Homeward Bound

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Union Station Information
Los Angeles CA

I tell you, I’ve got a serious travel bug right about now. I always hated the traffic in L. A. whenever we’ve ventured out that way, but we spent a week there house sitting and had the best time ever. So much to see and do. So we’re going out locally today for one of our “spont” trips. Meanwhile, Lynn is researching some places for us to go to with her sister and her husband the first week of May. Right now it looks like Zion and possibly Antelope Canyon. Then I have a trip to Minnesota the end of May to visit more family. Anyway…

I’ve always had a fascination with train travel. I’ve gone cross country- back and forth- twice in the past and really enjoy it, though It’s longer and costs a lot more money than flying. So it was a natural choice for me to visit LA’s Union Station when we were there two weeks ago. I couldn’t get an angle from the outside that I liked so concentrated on the inside.

Waiting Room
Union Station

The place is considerably smaller than New York’s Penn Station or Chicago’s Union Station. But no less interesting.

More Information at
Union Station

And did you know LA has a subway system? I thought that would have been impossible, what with all the faults and earthquakes running through there. But somebody must have been a good salesperson and sold them on the idea.

Los Angeles Metro Rail
Under Union Station

OK, I might as well give you one exterior shot. But this is not the Station itself. It is an office building across from the Union Station Plaza.

Office Building
Union Station Plaza

And yes, the title of his post is borrowed from Paul Simon’s song of the same name. I can’t help but hum that song to myself whenever I’m in a railway station.

Homeward bound,
I wish I was homeward bound,
Home where my thought’s escaping,
Home where my music’s playing,
Home where my love lies waiting silently for me.

Happy Sunday, everyone!

A Common Sea

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I feel we are all islands – in a common sea.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Sunset at The Salton Sea

On our last day of vacation in Los Angeles, we decided to head south and drive through the Anza Borrego desert on our way home. We ended up just before sunset at Bombay Beach, on the eastern shore of the Salton Sea.

The Ruins at Bombay Beach

The Salton Sea had some success as a resort area, however, many of the settlements have been abandoned, mostly due to the increasing salinity and pollution of the lake over the years from agricultural runoff and other sources.

Dead Fish Along The Shoreline

Many of the species of fish that lived in the sea have been killed off by the combination of pollutants, salt levels, and algal blooms. Dead fish have been known to wash up in mass quantities on the beaches. The smell of the lake, combined with the stench of the decaying fish, also contributed to the decline of the tourist industry around the Salton Sea.

Remains of an Abandoned Structure on the Shoreline

Many people now visit the Salton Sea and the surrounding settlements to explore the abandoned structures.The US Geological Survey describes the smell as “objectionable”, “noxious”, “unique”, and “pervasive”.

Noah’s Original Ark (?) at Bombay Beach

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Letters G or H

Prompts and Challenges

The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust
March 21, 2017

The Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust is dedicated to the remembrance and preservation of the history, stories, victims, and tragic events of the Holocaust during World War II. 

The museum is always free, because the founding survivors insisted that no one ever be turned away from learning about the Holocaust.

Across from the entrance to the museum is a 6 foot high cement wall with a bit of graffiti that seemed somehow appropriate to me.

Pan Pacific Park
March 21, 2017

This week, the topic of Cee’s Black and White challenge is the letter G or H. I seem to have them both covered from my recent trip to the Holocaust Museum in Los Angeles and the graffiti I found there.

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Share Your World – March 20, 2017

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Olvera Street
Los Angeles CA

How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are? I have repeated myself ad nauseum here, on my blog and in comments on other people’s blogs. My wife says I act as if I am 13 most of the time, and that works fine for me. I like being able to laugh at myself and others and sometimes maybe even comment on the absurdity all around us. And sometimes I like to be level headed and decisive. Wait, no, scratch that. I don’t like it but sometimes I have to do it. Especially in the business world. Then I’ll go home and vent, have a glass of wine, and revert to my 13 year old self once again. It’s harmless, and for the most part keeps me sane.

So, you’re on your way out and it’s raining. Do you know where your umbrella is or do you frantically search for it all over your apartment/house? Since moving out here to the desert southwest I have not seen an umbrella anywhere in my house. Since getting married I have not seen an umbrella anywhere in our house. But then again I can’t seem to find anything in our house since getting married so, who knows? How do people do it? Combine the contents of two homes into one? Considering the size of our individual homes when we married, our house today should be almost 4,000 s.f.

Do you recharge your energy by going out with friends for a good time or by spending with quiet time alone? We don’t have friends. We do everything by ourselves most of the time. If I need to recharge, it’s usually by myself. I’ll listen to classical music, or go out to Red Rock Canyon and sit on the side of the road with a view of the mountains and watch the low hanging clouds cling to the peaks. Most times recharging does not include photography or hiking but more like my own brand of introspection.

Name three things you and your spouse, partner or best friend  to have in common. My spouse, partner, and best friend are is my wife. We have love in common. She loves me and I love me. What more do we need? Of course, there are times when love is not enough. Sometimes I get on her nerves and sometimes I get on my own nerves. That’s when we separate and go recharge. As for three things in common? The love of the outdoors, the love of soothing music, and the love of words.

La Cienega Blvd.
Los Angeles CA
(half a block from where we are staying this week)

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I have spent the last 10 days in and out of work with some kind of intestinal distress. No idea whether it was food poisoning or a flu of some kind. But I felt good enough yesterday to drive into L. A. with Lynn and house sit for friends while they vacation in London. So I am looking forward to exploring in a different locale for once- though the weather is being less than desirable. Overcast and threatening rain today. We are looking into visiting the Holocaust museum, which is about 10 minutes away. Then lunch at Canter’s Kosher Deli. We shall see.

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Thanks to Cee for these great questions once again! Go see! Go join!

Those Were The Days

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Rancho Cucamonga CA
March 5, 2017

By the time you read this, we should be on our way to spending a week in L.A. A four and a half hour drive from home that can take upwards of 2 to 4 additional hours of road time depending on traffic. And there is always traffic in L.A. I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, not far from Universal Studios and just over the hill from Hollywood. Man, have things changed. Lots more people, more traffic, more crowded. The streets seem narrower now, and places where we used to play no longer exist, the little league field, the empty dirt lot near the railroad tracks. We used to walk up to the the boulevard where the Lankershim Theater was and spend all Saturday at a double feature matinee. We thought that was heaven. Our parents did, too, I’m sure.

So we will be house sitting for friends who are off to London for the week. Right on La Cienega Blvd. Close to the Jewish community near Fairfax and Melrose (Canter’s Delicatessen- the best Kosher Deli), not far from Olvera Street (a Mexican outdoor market- mostly for tourists now), and the Disney Concert Hall.

So if I am pretty absent for a few days, you’ll know why. Hopefully I’ll be out shooting!

In Retrospect: Lucerne Valley CA

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Lucerne Valley CA
May 14, 2013

It was our one year anniversary. Romantic, no? But this was not where we stayed. We were on our way to Big Bear Lake on State Route 183 through Lucerne Valley CA when we came upon this abandoned home in the middle of the desert. Well, what was I to do? I left Lynn in the car and explored. It was a warm but windy day and the sounds the house made were eerie. Creaking and rustling and cawing. OK, the cawing was from the few crows that had taken up residence and they were not necessarily please to see me. At least Lynn hadn’t left me there. But 4 years later, she just might. As we used to say, the bloom is off the rose. She will follow me anywhere I want to go, but now I have the feeling she’s just looking for a place to dispose of the body, if it ever comes to that!

Cee’s Share Your World – February 27, 2017

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges
Newberry Springs CA February 25, 2017

Newberry Springs CA
February 25, 2017

Ever ran out of gas in your vehicle? Are you kidding? Lynn and I are always at odds with filling up the gas tank. She laughs at my anal-ness (is that a word?) of filling up no later than at a quarter tank. She will wait for the warning light to go on before she even thinks about stopping for gas. But no, we’ve never actually run out of gas.

Which are better: black or green olives? Kalamata olives in a salad or on a pizza, green olives in a martini!

If you were a great explorer, what would you explore? I’m pretty much a virgin when it comes to travel so I would love to visit and explore other cultures.

Quotes List: At least three of your favorite quotes? This is tough because my favorites are not inspirational and there are so many. “Don’t let schooling interfere with your education” – Mark Twain, “Any girl can be glamorous. All you have to do is stand still and look stupid” – Hedy Lamarr, and “Outside of a dog, a book is a man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read” – Groucho Marx.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I’ve been cutting back on my work hours and spending Tuesdays and Thursdays in the library working on a coffee table book. Last week was the first week and now I don’t want to go back to work-work. Ever! Next week? Just endless possibilities,

Thanks, as always, to Cee of Cee’s Share Your World.

Go.

Look.

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Shoshone

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges

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The town of Shoshone California, on the southeast edge of Death Valley, is one block long, if that. On one side of the road is a post office, a gas station, and a motel. On the other is a local museum, a cafe, and the Sheriff’s office. I’m not sure whether or not it’s a real sheriff’s office as the town looks a little too small to have a dedicated officer of the peace. It doesn’t even have its own fire department, for cryin’ out loud.

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I became aware of Shoshone one weekend last year as I was out driving on my own towards Death Valley and ended up in Tecopa with less than a quarter tank of gas. Tecopa is known for its hot springs and that’s it. There’s a small craft beer brewery on the outskirts of Tecopa where I stopped to ask directions to the nearest gas station. They said I could go on up the road about ten miles to Shoshone, where the gas would be about $5 a gallon, or go back to where I came from and stop in Pahrump, which was more than 3 times as far but the gas would be less than half as much. I didn’t think I’d make it back, though, so off I went to Shoshone.

And I fell in love.

The original “man cave” that kicks off this post is where the miners lived during the years the community was active. It is NOT the local motel. I actually met two travelers who were staying at the motel and they had come all the way from France. Everyone in Shoshone was friendly once you smiled. But maybe that’s true for everywhere you go. Those French people sure were nice!

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Anyway, behind the local diner, The Crowbar, was an old abandoned shack that I could only imagine belonged to the mine boss. No cave for him. His one room shack had all the comforts of home; a bed, a wood burning stove, a kitchen table and a chair. What it didn’t have was indoor plumbing. But the outhouse was only a few short steps from the front door.

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The train tracks were pulled up, melted down and recycled during WWII. The old train station no longer exists, either, but a mockup of what it looked like stands exactly where the old one did.

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Up on the hill, across from the miner’s homes, is the old cemetery.

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If, one day you decide to head on out to Shoshone or Tecopah or any part of Death Valley, please don’t go in the middle of summer. The hottest recorded temperature was 134 °F (56.7 °C) on July 10, 1913, at Furnace Creek, which is the hottest atmospheric temperature ever recorded on earth. In a typical year, the park experiences about 140 days of triple-digit temperatures, including 89 days at 110 degrees or hotter, 18 days above 120 and three days above 125. Last June, the high one day was 129.

And let me tell you, once the temperature hits anywhere above 115, there’s not much difference between that and 134.

Hot is hot!

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Share Your World – February 6, 2017

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges
Amargosa Valley California February 5, 2017

Amargosa Valley California
February 5, 2017

Regarding your fridge, is it organized or a mess inside? Why would our refrigerator be organized if our house isn’t? In fact, nothing about our lives is organized. One might even go so far as to call us messy. One might, but I wouldn’t. Not around my wife.

Do you prefer your food separated or mixed together? This should be a subparagraph to your previous question,”is your refrigerator organized”? Is your food organized or messy? Well, it’s messy. The corn fraternizes with the potatoes that fraternize with the salad, which is a fraternity in itself.

Do you prefer reading coffee table books (picture), biographies, fiction, non-fiction, educational? OK, I’m sorry but how does one “read” a coffee table (picture) book? Me, I go for fiction in books and movies. Lynn likes biographies and documentaries. Right now, I’m reading The Call Of The Wild for the first time. Lynn is reading The Winter Fortress (subtitled; The Epic Mission to sabotage Hitler’s Atomic Bomb). She’s the intellectual in our family! Obviously!

Close your eyes. Listen to your body. What part of your body is seeking attention? What is it telling you? Well, since I just ate and drank about one full liter of water, I hear my bladder calling me. I think you can guess what it is telling me. I’ll be right back.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? Well, last week we had a follow-up appointment with Lynn’s foot doctor. He says she’s doing fine even though she still has some pain. We see him again in a month. Next week? We’re going to try to get to Goldfield Nevada. We tried this past weekend but got side tracked and only made it as far as Shoshone California, which is about two thirds of the way. The photo above was taken on our way to Goldfield as we passed through Amargosa Valley.

Again, as always, thanks to Cee neuner for such insightful questions. Go grab your computer and join in at Cee’s Share Your World.