2014 Road Trip

This year's RV trip started out in Bend, OR and took a circuitous route through Eastern Oregon, Northern Idaho, Montana and Wyoming and ended in Salt Lake City Utah. Here are some pix of the trip.

Suburban archeology

While visiting friends in Seattle this summer, I had a some time on my hands and realized that I was pretty close to a town called Renton which is where a guy named Jim Anderson built a beautiful geodesic dome on the banks of the fabulously named, Lake Desire. 

Jim Anderson sitting on top of the Shake Dome c.1971 as it appeared in Domebook 2

Jim Anderson along with Chuck Nelson and Jim Lang had given a course at the Free University at Ohio State called "Photography For People Who Like to Drink Wine" that I enrolled in (circa 1969) and it really propelled me on my way as a hippy artist.

Chuck and his wife Chrissy and Pam and I had stayed in that dome for week or two back in 1974 and it was amazing. So naturally I was curious to see if the dome was still there and if Jim still lived in it.  I figured it ought to be easy to find since as I recalled, Lake Desire was a pretty small. As it turned out, it wasn't all that easy and after diving around for a while realized that I might be able to locate it by using the Google Earth app on the alPhone4S.


Lake Desire screenshot from Google Earth.

The dome revealed


Voila! Thanks again Google for the valuable tools you give us for free (while data-mining our every move).   By blowing the image way up and carefully tracing the shore line I was eventually able to spot it. Unfortunately there was nobody home and the dome had apparently developed some leaks over the years and now wears raincoat. Here's how she looks as of July, 2013.

40+ years later.

My morning walk

My New Year's resolution was to lose some weight and the belly that had begun to irk me every time I walked by a mirror. So I began walking down and up the hill I live on... a miserable dirt road that runs 1.1 mile in length and 500 ft. of elevation between Chateau Dorsa and the East End Road.


It turns out to be an ideal form of exercise. It's tough enough to break a good sweat, but low impact. I listen to podcasts and collect roadside litter for the 40 minute duration of the routine. I've lost about 15 lbs. and the gut is looking much better.



Green Flash

Rare and wonderful, the green flash is a phenomenon that occurs as the sun sets into the sea. For a technical explanation of why this happens, here's a link to the Wikipedia article.

Whenever I'm "out west" around sunset, I hope to see a green flash, but am rarely lucky enough to catch one. This shot was among the first I made with my then new "big boy" camera, the Canon 5D Mark 2 back in 2009. 

Green Flash, Frederiksted, St. Croix, VI  2009.

Tropical Storm Gabrielle

Gabrielle has dumped a lot of rain on Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. There was also a lot of thunder and lightening, but fortunately not much in the way of strong winds.  Here's a pic from the archives taken in November of 2009. Sometimes lousy weather is makes a good photo op. 

Christiansted Harbor, November 2009

Crucian Christmas Festival

One of the big annual events we have in St. Croix is the 3 King's Day parade (a.k.a "the Adult Parade"). People really let it all hang out and have big-time fun. This pic is from the 2012 parade and really embodies the color, energy and joy of the trampers. If you want to have a really good time, be in Frederiksted next January 4! Lots of details on the Crucian Christmas Festival website: http://www.stxfestival.com

Kite Aerial Photography

A couple of years ago I got interested in KAP (Kite Aerial Photography). I built a rig that is remotely controlled and lofted by a large Rokkaku kite. Here are a couple of pics and a video showing how the rig works.

Intrepid kite flyer, Al Dorsa

Boiler Bay and Buck Island

RV Trip 2013

This year's RV trip in the Crucian Xplorer started in Calgary, Canada on the same day that city experienced the worst flood in its history. Luckily the van was parked on higher ground and fired right up after a year's hibernation. I logged roughly 3500 miles and my route took me through Alberta, British Columbia, Vancouver Island, Washington and Oregon. Beautiful country all, and not the least of it Central Oregon.

Smith Rock State Park just north of Bend, OR.

Crucian Xplorer in Drumheller, Alberta, Canada.