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The Internet Ramblings of Matt & Lori Knowles

July 2004

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Thu, Jul. 1, 2004 - Tropical Snow Woman

Tropical Snow Woman

This should have been posted last month but I kept forgetting about it. But I thought it was too cute not to share it. This is of course the snow-woman that Lori built on our drive up on Route 1.

Sat, Jul. 3, 2004 - Getting Lost on Purpose

Getting Lost on Purpose

I took some time off today to ride up to Route 1 to see if the wildflowers were still in bloom. There were still some around, and new varieties were in bloom, but it wasn't quite the show that it presented earlier. I was looking for one meadow that I saw on an earlier trip and found that there was a road that led down to it. I decided to explore the road further just to see where it came out. Right before it dumped me out on Hwy. 299, I came across this pretty little cascade. Sometimes it pays to get lost.

Sun, Jul. 4, 2004 - Riding Harleys

Riding Harleys

Up until today, I had never ridden a Harley, and today I got to ride two of them. First I rode Tony Leonardo's Sportster on a quick loop around Ferndale. To say it handles differently than my Sprint or KLR would be an understatement. It would take me a while to get used to riding around with my feet out in front, and by that time everything would probably be numb by the vibration. My second Harley ride came Hollywood style, with the bike securely mounted on a trailer. For the 4th of July parade, we towed the Harley bike that we are raffling behind Utility 7. While it didn't provide me with a very good view of the parade, it was fun none-the-less.

Mon, Jul. 5, 2004 - Hammerin' Away

Hammerin' Away

After the parade, the firemen had a picnic at the chief's house. They had some tradition picnic games like egg toss and three-legged race, but Lori got herself entered into the hammering contest. First person to hammer in three nails wins. Justin, the boy in the red shirt, creamed everyone. Of course his dad is a contractor so maybe he's had practice. How did Lori do? Well I was just happy that she finished without any injuries.

Tue, Jul. 6, 2004 - Are these legal?

Are these legal?

Once again we enjoyed the local fireworks show, and by local, I mean the neighbors down the street. Several new attendees thought it was a BYOFW show, but anything that you can buy on the street would pale in comparison to the real show. Before the show started, the guy next to me asked if they were legal fireworks. I took it he didn't know Steve real well.

Wed, Jul. 7, 2004 - Bradbury Ceiling

Bradbury Ceiling

With all the work going on outside, I finally admitted that I wasn't making progress on the inside, so we hired a friend to put up our Bradbury wallpaper. I didn't order quite enough of one pattern, so he couldn't finish the installation, but this picture shows a pretty good idea of what it will look like. Thanks Grandma!

Thu, Jul. 8, 2004 - Building the Fence

Building the Fence

What I am working on is building the fence and arbor in the front yard. I know it doesn't look like much now, and at the rate I'm making progress on it, it might be awhile before it really looks like anything resembling a fence. Still I thought I would offer some proof that I am working on the house.

Fri, Jul. 9, 2004 - Going for a dip

Going for a dip

I took part of today off to go take pictures with Kate. We went up to Route 1 and a cascade that is just off of 299 near Willow Creek. At the cascade we took some pictures of Kate in this Edwardian outfit.

Sat, Jul. 10, 2004 - Tropical Kate

Tropical Kate

Since I don't have the budget to go to Hawaii this year, I have to pretend. Here's Kate doing her best Island Girl impersonation.

Sun, Jul. 11, 2004 - Magic Mirror

Magic Mirror

I worked with Nixie in the studio for some shots for her portfolio. Had to really concentrate on my levitation skills to keep the mirror there.

Tue, Jul. 20, 2004 - Tracy & Mackenzie

Tracy & Mackenzie

This photo is from the second session I did with Tracy. Today we went out to Centerville Beach with her daughter, Mackenzie. As the afternoon approached, I thought we might have to cancel, due to the weather. But I figured we had nothing to lose trying, and the light ended up being pretty amazing at the beach, if a bit uncooperative at times.

Fri, Jul. 23, 2004 - On Vacation

On Vacation

We started our vacation on the 22nd by going down to the Bay Area. Which of course meant that the truck had to act up. Fortunately this time it was only the brake lights, and not the brakes themselves, and when we discovered the problem, we just happened to be across the street from a Dodge dealer.

Made it to Mom and Dad's to have an early birthday dinner with Derek and his family, and Linda. Then we drove down to visit Carol and John and I ended up helping John rescue one of their cats after it had been stuck under a bail of hay for at least a few days. Spike probably had to use one of his 9 lives but I think he's going to be ok.

The next morning we drove down to Clovis so Lori could visit with an old Clayden friend, and then we camped for the night at Red Rock Canyon State Park. Sort of a miniature Bryce Canyon, we almost had the park to ourselves. I guess most people don't go camping in the Mojave Desert in July.

Sat, Jul. 24, 2004 - Calico


The first of five ghost towns we visited on our vacation was Calico, which is near Barstow. Calico isn't the most authentic ghost town out there since it was owned by Knotts Berry Farm for awhile, but it was still interesting. And when you're driving from Bakersfield to Las Vegas, you start looking for any type of diversion. The house in the picture was built out of bottles. Apparently this was a common practice out in the desert because I've seen several of them in different ghost towns. When you don't have easy access to wood, you use what ever is around.

Sun, Jul. 25, 2004 - Sirens of TI

Sirens of TI

Las Vegas in July. What was the PPA thinking scheduling the conference in Las Vegas in July? 107 degrees during the day, cooling all the way down to 103 degrees at 10:00 pm. We didn't have much free time so we stuck to checking out the free attractions at night, such as the Fremont Street Lights, the fountains at Bellagio, and the new pirate ship show at Treasure Island. No longer is the battle between the English and the pirates. Instead the crew of pirates gets seduced by sirens of the sea. Same explosions, stunts, and fireworks, only with more T&A. I marked it down as an improvement in my book, after all everyone knows how boring the British can be.

Mon, Jul. 26, 2004 - Lisa Marie

Lisa Marie

While we were in Vegas I thought it would be nice to work on a picture that I've had in my mind for a long time. This isn't it though, this was plan B. It was just too hot to work on plan A. I had contacted Lisa Marie before leaving Ferndale, and we had planned to go out to a ghost town and/or the dry lakes outside of Vegas. But with the temperatures hovering around 105, neither of us felt like venturing outside very far. Fortunately, her house in Pahrump was photogenic, and I had brought some plan B clothes, such as this 1930 styled trained gown which she really looked good in, as well as out of. After all, when it's 105, who needs to be bothered with clothes?

Tue, Jul. 27, 2004 - Goldfield


Lisa Marie told us about a ghost town that we should check out, Goldfield. It's not a pure ghost town since there are still people living there, but there were several interesting buildings around town. We got in right as the motel was closing and just squeeked in getting a room. I woke up early to catch some sunrise photos, such as this one of the sun rising right behind this shed. After Goldfield we also visited Goldpoint, which also had a few interesting buildings, but it has become a home to too many people living in trailers so the views were marred by too much modern junk. Lori and I noticed that junk has to properly age to aquire the patina that makes it interesting to see and photograph. Otherwise it's just junk.

Wed, Jul. 28, 2004 - Ancient Bristlecone Forest

Ancient Bristlecone Forest

As we made our way north on 395, we came to the Ancient Bristlecone Forest, where some of the trees are over 4000 years old, and some of the wood lying on the ground is over 7000 years old. When I attended my first seminar with Galen Rowell, we were going to photograph the Bristlecones, but the road was closed due to a late snow. These trees have such a distinctly orange color to them that when they are photographed at sunset, they really glow. Unless you've seen them in person, you would think the photos have been doctored they are so orange. We had gone up to the Patriarch Grove to photograph the trees at sunset, only there wasn't one, as a bunch of clouds rolled in. Patriarch sits at about 11,000 ft elevation, and on our drive back down to the campground, the sun broke out and we stopped to take pictures. I was taking pictures of the sunny side of the trees to capture that warm glow when Lori said I should turn around and look at the sky. It was hard to decide what was prettier, the trees or the sunset. It was very magical, and I was glad I had the chance to see and photograph these unique trees basked in the warm glow of the setting sun.

Thu, Jul. 29, 2004 - Going Downhill

Going Downhill

We spent the night in the campground at the Bristlecone Forest where they had signs posted that the chipmunks could be carrying the plague. So much for them being cute little furry creatures. Had to remind Lori of the signs in the morning when a chipmunk tried to join us for breakfast. After we cleared camp we went for a hike through the Methuselah Grove which contains the oldest trees. The trail was labeled as moderately strenuous, which it is amazing how that definition changes as you get older. Of course being at 9000 ft elevation doesn't help either. But it was a pleasant hike, I just wish we brought more water along, and some gorp would have been nice too. After the hike we took the back way out of the park on a road that goes directly to Bishop, dropping from 10,000 ft to 4,000 ft elevation in 15 miles, with the bulk of the drop coming in the first 3 miles, where the grade was often 30%. I had the transmission in first and the 4 wheel drive in low as well and just crawled down the mountain. It takes as long as the main route even though it's a third of the distance, but there was lots to see, including several pretty creek crossings, some long horn sheep, and one peculiar lizard. While stopped at one of the creek crossings we spotted this lizard with a very long tail. Lori and I simultaneously asked out loud what the purpose of such a long tail would be, when the lizard raised it straight up and waved it about, as if to answer our questions. Not understanding lizard body language, we're still not sure of the answer though.

Fri, Jul. 30, 2004 - Bodie at long last

Bodie at long last

Starting with the same Galen Rowell seminar mentioned earlier, I had made three previous trips to Bodie, all unsuccessful due to the weather. You can't be a photographer and not see pictures of Bodie. And once you've seen pictures of Bodie you have to go there. So it was with great anticipation that we made our drive to Bodie after visiting Mono Lake for the sunrise. (I guess I should mention a bit about Mono Lake here. While the bumper sticker campaign worked, and the "Save Mono Lake" is now in progress, what is good for seagulls isn't so good for photographers. The famous tufa towers are now disappearing back under water, where they're supposed to be.) Bodie exceeded my expectations and I'm already thinking about when I can go back. What a great time capsule! While a ranger was giving us an overview presentation in the morning, I noticed his intern Julia. I persuaded her to pose for the ghost pictures that I wanted to create. We had some of our Victorian clothes with us so during her lunch break we got here dressed up and then took several series of pictures. I then combined the photos with her in them with one without her in Photoshop, to make this ghostly creation.

Sat, Jul. 31, 2004 - Highway 108

Highway 108

After leaving Bodie we took Highway 108 over to Tuolumne to spend some time with Lori's sister Paula. It was nice seeing greenery after a week in the desert, and somewhere along the route we came across this amazing patch of lupines and other wildflowers. I started taking pictures but after a few pictures the batteries in my camera died. Due to an earlier problem, I only had one working set of batteries so I was out of luck. I did get a few pictures, but I sure would have like to have taken more. The next day we went back with Paula and couldn't find the patch. Lori and I both thought it was close to Strawberry, and that it was certainly below the pass. We didn't drive all the way back up to the pass but now I think it must have been somewhere past where we turned around. I've filed it away as an area to explore this same time next year though.