In Retrospect: Furnace Creek CA


Mining Wagon
Furnace Creek CA
March 1, 2014

Furnace Creek is appropriately named, as it holds the record for the highest ever recorded temperature in the United States, as well as one of the highest ever worldwide, reaching 134 °F (57 °C) on July 10, 1913. It is 190 feet below sea level. Badwater, just down the road, holds the distinction of being the lowest elevation in the United States at 280 feet below sea level.

Rear View Mining Wagon
Furnace Creek CA
March 1, 2014

There are so many ghost towns in Death Valley due to the mining of precious metals that began in 1849. But it wasn’t only gold and silver that drew the people here. Borax is still mined and is still used in any number of products, a mineral so common that it is used in cleaning and beauty products as well as enamel glazes.

Vintage Steam Engine
Furnace Creek CA
March 1, 2014

Furnace Creek has become a favorite stop for tourists as it boasts a general store, motel, diner and bar, and golf course and is a short distance from Badwater, Dante’s View, Artist’s Drive, and Zabriskie Point. And lots of ghost towns for me!


Seven Day Photo Challenge, Day 7

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges

Finally, day 7:

Furnace Creek Train
Death Valley CA
March 1, 2014

I have been invited to participate in Judy Dykstra-Brown’s Seven Day Photo Challenge. Actually I wasn’t really invited, but had to beg Marilyn and shame her into extending an invitation to me. She is too much like me in that she does not like to impose so I, too, will not invite anybody to participate unless they tell me they want to join in. Anyway, the rules, which I’ve already violated, are as follows: “The challenge is one black and white photo from your own life each day for seven days. No people depicted, no words of explanation. Invite one other person to join each day.”
acrylic prints for sale

In Retrospect: Elgin NV


Union Pacific Ohio Crane
February 6, 2013

Lynn was born and raised in Elgin Illinois. Imagine her surprise and delight when she discovered there was an Elgin Nevada. She had lived in Las Vegas for 7 years- we had been married for just under 1 year- when we finally decided to head out there. It was a pretty desolate area. The road had been washed away by a storm and had never been repaired. When we got to the town, there was nothing there. Just an old schoolhouse and a railroad crossing. And this Union Pacific Ohio Crane, peeking around the trees at us.

We have yet to go back but, if we do, I’m sure the road will be in the same state of disrepair.

And on a side note, Lynn and I will be celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary early next month!

(OK, I just googled Elgin NV and Wikipedia says; “Elgin is a ghost town located between Caliente and Carp, Nevada on the eastern banks of the Meadow Valley Wash off of Nevada State Route 317.

A former railroad town, it is now the location of the Elgin Schoolhouse State Historic Site, a one-room schoolhouse museum. There is an apple orchard nearby.

As of May 2008, the State Historic Site is permanently closed due to the damage to the only road leading to the site, Nevada State Route 317, caused by flooding.”)

Homeward Bound


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!

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.



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Share Your World – 2016 Week 47 (Grateful list)

Gallery, Prompts and Challenges
Cima Train Mojave National Preserve November 19, 2016

Cima Train
Mojave National Preserve
November 19, 2016

This week Cee is having a special theme for Share Your World. It is Thanksgiving in the USA and she thought we could do a grateful list for this week.  

What are you grateful for in regard to:

  1. Your home life? I am grateful I have a home. So many people do not and we see them on street corners every day asking for a handout or pushing all their personal belongings down the street in a shopping cart.
  2. Your family? I am grateful I have been given a second chance to have a family. I destroyed my family through divorce 17 years ago and was feeling pretty low and depressed for quite a while.
  3. Your blogging community? I’ve “met” a lot of great people who support and encourage me in my hobby.  
  4. Your city or immediate area in which you live? I always looked down upon Las Vegas as a place to live. But circumstances brought me here 17 years ago and I’ve learned to appreciate the abundance of things to do. Some are even free!
  5. The regional area in which you live? We are so close to so many different areas in which to savor the outdoors. The great Southwest. I have boots. Next is a cowboy hat. Then a jeep or truck and my conversion will be complete.
  6. The country where you live? I’m not too excited about the direction our president-elect seems to be taking us with the people he is choosing to surround himself with. But we are in a democracy in which we are able to protest- and I certainly will be doing so.
  7. You? It’s taken me a long time to grow up- I believe that is a problem for most men. I finally have, for the most part. But don’t ask my wife for corroboration. She’s a bit feisty that way.

Optional Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? Last week we took a day trip to Cima, in the middle of the Mojave National Preserve, which is about an hour and a half from where we live. We have been out there several times and there isn’t really anything there that we haven’t seen before. Still, I was able to get so many photos that I am still working on them this week.

Please go visit Cee’s Share Your World and share thanksgiving wishes with her. And to those of you who have taken the time to read through, Happy Thanksgiving (and please stay safe and sane through, what has to be the most asinine corporate decision of all time, the creation of Black Friday, which now starts on Thursday.)

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Share Your World – 2016 Week 40

Prompts and Challenges
Mail Car Interior Nevada State Railroad Museum Boulder City September 17, 2016

Mail Car Interior
Nevada State Railroad Museum Boulder City
September 17, 2016

For Cee’s Share Your World, the next two weeks’ questions are from kids (as opposed to adults, I suppose, whose questions are always so much more intellectual).  

Why did you start blogging? I started blogging over two years ago with the hope of gaining fame and fortune. I have since lost my fortune. As for the fame, I’m beginning to think there might be easier ways to achieve it!

A piece of clothing you still remember? A bra is clothing, right? I remember my first bra. OK, no, it wasn’t actually mine. It was my girlfriend’s at the time. I’ll never forget her. Or that night, either.

Who are you trying to reach with your blog? There is no one particular person I am trying to reach. At the same time, I am trying to reach everyone. I heard an interview this weekend wherein George Takei said he has 9 million followers. I guess I still have a ways to go.

Is there a stuffed animal in your bedroom? There will be soon enough if that damn chihuahua doesn’t stop annoying me.

The best birthday present ever? I would have to say being born is the best birth day present anyone can have.

What would surprise me about you? That will come in about two weeks time. A big surprise. Please come back October 13.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? Last week was a lot of visiting family and friends, which was nice but tiring. And now that our houseguests left this morning I am definitely looking forward to getting my den back.

Please check out Cee's Share Your World for more answers to these earth shattering questions.

Please check out Cee’s Share Your World for more answers to these earth shattering questions.

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – August 3, 2016

Prompts and Challenges
Barstow CA

Barstow CA

My wife doesn’t understand me. I mean, don’t get me wrong. She’s a wonderful woman. Salt of the earth. (By the way. What does that mean? Salt of the earth. Anybody know?) But we’ve been to Barstow twice now. One hundred fifty eight miles southwest of here. I don’t remember if I got any shots of anything that first time. But the second time, we found this trestle that stretches over a vacant railroad yard and I got this one shot that I like. Now, I want to go back and maybe shoot from a different angle or a different time of day. But she says we saw everything there is to see in Barstow. What? Excuse me? I guess I’m just going to have to sneak off one morning and go back down there by myself. Problem is, she’s my navigator. Without her, I’m afraid I wouldn’t know which way to go.


(The above image is part of Cee’s Which Way challenge. Please go visit to check out the rules (pretty simple) and the talent (pretty awesome).

Get Lucky!

Prompts and Challenges


Overton trestle-

Overton NV August 22, 2015 Fujifilm X-T1 23mm f/2.8 at 1/3200 sec ISO 200

Sometimes you get lucky. Sometimes you’re forced into taking a shot within a short window of time or with the lighting not quite right or too much going on in the background so you’re forced to crop or shoot close-up or with a shallow depth of field. And you get home and take a look at the shot and, Whoa! It’ s one of the best you’ve ever taken. In your opinion. And that’s really all you should go by. What pleases you as the artist. Lord knows we are always complaining about the shot we almost got. You know, the one that got away. So enjoy when you get something you actually like. That happened to me  just recently. There was a train trestle that was 6 feet above ground and I could only shoot it from one side. So I had to climb up, over, and then under the trestle to grab the shot. When I looked at it I could not believe how much I loved the leading lines and the rough texture of wood and, well, there it is. I love it! So if you don’t, that’s OK. Because I do!

Now show me yours!


Somewhere in Hidden Valley

Somewhere in Hidden Valley

What else needs to be said? True, I have not tried out any other mirror-less cameras, nor have I tried any non-mirror-less cameras. But why bother? The price, the quality, the weight, the lens, the bells and whistles…. OK, let’s talk about those bells and whistles.

I received the Fuji X-T1 with a Zeiss 32mm f 1.8 lens Tuesday evening, on loan. “On loan” makes it sound so much more professional than “I rented it!” OK, I rented it. Bad news is it cost me just under $200. Good news is they extended the rental period from one week to two, just for me. And for anyone else who had the special coupon code. The camera and lens were actually a lot cheaper than the cost above. But once you add insurance and shipping and tax, well…

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday I spent reading the online manual so that I could set the camera on full automatic- which takes most of the fun out of using it. Those first two days I contented myself with shooting clouds. Friday afternoon I played hooky from work and went down to the strip to try some street photography. I lasted less than a half hour as the temperatures are already well over 100 degrees here in Las Vegas. On Saturday, my wife and I jumped into the car planning to drive up to the cooler climes of Zion! But as we drove up the 15 freeway there were several exits that we decided to explore instead. The first was BYRON, a town we couldn’t find. The second was UTE, of which we found only a dirt road. The third? Pay dirt. HIDDEN VALLEY (of which I can find no mention on the internet). And it really is exactly what you would imagine. Or, at least what I would imagine, as I don’t really know you, or what you might imagine.

Wait a second. I’m getting carried away. Bells and whistles, bells and whistles…

There are a lot of them. But I still have no idea what the camera can really do. For that, it might be best to contact someone like Joe Giordano of Monochromia who is the one who talked me into trying out the camera just by talking about it. And talking about it. And talking about it. And sharing his photos.

It’s really a remarkable camera as far as I can tell.

And Joe is just an all around great guy. Contact him. Look at his images. He has 4 WordPress sites and a Life In Black & White on Facebook. We are a mutual admiration society.

Well, I admire him!