I've made it safely back to California, and am really looking forward to seeing what I can find out there. The road trip up the coast starts soon, then I will head east, over an approximately 7 week stretch, with many exciting stops along the way.
Leipsic, Delaware I did a fair amount of driving around today looking for stuff to take photos of, and I settled on an old standby...the little town of Leipsic, about a mile from my parents' house. It's hard to go wrong with photographing the boats on the Leipsic River when the light is right.
I'm almost ready logistically, and definitely ready mentally, to fly back to California on Friday. I thought a lot today about how happy I am that I have built a life free of commitment to being in a specific place. It was good to be able to jet off to Delaware on short notice, and to be able to pretty much not miss a beat with my work. And now I'm ready to "Leave no road unturned" in California, Utah, and Colorado in the coming weeks. Life is good. Stay tuned.
Fischers' Farm, Dover, Delaware. AKA my parents' house. A long week has come to an end. I am happy that I was able to be here for my family this week, and I will return to California next Friday. Lots of exciting adventures await me when I return.
Historic Ellicott City, Maryland No matter what's going on in my life and whatever my commitments to others, I'm trying to make time each day for myself. So I took some time this morning to walk around Historic Ellicott City and drive around it a bit as well. It is an old mill town turned shopping and restaurant and eatery district. It's pretty neat. I have been there several times, as my father grew up in the area, and we used to visit sometimes when I was a kid. My grandfather's worked there as well, but before I was born. You don't have to go far from the main drag to find things that are still in disrepair. That said, these buildings were fenced in (thus the less than optimal composition) so maybe they will be updated soon. Time moves on.
Route 9, Kent County, Delaware I have been meaning to take a morning walk to the little town of Leipsic, Delaware, which is just a bit over a mile away from my parents' farm, and has lots of boats along a winding river. I've shot many photos there before. I finally did it this morning at 6:45 AM or so, and this photo I took along the way to get to Leipsic is actually my favorite. I've driven this stretch of road countless times to and from visiting my parents since they moved to Delaware, and never noticed this particular house. But, it is very indicative of the style of the area at the same time. I've said it before...it's cool what you notice when walking instead of driving.
One positive to my unexpected side trip back to the east coast is that for the first time, I've now seen a physical copy of the Ulster County Travel Guide for 2016-2017. It had been sent to my parents' house in Delaware. It features one of my photos of the Ashokan Reservoir on the cover. It looks great, and I am pretty proud that I am able to take a self portrait of an Ulster County Travel Guide with my photo on the cover of it for the second straight year. By the way, how obvious is it that I'm exhausted? My brain and body weren't quite ready for this unexpected change of plans, but I'm making it through okay.
I plan to fly back to California and get in my Jeep and continue exploring out west in about a week and a half from now most likely.
Abandoned boat with a horseshoe crab. Port Mahon, along the Delaware Bay, Kent County, Delaware. I learned about this boat from seeing photos of it that my friend Stephanie Seeman has posted. I hope I'm not stepping on her turf too much with this one. And by turf, I mean disgusting waterside muddy area, with insane amounts of tiny bugs that bite, and a horrific smell, that altogether feels like a horror movie, even when it's not dark out. I had to get out of there! The smell and bugs were truly unbearable.
Near the Maryland/Delaware line. I have had quite a change of scenery since I woke up in San Diego, California, Friday morning. There has been a death in my extended family and I will be back east for a little while, spending time with my relatives. At some point in the next 2 weeks I will fly back to California to resume my journey. Well, I guess it's all one continuous journey, even if it involves airplanes and rental cars and unexpected twists and turns. The circumstances are sad, but it is nice to be back east for a bit, and I am currently in the quiet comfort of my parents' farm. (Not the farm pictured) Have a good night out there everyone.
On my morning walk around the North Park neighborhood of San Diego today, I shot this photo of a simple plant on a fence in an alley. It's fun to see the little details when I'm on foot instead of in a car in a city. My plans to be in California for the next few weeks have been altered. One of my relatives is in a hospital in Maryland, and today I bought a one way ticket to fly there overnight and be with my family. My Jeep and many of my possessions are staying in California, and I expect to be back fairly soon. I am bringing my photo gear with me to the east coast, so don't be surprised if there are no posts with quite a change of scenery. Have a good night y'all.
Somewhere on Boundary Street, San Diego, California I took another 2 mile walk today with my camera, as soon as I woke up, at a few minutes after 6 AM. I found so many cool vehicles, which is my favorite part of walking around here. I feel like I already have won today.
North Park, San Diego, California. This is many peoples' idea of a front yard here. I woke up at 6:30 this morning and as planned, immediately went for a walk around the neighborhood with my camera, but the major goal was the walk, not the photos. I ended up walking about 2 miles. I see myself, as I get older, wanting to be the guy who wakes up every day and takes a long walk, but I have actually rarely done it. So, I'm excited, and I hope to make it into a habit. I've been awake for an hour and a half and haven't even looked at email or Facebook. That's a major step for me. (Luckily I can post these pics to Facebook through my blog site) And now, after posting this, I do need to do some work on my email, but hopefully I can keep it under control.
And maybe I'll have something new for you at this time tomorrow.
Story time! Today I left my friends' place in San Diego to go to Mexico. After a bit of research, I decided to drive into Mexico in Tijuana, then head east to Tecate. I've crossed into both Tecate and Tijuana on foot before, and I knew Tecate was much less stressful, with less people aggressively trying to sell things to tourists. Being in my Jeep actually made me more nervous than being on foot for some reason. Horror stories about border towns abound, and the US State Department website talks of occasional carjackings in broad daylight. But I also know that many many people drive around those areas with no incident, and I don't like living in fear. So, I went for it. I got comfortable quickly, and wandered around, turning down whatever streets struck my fancy. Then I headed towards Tecate on the highway, and off to the right, I saw what looked like a train bridge turned into pedestrian walkway, in front of a dam. Jackpot I thought! Most of you know I am quite fond of train bridges turned into pedestrian walkways. I decided to try to figure out how to get to it. I figured there was a parking lot and a nice park.
I spent probably over an hour turning around, turning around again, cutting down dirt roads, crossing through a big puddle of sewage, doing 3 or 5 or 7 point turns at dead ends, and I couldn't find it. The closest I think I got to it ran me right into a sign that said "Propiedad Federal". I don't know much Spanish, but I know a Federal Property sign when I see one. Finally, I figured out where the dam was, drove across that, and the signs there said it was federal property as well. I parked up a hill, and went to take a photo, and found this pipeline that I couldn't cross. I was stymied. I thought I might still be able to get a good photo, and after 3 attempts including this one, reality hit me. I was in a foreign country, where I don't speak the language, photographing federal property, including important infrastructure. So yeah, I left!
By the way, I'm doubting that the train bridge was a pedestrian walkway. Oh well. It was fun to try. And I ate some good food in Mexico, that's for sure.
I've been working a lot this week, from my friends' house in San Diego. As is no secret, I have a part time job that is my most steady source of income, and I work while traveling, over my phone and my computer. I've had this job for 5 and a half years. My cousin John put the idea into my head in 2010 to get a job where I can work from wherever I want, and that I could continue to travel and to work on my photography if I did that. He told me that having the freedom to go anywhere you want means the freedom to stay anywhere you want. Wise words! I've extended that also over the years to mean the freedom to do photography when I want, and to not do photography when I don't want to. As you may have noticed, I've posted very few new photos lately, and that's cool. I've been working. I've been eating home cooked meals. (Not my home, but my friends' home) I read a book. I saw a friend play live music. I've gone to bed early. I've watched tv and played video games. I've gone to the grocery store. I've lounged around. And ya know what? I've enjoyed it.
There have been many times when I've told people that I'd love to have photography be my only source of income. But if that restricted my freedom to lay on a hammock while hanging out with a puppy on a sunny Friday afternoon in Southern California, then what would be the point of being a full time photographer? I've been thinking about it a lot lately.
Summary: I like my life. And if I ever make photography my full time income my living how I want to, than that's a bonus.
And another one from the North Park neighborhood of San Diego.
I took a walk around the North Park neighborhood of San Diego today, and shot this photo of this flower. I have an interest lately in playing more with exposure of my photos, and controlling the lights and darks, and this overcast day was perfect to play with that. What do you think of the photo?
Here is another shot from Laguna Beach, California from last week. I haven't touched my camera in a few days. Again, this lack of interest in taking photos most days isn't concerning me, but I am trying to figure out if there's a reason why I am not excited about it. I wonder if it's just a let down after my time in Hawaii and Alaska. As beautiful as much of Southern California is, I've seen so much of it before. It's not new to me. I feel like I am going to need to see something I've never seen before to get excited again. And I am working on plans to see such places soon. But for now, I need to lay low in San Diego for a few weeks and get some work done. And that's cool too. Stay tuned.
Ocean Beach, San Diego, California I got some lunch in the Ocean Beach area of San Diego, then went for a walk. I sat down to stare at the Pacific Ocean for a little while, and looked over, and saw that a part of the water appeared to be red. I decided to go take a closer look. It appeared that red seaweed was what made it look that way. It was pretty cool, and slightly creepy. Talk about a crimson tide!
I'm always trying to learn new things, and I also am happy to help out the people that host me during my travels. So...puppy sitting? Sure, why not? I did not grow up with dogs, and have never had my own, so taking care of a puppy doesn't come naturally to me. But it's interesting. Maybe she and I will be friends soon.
Laguna Beach, California It's a beautiful day out, and I'm on my way back to San Diego, where I will stay for a few weeks. I am chillin, taking me time, and so I stopped to pop off a few photos. I wonder how much these houses cost!
At risk of sounding trite, the sun here in Southern California has been analogous to my excitement for photography lately. Sometimes not seen for a few days, then big bright bursts out of nowhere, that can just as quickly go away. Not long after I pointed my camera to the sky to shoot this, the sun went behind the clouds, and it became a lot less warm. And every time I have a day where I'm enthusiastic about going out to take photos, it seems like I cannot sustain it for more than a few hours. These lulls in my ongoing excitement are to be expected, and I'm not worried about it. That said, I feel like it's time for another hobby, since photography has not been a hobby in quite some time. That doesn't mean that I will be slowing down much on taking photos, but I just feel like I need more options of things that I enjoy when I'm not taking photos. Hobbies are tough to cultivate while traveling, but I'll start thinking about ideas. I may start writing more, even if it's not for public consumption, as I really do get pleasure in writing.
Suggestions are welcome. In the meantime, I think I'm going to go find something fun to eat. I hope you all are having a good day, wherever you are.