Gas, Doors and a Grizzly:

You can make your own adventure when a gallon of gas is 35 cents

You can make your own adventure when a gallon of gas is 35 cents

Mom made me buy the four-door model which was painted the same color as dried mustard when caked around the French’s squeeze bottle for a week. 

The choice was between two 1972 Datsun 510’s known as Nissan today.  The 510 was priced as the “poor man’s BMW” a handling machine that stuck to the corners like corn batter in a hot baking dish.

I wanted the bright orange two-door with two black racing stripes that worked their way from the trunk to the front bumper. Just the appearance of speed was all I needed, and it was calling my name.  I lost the battle.

The 510 was a replacement for the 1961 cream over turquoise Ford Falcon that I had inherited somewhere in high school.  Using my underdeveloped skills in auto shop, I somehow was able to funnel all the exhaust into the cabin of the two-door when climbing hills. It was a cheap high, and made for more subdued friends.

The vehicle served me well over the years through my first newspaper job and my epic journey from Canada to the Mexico border satisfying my wanderlust as a photographer.

There was plenty of room for all the needed camera equipment; camping gear; boxes of books and the guitar.

The price for a gallon of gas was thirty-five cents and with a little money in the bank and fueled by a lost love I started north towards the Oregon and Washington coastline. Over the next several week I was soon headed for Glacier National Park just as winter was setting in.

Fill it up!

The night was no colder than those I had already encountered on foot in the backcountry during the earlier three weeks.  I was at least back to the campground with a table and fire circle.  My 510 and I were the only man and machine left in the campground.

It was around two in the morning when I glanced at my watch.  I was awaken by the type of quiet that could only ride on the shoulders of trouble.  I tried tossing back the small green door of the canvas tent to grab the lantern left sitting outside just hours earlier and was surprised by an icy wall of snow that stopped just below the tent’s peak.

 Looking towards my buddy only bits of mustard yellow poked out from the hood and roof creating some pretty ugly yellow snow.

I dug to the front doors to find them frozen solid, like blocks of ice.  I was able to just to pry one of the back doors open enough to squeeze through to the front seat and fire her up,  warming the engine.

It took three more days to dig out to “Going to the Sun” road and I guess mom was right about the four-doors.

I only wish she would have prepared me for surprising a grizzly the next day while on the upper McDonald Creek trail.

What would a turtle want to morph into?

View Jay Palefsky’s site:

When first meeting New York artist, Jay Palefsky in his Beacon, Main Street gallery it’s not unlike trying to capture a kite in gale force winds that has escaped its ball of string.

Very much like the gallery’s name “Morphicism” Palefsky transforms into a bolt of lightening looking to strike. It’s only the thick brick gallery walls that contain his enthusiasm for both art and life.

The man, who is touching on his early sixties, looks twenty years his junior with an illuminating smile that only adds more vibrant color to his pieces found on the walls and displayed throughout the gallery floor.

Turtles dream of not being soup!

Turtles dream of not being soup!

Nothing is as it seems in Palefsky’s world, brightly colored animals on cards and books change into delightful scenes; monkey to hippo; cat to fish and flower to stork.

His electric energy transforms his wall art into sliding pieces that he also calls “Morphicism” where scenes can take on a new look with the flick of your wrist.

 There is a touch of “idealism” when thinking of the term as a vehicle to illustrate what life should be and not what it is.

 There is little doubt that the artist was thinking about the theory of “interactive” art long before the term became over used and stale by today’s media.  His art and written words speak to the future and the excitement of unknown that comes with it.

 The dilemma when leaving with Palefsky’s work tightly under your arm is whether we are better for having him as a full-time artist or loosing him as a full-time educator…reaching for the door of the gallery he morphs into both.

Travellers in the Wilderness:

We are all travellers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.

 Robert Louis Stevenson-

The Cabin:

Much can be said about simple design and construction.  Maybe just a reflection of life?

Time will tell how long it can carry the weight.

Time will tell how long it can carry the weight.

For a few weeks I’ve watched the sun penetrate the depth of the golden-green moss covering the cabin’s roof that sits just on the east side of the road.

Sitting quietly, suffering from generations of unforgiving weather and neglect the structure struggles with the added weight, its shingles, rafters strain down to the rock foundation.

It’s silly to think of something that has no pounding heart as being capable of feeling, but there is something about this cabin that leads you to believe it has seen plenty of life.

It’s just tired and deserving of rest.

The whitewash surrounding the doors and windows offers no beauty and little protection these days.  It no longer glosses over the imperfections of neither nature nor man leaving a rough, worn surface for all to see.

The inches of thick carpet is speckled with dry leaves and twigs, more arriving each day with the blowing wind.  The hemlocks, pines and thick brush start to crowd its space as if to reclaim land that was once theirs.

Behind, a sixty foot tall tree trunk grows westward. It has its sights set over the roof’s peak, angling for the middle, as if it only knew where to place the final blow.

Now it’s left only to time and the discretion of nature. 

This is the cabin’s widow-maker.

To Aggregate or Irrigate:

Rain, natures free irrigation

Rain, natures free irrigation

The now looming controversy for the journalism community (good gosh, you would think everyone loosing their job would keep them busy) seems to be the idea of “aggregated” information of the world’s web.

The definition of “aggregate” is to accumulate; to gather; to collect; to assemble information.  That use to be referred to as “journalism”…that by itself is aggregating from the on-line dictionary.  I can only guess it was aggregated from a hard-copy dictionary?

You hear the term “original content” thrown around with as much gusto as gasoline on an ant hill these days.  With a lit match it will burn just as hot.

We’ll assume for this discussion  that “original content” is something that you can place a cost factor on.

By the same token the definition of “irrigate” is to: 1. Supply dry land with water by means of ditches, pipes, or streams. 2. To wash out a wound or body cavity (yuck) with water or medicated fluid. 3. To make fertile or vital as if by watering.

Now think of the “internet” in terms of the vehicle to provide fertile and vital information to its readers. To “irrigate” just might be the way to go and we all know that water is not free.

Grass and drops

How good do you want to be?

” To see, is to doubt…to hear, is to wonder…to feel, is to know”

There is no good reason why a pair of pears should be here?

There is no good reason why a pair of pears should be here?

Word is that photographer and publisher Adam Wright of “Road Course” magazine is getting ready to publish another issue.  Given the sales records of the last two they will last as long as a bowl of corn chips at a “Weight Watchers” meeting.

This is an exciting photographer who has spilled over the cycle and rod industry like a sticky can of forty-weight.

Worn out rumor that we might see some shorts on “VBS.TV”.

Respect those who are your eyes to the World:

“Pray for a speedy recovery and the best for their famlies.”

With the growing decline of newspaper readership, but far more important,  the loss of advertising revenue there is an increasing interest in “Citizen Journalism”.

For those that are not too familiar with the term “Citizen Journalism” it is that reportage or information that is uploaded to Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, MySpace and many general and micro-blogging sites that are now posting both general and breaking news.

The idea of information coming from a skilled, passionate and creative journalist is becoming a thing of the past.

The information that a dedicated journalist provides their readers/viewers changes lives due to their communitive power and excellent news judgment.

 To rely on untrained citizens, no matter how “good meaning” they may be, is like going to PetSmart for your medical needs.

This week, two Associate Press journalist were injured in Afghanistan by roadside bombs.  Two journalists who provided the world community with high journalistic content and standards…much more that you can get from a “tweet”.


KABUL (August 12, 2009) — A roadside bombing has wounded two Associated Press journalists embedded with the U.S. military in southern Afghanistan, AP said today.

Photographer Emilio Morenatti and AP Television News videographer Andi Jatmiko were traveling with the military when their vehicle was struck by the bomb Tuesday.

Both were immediately taken to a military hospital in Kandahar, AP said. Jatmiko suffered leg injuries and two broken ribs. Morenatti, badly wounded in the leg, underwent an operation that resulted in the loss of his foot.

Morenatti, 40, a Spaniard, is an award-winning photographer based in Islamabad who has worked for AP in Afghanistan, Israel, and the Palestinian territories. He was named Newspaper Photographer of the Year in 2009 in the University of Missouri School of Journalism’s Pictures of the Year International contest.

In October 2006, Morenatti was kidnapped at gunpoint in the Gaza Strip and held for a day before being released unharmed.

Jatmiko, 44, of Indonesia, has reported for the AP from throughout Asia for more than 10 years.

AP president Tom Curley said their injuries reflected “the risks that journalists like Emilio and Andi encounter every day as they staff the front lines of the most dangerous spots of the world. We are grateful for their bravery and their commitment to the news. Our hearts are with them and their families, especially Emilio’s wife, Marta, and Andi’s wife, Pingkan.”

AP says that journalists have faced increasing danger from roadside bombs as they go on assignment with Western troops carrying out new offensives as part of the effort by the United States and its allies to turn the tide of the Afghan war.

Eighteen journalists were killed in Afghanistan between 1992 and 2008, making it the eleventh most dangerous country in the world for media workers, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. At least one more has been killed this year.

Roadside bombs are now the cause of the majority of U.S. and NATO deaths in Afghanistan.

According to figures from the U.S.-based Joint IED Defeat Organization, the number of incidents from IEDs, or improvised explosive devices, soared to 828 last month, the highest level of the war and more than twice as many as in July 2008.