Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Archives #4

Archives #4
July 2012

In my hunting through the kodachrome static of ancient hard drives I found this little gem. A few years ago I quit my job, bought my first brand new car and my first digital camera (odd I know after quitting my job), packed up my few eager belongings into the trunk, and headed west. Before making even the first of many car payments I set out to California. From Maine. Crazy. One 5 pound sack of GORP, a dozen hard boiled eggs, a case of Red Bull (sugar free, less of a crash crash crash), two cases of CDs pre-iPod you know, and all my meager hopes and dreams all piled in the passenger seat. Maine to California. East coast to left coast. Staunch puritanism to La la land. I gave myself ten days. I had no plans. I had no route picked out. I did no research. Never bothered to call AAA. I just went. Gassed up and gone. I had ten days. What could go wrong...

Every day I would wake up, usually in the back seat high on that new car smell, open up the map and figure out what to do that day. I knew I had to drive about 10 hours or so each day. I knew I had to go west. I knew that once I saw the sea I was good. Everything in between was up for grabs. It was pretty rad. Liberating. Freedom. On the road. Electric Koolaid. Howl. Just do it. So I did. I gave myself ten days. And each new day was one hell of a strange trip lemme tell you.

Day 7, or maybe 8 I'm not sure anymore. Too many sun-stroked miles. Too much gas station coffee. Too many nights crammed in the back seat tossing and turning. Too much sugar-free Red Bull and unfiltered Camels at this point. It was day 7. Or 8. I had a few hours to burn. Heading to the Grand Canyon. Meet-up with the Sis, few hours to burn. I pulled out the map. Looked ofr bright red tourist icons. Boom bing bang baddaladdaling ding dang dong! National Park baby! Color me good. Painted Desert and Petrified Forest National Parks to be exact. Turn right, hard hard right and cruise north a bit.

I payed the customary fees, smiled wide as the ranger gave me the free map and the nickel tour. All without leaving her booth. All without me leaving my new car smell. After a 3.2 second cursory glance over the brochure I cruised on in. Found a welcoming pull out, bright red patch of dirt. Grabbed some water, my brand new digital camera (first of my life), a power bar or two, some more water, and set a GPS waypoint-- CAR. Gone. Start walking. 100 degrees or more. Locals call it a dry heat. Screw that jazz. Hot is hot, and 100 degree hot is hot hot hot dry or not there is no escaping it. Regardless, adventure time. Rad.

Blue Mesa.





Vta, Calif.
July 2012

“Hark, now hear the sailors cry,
smell the sea, and feel the sky
let your soul & spirit fly,
into the mystic.”

-- Van Morrison



Mo' Hips

Mo' Hips
Ventuckey, Calif.
July 2012

Friday night, working late, buried in research, looking for an angle-- usually its a real pain in the butt. I'm not gonna lie. When you have the Mother Hips rock show live streaming in HD, a pint of clear cold magical Canadian Mist, the dog sleeping at your feet, and a pile of topo maps to help plan out the next big adventure, all of a sudden it isn't so bad. And by not so bad I mean its pretty friggin rad...!



Reyes Camp, Calif.
June 2012

Dead & Red.


Haddock Hike
Los Padres Nat'l Forest, Calif.
June 2012






Reyes Peak
June 2012

Under the stars.

Friday, July 13, 2012


Reyes Peak, Calif.
July 2012

I saved a little bit of work that could easily be done on the laptop and escaped to Pine Mountain for five days. Call it a working holiday per say. Spend a few hours pluggin' away on the laptop, go for a hike. Spend another few hours buried in spreadsheets and budgeting, have a beer. Spend some time going editing notes for a new novel and laying out the framework, go take a nap in the sunshine. Wash, rinse, repeat. Productivity without all the normal stresses of a 12 hour workday. I make it work.

I also have had this idea for a backcountry cookbook, sort of dirtbag-meets-haute-gastronomy. Its very rive gauche. Anyhow decided to make cooking a big part of the trip. The first night I made a Rosemary Garlic Tofu dish with a Balsamic Marmalade Reduction. Not bad for cast iron over an open fire. Hopefully the first of many. I'll keep you posted.



Garlic & rosemary fried tofu in a balsamic marmalade reduction over white rice and fire roasted peppers & onions.
Not too bad for winging.