Ruth and Mom have been here before, but this was the first time we’d seen Dad since the wedding. He’d never been to D.C.
This year, our trip to Montana wasn’t about conquering a major peak. With Aeravi back from Japan, the four Link kids got together again for a camping trip at an old family favorite: Crystal Lake. We did the traditional day hike and cliff jumping, and added night swimming too. Great memories!
But the highlight for me was the discovery of the Jewel Basin, right next to Flathead Lake. A simple day-hike into some of the most stunning territory I’d seen since Glacier.
But the biggest news of the year was a new sister in California. Tiff’s Mom and Kevin adopted baby Savannah Marie in October, and she quickly stole our hearts. Everyone thinks their baby is beautiful, but in “Wooj’s” case, it’s the objective truth. Let the photos stand as testament: big eyes, good temperament and she can learn funny tricks—like Tiff teaching her to make a popping sound with her mouth.
USC football had an off year. It didn’t start like that though. Tiffany and I drove to Columbus to watch the last minute win against Ohio State, at which time a National Title seemed possible. But they fell off, and found themselves in the Emerald Bowl. Didn’t know it at the time, but it was Pete Carroll’s last game at USC. Sadness.
Oh, we went skydiving too! From 12,500 feet on the last day of the year.