There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes.
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more...

-Lord Byron

21 September 2016

the bridges that beckoned

Just outside the small town of Redmond, Oregon, the interstate crosses a deep canyon with two bridges that span the crevasse.

The sun has just broken the skyline to start the day, and in the early morning light I have this space to myself. My mind is most at peace in the early morning as I walk the path with strange lizards and the blackest of crows.
The still water below, the blue sky above, the chill of the air escaping my mouth and hanging for just a moment in the air before dissipating into the atmosphere.
It's not about any great destination. For me, it's taking the time to enjoy the moment for what it is.

18 September 2016


September the fourteenth, two thousand and sixteen.

7:45 PM.

Ray walks out onto the stage, guitar in hand, and starts to sing a four song acoustic set that puts chills on everyone's skin.
He then brings out the band, and sings his new album in it's entirety.
He then ends with audience requests, creating a magical night that I'll never forget.

14 September 2016

Love Shack Jenga

I sit in the splendor of the Fruitland highlands and wonder if I've ever truly left....
The cabin stays the same, the scenery hasn't changed, the people I love are all here.

Maybe I'm just in a dream, and need to be submersed in a tub of ice cold water to snap me out of my entrapment.

Yet everything I see here has shimmering around the edges, letting me know that I'm only making memories before returning back to my reality.
So I take full advantage of this time, long walks and talks with my two best friends, creating big smiles as Jenga blocks fall.
We ride along dirt roads as the sun sets, sit in comfortable silence around a roaring fire, play darts and tether ball to pass time during long and lazy afternoons.

I lip sync teen pop music hits in terrible fashion, but it makes us all laugh.
I love to roam back to the love shack cabin with these two.

12 September 2016

a weekend drive in the Catalinas

Saturday mornings start better with a drive in the mountains. This weekend found myself in a new place to explore, the Catalina mountains of Tucson and Mount Lemmon.
As per usual, little research was done beforehand, only a map that led me to the Catalina highway. My goal was to play in Summerhaven, a small town at the end of the road filled with Swiss chalet cabins.
I assumed a gas station and grocery store would be found along the route, and that assumption got me no gas, water or hiking supplies. I ended up playing it safe and just enjoying the morning drive whilst scouting out locations for future visits.
Which actually worked out perfectly for this misdirected man.

11 September 2016

Hotel Congress

People look at me funny as I leave the office early, but I shrug it off. I've put in my time.

The open desert road and a unique voice calls. I slide the CD into the player and drive, destination Hotel Congress.

The windows come down and I let the warm breezes cascade across my skin as I pull into town.

I saddle up to the bar and learn about the history of this unique hotel.
In 1919, the Hotel Congress and tap room was built. On January 22nd, 1934, the Hotel Congress catches fire. The third floor is never restored, and they lost the elevator, which to this day is still out of commission.
The fire though led to the capture of  the infamous John Dillinger and his gang. The story is one that truly must be heard or read about while in the hotel.

The historic hotel is also haunted, at least some of the rooms. I spend the night in room 220, and later learn this one of the rooms that housed one of the hotel's last long term residents, Vince Szuda.

He lived there for $7/night from the 1950's until his passing in 2001. He was a helpful fix-it man, and was always borrowing butter knives from the Cup Cafe to use as screwdrivers to fix things around the hotel.

Staff to this day still find butter knives randomly throughout the hotel.
As I finish my libation in the Tap Room, I see it's been re-named Tiger's tap room, in honor of the bar keep that turned 80 in 2013, and still works the counter to this day.
I was more than pleasantly surprised with the gem I found in the heart of Tucson.