Friday, September 29, 2006

Prague Dinner

Sticking with the recent European photos, and feeling a bit reminiscent tonight, I thought I would post this shot taken during Julie's and my first dinner in Europe. I wish I could find this place online, but darn if I can't even remember the name of the place. All I know is that the food was exquisite, the service was good, and the beer really hit the spot. Ah, yes, my first true European pint of beer!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

More European Bridges

Prague's Castle from the Charles Bridge.

Several shots of Budapest's Chain Bridge

Budapest's Liberty Bridge

A view of Salzburg's Castle

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

My Awesome Wife (Prague, Charles Bridge)

We just heard word that one of Julie's scarves sold at the Majestical Roof today! A grand day. And worthy of celebration. For my part, a shot of my AWESOME wife on the Charles Bridge in Prague, from our honeymoon!

US-34 Across the Missouri

On my way back from the Preserving Historic Roads Conference in Omaha in 2002, I had the luxury of time. My only itinerary included catching part of 66 back and recording some more interviews for my in-process Route 66 documentary.

So I choose to leave Omaha early on Sunday, and head south and west, criss-crossing along 2-lane roads the entire way down to 66. If something neat caught my eye, I would head that way. Otherwise, the idea was to follow the road less traveled. In doing so, I came across these bridges over the Missouri River. Now, not being a fan of either heights or water, I was hesitant to cross. But it was well worth the trip. This still ranks as one of my fondest "discoveries" in all of my travels - not counting the people. (The shot of just the one bridge is the US-34 Plattsmouth Bridge - still toll - across the river.)

Monday, September 25, 2006

Too Lazy, Almost Late (Lincoln Highway, NE)

I thought I was going to be late posting this, and not have it up before midnight. I thought maybe I was being lazy. Then I looked at how much I got done today, and realized, nope, I'm doing OK. In addition to work and a load of laundry, I also cooked a pretty darn good meal, went grocery shopping, went to the local coffee shop, and did some more work on an oral history interview that I'm editing together. All and all, a good day.

And most importantly, I was not being Lazy!

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Brige that IS Nowhere (Oregon Coast)

We did not make it yesterday. But we learned a lot. We learned that the little, narrow, almost-invisible thing that could not possibly be the path / trail, really IS the trail. We learned it on the way back down. In other words, the "trail" does not really exist. You follow the river up, finding whatever path suits you, and if you are lucky, everyone once in awhile you are on the actual trail. Next time, we know where to look. (Next time might be in just a few weeks.)

In the meantime, keeping the theme from yesterday going, I thought I would post a photo of one of those wonderful McCullough Bridges in Oregon.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Bridges (Frank J. Hyman Bridge, CA Coast)

I'm leaving in about an hour for a day hike. It will be my first trip to the Bridge to Nowhere. This road once was going to reach from Azusa ("A to Z in the USA") all the way up to the Angeles Crest Highway in the Angeles National Forest. Following a flood in 1938, the road was swept away, and Caltrans determined it was not going to rebuild the road.
In honor of this hike, I thought I'd post this shot from Julie's and my trip up the coast in 2004. At the time that we went, the Frank J. Hyman Bridge was being surveyed for pending replacement. I would learn in Portland at the Preserving Historic Roads Conference a few days later that despite having spent money to research a "reverse ionization process" to protect coastal bridges from the destructive forces of salt water, Caltrans has instead decided to replace most of its 60-70 year old coastal bridges. Oregon, on the other hand, is using California's research to restore and preserve its McCullough bridges. Go figure. So, although this bridge was not a bridge to nowhere at the time, it may not even exist now.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Honoring the Rendezvous? (Oatman car, AZ)

With the San Bernardino Stater Brothers Route 66 Rendezvous completed last weekend, I thought I would pay tribute to it. Then I realized, I have no photographs from it, because I'm more into preservation of historic elements as opposed to custom and hot rod automobiles. So, instead, I provide this shot of a vintage vehicle taken in Oatman, AZ. It is one of the FEW car shots I have, despite my passion for historic roads. Go figure.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Photo Posting Problems (Death Valley, CA)

Had problems posting photos for the last couple of days, so no new post yesterday. Will try again today, and since I felt all lonely not being able to post yesterday, I will post this lonely road shot from outside of Death Valley.

Monday, September 18, 2006

More Europe

Needless to say, while in Europe for 10 days last year, I shot a lot of photos. I came back with something like 18 rolls of film. That's a lot of shooting, at least for me. So I figured that I would continue the current theme today, and add some more of train-related photos from our trip. I'm feeling generous again, and today I'm adding two shots from Prague.

The first is a shot of another train, sitting idle in the Prague station, a couple of tracks over from where we were on the train waiting to head to Vienna and on to Salzburg. This particular train seems much more dilapidated than many of the other trains that we saw and were on. But it seemed pretty cool sitting there.

This second shot is the sunset as we arrive back in to Prague from Budapest. For our trip, we had planned to start in Prague, head to Salzburg (via a day trip in Vienna), go back to Vienna for one night, then on to Budapest, before returning to Prague for a couple of nights. We then had an overnight in London, just long enough to be able to fly back to LAX at the right time on a Saturday evening.

Of course, the plans changed upon arrival in Salzburg, and we ended up adding an extra night in that fine city instead. And I am so glad that we did. The hotel that we stayed at was great, the city itself was beautiful, and we got to enjoy a day trip to Innsbruck. In Salzburg, we enjoyed riding bikes for a day that we rented from our hotel owners. It was a great way to get around and see some more of Salzburg that we probably would not have been able to otherwise, and made for an enjoyable experience.

*** Due to problems uploading to blogger, the second photo has not posted. I will attempt to post it again later on this same blog page. ***

Sunday, September 17, 2006

More Europe (Budapest)

Yesterday's post had me thinking a lot about our honeymoon again, and how much fun it was, and how much I want to go back. So yesterday I was talking to a friend of mine a bit about it, and reliving it yet again, to some extent. And I recalled how incredibly wonderful Budapest was. I really enjoyed those cities a lot.

But I also really enjoyed the train rides in between destinations. The trains were always on time. And it was so much easier riding a train from one place to the next, and letting someone else get you there, and enjoying the countryside along the way.

So today I decided to post a few more Europe photos. The top two are the exterior and interior of the train station in Budapest that we left that city from. And above is a shot from the train ride between Salzburg and Innsbruck. (Note Julie's slight reflection in the window.)

(And I'm being lazy today. Three pictures means no links. Hey, it's Sunday. I'm entitled.)

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Innsbruck, Austria

I scoured my photos, again looking for something to honor the "Majestic Roof" theme that I had yesterday. And I saw this shot.

It is not necessarily a roof, or even a series of roofs. And I would not necessarily say that this scene is "majestic." But no one can deny its beauty.

This streetscape from Innsbruck, Austria, was shot during Julie's and my honeymoon in April, 2005. It was our first visit to Europe, and we went to Prague, Salzburg, and Budapest. The trek to Innsbruck was a day trip from Salzburg, and was a great little visit. Our only real regret was that we did not have more time for the honeymoon. Next time, we will stay longer.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Majestic Roof Opens Tomorrow

In honor of the opening of the Majestic Roof in Pasadena tomorrow, I wanted to post a shot from Old Pasadena. And nothing says OLD Pasadena better than the Castle Green. The Castle Green was built in the late 1800's as part of Pasadena's resort sensibilities of the time, and today is used as apartments and condos. I once heard that a several hundred foot space in the Green goes for nearly $2K per month. Craziness, in my opinion, but a beautiful building nonetheless.

The Majestic Roof, on the other hand, is much more up my alley. Yvonne Russo and Randy Redroad are opening this space officially tomorrow, and it will be housing a workshop for artists as well as a storespace and gallery areas. It will truly be an independent artisan's dream, and will hopefully quickly become a legend in Northeast Los Angeles and Pasadena. Of course, I'm also pleased to announce that both my wonderful wife Julie Keehner and I will have goods of our own available for purchase at the Majestic Roof, and we will both be spending a good deal of time there tomorrow.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Palm Tropics (Glendora, CA)

I decided to stay on the them of hotels that I started a couple of days ago. Today's photo is the Palm Tropics Motel on Route 66 in Glendora (Los Angeles County) CA. This is almost right next door to The Hat, which might just be my post tomorrow.

I have not stayed here yet, but the place looks like it has gotten some fixing up of late. It might be a Dining and Lodging Guide addition in the near future, if it is nice on the outside as it appears on the outside.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Blue Swallow (Tucumcari, NM - Route 66)

I took yesterday off from posting for one simple reason: I didn't feel that great. So I am making up for it today by posting two photos. They are both of the famous Blue Swallow Motel in Tucumcari, NM, along Route 66. The first was taken one evening while there with many other Route 66 authors and artists, celebrating at the annual Route 66 celebration in Tucumcari. The next was taken the next morning. In the first shot, notice the full moon behind the clouds, and the reflection in the camera's mirror of the neon sign that is hanging upside down between the building and the moon. Both are from production ... nothing has been altered from the original shot (as is the case with 99% of my photography that you will see).

Monday, September 11, 2006

Aztec Hotel, Monrovia CA

Much like the Phillips 66 Station in McLean and the Blue Whale in Catoosa, the Aztec Hotel is another of the crown jewels along US-66. The Aztec is one of thirty-four (34) National Register of Historic Places landmarks within the cultural corridor of Route 66 in LA County. It is also one of only a few projects to receive grant funding from the National Park Service's Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program. (The only others are a historic resources structure report of the Casa de Adobe and a comprehensive resource study of the entirety of the road in California.)

The Aztec is so beautiful that it just HAD to be the cover photo for my book, "Finding the End of the Mother Road: Route 66 in Los Angeles County." It was also the site of one of my presentations, this one given to the California Historic Route 66 Association, of which I am an honorary member.

The Aztec Hotel was designed by architect Robert Stacy Judd, and opened in September, 1925, more than a year before Route 66 would be christened. It has remained in operation ever since. After a recent period of only having long-term tenants, under new owner Kathie Reece-McNeill the Aztec Hotel is undergoing a long-term renovation and restoration which is seeing a return to nightly occupancy. The accompanying Brass Elephant Bar is a wonderful place to grab a cold Sierra Nevada and relax with friends.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

LA Downtown at Sunset

In the foreground is the Buena Vista Viaduct, or Broadway Bridge. This bridge is currently the oldest in-use bridge remaining on the entire length of Route 66. In the background is Downtown Los Angeles, the original terminus of Route 66.

This is one of several shots that I have submitted to the Los Angeles Times' online "Your Scene" section.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Up the Coast (Bodega Bay, CA)

In April, 2004, my then-fiancee (now wife) Julie and I drove up the coast from San Francisco to Tillamook, OR. We were heading to Portland for the biennial Preserving Historic Roads Conference. We had both already driven the coast between Los Angeles and San Francisco, so we decided to officially start our trip by crossing the Golden Gate Bridge. Our first night out, we camped on Bodega Bay. This was one of our views the next morning.

(The entire trip's travelogue was available in the American Road group on Yahoo. But that group decided to move to American Road Magazine's own server. I haven't participated, mostly because I've been too lazy to log in. There was always something nice and easy about having everything emailed to me, and reading what I wanted, as opposed to actively trying to find out if I wanted to read anything.)

Friday, September 08, 2006

Not Just 66 (Lincoln Highway Bridge, Nebraska)

Even though Route 66 is my first love in terms of old roads, there is much more out there than just the Mother Road. The Lincoln Highway is widely considered to be the first transcontinental highway in the United States, and is considered by some 66'ers to be the Father Road. Its significance cannot be doubted, no matter how you view history.

I will explore as much as I can, and my photos will show as much of that exploration as possible. Stay tuned.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Another Icon (Blue Whale, Catoosa OK)

No less well-known than yesterday's McLean Phillips 66 Station is the Blue Whale in Catoosa, OK. What I really like about this shot is that it shows there is so much more to this area than most other photos. Before I actually arrived here the first time, I thought there was just a pond with a whale in it, and that was about it.

Despite the bright colors that abound here, this was actually an overcast, cloudy, relatively grotesque day. I was amazed at how well the shot came out, in light of that. Perhaps the brightness of the tables, chairs, and whale itself would be TOO much on a sunny day!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Restored 66 (McLean, TX)

Restored Phillips 66, that is. This is the now-famous restored Phillips 66 filling station in McLean, Texas. This, along with the Devil's Rope Museum, are just two of many internationally-known icons along 66 in the Texas Panhandle. In addition to those two locations in McLean, there is also the U Drop In in Shamrock, the Big Texan in Amarillo, and the Midpoint Cafe in Adrian. Soon to be added to the list will be the Vega Motel in Vega. And, of course, no one can forget the infamous Jericho Gap, the last section of 66 to be paved.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Goffs, CA

I hope to add a photo a day to this blog, until all my current "best of" photos are added into here. Starting at the top of the list in terms of "date modified" is this photo from Goffs, CA.

This location lies alongside Route 66 in the Mojave Desert, between Amboy and Needles. It was taken during the approach of a wonderful desert thunderstorm, which I fortunately was able to skirt around without too much hail hitting my car.