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A quick weekend in LA…

We needed to drop off the pugs we’ve been babysitting and Jyo has a dear friend in LA, so we made a quick weekend gettaway to Venice Beach. Its one of my favorite places to people watch and the weather could not have been more perfect.

On the Road…

San Francisco. It’s really my favorite American city. Always has been. I spent some formative time there in my youth so Im sure that has something to do with it. And I’ve heard all the complaints…too noisy…too dirty…too political…too something or not enough of another. I don’t care…the energy…the air…the history…the incredible grab-bag of humanity…the architecture…those goddamned hills…I love all of it. ‘cept for the traffic…yeah yeah…I get that part. That part suuuuucks.

Jyo had only been to the bay area many years ago as a child, so I knew I would look forward to showing her some of my favorite places. But Jyo had a surprise for me…she had arranged, with her Dad, a tour of the San Francisco Integral Yoga Institute, where he had been married back in the 70’s. He is a carpenter by trade and has been hired to come back and oversee renovation on the building which has been there on Dolores St. for over 50 years.

If you don’t know, the Institute was started by the same Swami known for opening the Woodstock Music Festival, Sri Swami Satchidananda. Its a beautiful building, well on its way to being lovingly restored by a man who knows it well. He toured us top to bottom and included a view from the roof of the mission district that is my new favorite place to see the City.

After, I took her to Golden Gate Park and to a couple of other places I love so much. And thanks to my lovey friend Casey and her husband Dave for putting us up (AGAIN!!!) for the night…oh and for the margaritas. Always for the margaritas.

On the Road…

Jyo and I started our road trip, together in the same car this time, leaving from Saint Helens to meet up with one of her dearest friends in Tahoe, California. It was a short trip with only one overnight (thanks KOA…again) but we managed to squeeze in a visit to an old church by the side of the road that just begged to be photographed. A junk of abandoned highway nearby provided some needed leg stretching for Jyo. Tahoe was lovely by the way. I never actually photographed the beautiful water of the lake but had a wonderful time photographing Jyo’s reunion with her soul sister. Or…should I say…soul sisters…? 😉

Orcas at Anacortes…

A quick trip up to Anacortes for an afternoon on the bay with Captain Ken.
Just being out on the water was thrill enough but then to be so close to these incredible animals in their own habitat was a thrill of a lifetime. We had perfect weather and a very smooth ride on Spirit of Orca.

You can check out Captain Ken’s website here:
https://spiritoforca.com/

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The Desert Shoots…

Back from our road trip and sitting on a small mountain of work.
Four locations across seven states. All new sets to be added soon along with limited edition prints.
Here’s a preview.
Stay tuned…


Denise…

While taking some time to enjoy Phoenix during our road trip, we paused for a quick headshot session
for a dear friend.

On the road…

Craters of the Moon, Idaho.

Incidentally, those two teeeeeny tiiiiiny little dots up on top of that “hill”…are people. The lovely Jyo for scale…

After a wonderful night of camping in Wyoming, we decided to make one more special stop before long-hauling the rest of the way to Oregon. We chose Craters of the Moon national monument…a place that had us with the name alone. Its a lava field, millions of years old, that has oozed over the earth in the middle of the Idaho wilderness. In some places, the rock resembles black taffy that has been frozen in the act of being turned and stretched. Even tiny rocks of the black pumice here contain millions of sparkling minerals in every color. We climbed a small mountain made of billions of tiny chunks of magma shot out of the ground eons ago to get a sweeping and windy view of the valley below that will take your breath away. Not real good at the pano shot but included it.

The photograph of the lady with her dog happened at the campground there at the monument…which was a highlight in and of itself. They have a first come first serve basis for camping there, and no services except for basic toilet (no water) but there are lots of spaces and the view is almost completely unspoiled. Noise and light pollution are zero so you are in for memorable night of star gazing while camping in the soft, sandy gravel of the campground.

Kelly was hauling a Moped and she and Casey have logged about 300 miles, papoose-style, adventuring from Washington on their way to The Grand Canyon. Casey frequently falls asleep with her nose on Kelly’s shoulder as they motor their way through amazing scenery.

Bee-line for Oregon after this.

On the road…

Rock Springs, Wyoming.

With two cars and lots of stuff, we still needed to take it easy camping-wise until we were united into a single car. KOAs fit the bill nicely. They’re everywhere, they’re cheap, they’re clean and literally everyone I’ve met in one is friendly as hell.
My favorite one is in Rock Springs, Wyoming. I’ve been there multiple times now and every time I feel like I’m getting this giant bonus added to my campsite. While one side of the camp very typically faces the highway, the other faces these wonderful Wyoming bluffs that offer one of the best sunset views anywhere. Such a pleasure to share this with my Jyo.

Onto Craters of the Moon next.

On the road…

Monument Rocks, Kansas…

Monument Rocks stick up out of the otherwise flat, Kansas landscape like an illusion. Jyo had been there many years before and was able to describe it to me but I still didn’t have any notion of how anything that could be described as “pyramid like” could be found anywhere in the expanse of Kansas landscape I saw around us. The drive up reveals them only at the last minute and takes you completely by surprise. Access to the area is from a long dirt road but is easily drivable in dry conditions. There are no parking restrictions and its on private land so you can just drive right up to them. We spent nearly 2 hours there…seeing only one other small family group the entire time…photographing and exploring. The rock here is comprised mostly of chalk. Its so soft you can affect it by scratching it with your fingernail…though I expect it took a little more than fingernails to carve the heart-shaped rock we found there.

Up next…a night in Wyoming.