I had a great trip driving from Colorado to California in a new (used) vehicle, visiting the Colorado mountains, Great Basin National Park, Nevada desert areas, White Mountains/bristlecones and Yosemite. (There is still space available in my Yosemite and White Mountains tours). Yosemite was awesome, with all its roaring streams and still-lingering high country snow.
My advice: don’t buy a new car, there are too many good deals out there on low-mileage and in-warranty used vehicles. And learn how to negotiate the price way down (I did).
Everywhere I went, the birds were singing joyously of spring. Truly wonderful.
Zeiss 21/2.8 Distagon: I shot the Zeiss ZF 21/2.8 extensively in the Colorado mountains, until an unstable rock introduced me to its friends.
After the impact, the D3x vertical release was ruined and needs replacement. The ZF 21 was horribly blurred, even though it otherwise looks perfect except for a ding on the lens shade (one wonders how would the bulbous Nikon 14-24 have fared?). Fortunately the D3x still operated with the main release and does not appear to have a bent lens mount. And aside from a few bruises “I’m good”.
I really like the Zeiss ZF 21/2.8 Distagon after using it (oddly) as a "macro" lens in tight wooded conditions for closeups and steep perspectives. Regrettably, the damage means it did not get any exercise in Great Basin or Yosemite national parks.
It’s only after serious field use that one can really judge a lens, and the ZF 21/2.8 Distagon earns my highest recommendation over several days of shooting (on top of my prior experience).
Zeiss is so good about standing behind its products — I’ll have a new ZF 21 by Tuesday.