Last Moments at Home

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Old chapters end and new begin. After 12 years of living on Lake Audubon we’re moving to Coronado, CA. While Beth and I still have time and process in front of us to sell the Reston home, Kelsey has no such luxury. Today, as we set off to drive across the country, is the day when Kelsey has her last moments in the place she called home for so many years.

It was has been an excellent chapter in our lives.

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Red Rock Sprint to Yosemite

First hike after Art's was up San Jacinto, first by way of one of the world's longest tram rides and then by foot. We were shooting for the peak but ran out of time.

After Art’s in Palm Springs we climbed San Jacinto, first by way of one of the world’s longest tram rides and then by foot. We were shooting for the peak but even with long days we ran out of time.

What to do between visiting Art in Palm Springs and climbing Half Dome in Yosemite?
Why not sprint through a stretch of Red Rock Country? Book ends to the sprint could include epic hikes. And why not? This was trip with my road-ravaging, outdoor-trekking, college-bound super daughter Kelsey! Continue reading

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Library Makerspace Tour

“What next?” cringed the librarian.

As lending books becomes a less dominant theme within libraries, the question asked is “What next?” I took a cross-country tour visiting a variety of libraries which have expressed interest in makerspaces to learn what they’re planning. My goal was to gain a little insight to help advance the aspiration of having more libraries offer making programs and more maker spaces. I will be sharing my learnings with the library and maker communities through MAKE and American Libraries, the journal of the American Libraries Association.

There were ten libraries I visited and spoke with from which I drew a few conclusions.
Continue reading

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The Illusive Mount Lemmon

The Illusive Mount Lemmon

You’re right; this picture has nothing to do with Mt. Lemmon in Arizona. Instead it’s a visual description of how I attended a family reunion in Oregon the evening before ... via FaceTime.

Twice previously I’ve tried to get to the top of Mount Lemmon but its 25 mile drive, its 6,400 foot climb, its weather all proved obstacles given my time constraints. That wasn’t going to happen this time. Today I was making it my hightest priority; other priorities would be sacrificed.

So why? What’s the big deal with Mount Lemmon? I suppose I’ve become intrigued by sky islands, where one experiences change through elevation. With this ascent one climbs from desert to alpine, the equivalent of going from Mexico to Canada. At stages throughout there are remarkable changes. Continue reading

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Ninth Time Across the Continent

Bumble Bee Plane

Is there any way that looking at this world-record tiny plane won’t prompt the thought of a bumble bee? Believe it or not it does fly with crazy-cramped quarters for the pilot; but it doesn’t buzz.

Having driven from NYC to Yosemite in 72 hours going west during my eighth crossing this year I was content to take my time going east on my ninth crossing. I managed to spend three days in Arizona and New Mexico and a fourth day in Colorado. Then I heard that my new iPhone had arrived and within three days I was home again. It’s nice to be back.

While I loitered, I saw many things but I’ll only mention four here now. Continue reading

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Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock

Such an odd formation carved from red rock. This region of desert is about 130 miles from Los Angeles in a desert with occasional Joshua Trees. It’s a State Park; in cooler weather it would be work hiking.

I’m a weak man when it comes to red rock, especially if it’s accompanied by blue sky and tall green pine trees. If all I can get is two out of three then I’ll still go out of my way to shoot it. While it’s somewhat disparaging to call a place “the middle of nowhere” I’d have to say that where Red Rock Canyon State Park is located is at least right-close to there.

To find anything else of interest you have to drive great distances and I did. I went to see the Tehachepi Loop. Isabella Lake has a few small attractions. Certainly China Lake was of interest and Boron had some history. However, we’re talking about a few sites in hundreds of square miles of desert. I’m not complaining, no. I’m making the point that I’ll go a long way to see red rock.

Did I get red rock, blue sky & green trees? No, but trees are over rated.  Continue reading

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North Peninsula Seashore: Point Reyes

Point Reyes

My hunt for lighthouses will never end. Why? Because invariably I’ll find another gem like Point Reyes Lighthouse. It’s perched high on a cliff, is stunningly beautiful and is in the engagingly wild.

One reason I am passionately in love with the Bay Area peninsulas is the natural beauty preserved in the Golden Gate National Recreational Area. This may be the single largest set of parks in one geography managed by the National Park Service. The variety, the extreme beauty, and the wonderful accessibility of it all is very appealing. Recently I finished visiting all these parks so it was time to branch outward … or should I say upward.

Today’s outing was to the next park north of the GGNRA cluster. My destination was Point Reyes National Seashore. When it comes to national and state parks it’s remarkable how quickly you can leave civilization; how soon you can lose cell coverage, be among farms, drive on slow remote roads. When you enter Point Reyes you want to have a full tank of gas!

This park has a distinct geography which is heavily influenced by the San Andreas Fault. Rarely can you see the fault as vividly as along Point Reyes. To the west of the fault are rolling hills and amazing seashore. I made a point of visiting every corner of the park and believe me, it took time. The area is vast and progress can be quite slow but after you arrive you have no doubt but that it was worth every minute of effort. (Recheck gas gauge.)  Continue reading

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More Old National Trail


Mile Marker

Mile markers were a requirement by the federal government but no specifications were provided. Each State created their own design; this three-sided version from Ohio is my favorite.

Thomas Jefferson commissioned this road which means what remains of it has been around almost as long as the United States. Call me nuts but this amazes me. By looking hard I can still see pieces of of that road and Ive made several outings to drive as much of it as I can. Continue reading

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One Great Adventure with Courtney

Court at the Grand Canyon

She’s almost 21 years old, almost finished with her undergraduate studies, and almost flown the coop but she’ll always be my first-born daughter, always a remarkable young lady, and someone I’ll love forever.

It was Beth’s idea that for Spring Break Courtney and I should do a road trip and after 26 years I’ve learned to listen to her. However, a college student is still of a mindset that spending time with Dad is far less enjoyable than romping on a beach with her buddies. Well, I can’t say she was wrong in her thinking but I told her I’d try really, really hard to not be boring. In the end and much to my excitement she accepted. The stage was set.  Continue reading

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Out and Back Across America

San Xavier Cathedral

How to chose a picture that captures the essence of this trip? Not possible so here is one of my favorite shots of Mission San Xavier del Bac. I visited this while doing extensive travel in Arizona.

Can you say “hodge podge”? That’s what this trip turned out to be but not in a bad way, simply in a multi-themed way. Wide variety pervaded this trip!

The initial reason for travel was my cousin’s wedding in Portland. Tagging on to the theme of family was working with my uncle on his business and spending time with my sister visiting from England. Then there was the incubator theme, visiting organizations that help start-up businesses succeed. Oh, and let’s not forget the goal of completing my circumnavigation of the continental United States or visiting all the Presidential Museums!

Get the picture? This trip was all over the place.  Continue reading

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