This spring I'll be spending some quality time in the great American Southwest, visiting a few familiar places and some completely new. For photography of course, but also some family time, and even my first ultramarathon (yes, I signed up for a 50-mile desert trail race, am I nuts? ). In the desert, I can't imagine a scene in starker contrast than my usual northwest forests, lakes, and mountains. It's funny how you can love two landscapes that couldn't be more opposite. But that's precisely what makes these public lands and wilderness areas so great – so much to love and protect, right?