OK, so you took a ferry to Alaska, spent a few days around Haines and drove up through the Yukon to the big part of the state. What now? Well... sha... drive around, find backroads, what else?
Maps come in handy at this point. Cell phone maps really don't work up here where there can be hundreds of miles between towers... Seriously you can drive five or six hours with no connection. (There are actually people up here with no connection to the internet or cell network, Geepers! How do they survive?) ...This is why God gave us paper maps. Well, OK, I got mine from Delorme... They have the best maps. One, giant, $20, book-sized map per state. Topographical, pretty darn good resolution.... They show all of the roads, even the itty bitty ones. But there must be something wrong with the Alaskan map, it doesn't show all of the tiny sub highwys between the big ones. That's OK I'll just start driving & they will show up....Read more
So Where was I? Oh yeah, I was getting on a ferry to Alaska. That was three weeks and a few thousand miles ago. Ah, the romance of the high seas... "Just give me a tall ship and a star to sail her by"... and all that. Things have changed a little. On a modern ferry to Alaska it's more like "Give me a massive engine and a even larger, resonant steel hull to bolt her onto." There is a huge amount of power in one of those engines, the entire ship is vibrating with it's exertions. White this is all very exciting at first, the thrill wears off after a few hours & you begin to wish for some place quieter. Yes, it's loud. And you have signed on for three days....Read more
It seemed to take forever. The endless snail's pace of dealing with one's parents deaths. Handling the estate, remodeling the house & selling it... Paperwork... lawyers... contractors... realtors... details. Did I forget something? Better check again. Suddenly it is done. Over. Pardon the language, but it is a shitty deal. Not the work, but the result. I lose my parents and sister & end up with a little cash. It sucks. I really don't care how much money. I would rather have my family. I'm sure my brother feels the same way. But that is the way of life. If you are lucky, you have a good relationship with your parents and they die first....Read more
This set of pictures is from the western end of highway 162 in California. The 125 mile long section of road, the greater portion unpaved, that takes you from highway 101 just south of Laytonville all of the way to Willows at Interstate 5.
From 101 it begins by winding though rugged canyons. and over rolling passes until it decends into the beauty of Round Valley with it's magnificent oaks. From there you come to the unpaved section that climbs up into the Mendocino National Forest. Be aware that some parts of this section are not maintained in the winter and will be unpasable due to heavy snow or delightfully slick mud that can spin you over the precipice. But if you are travelling after Memorial day & it hasn't rained lately it should be fine....Read more
There are always a few left-over pictures that don't seem to fit in with any article.. I'll throw in a Batch of San Francisco images here. these are shot in all sections of the city, and are not displayed in any particular order.
We'll start with this shot taken by the tennis courts at Alta Plaza Park. I've always found that tall apartment building intriguing... it almost seems like a non-sequeter. But I'll bet the rents are as high as the views are incredible. A storm front had just passed and I was taking a liking to the bubbly clouds....Read more
Though San Francisco is the place to be, it was no more the place for me. It was the end of February. Time was up for my place in Pacific Heights and I wanted to get a little more distance between myself & the house remodel. My solution was to move to Fort Bragg for the remainder of the house thing. "But why, then, did you drive to Nevada?" You sagely ask. It's simple. Since we were selling the house, I needed a new mailing address. Since my intent, after the house sale is to take a drive and land someplace that isn't California. All I really needed was a Mail Forwarding Service. Nevade means I would get to drive around with non-California plates. And, even though I will be oficially homeless, the mailing address would give me residency n the State of Nevade and they have no income tax! Heck corporations do it all the time!
The agenda was: from San Francisco run up to the storage unit in Willows. From Willows pop over to Fallon NV spend a day or so there getting the PO box License & such. Finally, from Fallon buzz over to Fort Bragg. I love making plans like this. They are so simple, purposeful & solid. And so easy to break....Read more
The fog rolls in.. It's late on a late spring night. Nothing on TV. There never is. Grab the camera & tripod... it's time to take a walk.
You don't have to walk too far for things to look different. The street right outside your door presents a new world. Sound is muted. Light hangs in the air. Diffused by the tiny droplets it seems to be weighted down by gravity. You can almost see the arc as it is pulled to Earth....Read more
May 5th, the house is completed, staged and opened for sale. It was interesting seeing the house like this. It was nice seeing the house filled with furniture. Someone else's furniture. Furniture that I didn't have to move.
Walking throush the house a week ago was curious. All grey and white. Crown molding, mirrored closet doors. The walls were naked. The house was alien and vacant. Now, with the staging furniture, generic art and accesories it was like a diorama. A story was being told. One of the bedrooms had a crib, another was set up for an older child and a third for a teenager. My, what neat and tidy children these kids were. Perhaps there was a marketing thing going on here. But the furniture gave it balance...Suddenly all of the little things that drew my eye were obfuscated. I was distracted into seeing the bigger picture....Read more
There is an area of California known as the Lost Coast. Somewhere north of Fort Bragg, south of Ferndale and west of highway 101. There are a few ways to get there but fewer people who will tell you how. Some places you can drive to, much of it is accessable only by foot if at all. It is one of the remaining places that Sasquatch can run free. I found one of the routes in, a little side road that almost looked like someone's poorly maintained driveway.
If you are lucky, you will find the road.If you are lucky, it will be sunny & clear with view that reach to forever. If you are lucky it will be drizzling & overcast with dramatic skies and moody, fog-shrouded forests. With 100 - 200 inches of rain per year, you have a good chance of it being one way or the other....Read more
There is a saying that if you ask a contractor how long it will take the answer is always "Two Weeks." While that might not exactly the case there is an element of truth in it. Enough so that it stopped being funny for a bit. I'm thinking it might come from the thought that when I ask I have the scope of the entire project in mind and He has the scope of only one or two elements that he is working on right now. I'm not complaining. Robert Stimple and crew did a fantastic job at a very reasonable price and it turned out wonderfully. I wouldnt' hesitate to recommend him & anybody who can get onto his schedule is pretty fortunate.
It was pretty miraculous coming back to the house after the floors had been finished. The floors for the entire house matched. Areas where there had previously been a wall or a closet or nothing at all were all woven into the existing flooring so that it looked like they had never been there. Tranh really was a wizard. Here it is, March 25th and it seemed like the house is actually going to be completed....Read more
We all do it, some folks more than others. Perhaps your practice is utilitarian, maybe you are just following a whim, whaterver your purpose San Francisco is a great town to do it in. Even with all the hills, in fact the hills might make it better. I have heard it said that San Franciscans have such fine posteriors because of all the hills. Yes, I am talking about walking and in this installment of San Francisco Skylines I'll hit a few locations that are all walking distance from each other....Read more