July 17, 2012
One Year Anniversary
Just over a year ago, I flew from New York to Reno and met a new friend. Waiting in the baggage claim, I first saw her making loops around the football sized loop. Her throaty exhaust cut through the top 40 hits and whirring air conditioning. I have never been so eager for my backpack to come off the conveyor. Since picking her up that morning in July, I have slept over 320 nights in her fold-down bed. It’s been the best year of my life. Here are a collection of my favorite shots of her from the last year.
Mojave Desert, CA. November 2011.
Big Sur, CA. December 2011
Lost Coast, CA. September 2011.
Mexican Hat, Utah. April 2012.
Gunnison National Forest, CO. August 2011.
Crater Lake, OR. September 2011.
Pescadero, Mexico. February 2012.
White Salmon, WA. August 2011.
Northern Arizona. May 2012.
Through the breakdowns, hundreds of tanks of gas and 37k miles, she’s been a great ride and worth every cent I spent on her. Thanks for supporting me along the way.
Here are some more links,
One Year Anniversary (Facebook),
July 10, 2012
“Teeny Bopper, my teenage lover
I caught your waves last night
It sent my mind to wonderin’.
You’re such a groove, Please don’t move.
Please stay in my love house by the river.”
“What’s this song? Who is this?” Phil asked.
“Sir Douglas Quintet, the song’s called Mendocino.”
“Isn’t that the name of the place we are heading?”
“Sure is. It’s beautiful. You’re going to love it.”
I had heard the song two years earlier on an summer’s evening on a New York City rooftop. Like Phil, I asked a similar question to my friend Lee. Despite being from the West Coast, I had never heard of the remote county in the Northwest portion of California and assumed it was some place on the central coast. Not until hitting the road and traveling up and down the California Coast on the PCH did I find the special part of the state described in that 70′s song.
After spending two days in Humboldt, we headed down the 101 towards the start of the PCH and the Mendocino Coast. The bluffs and steep hillsides resemble Big Sur, but without the convertible rental cars. Four hours from San Francisco, the area is sleepy and seldom traveled, save for a few notable holiday weekends. Travelers between San Francisco and Oregon opt to take the 101 or I-5, leaving the PCH with local access to small coastal towns. Periodic vacancy signs announced the level of bustle.
Camping in turn-offs along the PCH, we worked our way down the coast.
Phil snapping flicks.
Sunset off the PCH.
“Please stay here with me in Mendocino,
Where life’s such a groove,
You blow your mind in the morning
We used to walk through the park,
Make love along the way in Mendocino
Mendocino, Mendocino, Mendocino”
Here are some links,
Mendocino (Sir Douglas Quintet).
July 3, 2012
“If there ever was a place to take the scoot out for a spin, this would be it,” I said to Phil as we crested the hill on a forgotten road leading from the 101 to the coast in Northern California. Obscured by a thin layer of fog on the shoreline, the ocean stretched out into the distance.
“Sure is,” Phil responded. ”This place is gorgeous, I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“I told you man, this place will blow your mind.”
“Fuck, you weren’t lying.”
“I try not to… Want to pull out the scooter? It only gets better from here.”
Pulling off onto the small shoulder, I left the Syncro in second and coasted to a stop. Hopping out of the driver’s seat I circled back to the sliding door and wrestled my recently acquired Yamaha Jog from its resting place between the bench seat and a cabinet. Weighing just 85 pounds, I had the Scooter on the ground in no time. Stomping on the kick-starter, the jog’s 49cc engine sprang to life, releasing a cloud of blueish smoke.
“See you at the bottom of the hill,” I said handing Phil the helmet.
“How far is that?”
“Fifteen maybe, twenty miles.”
“See you there.”
Here are some more links,
South with Phil (Facebook).
June 27, 2012
Just off the Jet
“I gotta see what vanlife is all about.”
“Yes you do man, you’ll love it.”
Our plans came together last minute. With three days notice, Phil bought a round trip ticket from Newark to Portland. Escaping from the confines of a late spring in New York, the idea was to show him what the Northwest had to offer in a vanlife crash course. I picked up Phil a little after noon on a Tuesday, and we headed east into the Columbia River Gorge.
An ode to Lewis and Clark on the Columbia River.
Shred sticks of yesteryear.
Blaze is a Ford Ranger.
Burned out snag.
After three days of relitively pleasant weather for early spring, the weather turned south. Rainstorms that felt more like November than June marched in one after another. The temperature dropped.
“Do you want to fly out of San Francisco? I need to head that way anyway, and it would be easy to drop you off at SFO.”
“I’d be into that. Cali calls.”
“Plus we can get out of this rain. It will be nice down there.”
“Sounds good to me.”
Just like that our plans changed. Instead of hanging around Oregon for another four days, we headed south over the Cascades towards Cave Junction and the 101 in Northern California.
Here are some more links,
South With Phil (Facebook),