Tuesday, October 31, 2006

All Hallow's Eve (Williamsburg, VA)

OK, I know that this is a bit on the kitschy side, but I had to do it anyway. This photo was shot during Christmas of 2001 at Bruton Parish Church in Colonial Williamsburg. Seems that Christmas and Halloween are now tied in two ways: Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas and the fact that retailers throughout the country are now starting to put Christmas crap out before Halloween. I'm surprised Valentine's Day has not started to get publicity before Thanksgiving. (Maybe it will this year now that I have said that!)

Monday, October 30, 2006

Bridge Comparison (Budapest)

OK, this shot is a little soft focus, too, but it's hard to take such a long shot at night without the use of a tripod! (When Julie and I went to Europe for our honeymoon, the tripod was one thing that didn't fit into the luggage.)

I think it is interesting to compare the ornamentation and construction of the older bridges in Europe that are still in use and maintained against the newer bridges in the US that are already being taken down because they are "unsafe." Makes one wonder how the bridges in Europe have withstood the test of a couple of hundred years of time, and ours in the US can't live to 100!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

More Bridges (New River Gorge Bridge)

Just got my photos back yesterday from the West Virginia trip. So I can now post this of the New River Gorge Bridge. Surprisingly, my focus is a bit soft. But the colors come through pretty well, and the bridge itself is pretty clear, so I thought I would put this up anyway, even though it is not up to my usual standards.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Bridges (Colorado Street Bridge, Pasadena CA)

Sorry for the long time since the last post. Julie and I went to West Virginia for a few days to see some family, and to try to enjoy the leaves changing colors. They were definitely close to peak color, but the lack of sunlight made it a little bit difficult to enjoy the full spectrum.

While we were there, we went south across the New River Gorge Bridge, US-19. It was the day before Bridge Day. At Bridge Day this year, for the first time in about 17 years, there was a death. So this photo of the Colorado Street "Suicide" Bridge is being put up today in honor of Brian Lee Schubert, a pioneer in the sport of BASE jumping.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

PCH - Near Gaviota, CA

Much further south than either Umpqua or Bodega Bay is this old bridge just "south" (actually east) of Gaviota State Beach, CA. This bridge is easily accessible off of US-101 between Gaviota and Santa Barbara via a vista turnout from the southbound lanes. Just pullout via the exit ramp, then walk back north / west to the bridge.

Or, to get this photo, ride Amtrak north out of Santa Barbara. It's a pleasant ride, and it takes you much further north / west along the coast than does PCH, to see some areas of the coast that you do not see while driving. (More of my San Luis Obispo trip / photos coming in the near future.)

I had first seen this bridge on a trip north up the coast to San Francisco many years ago. But it was not until my wife and I started taking frequent day trips to Santa Barbara County's wineries - especially Foley, Cottonwood Canyon, and Kalyra - that I really got to look closely at this bridge. (We are also fond of several other places for their wines and their locations, but those three are most likely our favorites.)

Monday, October 16, 2006

More PCH Trip (Umpqua Lighthouse State Park, OR)

On the trip I mentioned yesterday, Julie and I camped out two of the four nights that we drove up the coast. One night was at Doran (Sonoma) County Park on Bodega Bay. That was our first night out. On our last night before reaching Portland we stayed at Umpqua Lighthouse State Park in Oregon. It was pretty amazing the difference between the two campgrounds.

Doran was pretty quiet. It literally was right on the coast, on the strip of land separating Bodega Bay from the Pacific Ocean. There were two or three RV's there at the most, and we were the only tent.

Umpqua, on the other hand, was quite crowded with both RV's and tenters. Surprisingly, it was also NOT right on the ocean. There was a small bluff slightly inland that the lighthouse was on, and in the valley just inland from there is where the campground was. It was extremely nice, and a bit less breezy as a result. I'd hate to see the place in the middle of summer, though, if it was that crowded already in April!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Fog (Northern CA, Pacific Coast Highway)

Back in 2004 Julie and I drove up the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge to Tillamook, Oregon. Our ultimate goal was Portland, where I was going to be attending the biennial Preserving Historic Roads Conference. About the only negative that we had on the entire trip was the fog that rolled in one night before we reached a stopping point for the night.

Had I been smart, we would have stopped for the night in Eureka or Arcata. Instead, I thought we would have enough time to keep going. We did get to see some cool scenery with the fog as a result, but we also drove through a stretch of horrible conditions that scared the living daylights out of me before we reached Crescent City. One of the coolest was a loop road off of the main road (check out page 22 of 23 here for some information) that we took, and from which I took this photo. (I'm still looking forward to an opportunity to do the trip again, though.)

(Oh, the reason for posting this shot this morning: it is kind of gross like this out our window today, and it echoes the way I've been feeling for several days, which is why I haven't posted recently.)

Monday, October 09, 2006

Self-Portrait (more Burning Man)

Shot this at Burning Man the same year. Believe it or not, that is Julie and I in the reflection. This was one of the art installations that year.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Friends (Burning Man)

Today I participated in the Duarte Friends of the Library book festival. I got to spend some wonderful time with several authors, including John Robinson, Elizabeth Pomeroy, and Laura June Kenny.

It got me to thinking about how many wonderful people there are out there in the world, including this group from Burning Man a couple of years ago. They were walking past our camp as I was getting ready to head out for the night, and I asked them to stop for a minute for me so that I could snap this (and several more) shot. They were more than happy to oblige. And now I'm anxious for one more trip to the desert!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Another Lost Icon (Cadiz Summit, CA)

This is one of many lost Route 66 service locations in the Mojave Desert. Cadiz Summit is located between Essex (still there) and Amboy (being revitilized) in the Mojave. Heading west, there is a long, slow, low uphill grade, the ruins are on the north side, and then suddenly you go through a pass and head down a much steeper hill toward Chambless and the Roadrunner Retreat, another lost icon of 66.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Sad Trails - Trails Restaurant, Duarte CA

This shot is of one place that, unfortunately, you can no longer have dinner at. The Trails Restaurant was demolished several years ago to make room for - surprise! - more grotesque tract condos. And no, I will NOT spare you the horrid photographs of these places, but if you have been to Valencia, you already know what they look like! (Sorry I can't find any shots online of the specific condos in question, but trust me, they are WORSE than what I have linked to!)

The Trails, though, was built in the early 1950's. The Los Angeles Conservancy's Modern Committee made an effort to save this establishment, but it was another case of too little too late for the preservationists. The restaurant was a Duarte area landmark, too, which is somewhat disappointing. Duarte's historical society is supposedly fairly good. (I, personally, though, wouldn't know, as they have not returned several requests for stocking my book, but that's another story.)

Sunday, October 01, 2006

More Dinners (The Hat, Glendora CA)

I decided to keep the "dinner" theme going in a way with this photo of "The Hat" in Glendora. This is one of several such restaurants in Los Angeles County. It is a small local chain known for its pastrami, but I will tell you what, it's turkey sandwiches are outstanding, too! And the sandwiches and portions are just absolutely huge. The place is usually fairly crowded, at least this one. It's worth the stop, but I would recommend pulling into the parking lot or drive thru with an appetite!