Sep 22, 2014


my first day on the road got me across california, through the sierra nevada and to the edge of the desert.  i woke up before dawn in falon, nv and hit the road with a mission.  when driving highway 50, the loneliest highway, i always made it a point to stop at the shoe tree.  often i would leave shoes, and every time i would stop, take photos, check in.  this morning i decided to try and get the morning light of dawn.

15 years ago on my first solo road trip from washington to colorado i had arrived at this same place at this same time and taken the best pictures i'd ever gotten of this tree.  this tree.  this tree and those photos are landmarks in the story of my life.  it was taking and later enjoying those photos that made me decide on photography as a career, it was subsequent journeys that made me realize gypsying as a calling.  it was on this highway i felt most at home, most free, and recognized myself fully.  and it was this improbable feature of the barren landscape that represented all of this perfectly.

a tree in the middle of the desert - with nothing to speak of for miles.  a 70 foot cottonwood, growing out of a wash, by a lonely highway, surrounded by sage and sand and covered - i mean covered - in shoes.  i love everything about this.  the desert, the ruggedness, the survival, the road, the romance, the symbolism.  i loved thinking about this tree.  i loved thinking about those shoes and the people that wore them; the dances they danced, the miles they walked, the places they went before ultimately meeting up in the middle of nowhere to hang on a tree in the desert.  a signpost for travelers.  a heaven for good shoes.  a trophy of a tree.

yes i've romanticized it a bit.

Sep 8, 2014


I hit the ground running this morning - got up early to move my car and drove it straight to my storage unit and started sifting through things and packing them up.  After all this time (I haven't been near the place in almost two years) I kind of forgot what was in there.  I hoped it would fit in the car.

As I moved around, loaded, unloaded, packed, took the elevator up and down from car to unit I experienced this strange feeling of nostalgia.  "How could this be?"  I asked myself.  I'd only ever been here a handful of times.  It wasn't a home or a particularly nice building.  It was always a chore coming here because it meant transporting things up, down, around, in and out.  Then I realized.  I only ever came here when a great adventure was about to begin.  I came here before setting out on the road, before going to New Zealand, upon my return, on trips either from or to Humboldt, or long drives across the desert; always on my way to something grand.

This time was no exception, except this time - I was never coming back.  I felt it in my bones and the moment I got here; San Francisco was not my home anymore or ever again.  It was bittersweet in that way that only good memories can be.  And that bittersweetness extended to my storage unit.  My days as an adventurer have changed shape.

With my headlamp and a giant coffee I worked away until the afternoon when sanity demanded that I take a break.  Then I decided to spend too much on lunch at my favorite sushi spot and go for my favorite walk in my old neighborhood.  

The Presidio is just as beautiful and lovely as ever - although a bit busier.   I reminisced as I walked, about the time when the whole block was still abandoned and falling apart and no one ever came out there - a whole forest in the city all to ourselves.  My feet carried me naturally over the old trails they knew so well.  I didn't even have to think about where I was headed.  Until I got to the cliffs above Baker Beach and.... something was very different.  I usually hopped the fence, walked down through a forest and got to the bunker using a secret trail.  This time I couldn't figure out where to hop the fence at first because - the forest was gone.  They cut down all those beautiful cypress trees above the beach.  

This saddened me.... alot.  A plaque informed me that it was for native reforestation efforts, which I support.  But those trees were so beautiful!  For a hundred years or more they were so beautiful.  And the protection and secrecy they offered was gone.  No more secret trail, alot more tourists.  

Luckily my other favorite secret spot was still there, still hidden away, mostly undiscovered and still offered this amazing view..... 

Goodbye San Francisco!  Goodbye unit 2106! 

Sep 7, 2014


Northern Nevada:  a whole lot of nothing, a little bit weird.


After four years of floating around with not much more than a backpack, or car-full of stuff, I'm finally going out to San Francisco and closing my storage unit.  It's not a social visit, but a stuff mission; the last step needed to officially close this chapter of my life and begin another.  I'm going alone, which feels appropriate - one more solo gypsy trip across the desert with a car packed full of random stuff. 

Sep 1, 2014





hiking with my buddy


grape jame

this stuff is like crack.  it is so so so so good.  i used this recipe.




1 1/2 cups of almond meal
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
1 cup of milk (or almond milk!)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 lb of cherries, pitted, chopped

Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl, all the wet ingredients in another, then pour the liquids into the dry ingredients and combine.  Lastly fold in the chopped cherries and let the whole thing settle for a minute or two.  The batter should be a bit runny, if it's too thick add more milk.  Use a 1/4 cup to spoon the batter onto a sizzling hot, oiled, griddle.