America 2016

The purpose of this trip is simply to cross a few things of my bucketlist. I’m not too worried if I don’t complete them all. I have 5 things that I would like to get done. One I think might be beyond me , but well see how I go.

The flight to LA was good, smooth and time seemed to fly. haha ( landed around midday) Haha Once in LA it was taxi to Juicy Rentals . Once that was sorted out, off to phone shop, Verizon but sadly they couldn’t get a sim card to work in my phone, was there for 3 hours.Grrrr They gave me an old Samsung phone which I’m struggling with.

The first thing on my bucket list is Bodie State Park. This is an old gold rush mining town and I love things old and rustic, I think these things are a photographers dream to shoot. Back in Australia I run my own Forever Rustic Photo Tour/workshop and this place will be heaven.

In the car and away I go. Easy said that done, driving across LA was an amazing experience.Could not have done it without the Tom Tom, that is priceless!!! I hired the same one that I had at home which made things easy to work out.

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After several hours I was on the 395 heading to Bodie. Along the way I came across things that reminded me I was in America. A massive sign, “ God Bless America” and a tall lady, they do things big here in the USA.

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My First Ghost Town

Before hitting Bodie I came across this smaller ghost town and I spent 2 hours there. Love it. I think the guy was lonely as I was the only one there and he followed me wherever I went . This place was soooo good in my eyes.As a photographer I think you are able to see things that others would pass by and I’m not just thinking the obvious, but also the attention to detail which I’ll highlight when I show the Bodie State park pics. This little place is on the main freeway, the 395 and when i was there, people would slow down and then take off. Also when i was there the entrance fee was only $4.

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The glass coke bottles have been replaced in Australia for slow long buy plastic. It has only been in the last 12 months they have brought some of them back in. These bottles are the originals .

Mono Lake

On the way to Bodie State Park and I’ll be back there today, I dropped into a lake called Lake Mono.They have these tower formations which are a build up of calcium and they bubble up through the carbonated lake water.

This place on a much smaller scale reminds me of Lake Eyre back home. I spent almost one full day there and had an awesome time pottering around and it was here that I went into the mud half way up to my knees and I had to struggle to get my only pair of shoes out haha. ( seriously it was very difficult to pull them back up through the mud ) You should see the shoes, totally cover calcium and I feel like my putting my feet into steal boots as the don’t bend to well hahah but they will have to do until I get to a shoe shop.

The area is really sharp and so i had to put the shoes on again but in the meantime I was doing time lapse photography  and so in vain I took my sox of and tried to dry them in the time i was doing my time lapse. umm that wasn’t going to happen so i ended up putting the wet sox back on and the wet shoes and continued the rest of the day like that. As i mentioned, it is very sharp close to the shore line so wearing them was a no brainer.

That night in the car , I cranked up the car heater in an effort to dry them and it work. So several days on I’m still wearing them and when I come across a shoe shop, time for another pair of hiking shoes.

The sox were thrown out, they were so stiff in the morning !!

Stunning area and as I have always said, so many photographers teach the wrong things saying you cant shoot at midday-trust me and this is what I teach in my own workshops, if you have awesomeskies you can shoot at ANYTIME of the day.

Don’t listen to the ” experts ” who say avoid the hours of 110-2.30pm, that’s totally nonsesne.

This shot was taken at 12.45pm. Pete:)

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Bodie

Bodie. I have no words to best describe this place expect that if you like things old and rustic . This is it. Bodie at the height of the gold rush had a population between 8,000 ans 10,000 ans it also had 2000 buildings. Today there are 200 left standing.

When I arrived there I was like a little boy in a candy shop. I was in rustic heaven. I love these places for a number of reasons. 1. These subjects are wonders to shoot and they offer so much to the person who has an eye for not only the bigger picture but also for the finer things that others may walk past.

Walking these streets I would often try to image would life must have been like, how harsh it would have been at times.

I think most of us are drawn to places like this as we are fascinated with things of the past and how they did it back then and how life was so ever different from today.

Bodie was active 18-77 -1891 and was made a state park in 1962. It was back in 1859 that W.S.Bodey from Poughkeepsie, N.Y discovered gold here. Where you know where this place here, one wonders how on earth did he know that gold might be here. there were no satelites etc to sat where there might be. I’m always blown away by the early explores whether it be here in the USA or at home in Oz. how they did the things that they did is beyond me.

This town in its hey day had more than 60 saloons, 30 different mines and 9 stamp mills. It was a town that attracted the rougher element as one cam imagine including Cribs which were the known prostitute houses. Mining continued until 1942.

In 1932, a 2 year old child was playing with matched and created a fire which burned 80% of all the buildings there to the ground. They had fire pumps at the time but they were never serviced and never worked.

The gas pumps that are there are are from the 1920’s so you have a little bit of everything from the different decades.

Bodey died in a snow blizzard, his body was never found and he never lived to see the town that was built in honour of himself.

It’s also I think that most of us have a connection with the past.

The crazy thing is that we live in a world that has everything and yet people feel so alone at times. We have technology that is meant to make life easier and more comfortable and yet all it has done is created us as isolated beings, has fragmented us and caused us to be alienated by people as we no longer mix. We text instead of having a conversation on the phone.

Although how these people lived would have been harsh and difficult at times, I do think they had a greater sense of community an a far deeper bond to those around them. Food for thought.

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It was so hard to pull myself away from Brodie as i was there for 4 days. Ill add more pics to the above as time goes on.

Convict Lake

From Brodie I drove south down the 395 Freeway which is heading south to LA but that’s not where I was heading. I was heading to an awesome lake called Convict Lake. I spelt on the side of the freeway the night before going. Was off by 5am and  and it wasn’t long when i was setting up in the dark  and it was so nice to be crowded with so many other photographers. I had two really lovely people . As the sun came up with chatted  and I was happy to pass some helpful tips on to them both.

When I arrived it was windy and by first light to chances of getting a reflection was nil. But how wrong was I. the following pics are just a sample of what was taken here and it was simple one amazing PO morning. Never in my wildest dreams did i expect this as bad weather was predicted for that morning( it didn’t arrive until the afternoon ) whooohoooo.

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Sabrina Lake

Leaving Convict Lake I dropped into Sabrina Lake, which is only about 30 minutes away. This is also a morning shot like most of the lakes on this stretch of the freeway.

I didn’t get the reflections like at Convict but I was able to put Elvis up. I did share the morning with two delightful chaps Ron and Kym and Kym also had a drone. It was an amazing looking at this lake from above.

Kym had a scaring moment when he was flying out across the water when something went very wrong and his drone descended and I said to him.” Pull up” The footage is unreal one that I would never want to go through but his drone must have been a hair thickness from the water.

There were fall colours around following the creek to the lake but much of the strength of the colour was not there. There were pockets, which were lovely.

It was here I met a lovely couple that have biked across the Nullarbor in Australia and wait for it, in summer. They have also biked across Tasmania as well and in states run a foster home for kids.

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Kanab

It was time to leave this area, blaze it to place called Kanab in Utah. This is very close to the second item on my bucket list, white pockets. But before I get there, there were things that I needed to explore first.

I love the wild open spaces and to get to Kanab I came across the mountains and for almost 6 hours it was like this. Most people would get bored but for me, I love the wild open spaces and where people see nothing I see everything.

I love the isolation and the solitude and for me, when I’m traveling in these sorts of places it gives me a chance to think about what is really important in my life. It helps me to put into perspective life and to weed out the unless and the things that cluttered ones thoughts up which in many cases serve as no purpose.

I love it as it also clarify s in my mind , my direction in life and it also enables me to reflect, to ponder and to seek.

There are so many issues in ones life that are not really issues , they are things that clutter up the mind and they are things that can drag us down if we are not careful.

Getting out in the wild open spaces will help you clarify to yourself that which is important and that which is clutter and it needs to be either ignore or forgotten.

That’s why I see so much in a scene like this where others would see so little. We are all different which is a good thing.

For Pete, it’s a chance to get perspective on life, to reassess and to make sure I enjoy whatever time I have left . Remember , we only live this life as we know it once. You can”t turn the clock back , so therefore we need to encourage ourselves to enjoy the things and people that are important to us and to walk away for the negative influences in our life.

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Along the way to Kanab I came across some weird and wacky things, which I love. I love taking these pics as they tell a greater story of what I see along the road.

 I came across this plane. I read the sign as Angels Landing as I’m dyslexia it and I read things all over the place. ( I can’t copy phone numbers down really quickly and I have to get people to repeat them again and again and I’m sure they think I’m making fun of them which I’m not. I just can’t keep up and when I do take it down,, its all wrong hahaha,. It gets me into trouble at times and when I read the sign again, I realised what it was after having re read it and I had driven in to take this picture hahaha Oh dear I hope they didn’t think I was looking for there service.

I love this plane, just sitting out in the middle of nowhere, with the sign on the side of the freeway and down the long drive where a series of buildings!!!

It wasn’t long before I left. I wasn’t hanging around to be approached but I was pleased to have got the shot. I better read things a little clearer hahahah Pete:)

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Traveling Tips

 

While driving around Kanab and I’ll be leaving soon but when I arrived I saw this police car on the main road and as we all do ,people slow down. After 3 days I thought to myself, this policeman must be going crazy just sitting there all day and everyday.

I decided I’d stop and ask him how on earth does he not go nuts just sitting there all day etc. Well to my surprise he didn’t talk much hahaha So this is a cop when you are not having a cop hahaha I’m assuming the locals know this little trick but people like me, well that’s another story hahaha

When I walked up to the window, ,I couldn’t stop laughing to myself as this is such a cool joke to play on people, although in their case , it’s not a joke. Either way I thought it so funny.

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Peek a Boo Slot Canyon

In Kanab I hired a 4wd and this was an expensive exercise but so worth it. The distance from the town was only 20 kms and it’s about an 8 km driving to it through soft sand and creek beds. No normal car would ever get there or back with what I drove on.

Peek a Boo Slot canyon is awesome. Like all slot canyons they are a photographers dream, they have so many angles and curves, colours and textures. It is only a small slot canyon, only 15-20 minutes to walk it but what I really loved about it was that there were hardly any people there. That’s the appealing thing as some of the more well known ones, there are thousands of people that go through each day and it is every hard to get to take a picture but this place was gold. In the 6 hours that I was in there I only saw a hand full of people.

I meant this lovely distinguished and graceful lady by the name of Trudy. We had a good chat and it was so lovely to see someone in their senior years getting out in the wilderness and in her voice and eyes, you can see that her passion for these type of things has never died down. In the time we chatter it was so nice to see her passion come through.

Slot canyons are all about reflective light. The good thing about them is that just when you think you have walked it and see it, nothing could be further from the truth. The reason that I was in there for so long is because as time goes on, the sun moves and the reflective light hits elsewhere and it is a photographers dream. I’ll allow just a small snap shot of the pictures to tell the story for you.

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White Pockets

I need to say from the outset that what you see here is just a very small snippet of what was taken and on the two days that I was there we had storms, no lightning sadly and awesomeskies the next day. So we had a mixture of weather.

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There is no doubt to many stunning places in the world to take pictures and White Pockets is one of them. We all have our own pet subjects to shoot and I have to say, up until this stage White Pockets would have to be the most stunning landscape that I have ever shot. This was on my bucket list and now it’s done but I will be back as 2 days was not just long enough but I’m truly thankful to a kind guy called Ron Pelton Jr.

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I have only known Ron through Facebook and it was over this time at White Pockets that I got to know him a little better.

I owe so much to this man who has such a big heart. When I asked for info on how to get to White Pockets, Ron didn’t hesitate to drop what he was doing and to meet they’re on the outside and to travel into they’re together.

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White Pockets is something that you need to have a 4Wd and you can only go so far in a standard car like what I had. From where we camped, it was another hour plus in the 4WD to get there so walking in from there would just take too long and very demanding in the soft sand.

Now when I say Ron just dropped everything I mean just that and he had to drive 6 hours to meet me there and once we finished, he had another 6 hours to drive to his next photo trek with a mate. He is such a legend and kindhearted guy who was happy to just give and give so I could get the best out of white pockets.

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What can I say about Ron, he is a man with a big heart who was more than happy to take me there, to show me the sights and then on the Sunday he comes out in his red flannel shirt. I was so humbled. The Sea of Red as I now call it, has hit America. Ron the first American to wear Red with me whoooohooooo

When we got up he had a jacket on and we had climb this awesome seen where the still picture of us both was taken and he was given me this speech about this Sunday tradition, and that Tiger woods does it etc. I thought what in the hell is Ron getting to hahaha and then a little smile comes on his face and he shows of the Sea of Red. It was a gesture that he didn’t have to do but he did. I was so humbled by what Ron did.

Ron I can’t thank you enough, you showed me photographic Heaven. If there is a place where I’d give this title to, it’s this place. It takes a while to get your head around it. It’s a place that is made up of lines and lines and swirls and more swirls and each part of the day presents itself to a new composition. As the light changes, the angles changes, the pics change. Off course you have the different seasons.

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I have to come back in the monsoon season up there although it would be so hot, the lightning, the storm clouds etc. would be amazing.

Ron is an amazing photographer in his own right and I have seen his monsoon shots, awesome rainbows, lightning coming out of the rainbows and so on. He is a very gift man in this area and his work is awesome

Mate I can’t thank you enough for taking this Aussie to your part of the land and together we shared in White Pockets.

We were spoilt on one of our days where we had the whole place to ourselves. It was such a special moment to know that we were the only one there’s doing our own thing. That was a are event in the USA as most places that you can take pictures there are soooo many people but this place is still quiet as you need a 4wd to get in there and this limited people access-as it did me.

On the day where we had a few people, you could hear people saying and even Ron was asking the same questions, “How did this happened, where did it come from etc.” People were quietly asking this question as this place really looks like it is from another planet.

For Pete Dobré the answer is simple and maybe too simple for most to accept. From my perceptive God has created all that we have and how he did it, well that’s up to Him really and He did this from the beginning of time but I have no doubt that he did and the reason that we don’t have all the answers, is because if we did, we ourselves would be God. There will always be something that we can’t work out, the mysteries of life and these we be revealed to us when we meet him face to face and it will all make sense.

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I think He creates stuff like this is to get us to question, to wonder, to seek, and to share the delight. It doesn’t matter what you believe, where you stand on the things that are spiritual, all of us when we come to a place that knocks us over, we all feel a sense of awe, wonder, delight and at times stuck for words.

You can have a person who has faith in God and a person who doesn’t and both will stand there before this act of creation and all go wow etc. Why is that, well I think it is not because we were made in His image and that he has given to us all, the seed of wonder and delight because he made us from the beginning. That’s how I see it; I don’t expect you to agree with this, it is just how I see things, simple. There are times when we make life more complicated than it really is.

White Pockets in the most stunning and different Landscape that I have ever shot. It is stunning and it’s an artists dream whether you be a photographer, painter, drawer, sculpture etc., it will give you goose bumps and you will be left in awe of this stunning place.

Seen from the air it is a different landscape altogther. Its as if God just got the paint brush and went nuts with it. Perhaps God was in a very creative mood or just having down time with the paints, either way, it’s a stunning piece of art. Thanks Ron for taking me there mate, you are the best:)

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When you travelling it is the people you meet that make the trip. I have stated this before in my blogs many times and it keeps ringing in my ears. This afternoon I met Miles and Jane, two Fb friends and what truly wonderful and beautiful people they are.

Mile and I went to lunch and Miles you were so kind in shouting me lunch. I was not expecting that and then after a delightful lunch we went and met up with Jane, your awesome partner in crime.

When we arrived to see Jane, the red shirt came out haha I was blown away, “The Sea of Red “ has hit Sedona” whooohoooo and Miles you almost have the same shorts as me , although your rear end of the shorts are in much better condition then mind hahaha The Sea of Red has just blown me away with people doing what they do. Miles you are such a champ mate.

“ Didn’t know him from a bar of soap” haha that’s a comment I made this afternoon that my American Friends had never head of before. In Oz it simple means, did know the person hahaha One of the others was , you call the thing you put your food in the shopping……. Cart, we call it a trolley hahaha love it

I loved the story how you both met

What a wonderful time that was. Jane you have such a good heart along with Miles and it was just so nice and an honor to meet such wonderful people. I love it when I meet my FB friends as it just adds a little more depth to the friendship.

Thank you both for a wonderful afternoon and for sharing the things that you did and your friends are blessed to have people like yourselves in their lives.

The dream you shared, never give up on it and work towards it.

Once again, thank you for your kindness and for being the lovely people that you are. Pete

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The Wee stops- how good are they!!!

I love some of the spots that I stop to have a wee, to have lunch or to take pictures or all three rolled into one. Either way it always awesome to stop and explore in more ways than one!!
You’ll be amazed what you will see if you do stop for that wee break, lunch break on the side of the road rather then going to a petrol station. Id much rather pull over and eat in the bush or the side of the road to take in the smells of the bush tan the smells of a petrol station haha Pete:)

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The American Fall

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If you ever travel America in their Fall, you will soon learn how much they embrace it. No matter what your level of photography you are at, you’ll see cameras and tripods out there and it is a great thing that they are. Better to be out there looking at the stunning examples of nature, than going squared eyed at the television.

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These pics were taken in walk I did just out of Sedona called West Fork. I did this Saturday (15th Oct) and what was pleasing was to see so many people out and about walking and taking in the sheer splash of colour that was before you.

It was also pleasing to ones ears to hear people commenting on the arrangement of colour and the sheer vibrancy.

 Why are we drawn to colour like this in the autumn and fall? I think it is because the vibrancy of that colour makes us feel good, it’s refreshing, it’s uplifting, it’s inspiring and walking through something like this, you appreciate the things in life that maybe you took for granted.

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For me, the reason I love it, is all of the above and I see it as a canvas that is changing on a daily basis. Sometimes I would sit there, feel the gentle breeze sweep across my face and see the leavings falling. This creates for me many reflective moments.

 What appears to be dying isn’t, it’s the shedding of the leaves which gives way to new life.

 A really good time to shoot the leaves is when they are back lit by the sun and the colours just pop out and you are left in awe, well I am hahaha and the intense beauty makes me see why we have the 4 seasons. Each season has its own richness; its own rewards and the 4 seasons are long enough that when you think you may be trying of them, the next one pops along.

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What also stood out were that there were kids of all ages actually loving the colours. I’m not sure if that is a reflection how the kids have been brought up or that these kids were just aware, either way it was a delight to observe. Too many kids sit in front of the television either watching TV or playing their games. Now there is nothing wrong with this, providing there is a balance.

I think when God created the colours through the changing leaves; He did this for a very good reason. All the acts of creation no matter how small or how large and imposing they are, they are there for a very good reason.

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Generally speaking when we buy a calendar to hang on the wall and we look at that pic for the month, what do we chose to have on the wall for a month? The clue is found in the tapestry of autumn colours I believe. Pete:)

For those who have been following me for a number of years, you know that I love the big wide open spaces and this is where I feel most at peace.

I love this spot where I had almost two days as there were almost no people there and I love the Aussie windmill and there is an American one in the back ground and I adore the awesomeskies that hover above me.

For those who know me , you know I’ve had a love affair with the awesomeskies since I was a little boy and I have never lost that passion.

This was taken at Coal Mine and all going well, pics will come later tonight. Pete:)

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Coal Mine Tuba City

These images were taken over 2 days where the light is always changing, hence the colours are always changing. nothing stays the same and if you are fortunate enough like myself to be able to spend 2 days there, you would see this.

What I like about this Canyon is the lack of people. It’s not sort after, it is small and intimate and it is simply awesome. It’s not grand on that scale of things but its draw card for me is the quietness, the stillness of time. You don’t hear people talking, you don’t hear buses and people walking and complaining and laughing etc.

To get the best out of it, you need to walk parts of the rim at the right time for the day to see how the light works. There are places where you can venture down a bit but if you are like me, clumsy, you need to be very careful and one could easily slip and that would be the end of you.

The sheer lack of people is what would draw me back there time and time again. I love the way that the light moves and shifts .The time I was there it was extremely windy and as I camped in my car for the two nights as i was rocking and a rolling inside. At one stage I was a little worried that the car would blow over the edge as I was only 6-8 metres away i guess.

But I’m here to tell the story. For me it is a wonderful place and if you go with the right mind set, you’ll see the value of this place. As I mentioned, its not big in grandeur but its magic is the intimacy and the quietness. You cant beat that can you?

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I love the wild open spaces and this next shot was where I was camped and it shows the wild open spaces and the windmill puts things into perspective. Just a gentle sunset. The canyon is just to my right where this pic was taken. You go from the simplistic  shot to the complexity of the canyon which is so close. If you didn’t know it was there could could just drive of the edge down into the canyon. Stunning area in my opinion.

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This next series of shots are taken with Elvis my drone and this one is looking straight down the canyon.

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Cottonwood – Old Rellics

I was in a weee town called Cottonwood and just on the outside of the town was a pub and a small gallery. Scattered in a small area were a series of old cars and trucks. Those who know me, you know I go insane over things like this.

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I spent 90 minutes shooting 1 car and three trucks. I know some would say, “How could you spend so long shooting these?” Well you would be surprised.

These would have been shot millions of times as they sit very close on the main highway. Remember what I have said in the past-it doesn’t matter how often something has been shot, it’s your interruption on the subject and if it gives you joy, then that is all that matters.

Always remember, no matter what level of photography you are at, your pictures are equally valid and it’s a chance where you show the world what you see through your eyes.

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It becomes your memory, your joy and it becomes a moment that in your quiet time you can reflect back with a smile.

It’s interesting that many of us are drawn to the past. I know for me, I love seeing the old relics from the past. One always wonders what life was back like then, how did they manage without the mod cons that we have today, but I think as I have mentioned in past blogs, I’m sure that as a community they would have been closer.

We live in a world that has so much technology about and this is meant to make our lives easier and in some areas .I guess it does in particular area but in other areas it has fractured our society and made us more individualistic, and not community. It has driven a gulf between people rather bringing people closer together.

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The past we are drawn back to and I’m sure in their day to they had issues that they were working through, problems that today mostly don’t exist and yet at the same time, there could be a core of issues that will never change and that lies in the area of human relationships.

The past can be a very good friend to us as we can learn from the past to make the future a little easier and brighter. Yet we tend to ignore the past, and we don’t learn from it, we just keep repeating the past and still we don’t get it. We just keep stuffing up when we don’t need to. Our past is the key to the future as it is through the past, that we can build a better future. However human nature has a thing called being proud, having too much pride and never wanting to say sorry. These are the key elements in in moving forward and the past can help us greatly and be a very good friend to us if we are willing to learn from the past.

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Governments never learn from the past and they also sadly keep repeating the same stuff ups which in the end, cause a lot of harm.

Lets face it, we all make mistakes, including myself, I’ve made some big ones so no matter what things we have done in the past, we can still learn from it and move on to better future.

We are drawn to the past through these old relic, so let our past be a way forward if we can see past the two words, I’m sorry, I forgive. Pete:)

The House of Fire

There are some places that are hard to put into words and White Pockets is one such place as well as the House of Fire. The following images speak for themselves and you can see why the name was given to this dwelling. What gives it this colour is the reflective light and it doesn’t look like this all the time. The time a day plays a very important part and the different seasons as this place is all about reflective light. It’s like the slot canyons of the USA. They too are all geared around reflective light and the angle of the sun that it is moving all the time etc. This place is no different.

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It’s stunning,  and the lead in lines on the roof which look like flames are stunning. They say these dwellings were first lived in around 1200!!! Now that flipping old. I nearly fell over when this guy told me that. Well if he is wrong, I’m sure there is someone out there who will correct me.

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This is a result of God’s creative hand at work. I stood there for some time and in fact, I had the place to myself until it was time for me to move on. As I was moving out 6 others came. It’s not an area where you have thousands of people  as its in a area that is truly awesome ( what part of this county is not) but many just don’t put it on there to do list. The advantage of this, is that if you leave early enough, you most likely will have the place to yourself. The House of Fire is located in Mule Canyon and from where you park your car it is only a 20-30 minutes walk. It took me 20 mins and it is a morning shot as well.

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I love the colour, the patterns, the lead in lines and when I stood there i was in awe of His creative hand. For Pete, I know why we have been given these creative acts and in every wonder that we see, in every awe inspiring act that we marvel at, there is a purpose behind it all as to why we have been given these creative gifts and I for one , am truly thankful for the gifts that we have been given.

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For me I can’t help but thinking the wall looks like that of an Australian Echidna. It was the first think that struck me when I saw it. That just jumped out at me .

People will not understand the next comment , but I stood there in awe and an unexpected wave of emotion passed over me as I stood looking at the ceiling and my eyes glassed over with that emotion. This was happened to me at White Pockets in my own private time there.

Why did I become so emotional when it was totally unexpected. umm, that’s another very long story. For now, just let me say, I don’t take anything for granted, I don’t take the people that come and go in my life, those that choose to stay, for the brief contact with particular people, the places that I see, things that I learn on the road to life. Life is short in the context of time and I never day any day for granted and I’m thankful for every breath that I take.Pete:)

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 From this point a lot has taken place and I don’t have time to put everything up here but from here I made my way over to the west coast where I did the trip from Santa Cruz travelling down south. I didn’t go all the way to LA as once I passed the Elephant Seals, there wasn’t a lot that would drag me closer.

I was in Moneray  and they had a drive called the 17 Mile Drive and although it was nice, I’m amazed they charge you $10 to do the drive. There is nothing dramatic about this section of the coastline that can really justify the $10. the day that did it, the weather was rough and windy and this made it ideal to look for waves crashing on the rocks. this was a highlight of the 17 mile drive, if the waves were not pumping , then it;s just a coastline which is nice but nothing dramatic. I still enjoyed it and I’m glad that I did it, but would I do it again, no.

However the coast road from that point on was awesome and would have been worht more than the $10 that was paid to the National park.

What follows is a snap shot of this small adventure- more will follow in the next few days- Pete

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Seeing Elephants seals on the coast was real strange as the last time I saw them , was in Antarctica. I have no idea if they migrate here or if they are here all of the time. The Males have the big fat noses whereas the females don’t and the males are constantly beating up other males in order to gain the rights to mate with the female. Nothing has really changed has it  no matter what species we are talking about.

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Joshua Tree National Park

This is an interesting area. Famous for the Joshua Tress which are located in many rocky out crops. I spent two days there . If you are into rock climbing then this is the place for you as they have many rock climbing groups that go there.

I was fortunate enough to have awesomeskies for the time that I was there which I was very grateful for.This is a hard area for me to describe. It’s very different  and that is why it is worth taking the trip to see this as it is so different. Would I go back there, no . The reason being is that it is very repetitive in the landscape and that’s not a negative thing . As I mentioned, it is worth visiting if you have never been there before .

I was in my element in coming across a couple old cars near the old mine which was awesome. While I was looking at the cars, I wondered how rough the track would have been back then just go get there they were. It would have been a hell of a ride hahaha

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Anza – Borrego State Park

Today I have the time of my life. Shooting Rustic again and I was having so many PO moments for Pete!!!! I was meant to shoot landscape but didn’t get to that as this is what set me on fire today, things rustic. More about that later. I was so focused on this shot of the awesome piece of creativity that I took two steps to the left to get a slight better angle with the skies and I had no idea what hit me.

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The pain was intense and it took me 20-30 minutes to pull this out of me. It was so hard as they had gone in sooooo deep; some were embedded in as far as an inch.

I couldn’t use my fingers to get the stuff out as it was way to tough.

I had bought a pair of pilers at the beginning of the trip, long story as to why but I’m so glad I did.

I gradually worked my way to the core breaking and pulling parts out of my body with the pliers.

I got the main bit and it wasn’t coming out.so I grit my teeth, and keep pulling and seeing my skin pulling towards me with parts ripping and then the last section which was massive with about 20 needles in me. I had removed 15 up at that point individually.

I just didn’t want to get any stuck inside of me and when I pulled the last lot out the pain was so intense I thought I was going to pass out but I didn’t. The blood poured our but at the beginning of the trip I bought antiseptic stuff and I have been drowning that on the wound. Never want to go through that again but was I so happy with what I shot today, so all is good .

A friend on FB said  bet there was a lot of swearing, but no there wasn’t. What I said was ” bum I’m in trouble” and I said it softly to myself.For me there is no need to shout, swear as this is not going to change the situation. I know that we are all different but I just can’t see the point/ I’m not perfect and I’m not a goodie too shoes but I just can’t see why one would swear at the top of there face.

This part blew me away, not so much for the landscapes but rather for the sculptures that are in the park.

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I’ve included this shot to give you a sense of scale as these sculptures range from small to very large and it may not be everyone’s thing to get excited about, I understand that, but for me, it keeps the fire within burning.I just love the creativity of people and what they can produce.

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The sculptures began which the owner of the Galleta Meadows Estate, Dennis Avery, decided he really wanted to add a bunch of free standing art to his massive property. He enlisted the help of Ricardo Breceda who began crafting these amazing sculptures and they started to pop up around the desert. Mr. Breceda often claims that he is done creating the sculptures but then another one pops up in the barren landscape and the speculation continues.The attention to detail to these is amazing and you have to view these up close to see how extensive they are.

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Leading into this park about an hour away, Breceda has his own gallery of these and at the end of this, I’ll feature some of his own on his own property and these are extensive and I have no idea how he does this but it is inspiring and mind blowing.

I just love seeing the creativity of people and we all have out own gifts and this guy is truly gifted and I don’t think there would be too many like him who have done what he has to this extent.

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I was in rustic heaven and as I stopped to take this all in , I thought about how wonderful people can be with their creative gifts and how sad that on the flip side of the coin you have people who are nasty, who are at war and when it comes down to it, there are no logical reasons why we can’t celebrate the gifts that we all have and can you image the world that would be created as a result of that. ummm dream on Pete, you might be saying and i guess you are right. However I was in my own rustic heaven out here and as a result, I really didn’t get to do the normal tourist things within the park in regards to landscapes.

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 This is just a selection of the of the sculptures as at last count I’m told that there are 130 of them. I didn’t see that many but I did see a lot and I spent almost two days at the ones that I was aware of.untitled-1blog

 When you get close to these, you will see all the detail that has gone into it each of them No sort cuts and as i mentioned before, I’m just amazed at the design and craftsmanship.img_5019blog

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