roadtrip (41)

West Coast USA Walkabout Inspired by Shelter

Two emails from Bill Cullin:

1. Subject: I never buy books! But I purchased yours and loved it.

   I always use the library and just return them since I get so many, but yours I had to buy.

Best $30 I spent.

   I am about to take a walkabout for about 3 months. I am in Seattle Washington and will head south along the coast till I get warm and then head east probably into Arizona.

   I wanted to write off the trip and save on expenses so I wanted to take my truck. I had purchased your book for another project but got inspired and decided to go in style.

   Two inches of insulation, pine tongue and groove, wood blinds, interior propane heater, alarmed and interior locking. And from the outside day or night you would never guess.…

2. My “Truck Suite” was inspired from your book. I am on my walkabout trip. I am posting videos on YouTube and Facebook.

Here is a article being placed in our local newspaper. If this article may be useful for your newsletter you are welcome to use it and the photos.

Thanks for the inspiration!

–Bill Cullins

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Breakfast With Pepe and a Great New Little Camera

Louie’s friend Pepe made us a great breakfast of French toast and bacon and barista-quality coffee this morning. Pepe is into elegant design. He turned me on the my Canon Powershot S90 (and 95)camera, my coffee roaster, a couple of lenses for my Canon 20D, shocks for my Toyota 4×4…. Today he showed me the Fujifilm X10. Looks like the first thing better than the S90-95-100 in years. It’s bigger, but looks like it might be the camera for me to travel with, rather than having the limitation of my Powershot (as good as it is), or the weight of my serious camera and assorted lenses (Panasonic Lumix G-1). Going to check it out.

Pepe’s pics of Louie and me:

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Road Trip Up The Coast

I met my friend Louie in Bodega Bay yesterday. We went out in his homemade sailboat to pull up a crab pot. Only one crab. Then north along Hwy 1. The pic below is of the beach at Jenner, the mouth of the Russian River, where it was churning with life of seal and bird persuasion. Then  over the next 10 or so miles of winding often-hair-pin cliffside highway to the Timber Cove Inn, where we had (great) hamburgers and dark draft beer and looked out at the ocean, where whales were spouting, on their way from Alaska south to Scammon’s lagoon and other warm water bays for calving. Sun setting just before we got into Pt. Arena. Really a nice day, blue water, a nice swell, surfers out (mostly getting stuffed by straight across 8-foot waves) at Salmon Creek. I feel so lucky, being able to take off for a few days like this, recharging psychic batteries…

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Misc Notes From the Week in Hong Kong

…There’s a juice stand in one of the busiest parts of the city that is 24 sq. ft. The rent? $30,000 per month…The night after I stayed at the printers’ plant, I couldn’t find a hotel room on the internet to save my soul, other than ones for $400, $600 a night. Trevor, a HK native, has a group of about 100 friends that are connected by an app called Whatsapp, so he put out a message. He got about 10 replies and I found a room…Sign on a bus: “No matter how far you go, remember where you are from.” This could refer not only to geographical, but occupational…Hong Kong is vertical; they have just filled in a big section of the bay down by the convention center for more high-rises…The 3 most expensive cities in the world for real estate and rentals are London, Tokyo, and HK; a 1000 sq. ft. condo here is like $800,000…Food is actually cheap if you eat at local restaurants; just had excellent sushi meal for $15.00; dinner last night (slices of smoked duck in broth with rice noodles for breakfast, was $7…weather in summer here is hot and humid, but unlike Rome (“Dog Days”), the city stays as crowded as ever…Streets are actually pretty clean, although there are sewer smells; the city is growing too fast…There are tons of shoe stores; been wearing my Sanuk surfer shoes the entire trip…What they call “hot coffee,” or HK coffee is strong dark coffee with canned milk, v. good…Yesterday I had soup with noodles and slices of abalone…I’ve got the subway figured out; you buy a card that you swipe upon entering — when you exit, you swipe again and it knows how far you’ve gone and deducts appropriate amount; subway system is brilliant: clean, trains run frequently (every minute at rush hours), are clean, air conditioned. I got so I felt pretty clever making my way around…Had glass of iced coconut juice yesterday while roaming…

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Trip down coast to Santa Cruz

Got up at 4:30 yesterday AM and drove down Hwy 1 along the coast to Santa Cruz  to see grandson Maceo and his parents and some old surfing friends. Was deeply foggy and actually raining in Pacifica. I love this drive, been doing it since I was 18, mothership (San Francisco) to beach fun (Santa Cruz). Artichoke, brussels sprouts, strawberry fields alongside the ocean. Down Swift St., past Haut’s shop, West Cliff Drive to Steamer Lane. (Don’t get me started on the old days (50s) in Santa Cruz…sniffle, sniffle…)

A few photos: Swanton Berry Farm, I highly recommend stopping there. Union workers, organic strawberries (and shortcake), good coffee, vintage photos of the area 100 years ago. Totally good place.

A little further south, I spotted this hidden road down to beach. Mental note to go down it on a future trip, maybe taking surf matt and fins…

Farm buildings: it must be the 3rd or 4th time I’ve shot pics of this little barn that looks like it’s floating. Farmer’s architectural zinger. This time I shot other buildings as well. 

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The Overland Journal

This looks like a beautiful magazine on road trips, exploring the world:

“Overland Journal was conceived in 2006 by two friends, Scott Brady and Jonathan Hanson, who were passionate about vehicle-supported expedition travel but dissatisfied with the then-current paradigm of 4WD and adventure motorcycle magazines, which stressed conquering trails rather than exploring the world. The two dreamed of producing a high-quality magazine devoted as much to the journey as to the vehicle and the equipment, a magazine that would inspire readers to explore their own world, whether on a weekend trip 100 miles from home or a cross-continental expedition in another hemisphere. And they dreamed of a magazine that would recognize there are places where motorized vehicles simply don’t belong, that would encourage further exploration by bicycle, kayak, canoe, and backpack.”

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New VW 4×4 diesel van

“Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has introduced the Transporter Rockton 4MOTION. The all-wheel drive, rough terrain variant of the T5 Transporter includes a fourth-generation Haldex four-wheel drive system with a rear axle differential lock and a 30 mm increase in ride height on the standard model. Heavy-duty springs and dampers make for a gross vehicle weight rating of 3.2 metric tons to carry large loads across hard terrain.

…a 2.0 liter TDI engine with an output choice of either 140 PS (138 bhp / 103 kW) and 180 PS (178 bhp / 132 kW). Standard is a six-speed manual gearbox…Prices…begin at 34,545 Euros…”—for-the-toughest

Sent to us by Evan Kahn

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Sunny Morning Latte Wi-Fi Coastal Organics Co-op Cafe in Pt. Arena

Here’s my hangout at Louie’s.

These days I shoot pix continually with my Canon Powershot S-90, which is always on me in fanny pack. When I want to get serious, I use my Panasonic Lumix G1; the latter replaced my 5-lb trusty Canon 20D. It’s half the weight. Much the way that the Olympus OM-1 replaced Nikons back in the ’70s. The Lumix G1 is a wonderful camera.

It’s Friday, we had a great breakfast at the Trink cafe here in Pt. Arena. Local eggs, hickory-smoked rough-cut bacon. Last night we had dinner at Bones, a “blues and brews” pub in Gualala. The place was packed. Huge menu. Smoked everything, every dish was good, a restaurant in its own “sweet spot in time” at this very moment. Dark ale from the nearby Eel River brewery, tasted like chocolate.

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3200-mile Tandem Bike Trip

Eric and Jane Sangster, after their 3200-mile cross-country tandem bike adventure

Kate, the daughter of Mary, our office manager, got married on Saturday. Kate’s cousins, Eric and Jane Sangster, decided to ride a tandem bike from their home in Nova Scotia out to the West Coast for the wedding. They left Yarmouth, Nova Scotia in mid-May, rode down the east coast to Virginia,and then headed west. They got as far as Nebraska, weren’t going to make it to the wedding on time, so took a train to Oakland. Unloaded their bike, took it on a ferry to San Francisco, then rode across the Golden gate Bridge and out to Bolinas. I shot pic Saturday. They loved their adventures. See:

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