Tag Archives: california


Panda gunfighter

The La Jolla Mafia

11 January 1935

80 years ago today, Amelia Earhart left Wheeler Field on Oahu in Hawaii attempting to make the first solo flight to the mainland.


The photo shows Earhart’s Lockheed Vega 5C warming up at Wheeler Field. Earhart is seated on the running board of the truck parked in front of the hanger.


18 hours, 15 minutes after leaving Hawaii, Earhart safely landed her Vega in Oakland, California, becoming the first person to fly solo between Hawaii and California.

Photos courtesy of Hawaii Aviation

The Bohemian Run

TBR - 1979 or older vehicles

The Bohemian Run takes place November 15-16th. It’s a 600-750 mile rally, with over 95% of those miles on two-lane roads of Northern California. The rally is open to all vehicles that were built before 1979.

Piece of cake. If I wasn’t still working on a new house, I’d make a run down there just to experience temps above freezing again.

The photo comes courtesy of bohemian-run.squarespace.com

Spinning Riverside

Spinning Riverside

I walked out of the post office the other day, with a package that was obviously a vinyl record.  For some reason, I simply could not remember placing an order for one recently.  I knew that I had a couple of upcoming remastered albums in the pipe, but none were due to be released yet.

I went back to work, and did my thing.  Eventually an evening or so later, my mind wandered back to the flat, brown cardboard.  Opening the package, I saw “Full House” by Wes Montgomery.  Now, I knew that this was something that I had not ordered.  There were no markings on the box, or note inside.

I sliced the plastic wrap down the open end of the album cover, and pulled out the LP.  I couldn’t suppress the “Oooohhh” that escaped.


Damn, I love the old Riverside label.

I gently placed the vinyl on the turntable, and just as I knew it would be, this is one damn fine album.

Montgomery was in San Francisco in June of 1962.  Also in SF was The Miles Davis Sextet.  On a Monday, when The Sextet was not playing, Wynton Kelly (piano), Paul Chambers (bass) and Jimmy Cobb (drums) of the Davis Sextet, joined guitarist Wes Montgomery and tenor man Johnny Griffin across the Bay in Berkeley at the “Tsubo Coffee House” for the live recording.

Pure Jazz Magic

Sometimes, it is just the little things…

Climbing During the Shutdown

ElCap at nite Shutdown

A great night photo of climbers on El Capitan in Yosemite National Park. The pic was taken by a Reddit user with the callname “LiquidColor”.

Virgin Air Comes to Anchorage


Virgin America Airlines announced their new flight between San Francisco and Anchorage.  In the press release, Virgin proclaims, “Mood-lit flights take off to the land of Northern Lights.”

Mood-lit flights?

Northern Lights?

Virgin will be serving Anchorage only during the summer months.

Luckily, Alaska Airlines flies to Anchorage when the Northern Lights are actually visible.

Pesky Cleveland

As I get closer to returning to Alaska, Mount Cleveland gets closer to another eruption. I was once rushed onto a 737 in Anchorage in order to try to outrun the ash cloud from an erupting Mount Redoubt. On the return trip, we flew through Redoubt’s ash cloud, sending the Alaska Air flight into an emergency landing at Anchorage International.

As crazy as it sounds, I’m extremely anxious to get back to Alaska… fifty below zero or not… and Cleveland stirs. The last lava dome was blown out during the December eruptions, and the new dome has built up to 130 feet in diameter.

We are once again at ORANGE.

Photo courtesy of the fine folks over at Alaska Volcano Observatory


I saw four cars on the road in an hour. The fourth car was a Porsche 911 GT2. I know this, because the car sat right off my bumper as the passenger hung out the window with a very expensive camera pointed at me and my truck. The car pulled away slowly, with the passenger shooting pictures, but once he was done and he pulled himself back into the passenger seat… that car was gone.

Death Valley Ranch

I caved in and did the tour of the ranch. Phenominal. It really is. The story of Death Valley Scotty, the Johnsons, and the building of a $2 million castle in Death Valley in the 1920’s is quite the tale. What struck me was the detail that was put into the structure. I could have easily spent all day looking at the craftmanship, if Patrick the Ranger Guide would have allowed it. Alas… he did not.


I made it back to camp as the clouds blew in, obscuring the snowcapped peaks. I flipped open the tent, sitting below it to keep out of the weather. I had planned on a hike through a canyon nearby, but I could see the rain falling on the other side of the valley, so I started to write a letter instead.
Soon the gusts were swirling and dust covered the sheet of paper. I kept writing until the dust became a white ball on the tip of my pen. When the rain drops started to mix with the dust, I moved the chair into the rear of The Rover to watch the desert storm.
I continued to write, and the rain continued to fall. I mixed a cocktail, ate some cheese & crackers, and played some BB King. Some people off in the distance worked on putting up a large dome tent with a nylon screen roof. They call that a skylight, and they always leak. Twenty minutes later, and the tent was barely upright and the rain fly had yet to be deployed. Hopefully, they had cots to sleep on.
BB King morphed into John Prine, and it was time to cook dinner. Which I did from my chair in the truck. The campground host came to check on my credentials, and John Prine had become Miles Davis. The words continued to flow, so I wrote as the rain continued to fall in the desert.