A Summer Hello
Adjusting. I think we are all adjusting. All the time. Have you ever watched a great running back in football avoiding would-be tacklers? Isn't that a bit like life from time to time? The evolution of the pandemic has been a damn 100 yard kick off return except it feels like the other team has 20 guys and you have no blockers. Getting vaccinated felt like a miracle. I started traveling again. And, now, here we are again headed toward more mask requirements and overflowing hospitals of the unvaccinated. Sigh. Misinformation is everywhere and seems to rule the internet. Despite all this I wanted to check in and send a bit of love. Speaking of love...do you know my new grandson William? Man, he makes my heart overflow. I'm still trying to figure out who that old man is in the picture with him.
This last weekend I was able to spend time with all three of my grand-kids. and, you know, when I am around them the problems of the world just melt away. Here are Finley and Joaquin in grandpa's backyard hammock.
Here is a short synopsis of my travels. I have had, for almost a year now, problems with my Dell computer but I will save that rant for another day - it's only worth mentioning because of the impact it has had on my photography - which has been an significant unfortunately. Having said that, here are a few photos from the last few months. The first set (and the top black and white) are from my annual trip to Gaviota. My pal Dell met me for a few days and we had an excellent time.
After Dell left I drove over to La Purisima Mission in Lompoc and spent the day there. I made a couple of indoor photos that I find interesting.
Marty and I drove up to see the Bay Area family and stayed at Half Moon State Beach. While we did go for a couple of short walks the trip was really about hanging out with loved ones. Every post vaccine get together feels like an overdue reunion.
Don't know about where you live but the fireworks around here for the 4th of July were insane last year. It makes our dog crazy. I think each boom is a message to his mind that his life is in imminent danger. It's painful to watch. I know he's not alone and don't fully comprehend the joy of making loud noises for a week before and a week after July 4. Chalk it up to just another thing that baffles me (the list grows daily). Regardless, we decided to go camping with our boy in the Eastern Sierra Nevada. We had a marvelous and relaxing time.
How about you? Get away? You know how fast this life goes... do the right thing - get the shot and get out there!
My next trip is to Lassen Volcanic National Park in August and then meeting old college buddies in Las Vegas in September - if it's not locked down - the virus is bad there now (again). And, well, you may know that Vegas isn't my "cup of tea" but I am hoping to see my pals.
Next year, God willing, I will be celebrating my 65th year of living and my 20th year of sobriety. I will be meeting my dear family in Organ Pipe in January and then, in April, I am taking a once in a lifetime nationwide tour on Amtrak with several cool stops including the Baseball Hall of Fame, Mississippi Blues Trail and Negro Leagues Hall in Fame in Kansas City. Man, I can't wait to tell you about it.
In the meantime - thanks for coming along on my little 2021 getaways - meager as they may be. It's always a joy to say "Hello"! Love to all.
Top 10 Photos of 2020
Well, this year has been a bit weird, eh? My big travel plans which included a trip to Yellowstone, Route 66 and the SABR Convention in Baltimore were canceled due to the virus. 2020 was supposed to be an epic travel year - oops! What's the expression? Man plans, God laughs?
As a result this years photographs - for the first time- are really slim pickings. A few years I've had trouble narrowing it down to ten - this year - I'm struggling to find ten. I do this each year because a fellow photographer, Jim Goldstein, puts together a compilation of top photos by many photographers and each year I participate. It's a cool project and here is the link to his website.
I'm sure, in time, we will all have much to say about this challenging time in our lives. Currently here in California the hospitals are overflowing and the death count marches on. It is, seemingly, a chaotic almost dystopian Hell. I was forced to visit the ER too a few weeks back after becoming short of breath in the middle of the night but, fortunately, it wasn't COVID. The doctor told me, "good thing you don't have to be admitted because we don't have room". That was over 2 weeks ago...I can't imagine what's happening right now.
So, yes, it is a terrible time for many. Recently, I was speaking to a fellow friend of Bill W. and we were discussing the importance of having, "an attitude of gratitude". We discussed our belief that those of us who luckily haven't lost family members and have avoided the virus or have not been terribly sickened by it have MUCH to be grateful for -in fact, probably more than other years in our lives.
I am grateful I was able to get out a tiny bit. I'm grateful for my family and their health and the new granddaughter on the way. I am grateful to be alive. I am grateful that you are reading this. I am grateful for you. I hope these photos take your mind off our troubles for a brief moment.
About a year ago we moved and my daily walk takes me by the nearby high school. Valencia High was built in 1933 and many of the buildings, including the auditorium and cafeteria, were built during the depression by the WPA. It's a beautiful school.
The next four photos are from my annual trip to Gaviota State Park and nearby Los Osos. The fog rolled in and, well, I love the fog.
I was also able to get out to Anza Borrego for a few nights with my pal, Dell. By now you are probably aware of my affinity for that place.
I was also able to get out to Colonel Allensworth State Historical Park and the nearby wildlife refuges. It's a place that I just feel at home.
Lupe and I spent Thanksgiving at Pinnacles National Park. The photo below is of Bear Gulch Reservoir from a frigid (29F) morning hike.
My favorite trip for photography this year- although it too was cut short - not by COVID but rather electrical issues with my Casita - was to the McGee Creek area of the Sierra Nevada. The first photo is of a nearby aspen grove and the second of McGee Creek Pass.
So, there you have it. I am still planning trips for 2021 although all in California, Nevada and Arizona. I will also be spending much of my time planning for 2022. That year will mark my 65th on the planet and I want to celebrate in style. First, with a huge backyard fiesta and then with a 3 month cross country trip - similar to Travels with Charley and Blue Highways - well, my version, anyway. I am excited about it - it will be the "trip of a lifetime" from sea to shining sea. It will feature nature and plains and mountains and National Parks I haven't previously visited with lots of baseball including a visit to Cooperstown and music - lots of music - including much of the Mississippi Blues Trail. I hope to see you when I'm on the road!
Now, let's stay safe - let's get through 2021 in style and and may you all have the happiest of holiday seasons.
This will mostly be a journal of my travels. I may include other items that interest me. Feel free to join in.