Dec 31, 2014

My Best Of 2014: 3 Stories & 14 Images That Made It Sing!

Amanda Castleman swimming with Poco Blonde Princess of Rancho Washikemba, Bonaire. Image copyright Lisa Sonne.

This year brought some excellent adventures, from swimming with horses in Bonaire to diving the world's most concentrated sockeye salmon run in British Columbia. Here are three of my favorite stories and 14 top images from 2014. I can't wait to see what's next!

  • Vanishing Barns On The Backroads
    Travelgirl Magazine: This marriage of art and Americana may be headed for hard times. The Palouse’s beloved, historic barns are succumbing to age, weather and upgrades such as metal siding: practical, but not so picturesque. Expensive renovations can cause farmers to flinch — a new roof can cost $50,000. So when up-cycling companies bid on the distressed timbers for bars and restaurants, it’s hard not to sell out.
  • Eyeball to eyeball with Canada’s migrating salmon
  • BBC Travel: My brain froze as I submerged into the cold water of British Columbia’s Shuswap Lake. But the discomfort paled as I watched sockeye salmon – hundreds of cherry-tinted fish with moss-green heads – swirl overhead like a kaleidoscope. At the end of an epic 4,000km journey, they were waiting to swim the final leg upstream to spawn and die.
  • Contraband Cuisine: Why Pork May Be the Number One Threat to American Borders
    Bon Appetit: Pigs always make customs officer Chris R. Richards’s blood run cold. He can confiscate bush meat, $5,000 bird nests—even grave dirt—without much drama. But anything involving pork tends to get heated…and to skid quickly toward combustion. “Take away their ham, and people shout, bang the table, and throw things," he says.

Favorite images from 2014 by Amanda Castleman (

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