Driveabout#40

Why not drive 800 miles down to Southern California for New Years?
I had spent Christmas with my brother and all my other relatives were out of town. Further, it’s been raining and more is predicted.

I’ve got this packing thing well down. So, I threw in what I needed and headed south. It was fun, not too much drinking occurred. I got to hang out with a group of ladies binge watching Outlander. I got in several hikes in the surrounding hills and worked on my tan.

Unfortunately I didn’t get any good photos until I hit Redwoods National Park on the way back. The weather closed in and I fled for home.

The folks I stay with have a guest register. Yes, they encourage and get a lot of vagabonds passing through. I try to leave them with a poem. This time I wrote:

It's not the cars we drive
Or the clothes we wear
Great gobs of makeup
Or even long hair

We gather from long distance
Or just around the bend
We all look forward
To being called a friend

So here in this place
No need to shove
We do like to gather
Surrounded by love

 

philosophyon-line dating#14

I hope I’m being effective here at the writer’s colony.  Time will tell.
For me, I had dreamed of starting a book by now.
Instead I went back on-line with Match.
For me, it entails a fair amount of thoughtful writing.
And occasionally creates a poem:
Title: Nut

I want to get deep within you,
Past the hard shell.
But how?
Is my wit sufficient for the difficulties?
Can it point me to the right tools?
Is the smallest of cracks;
The beginning of the road to victory?
I pause,
Imagining the fruit of my labor.
I imagine, you, a macadamia nut.

 

Driveabout#39

So, I’m calling an end to this drive, although it may be only a pause. But if it is a pause, then it’s a substantial pause. Let me reflect on some of the statistics of this drive. All primary goals were achieved; a wedding reception outside New Orleans, visit my brother and father in Charlotte, catch the fall colors in New England, visit the rest of the 50 United States I hadn’t been in (that number being 12) and make it to my black belt review in Phoenix. I drove for over 3 months and covered over 13,000 miles and 37 states. I did 2 oil changes. I had no accidents, tickets or need of a tow truck. I had 3 mechanical mishaps, two of which could have been catastrophic, but being a very lucky person, they weren’t. I met lots of interesting people, saw many pretty vistas and passed my black belt review.

All in all a successful trip.

What now?

I am going to hang out at a writer’s colony in Portland for a couple of months. I believe I can help motivate a young aspiring writer and I have been fantasizing about a fantasy novel, but never started. Now I will.

Hopefully I will find other interesting things to inspire.

Journey on.

Interlude#5

Title: Celebrate

You grieve for the loss
Which is causing you pain.
You wonder the cost,
Hoping to stay sane.

But those very same currents
Which you attribute to fate.
Have not been a deterrent
To finding a new soul mate.

A person, a whisper,
Promising you will survive.
A person, a mirror,
Reflecting you are alive.

Breath the fresh air.
Search for what’s great.
Somebody to help share.
As you celebrate.

 

Driveabout#38

Ok, where was I?
Right, on my way to Phoenix.
Went through the Black Hills in South Dakota.
Down past that great Agate Fossil Beds National Monument in Nebraska.
Pausing at the Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado.
And then in quick succession;
Monument Valley, New Mexico
Canyon de Chelly National Monument, Arizona
Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona

I’m now going to Airbnb around Prescott, Arizona until my black belt review on Saturday. Why here? It is at 5000 ft elevation and I need to do two things as much as possible for the next several days. Sleep and work out. Working out at higher elevation is more effective and I’ve been somewhat slack as I drive around. Wish me luck.

About my photography. I know I am missing shots because I have limited myself to one lens. All in all I’m good with that. But I’ve been wondering about missed shots because I’ve only been doing color. So, I’ve decided to start shooting black and white and see if I can do any good with it. Following are some shots taken from the last 3 places I visited (see above). These are groups of two identical shots and settings except that I toggled between B&W and Color.
What do you think?

 

Driveabout#37

IMG_4423a


Ok, work with me on this one.
As I was coming from the last place and going to the next place I realized that I must be somewhere around Hernandez, NM. My Rand-McNally couldn’t tell me where it was, but Google could. I was close, I went, it was a full moon.

Now, why is this interesting (at least to me)? Have you ever seen the photograph called “Moonrise, Hernandez, New Mexico” by Ansel Adams?
see here

I have neither the equipment used by Ansel Adams, nor the talent. However, I thought I would try to do a modern interpretation in honor of the man.

I got there in early afternoon and scoped out some foothills on the west side of the valley to climb and get a panoramic shot from. As I was walking back from that mission I came across a state patrolman giving a lady a ticket. I requested his attention after he was finished with her. I would say he was a young man, late twenties. I asked him if it was ok for me to be hiking in the foothills. He said as long as it wasn’t posted No Trespassing I should be fine. I let him know I was going to take some photos and try a reinterpretation of the Moonrise, Hernandez pictures. He looked at me blankly. Ansel Adams? Blank. I suggested (since he was standing in Hernandez) he look it up.

Close to sunset I went and climbed up the hills I thought would give the best angle, decently steep but only a few hundred feet high. Then I waited. It got cold. I called my brother to tell him what I was doing. He shook his head. It got darker. Finally, the (full) moon rose. I took some shots and headed back down, in the dark.

Then I went and had dinner at a local place. At the end, the very kindly owner came out for a chat. We got around to what I was doing there. She said she had a print on the wall so we got up and took a look. Then I realized I hadn’t remembered the picture well enough. First, I thought it had a full moon in it, nope. Second, I thought it overlooked the town, nope. Having done some research now, I highly recommend a person does it before engaging. Coincidentally we both were there about the same time of year.

My intent is to make a collage somewhat like displayed above.
His is better. But in all fairness, he had clouds and snow. Those always make for a better picture.