1. Mount Ashland, Oregon
"This was the first time I ever built a snow cave," says Covey Baack, pictured here on Mount Ashland. "I had a great time, just enjoying the beauty of the world."
2. Westcliff, Colorado
Lyn Emerson caught this shot of her partner, Barry, as they rode through Colorado after spending a week volunteering at a technology camp in the Colorado Rockies. "I stopped to clean my helmet visor and just happened to glance in my rearview mirror, and there was Barry and the mountains." Route 96 east of
3. Centerville, Texas
"We live in different states, but we all get together at a midpoint between Dallas and Houston," Taryon Bowman says. "Most recently, we celebrated my first anniversary of surviving a brain tumor. We'll meet anywhere we won't get thrown out for laughing so loudly."
From left: Taryon; her sister Sharon Swayzer; her mother, Hilda Shepherd; and sisters Gina Cain and Jennifer Burch.
4. St. Paul, Minnesota
"When I want to be in good company, I go running with my friends," Kelly Lyndgaard says. "Getting our feet moving somehow gets our mouths and hearts moving, and we learn more about one another than we ever have."
From left: Angie Lash, Kelly, and Ellie Grice.
5. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Phillies fanatic Kieanna Childs-Alexander snapped this photo of her son, Kenyon, then 3 years old, at his first game. "The ballpark serves ice cream in miniature Phillies hats, and when my son finished his, he decided to put it on. Lucky me, I had the camera handy. That day was absolutely amazing. It was a beautiful thing to share something that I love with him."
6. Hermosa Beach, California
Paula Clagon and her daughter, Lauren Smith, live on opposite coasts, and on the last day of their most recent visit, they spent time on the pier at Hermosa Beach, California. "It was very early in the morning and freezing," Paula says, "but since I was in such good company, the cold was not much of a factor."
7. The Inca Trail
On their second day hiking the Inca Trail, David and Elaine Chong neared an altitude of 14,000 feet. "We reached Machu Picchu on New Year's Day."
8. Garrison, Minnesota
MariAnne Medin's family went fishing for walleye on her father-in-law Hartley Medin's 80th birthday. "We all came from different parts of Minnesota and Texas. We made it a priority to be there for him."
From left: Megan Grelson, Hartley Medin, Ed Grelson, MariAnne, Dustin Dilley, Anna Dilley, Michael Medin, Abby Grelson, and Judy Grelson.
9. Estes Park, Colorado
"Safire and I have hiked throughout Colorado, Southern California, and Red Rocks outside Las Vegas," says Nikki Berdzar-Werth. "I take her with me wherever I can."
10. Norco, California
"As a foster child, I was moved around a lot, but one constant in my life was my love for horses," Krista Driver says. Grace, a horse Krista rescued from malnourishment and neglect, "was so sick even her vet told me I should put her down, but I believed in her life. And in many ways, she's saved mine."
11. Pacific Palisades, California
"There aren't many places where you feel this kind of energy," says Nicole Benzakin of her perch over the lake at the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine Temple. "I'm grateful to be able to experience such a peaceful scene and share it with friends."
12. Hermosa Beach, California
"I've been going to this beach almost all my life to surf and hang out with friends," Dolby Dubrow says. "One of them, Dan, took this picture. We've known each other for 35 years."