Monday, September 17, 2018

Moving North

From Elko, Nevada we continued north and eastward to Twin Falls, Idaho on our way, tomorrow, to the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. This most likely will be my last daily post for about ten days as we are reported not to have cell or internet access.

Monday saw us drive through the Great Basin, essentially high desert. Photo opportunities, so to speak, were few. I got a few nice images at a roadside stop near Salmon Creek. And then as we crossed the Snake River at Twin Falls, the scenery became quite dramatic.



Rosa among the berries











Sunday, September 16, 2018

Playin' With The Camera


The drive between Reno and Elko takes you into the Great Basin. It has its own desolate beauty, but not so very picturesque. Just one stop for pictures about 60 miles east of Reno and I decided to play with the cameras a bit.
Wanted to see what the new camera does with monochrome



Panasonic calls this "Silky Monochrome." Enjoy this image, which I tinted to sepia. You'll not see this effect from me again.

The river, of course, is the Truckee






What? No pens, no knives?

By the time I finished editing and composing last night it was after 11:00 and I did not even notice that I had forgotten the pens and knives.

So, what does the well equipped collector carry for this trip?
 From left to right, pens: Pelikan M110, M101N, 1950s tortoise 101N and 200, Zenit, M and K800 and Aurora Sole. Knives from bottom: John W Smith Custom Deluxe SD1, W D Pease stag gentleman's, Thomas Valloton DA Covert brown micarta.
And yesterday's find, the little Sheaffer's set.

Saturday, September 15, 2018

On The Road Again: First Day, Truckee, the Truckee, and Reno

We began the day in Fremont, with an easy drive to Reno. Now I should explain that this is an area, Lake Tahoe and Reno, that resonates for me, going back to my youth, and for Sharon and me from 1971. My parents began going up to Tahoe in the mid-1960s and Sharon and I were married in Reno and honeymooned in Tahoe in 1971. 

I can’t drive through here without floods of memories overtaking me. And the Truckee is my river more than any other. I’ve walked along the Arno, driven along the Rhine, but the Truckee was my first. And when Sharon and I drove Anna to college in 2004, we stayed in Truckee which diverted us from our disorientation at having left our only child in Colorado.

One of my oldest associations with the area was expressed in a “folk” song composed by Steve Gillette and Tom Campbell entitled Darcy Farrow as sung by the Canadian folk duo, Ian and Sylvia. One of my favorite pieces of music to this day. 


After a few hours in the Sierra, cresting from the Western to Eastern slope, we stopped for the day in Reno, wandering the city and a very different portion of the Truckee, now an urban river in the afternoon, and then had a fine dinner at the Sierra Street Kitchen. And, the day even yielded me a pen, a humble Sheaffer’s set from my only antiques stop of the day. Interestingly, one of my early pens, a Waterman’s 452, came to me here more than thirty years ago.

So here are a few images from the first day of our 2018 road trip, which will take us to the Grand Tetons, Glacier, and Yellowstone National Parks.
Downtown Truckee, from logging town to tourist attraction we've seen it happen


Alfa-Romeo Spider
Cobra replica, in purple?

Driving East from Truckee, the river below a railroad trestle

The mountains looking west from the crest

The river

Sharon and Rosa wait patiently while I play. Rocinante has now carried us for more than 90,000 miles, crossing the continent twice.

Another view of the river
Reno, from a western gambling town to a major center
The old town up against the new

And the river runs through it
An urban angler

Even pens

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Oregon Finds

As I posted earlier, Oregon has always been fertile hunting grounds for both pens and, more recently, knives.

So I thought I would share this year's finds:


From left, an ASCO (Aurora sub-brand in lapis. This one stays with me. A mandarin Parker Duofold pencil to match a streamline Junior. This will make up a set for sale. A Parker Vacumatic sub Debutante, a lovely pen that will clean up and be offered in San Francisco. Ditto the striped Duofold, and the Pelikan M800. If anyone is interested let me know. The Targa 1001 is new with stickers and available. I think I may keep the yellow Waterman's 7, but if anyone wants to talk me out of it . . .  Next, a Wahl-Eversharp hand engraved set, a pretty uncommon set that I got in the wild on the Coast. They need restoration and will be up for grabs, and I included the image something that came to me from a friend, a Zenit that I just got and will stay with me, unless . . .
And the knives:
Top left, an old school damascus and horn lock back by Bernard Levine. This is a bit of a cheat, since it was an online  purchase that was here when we returned. Below it is a classic Case knife, the 3254 trapper from 2009, I think. It is  new and unused. I overpaid a bit, but what the hay, I was on vacation. The knife at bottom left is by Russell Milligan, a gentleman's folder in mammoth ivory with double mokume bolsters and  a damascus blade and some nice firework on the liners. Top right is a legendary Lone Wolf Paul Defender with checkered cocobolo handles and a charming gravity opening system. Middle right is a William Henry B12 Auburn. Pure self-indulgence on my part, but an exquisite knife. Finally bottom right is something that came back from repair while we were away, a John W. Smith/Aaron Frederick 3PS with anodized damascus bolsters and LSCF scales. It came to me damaged and is finally now a pen I can love as it should be loved. Thank you, Aaron, for the rescue work.

Shakespeare and the Park

Just to wrap up my account of our 2018 trip,  From Portland we drove pretty directly to Ashland in Southern Oregon, home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival which we have been addending for more than twelve years. There we were to meet up with two other couples and our daughter for a week of camaraderie and culture.

As we drove south the smoke from Northern California and Southern Oregon fires became apparent. By the end of the week, the OSF was actually having to cancel performances in the outdoor theater because air quality was unsafe for performers and crew. For most of the week we were able to walk in the park, but by week's end walking felt like it had in June when I was hiking at 6,000 feet.
Rosa anxiously awaits the start of Love's Labour Lost

One of my favorite places in the world, Lithia Park and Lithia Creek, while my knees prevented me from going into the hills as in the past, I got in a couple of nice, short walks with Howie and with Anna


Sunday, July 15, 2018

Pens in Portland


What better way to spend a sweltering Sunday than in a brewery with a bunch of pen friends?

Beer flowed modestly, pizza sizzled, and pens and pen friends gathered. I was happy to see some friends, meet some new folks, and acquire a small handful of (three) pens.

Here are a few scenes from the show followed by my finds.

Stuart Hawkinson, organizer and all around good guy
Michael McNeil and John Schwab




So, what did I get? A Pelikan M800. It needs a bit of work, but is sound. A yellow band Waterman's red ripple 7, and an ASCO (Aurora sub-brand) in lapis.