Saturday, July 10, 2010

7-9-2010 Nintendo, Beer, and Movies in Arcata; a Return to Form

Leaving Fort Bragg we opted to take Highway 1 north instead of Highway 20 back to Willits and the 101 North. There was some debate as to whether this saved us time, though this debate was rendered unimportant by the general superior scenery of Highway 1. Our ultimate destination was Arcata and we arrived without incident.

A strange sensation overtook me as I entered the house I had lived in for two years. A type of not quite nostalgia, or maybe confused deja vu. Regardless, things soon returned to normal; video games, endless movies, and beer. I'm not one to care about my reputation or worry to significantly about what I say, but there is some other type of comfort here, a truly high level of familiarity.

There is a playground in this neighborhood, little sister Julia insisted that we venture out. By the time we left the house, it was extremely late. Dark. Damn near impossible to focus. The trick I learned as a concert photographer of focusing on the shiny metal parts of drum kits and guitars was mostly useless, there wasn't enough light to cause such reflections off of the playground equipment. So I decided to increase my flash exposure compensation to it's maximum level and do some camera tossing.

Friday, July 9, 2010

7-8-2010 Fort Bragg; Bicycles vs Vomit

The foul mood left in my mind by Cabo San Lucas was soon washed away on the first day of another trip. Many, many reasons for this shift in mentality. Traveling north with my good old friend Roxane, to see another older friend Nathan visiting from Idaho, toward other friends and excellent places in Humboldt County. Yesterday we camped with Nathan and his family in Fort Bragg, one of the most beautiful damn places on the face of the Earth. The place is a combination of the steep coasts of Norway, the hills of Ireland, and the redwoods of the Pacific Northwest. In short, my favorite places wedged into one.

All the photographs are from areas around the campground. Nathan gave Roxane a piggyback ride and proceeded to ride a bike. In order to get a focused image of this clearly miraculous spectacle I had to sprint next to the bike and leap through the air while shooting. Useful maneuver really. Guess there used to be a dock or marina at the beach there, given all the ironworks and wooden posts protruding from the beach there. It's a very black beach, surrounded by sandstone cliffs. I implored Nathan to throw a chunk of said cliffs at a spot designated by me in order to better understand thrill of slinging dirt clods at hard surfaces. It only kind of worked.

I've never camped quite the way the Nathans family does. I don't recall that much vodka, beer or tequila with my parents at Crater Lake or Mount Lassen. Perhaps my surprise at the high concentration of such fluids at Fort Bragg is what explains the generally vomit themed course of my night.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mexico: The First through the Fifth, an awful backlog

I was in Mexico for a wedding from the July 1st to the 5th. It was not a particularly pleasant experience. My cousin Matt on my moms side decided to get married near Cabo San Lucas, which if you know one thing about, it's that Cabo is a particularly rotten tourist trap. Tourist sinkhole? Tourist heroin? Tourist bear trap laced with tourist AIDS.
I'll stick with that.

Resorts make me uncomfortable, the way my family typically travels is by going somewhere we know people. That is what made Ireland such a pleasant experience when I was nine, and staying with a few different families in Norway when I was fourteen changed a part of me for the better. This is the main reason that this trip to Mexico was crap. We stayed in a monstrous resort called the "Westin." There is a small chunk of it pictured on the bottom right with my father enjoying one of many complimentary margaritas. Couldn't even talk to my damn girlfriend, cheap ass "resort," makes you pay to use their computers.

The guy "dancing," (re: simultaneously breaking his hips, pelvis and thigh bones) was taken after the wedding ceremony during the hey-everybody-lets-drink-like-sieves-and-bellow-our-favorite-songs part of the evening. He has known me my whole life. Nice guy.

The two black and white images were taken in San Jose del Cabo, about twenty miles north of San Lucas. I would say that San Jose is a way cooler city than San Lucas, but I refused to set foot in San Lucas as long as the wedding didn't force me to. There seemed to actually be some non-tourist life there. The only times I enjoyed myself were away from our resort, typically dinners. We had a few nights in San Jose, some incredible food, and a few possibly genuine experiences. The zebra print seemed to be a condition spreading from this goofy boutique onto any concrete that touched it or its out buildings. The single story re-bar cement structure is ubiquitous in many parts of Central and Southern America. This one caught my eye because I wasn't entirely sure if it was being built or destroyed. I shared this buildings ambivalence during my stay in Mexico, as if I was in some ultra polite purgatory.