Tag Archives: roadtrip

Diamond Fork to El Cortez (2016) – Lomo photos (colour)

Whilst in Utah in autumn of 2016, I took a trip with my pals Marty the potter and Rod Ash (RIP), and his son and nephew, to beloved Diamond Fork hot springs (6ixth water, Spanish Fork canyon area). 

Indeed a special place to me. I hadn’t visited in many years and since then, the umm… cultural traditions had changed somewhat (nekkiedness not as prevalent or accepted, nevertheless…).

Anyhow, along the journey (beginning at Marty’s place in Provo) I snapped these pics with a Lomo La Sardina (Sardine can) camera loaded with expired film.

A few snaps ensued as evidenced in this assortment (unedited)…

A few days later, I made my way to Las Vegas to visit brother Anders and stay at the classic El Cortez hotel in Fremont area of town (off-strip). 

It was a slice of going back to the 1960s or something like that, my favourite part was walking down in the middle of the night in pyjamas and robe to the bar and no one batted an eye as they were all focussed on sticking another coin in another machine.

Grateful Dead “Fare Thee Well” (2015), Lomo photos (colour), vol. 1 (people, mostly)

Hippie gent takes a photo with smart phone while unwittingly being photographed by a sardine can Lomo, Santa Clara, CA

In Summer 2015, the “core four” of legendary rock ‘n’ roll band “The Grateful Dead” did a series of five concerts (two in Santa Clara, California, three in Chicago, Illinois) to close the book on their storied career.  With brother Dan, we fantastically scored tickets and made the journey to all five shows, travelling by road in various vehicles and staying a various hotels, campgrounds, crash pads.

Brother Dan in the stadium at Santa Clara, California

And, I had a notion to roll like it was still 1990 and that I kept a massive scrapbook of ephemera and eschewed technology (aside from a few logistical purposes) and took a little cork “sardine can” Lomo camera with expired film to capture a few hazy images. 

The results are very pleasing because well, they are not crisp and clear in any sense, rather fuzzy and weird like me at the time… I was coming out of the long hard stretch, well I didn’t realize how far I still had to go but that’s neither here they are there. #rough

Me in front of a wall holding up a ticket
A nice lady at the “rock the vote” booth in a sort of vendor’s row place (can’t remember the exact thing they called it)

 This assortment contains selected snaps of people in-and-around the shows and on the road trip. Worth noting that with our gaggle of pals, we also stopped at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado on the way back from Neil Young and “The Promise of the Real” at this legendary venue in some cold bewildering rain. Again, neither here nor there.

Dave and Dan, taking in the scene
Making friends with some pranksters and their red noses
Two nice young fellas who purchased some tie-dyes and kept in touch throughout the tour 
Impromptu tie-dye “store” 
Our little squadron / same as it ever was…

Note: there’s another collection of an “prairie time lapse” meaning a photo snapped every 15 minutes for driving across the US prairies capturing the redundancy and consistency of the landscape.

Daughter Sage and Papa Willis in Chicago 
Your correspondent enjoying the vibes in Chicago 
Technology and tie-dyes collide with a radio simulcast show in Chicago 
So many mini museum artefact exhibits scattered around the grounds in Chicago… I was only able to see a small amount but hey, do what you can 
Folks were bringing out all sorts of artefacts to sell to pay for their trip, or in some cases, just to show off their culture… This really felt like the last gathering of this culture… I suppose it wasn’t but you know, think of it as a celebration and “show and tell” 
Wonderful 18-year-old Sage who made the trip from Utah to Chicago
Just me and my uncle weed 42 tie dye T-shirt and leather “Dave” visor and hemp satchel… Yes I did choose my outfits strategically 
bonus: The aftermath of the Chicago stadium… 
Me and co-conspirator Brad Crabtree of Idaho 
Brad’s rig which took us from Utah to Chicago and back 
A stop at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado to see Neil Young in the rain / I was completely drained at this point

Another collection may follow with shots almost psychedelic in glorious hazy sloppiness from inside the concert venues – eventually, maybe.  

Remember to check massive scrapbook of ephemera, the prairie “time-lapse” and this is the camera Lomo “Sardine Can” camera (cork covered): 

Mementos: Tijuana Day (Scenes of Life), 1989

Tijuana Day (Scenes of Life), 1989 / accordion lad

Several times have crossed over to Tijuana for, travel to Mexico and several times trips a vantage rather badly but sometimes they’re just short of a trip.

There was one such crossing in probably 1989 with a wonderful friend on a youthful adventure. She was moving to La Jolla, near San Diego, for some job or another and I was doing my best to stay in her world. In the midst of all of it we went on several excursion, including to Tijuana for no particular reason, and whilst there, I snapped photos with an instant disposable camera (i think). Here are three faves – there are more, somewhere/sometime/maybe. 

Tijuana Day (Scenes of Life), 1989 / Amish dudes on the prowl
Tijuana Day (Scenes of Life), 1989 / lady of concern #blessings

Notebook: Grandpa Roadtrip (AZ, NM, UT, Mexico), 1989 + #daveo50 musings

Notebook: Grandpa Roadtrip (AZ, NM, UT, Mexico), 1989 / cover

In my #daveo50 “personal archaeology“ project, there are over 160 posts pre-scheduled (before baby), however there are at least another 100 in draft form and then still shelves and boxes filled with treasures…

Ergo: The other day I popped out to holy barn studio for the first time since the baby came home and randomly picked up this notebook and it’s pure gold… a log diary from a road trip with my grandpa through UT, AZ, NM, Mexico etc / with no agenda, no school, many motels, every national & state park & monument, endless diners (incl his flirting with waitresses). i’m posting it here as an “placeholder“ reminder to myself that this project can continue on all year and beyond beyond… so much evidence, so many oddities, such documentation.

Notebook: Grandpa Roadtrip (AZ, NM, UT, Mexico), 1989 / final page detail

I also remember that Douglas Coupland exhibit at Vancouver Art Gallery included a display of his notebooks telling me that “the work is the art“ and in this case, this humble $.35 spiral-bound notebook with a mix of my scribbles and my grandpa’s delicious cursive is “the #art” the rest is ancillary.

“So it is written, so it is done”

PS: This note posted elsewhere regarding this “discovery” of personal archeology: 

…My heart stopped so many times while opening up all these archives… I’ve moved so many times and been through so much uncertainty and so much turmoil and chaos in my life that the fact these things survived is truly miraculous and each shred of paper and scribble of handwriting is cherished. My grandpa was a colossal character, a real “big Fish“ type… I’m still not to his country count on my travels or to his level of charm so to see his handwriting and remember that trip is really quite splendid.

Notebook: Grandpa Roadtrip (AZ, NM, UT, Mexico), 1989 (final page detail)

See more: artifacts from this trip at: Mementos: SW Road Trip with Grandpa, 3 B&W views (Arizona, New Mexico)

Note: I wrote a story about a bit of the trip and specifically one morning on a First Nations “reserve” with a few observations while waiting for something to open (note to self: post that up sometime) and read some of it in a Postcard from Gravelly Beach podcast too as well as a tribute to him in another.

Mementos: SW Road Trip with Grandpa, 3 B&W views (Arizona, New Mexico)

Mementos: SW Road Trip with Grandpa / saguaro and mission somewhere in New Mexico

Sometime in early 1988 (I think), (update: 1989) living in Orem Utah, recently dropped out of high school and floating along with classes at the community college, recovering from an epic car crash, my Grandpa rolled up in his old Chevy citation and suggested a road trip. Original thoughts for a few days but extended into much longer as we drifted  down into Mexico.

With his “golden eagles” (or something to that effect), National Park pass, and affinity for small highways and no agendas plus his usual travelling style which included switching off driving responsibilities every two hours regardless of situation, choosing  quirky / classic motels and diners on the fly, flirting with waitresses and continuous cigarette smoking and diary-keeping within the car, it was a most excellent journey.

I was studying photography at the time and took a heavy Japanese-made but Swiss-branded “Alpa” 35mm camera and black-and-white film, and a tripod and set up various shots along the way.

As usual, more evidence exists (including self-timer’d shots – often nekkid) and a photo essay of Petrified Forest) including a small spiral notebook chronicling where we stayed, various mileage and other ephemeral information about fuel efficiency, parks visited and what not, but for now, here are three of my favourite shots from the journey which I developed and processed myself in the dark room at the old ” Utah Technical College” Provo campus dark room.

The locations are unclear at this point but along the way, we visited every State / National Park/ Monuments anywhere near us, plus Tombstone Arizona, Four Corners, various places in Baja and mainland Mexico (in which I crossed the border with nothing but my old expired high school ID card or something… It’s all a bit hazy) I also recall buying a comically huge terra-cotta pot and huge woven basket in Mexico which was really a poor decision as we were taking turns resting in the back of the vehicle and well, space was at a premium.

Mementos: SW Road Trip with Grandpa / saguaro and other cacti in (iirc) Saguaro National Park/Monument, AZ

Note: I wrote a story about a bit of the trip and specifically one morning on a First Nations “reserve” with a few observations while waiting for something to open (note to self: post that up sometime) and read some of it in a Postcard from Gravelly Beach podcast too as well as a tribute to him in another.

Mementos: SW Road Trip with Grandpa / Gramps and I in the cacti. rip Robert Louis Stevenson #bigfish

Grateful Dead rambles / “family photos” (with renegade pals & VWs)

Eugene, Oregon, 1990 – the first “gathering of my tribes” meaning Utah pals and BC crew meeting for first time and forging lifelong relationship, in front of my beloved 1974 VW “turtletop” the Earthship (now a sauna)

Back in the days of rambling around to Grateful Dead shows with pals in various (usually Volkswagen) vehicles, cameras weren’t really part of the kit. Usually, ticket(s) if possible, contraband if practical, maybe extra clothes to accommodate climates, hopefully a few bucks.

However, as part of my documentary instincts, i hauled along a tripod and a 35mm Alpa camera for taking “family photos” in which i would cajole (with much whingeing usually) the assembled renegades to pose, i’d hit the timer and run back (as such usually right in front) and take 1 and only 1 shot. Years later these would usually get developed.

Many are lost to the fog, however, some are gathered here for posterity and memorial. 

near St George, Utah on way away form Las Vegas shows, 1992 i think? again the Utah and BC clans combining for some wild times in front of Willis’ VW Thing, Chris’ green VW bus. Great folks here (and at least one who is passed on, rip JJ)

Continue reading Grateful Dead rambles / “family photos” (with renegade pals & VWs)

Memento: El Cortez Hotel (Las Vegas)

El Cortez Hotel, Las Vegas (Fremont Street), Nevada

Memory book: GD50 for brother Dan

Memory book: GD50 for brother Dan
Memory book: GD50 for brother Dan / tile mosaic from Terrapin Crossroads (cover)

Brother Dan and I went to Grateful Dead’s 50th anniversary (and final) shows – 2 in Santa Clara, California and 3 in Chicago, Illinois. We roadtripped the whole she-bang from Vancouver, BC to Olympia, WA to Pacifica, Santa Clara, then Las Vegas to Provo where we switched vehicles and rode with some pals across the midwest (camping in an epic storm in Nebraska along the way). We hit all 5 shows and enjoyed the community and music.

Other stops included Phil Lesh’s Terrapin Crossroads in San Rafael California and Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado to see Neil Young and Promise of the Real. We parted ways in SLC as i had to head to rescue a broken RV in Mendocino (unsuccessfully as it turns out) and Dan headed back to BC.

Along the way, stopped at various craft breweries, made loads of arts and crafts (including an massive scrapbook of ephemera, road poetry, set lists, newspaper clipping and other sundries) and a series of photos by Lomo camera. Also documented a series of two-fer photos of us enjoying beers or joints or scenery and the company of conspirators. Several of these became a “memory book” i created (via an online publishing service) for Dan as a wee present. When visited his home, i snapped quick shots of the pages (note to self: take better ones next time). Here the are the lousy pics of an otherwise lovely book – for my amusement and your curiosity.

Memory book: GD50 for brother Dan
Memory book: GD50 for brother Dan / at Ninkasi Brewing garden in Eugene, OR

Continue reading Memory book: GD50 for brother Dan

Remembering it’s (still) a Wonderful World

Believing(ish) it’s still a wonderful world out there – right? Grateful for still chooglin along.

PS was at this JGB show, hitchhiked there (from maybe Rhode Island or something) with Richie Murrill (former of Utah, now Hawaii i heard) and got ride in a red VW bus called “Althea” with a bolted on wooden sidedoor. Drove through a huge rain storm including stalling out in a deep water somewhere in countryside – had to get out and push in dang near crotch high water – made it to the show like a soggy dog, stashed backpack in some private school girls Honda and scored a miracle ticket just in time. Bruce Hornsby came along to play as well. After the show,… well that’s a whole other story.

evidence of the aforementioned bus…

Althea (red VW bus) somewhere in Virginia

was one of those nights where everything worked out just perfect after a rollicking trip to get there – JGB shows were so great too since didn’t have the full-on circus of frat boys and townies who’d invaded the scene by that time. was good times but not outta hand. the arena was smaller than i usually saw GD (most all shows were outdoor west coast) so the sound was dialed in and rather intimate. great song selection for my taste too.

Chris Gee What I remember about JGB shows was the heart….pure joy …Jerry playing free and loose …and the ^^^ above mentioned ..Warfield theatre shows always top of the list

Dave Olson Man, I never did get to see a show at the Warfield… My overall count isn’t that impressive since when I heard them sing “eyes of the world” I took that as a signal to buy one-way tickets elsewhere to go go go (And spread the vibe everywhere I went) – I made every show count that’s for sure. And I’m with you on the Jerry band shows, they were very special for me

Eyes Towards Europe – Postcard #73

Eyes Towards Europe – Postcard #73
Eyes Towards Europe – Postcard #73

On a forgotten forest walk, Dave riffs a story about first trip to Europe – starting with trying not to puke over an Amsterdam bridge after a meeting new temporary coffee shop pals – with flashback to Mexican desert trips with Grandpa, LSD trips with VW bus-fixing pals, and family Grateful Dead road trip to in Arizona.

Foreshadows future stories of an rapid exit from London to Florida then a (rather dangerous) driveway car to Dallas, bus to SLC, flight to Vancouver, then to Japan…

Stuff your rucksack for: Eyes Towards Europe – Postcard #73 (54MB, 37:18, mp3, stereo)

Continue reading Eyes Towards Europe – Postcard #73

Chicago, Observed

Wide and board
buildings large and unashamed
piled and stacked
to display uniqueness

Dollop coffee
C-train, L-train
Deadheads at museums, bars, zoos and parties
on Lake Shore Drive

 

California Plateau, Eastward

Winding weary roads
high desert farms of
wind and pistachios
backtrack county roads
beleaguered edges of
parts unfeatured
by geography or films

California’s high plateau
39 degrees dry
oil wells and water machines
rest like dinosaurs
and their empty gas stations

Did you see the shows?”
he sells artish bits
stretched canvas
with stucco and shells
and shellaced print
of steal your face
they lament and encourage Chicago
and we all wish yesterday could last forever

Lead to Vegas 1AM
Sasha dog, M
exican food 114 degrees
road, desert, red rock

Home is the road. Art, crafts, highs and music.