On the road: Arizona

Grand Canyon

*takes a deep breath and then in my best R. Lee Ermey voice*

As an American and more importantly as a goddamn human being I COMMAND you to visit your National Park System and experience things that are bigger and more important than you are.


We don’t know much except that they were from Japan, they were deaf, and instantly struck a pose.


Elmo questions his life choices in the 90+ sun at the South Rim.

Visitor Center


I’m serious about that command. The NPS sells an annual “America the Beautiful” pass that gets you and all of your passengers into all the national parks, monuments, everywhere. And the $80 is cheaper than whatever bullshit festival you’re going to burn it on.

*R. Lee out*


Eastbound to Austin

This post unofficially brought to you by the mocha shake at Bentley’s Coffee in Tucson. So very happy that after the demise of Greasey Tony’s and P.D.Q. Records, that the drink (and Bentley’s!) is still around even after twenty years.

Sign Tree

Rice, CA Modernism

The Inevitable Answer Awaits You

Approaching Prada Marfa late at night when there is only moonlight is absurdly spooky, especially after driving past the giant border surveilance balloon that looms just off of US-90.

Prada, Marfa

Prada, Marfa

Old Mobil oil sign?

I barely touched the radio dial this trip – the soundtrack was almost exclusively accumulated music and podcasts via iPhone I hadn’t yet caught up on. I just naturally assumed that outside of Marfa Public Radio, West Texas was going to be a broadcast wasteland. I gave in around Sonora and turned the radio on expecting the worst, but the first station that came up was playing Jeannie C. Riley’s “Harper Valley P.T.A.” Great song. Had a moment…

3300 miles around the Southwest

Eastbound on CA-62

The line-up for Austin Psych Fest this year was too important to miss, and I had been desperately wanting to get out on the road for a long trip and luckily everything lined up to put them both together. It had been over five years since I took a serious road trip and it was amazingly relaxing to unplug, let the scenery roll by, and check out what’s going on out there.

Posts to follow…

View 2013 Austin and points elsewhere in a larger map


We went out to southern Arizona for a short July 4th vacation road trip. Things we saw…

Tucson Clouds

The Man In The Moon

On Camera

Águila Negro

The Loft

Tucson Fireworks

On the way out Wednesday night/Thursday morning, some 50 miles or so west of Phoenix, two separate fatal accidents shutdown the eastbound lanes of I-10 for ten hours, creating a 20+ mile line of cars and trucks (we were a couple hundred yards from the front). In all, we were stuck for four and a half hours, but the bigger trucks had to wait.

Spooky scene with hundreds of cars and trucks just parked out in the desert. Felt like every post-apocalyptic story I’ve seen or read. Around the three hour mark you couldn’t help but note which trucks were carrying food and which cars had the weirdest drivers.

Waiting out the accident cleanup

24 or so Flickrs per second

Going against the tide of Flickr curmedgeons, here’s some Flickr video from the QC archives:

Alkali flies on the ground at Mono Lake. They don’t bite at all, but it’s unnerving walking around them and seeing them flee and reorient as you walk around.

Some Mono Lake shoreline to go along with the flies.

A flyby of the last remaining Northrop Flying Wing prototype.