Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Anyone who's had the pleasure or punishment of traveling with me and my camera knows of my penchant for long-arm group-self-portraits. Maybe it's the Minnesotan in me that's doesn't want to trouble passersby to take the photo, or maybe it's the geometrician in me that loves calculating how to maximize light, minimize shadow, and capture something telling in the background.

This montaged set is from my road trip with Christa "No Home, No Job, No Fear" McDermott earlier this month. Here's the run down:
  • Title: somewhere in Illinois . . . or Iowa . . . or Nebraska
  1. Ann Arbor (don't worry -- we drove the car and towed the bikes, not vice versa)
  2. Colorado (still waiting on the North Face royalties check)
  3. Utah (one of us is cold and one is loving it)
  4. Berkeley (Christa was doing her Old Argentine Man face and I was about to shave my California-or-bust beard)
  5. Joaquin Miller State Park (Redwoods make for luxurious light)
  6. Muir Beach (with Kurt Denk SJ and grub from Gregoire)
  7. Muir Beach Overlook (with Kurt and a tiny shard of the Pacific -- sorry, my inner geometrician was getting sloppy)

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Sleep-deprived and residually-giddy as I am, I don't really have words for the adventure that was Barack-ing the Vote for Senator Obama this weekend with Mike and Amazing-Field-Director-Peachy. It's about hope, it's about capacity, and it's about time. Here's what the BBC said about it.

(This photo was taken a minute or two after the crazy coincidence of Peach saying "Ginger should be here" at the precise moment Ginger stepped off a plane from Ghana and called Mike from O'Hare.)

Monday, January 21, 2008

One coast, two coasts
Red-eye, blue-jet
That's as far as we've gotten on the Dr Seuss version of my flight home to Cambridge today. Since classes start tomorrow and I've already got a paper due, I'll let these pictures tell the rest of the story:

Christa and her good friend Kurt and me at the Muir Beach Overlook just before Saturday's dinner with Cousins Nico, Sarah & Simone -- then Martuni's with Radmar.

Christa and I hiking in the Joaquin Miller State Park, just before Sunday's Salvadoran dinner with Grace and Stella Maris and Kurt -- then the Oakland airport.

(And one more because I can't resist: a panorama from Utah)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Late last night, shortly after we crossed into our ninth and final state, we took a brief and chilly break at elevation to have fun with lowlight long exposures. Here's a result -- intrepid explorers so near their destination!

Friday, January 18, 2008

As somebody wise has probably said somewhere reputable . . . if you're going to get a speeding ticket, you might as well get it where the legal speed limit is 75mph -- say, for example, the middle of nowhere Nevada.

Officer G. knocked it down to the minimum fine because he's thinking of moving to Minnesota (I encouraged him, naturally -- to move, not to knock it down).

And for the record, we did not stop in Reno to win the money needed to pay the ticket.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It was no big deal to leave at 5:30pm Monday instead of that morning, or earlier that afternoon -- gave Christa more time to tie up the loose ends of moving from Ann Arbor after 5 years there and gave me more time to play 3D Tetris with the trunk and back seat of the car. (I'm still disappointed she wouldn't let me build to the ceiling of the car's interior -- I promised a tunnel for both the rear view mirror and the blind spot on the driver's side!)

The only negative was that we hit a freezing-rain-blizzard situation that provided more than a few moments of white-out in western Michigan. We got as far as Chicago and stayed in the inimitable Hynes-Berry household of Hyde Park. And it was there, un-racking both of Christa's bikes that we saw the ice that shellacked them, literally freezing their wheels in place.

Tuesday we drove as far as Lexington Nebraska, a city I'll ask Christa to guest-blog about tomorrow. What stands out in my memory from the drive is our dinner stop in Omaha, where this remarkable hall of mirrors leads to the basement bathrooms, complete with a Garden of Eden cutout mural you can examine by clicking on this photo for greater detail.

Christa is stylish, to be sure, but on her own terms. And occasionally her practicality trumps any other potential concerns. Witness this shot taken at highway speed (or, since Christa was driving, 5-7 mph below highway speed) of her with my sunglasses atop her own spectacles. (Among the potential concerns trumped by her practicality is apparently the ocular well-being of her wingman.)

We've had a lovely time so far, are reading What Is The What by Dave Eggers, and will try to post again tomorrow.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

5 days.
4 places to sleep.
3 categories of podcasts.
2 dear old uproarious friends.
1 serious roadtrip.

And it all starts tomorrow. Christa McDermott, Ph D, is moving from Ann Arbor to the Bay Area and I'm her wingman. It'll be grand. And I guarantee we'll still be talking when we arrive at the Pacific.

Xanciña the cat, it has been decided, will not be traveling with us.  Christa will collect her when she's back in April for graduation.

(For your detail-oriented peoples, here's a rough idea of what each day looks like. And the total mileage. Google thinks we can do it in a day and a half. Yeeehaaa!)

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Two quick things about
my beloved homeland of Minnesota:

1) We play cribbage.

At least my family does.

It's how my folks taught us math skills.

At least up to what makes 31.

2) We wear puffy coats.

At least my friend Grace and I do.

It's how we stay warm.

At least until we've walked along the Mississippi for a mile or two and duck into a local non-chain ice cream place for Guinness and Green Tea ice cream (I kid you not.)