I caught a gnarly cold this past week that hit me right after I posted my last entry. It kept me in bed until Friday and out of the surf until yesterday. I did manage to get out to Sunset on Friday to take some photos, but the light was pretty poor and I wasn’t really satisfied with any of the results. The surf has been pretty stellar yesterday and today, though, and I had enough good rides to make me forget how long I’d been away.
It surprised me how quickly the cold pushed my mood down into the dumps. Normally I’d have been more than happy to have a day or two to lay in bed and catch up on sleep, watch movies and just completely veg out so that my body can heal. Of course, now that I have all the time in the world, being in bed for any more than eight hours a day is the last thing on earth I’d like to be doing! That said, I did spend much of the time dreaming and planning for the trips I’ve got coming up over the next few months. It kept me sane and fanned the flames of excitement that had burned down to mere embers after so many hours of staring out my bedroom window. Allow me to share what I’ve got on tap for the first half of 2014:
On February 7th I’m heading to Barstow, CA for a ‘Cultural Mirages’ photography workshop. We’ll be heading out into the desert around Barstow and photographing Route 66 icons and relics and critiquing each other’s work; learning what we can from the instructors and other photographers alike. This is actually my first ever photo workshop and I’m really stoked to see what it’s like. I’m hoping it will help me push my photography to the next level and push me outside my comfort zone a bit.
Then in late March I’m heading out on my first big road trip since my sabbatical began. I’m heading to Rhode Island to take a Straw Bale building workshop! Myself, along with maybe two dozen or so others, will be building a 1200 sq ft house with straw bales and learning the in and outs of the process along the way. My plan is to take my time heading across on the Southern route. Stopping in Phoenix to spend time with old friends; finally seeing what Marfa, TX is all about, eating @ Lüke in New Orleans and spending quality time with my family in New York. I’m bringing my surfboard along, as well. The building site is just 3 miles from the beach, and, even though the water is sure to be frigid, there might be surf! I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t have my board with me.
The next big trip after that will be heading North along the coast this summer, starting in June. I’m planning to explore Northern California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and Utah. The specifics have yet to be put down on paper, but there are a ton of places along the way I’m interested in seeing. A very short list includes Humboldt County, Ashland, Crater Lake NP, Bend, Mt. Hood, Portland, Astoria, Seattle, Olympic NP, The Inside Passage (ferry) to Juneau, Banff NP, Glacier NP, Yellowstone NP, Grand Teton NP, Arches NP, and Canyonlands NP. Whew. OK, maybe that wasn’t such a short list. Honestly, though, there is just so much grandeur in the NorthWest, I don’t want to miss anything.
The wife and I also began discussing a European vacation in the early Fall. A full month of exploring the Old World! Paris and Venice for certain, and whatever else tickles our fancy along the way. I’m super stoked about that one as well even though it’ll be in the second half of 2014. I’ve always dreamed of stamping the hell out of my passport; collecting stamps like tattoos as I travel the globe!
Lastly, an idea has begun germinating in my head during this past week. An idea that would tie together my love for photography, my desire to be a storyteller, my interest in green building and my belief in living simply on this rapidly changing planet we call home. I want to start interviewing and photographing people across the country who are living simple lives, following their hearts and their dreams, and seeking happiness, rather than material wealth along the way. It will probably start out as a site, but a beautiful photo book is the pie-in-the-sky dream I see coming out of it. I’ve bought a domain already, and the name feels really right to me, but I’m not quite ready to let it out of the bag just yet. I promise I will soon, though.
My apologies for the lack of photos this week. I hope that all this travel talk gets you clicking and dragging on Google Maps instead, imagining all the places you want to go and the sites you want to see. Sometimes just dreaming about a thing can be as exciting as doing it. Until you actually do it, that is.
Stay well, my friends!