Monday, December 12, 2016

St. Thomas harbor

Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, Virgin Islands
(Click photograph to see a larger image.)
I've been exploring the collections at the Library of Congress again, and I discovered this panoramic view of the harbor and town in St. Thomas, taken in 1922, just a couple of years before my mother was born (and only five years after the Virgin Islands became part of the United States). She grew up in town, just up the street from the columned church near the left side of this picture (the St. Thomas Reformed Church).

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Moore Creek Preserve

This is probably my current favorite place to run or hike. Moore Creek is on the western edge of Santa Cruz. It's a city park but also an active cattle ranch. On a clear day, you can see across Monterey Bay all the way to Monterey.

Moore Creek Preserve, Santa Cruz, California

Today, the fog rolled in like a giant wave, obscuring the ocean. This picture seemed to call for black and white.

Moore Creek Preserve, Santa Cruz, California

Friday, November 11, 2016


This week I'm feeling... orange?

Santa Cruz, California
See also Pumpkin Time from a year ago, when I thought this election season was funny.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Día de Muertos, ciudad de muertos

I don't think Argentina celebrates Día de Muertos, but La Recoleta Cemetery is a gigantic city of the dead in downtown Buenos Aires. Eva Perón is probably the most famous resident. It's easy to get lost in there.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina
This is the view down one of the streets at La Recoleta Cemetery.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

More public art: UCSC barn, Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, California
 The banana slug is the mascot of UC Santa Cruz, and it showed up on the arts billboard in August.

Santa Cruz, California
This electrical box near UCSC also sports some banana slugs.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Morning Light

It's a cliché in photography that early morning or late afternoon light is somehow magical. But it's a cliché because it's often true.

Somerville, Massachusetts
The former Rosebud diner near Davis Square early on a Sunday morning. They serve fancy food now.

Santa Cruz, California
The Octagon Building in Santa Cruz this morning. It used to be the Santa Cruz County Hall of Records. It's now Lulu Carpenter's, an upscale coffee shop, reported to be closing soon.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Buenos Aires to Mendoza

We started off in the San Telmo neighborhood of Buenos Aires, before heading off to visit Mendoza.

San Telmo, Buenos Aires, Argentina

LATAM airline map. En route from Buenos Aires to San Juan.
The Falklands war is still a sore point for some in Argentina.

On the road from San Juan to Mendoza.
The Mendoza airport is closed for 90 days, so we had to fly to San Juan, then take a bus to Mendoza. It was not so bad, because the long-distance buses in Argentina are comfortable, and we got to see the countryside. It reminds me of Nevada or Patagonia (far to the south of here).

Maipu, Argentina.
We rented bikes in Maipu and then visited a couple of wineries. There are some nice protected bike lanes on some of the main roads (though not on this one).

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Route 50

Route 50. Great Basin, Nevada. (Click image for full-size view.)
I used to think pictures like this were doctored, somehow impossible. But this is really what it looks like. Except it's better to be there. I've driven this road twice now, and I'm ready to go back again.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Grand Canyon, 50 years later

Bright Angel trail, Grand Canyon south rim, 2016.

Fifty years ago, my parents started a series of summer trips that eventually took us all around the country. The highlight of our first trip, in 1966, was a hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon via the Kaibab trail. We stayed overnight at Phantom Ranch, and hiked out the next day on the Bright Angel trail.

My daughter graduated from college last spring, and we drove back home to California, stopping to see some sights along the way. The Grand Canyon was a must, as she had never seen it, and I haven't been back. We drove in the back way, along the Little Colorado, which is pretty spectacular on its own.

The Bright Angel trail looks pretty much the same, and the exhausted (but exhilarated) hikers look familiar. We want to come back and hike from the north rim to the south rim.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Running on the Jumbo track

Medford, Massachusetts
Baby Jumbo at the track. I did a short, slow track workout today on the Ellis Oval at Tufts.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Virgelle Ferry, Montana

A while ago, I wrote about the Rocky Hill to Glastonbury ferry in Connecticut. I mentioned the Virgelle ferry across the Missouri River in Montana. I recently came across this wonderful photograph of the Virgelle ferry:

Virgelle Ferry, near Loma, Montana. Photograph by Gary Splittberger.
Gary Splittberger, who took the photograph, tells me that there are two other small cable ferries across the Missouri in Montana: the Carter Ferry and the Stafford-McClelland Ferry. I see another trip to Montana in my future.

More on the Virgelle Ferry here (or you can do a search for Virgelle Ferry).

Sunday, August 7, 2016

View from the marine terrace, Santa Cruz

The shoreline near Santa Cruz is pretty cool. This article about marine terraces on the Mobile Ranger blog explains it.

Santa Cruz, California

Santa Cruz, California

View from the second marine terrace on Back Ranch Road.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Public art: Mission Street, Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz Mission, Santa Cruz, California
There's lots of formal and informal public art around Santa Cruz. Last spring, a large group of volunteers installed this large mosaic mural at the entrance to the Santa Cruz Mission. Two students at the middle school designed the mural.

Santa Cruz, California
This is the plaque with the artists and supporters.

UCSC Tanks, Santa Cruz, California
There's some art in the woods above UC Santa Cruz.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Rail rider, Santa Cruz

Wilder Ranch, Santa Cruz, California

I was riding home after a longer-than-expected exploration of the Smith Grade area in Santa Cruz, when I spied this guy putt-putting up the coastal rail line. You can barely see him among the brussels sprouts (Click on the photograph for a larger view).

While he used a powered cart, he reminded me of this hilarious account of a similar wind-powered adventure in Montana, recounted by the inimitable Bill Vaughn.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Public art, Amarillo, Texas

On our way back from North Carolina to Santa Cruz via I-40 and Route 66 and taking in some of the sights.

Cadillac Ranch. Amarillo, Texas
Cadillac Ranch artist

Amarillo, Texas

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Arroyo Seco

Arroyo Seco Canyon, Santa Cruz, California
Arroyo Seco no está tan seco hoy.

We had over two inches of rain yesterday from an El Niño storm. This canyon and the creek are normally bone dry, but everything is pretty green now, and yesterday was literally over the top.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Monterey Bay

After moving to California from the East coast, it took me a while to get used to the fact that driving toward the ocean is generally west, not east. Even more confusing is that Santa Cruz faces due south, so the ocean is not to the west here, unless you head north or south of town.

In any case, some days the views in any direction are sublime. We've gotten some rain this winter, so the fields are looking pretty lush again. This is the view looking south toward Monterey from the Coastal View trail in Moore Creek preserve just west of Santa Cruz.

Monterey Bay from the Moore Creek Preserve, Santa Cruz, California

Friday, January 22, 2016

In Patagonia

Many years ago, my roommates made me a gift of Bruce Chatwin's book In Patagonia. The book itself is fantastic. Worth reading and rereading. And it made me want to go to Patagonia someday.

Last year, our kids, who were working and studying in Buenos Aires, invited me to come join them for a week of hiking and exploring in Patagonia. I jumped at the chance, and I was not disappointed with either Patagonia or with Buenos Aires.

Panoramic view of El Chaltén, Patagonia. Image from Wikipedia:,_panoramic_view.jpg
El Chaltén, Patagonia
My only regret is that we did not have clear enough weather to see the peaks looming right behind the village of El Chaltén. The panoramic view above shows what we missed (click on it for the full-sized image). We'll just have to go back.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

El Niño comes to Santa Cruz

This past weekend,  El Niño brought more rain and big surf to Santa Cruz. This spot, just around the corner from the surf spot at Steamer Lane, is popular with some swimmers who dive off the rocks into this small cove. No diving today.

The toilet bowl at Lighthouse Point, Santa Cruz.
(As always, you can click the picture for a larger image.)
Update: a friend pointed out that Winslow Homer painted a scene in Maine that resembles this one. The interesting thing is that Homer painted a stop-action image before most cameras (and films) could support the low shutter speeds (less than 1/30 of a second) needed to stop action like this. He had vision.

Winslow Homer, West Point, Prout's Neck,1900.
The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, Massachusetts.