Sunday, May 10, 2020

Stuck in this sci-fi episode

Today I read this article about how even the creators of "Black Mirror" are calling a halt to making the next season six because our lives right now are too close to the content of the show. Day 55 of Shelter-in-Place and I'm doing my best to focus on the good bits of this unusual time.

Here's my "ode to day 55 SIP and Black Mirror" video...

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Mujeres en motos en Baja

Here's a video summary of the ten day trip with four women each of us on our own motorcycles. The confusion on some of the men's faces in Baja was priceless as they looked for the men. This link has most of the photos from our trip which was great --  2,500 miles.


Wednesday, November 27, 2019

ButtTime in the morning ... I need Judy Jetson's Videophone mask

It was bound to happen, the ButtTime but who would have guessed it would have been with my two favorite people -- my brother and sister. Probably the best part was that my sister Rae and I were the lucky recipients of ButtTimer Ian who wasn't aware of what he had done so we sat FaceTiming one another for awhile before he caught on to this. Then we discovered "effects" and so like teenagers on Snapchat -- we had our Wednesday morning silly time.

What's really interesting is that Rae has a Wikipedia memory of our childhood cultural riches and so she referenced Judy Jetson's videophone mask which was actually a thing in the 1960's.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Rest the Mind and Chase the Sorrow Away

Figuratively, nepenthe means "that which chases away sorrow".

Riding down Highway One on a sunny day is definitely a "sorrow chaser", below are my photos from yesterday. The turnaround point was my favorite Nepenthe restaurant and it just so happened they had an open house of the log cabin above the restaurant, which is unusual. This is a cabin with incredible history that one can feel when standing inside.  The motorcycle ride there and back at this time of year is incredible for the various aromas in the air -- the briny brisk salty ocean, the rich soil fragrances near Castroville tinged with artichoke and other crops.

just north of Big Sur at one of the vista turnouts

beautiful art piece at Coast, Big Sur art gallery

in the garden of the cabin above Nepenthe restaurant

view from Nepenthe Restaurant deck

one of the elaborate art pieces on a chandelier at the log cabin

the log cabin at Nepenthe

letting the mind rest by focusing on these beautiful simple things ...

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Carpets of wildflowers and other-worldly beauty

On the news for weeks I had been hearing about a super bloom phenomenon and I was curious. There were many photos and drone videos talking about the unusually large acreage of dense wildflowers as a result of unprecedented rain this year that could be witnessed mostly in Central California.

So last weekend I went to see this for myself and met up with a group of about twenty other like-minded folks on motorcycles and we stayed at a hipcamp (camping on private lands) called "Rideout Hideout".  If ever there is a place in heaven for motorcycle / dirt bike riding, it would probably be like this. Pristine air, comfortable temperatures, nature and animals and excellent company in the form of other people sharing the same passion.  The event was hosted by Law Tigers (Matt Beals) and Motobird Adventures (Kerri Dougherty).

“The earth laughs in flowers.” 
― Ralph Waldo Emerson

walking on Saturday on a 3 mile loop, the vista was stunning at every turn

my campsite in the morning
the central part of California is verdant green and that is unusual in April

arriving on Friday night, this photo almost to the campsite

this is what me being "stoked" looks like

Friday night comfy tent

early morning shadows on the tent

Monday, October 15, 2018

“Alice: How long is forever? White Rabbit: Sometimes, just one second.”

― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

We all tumbled down the rabbit hole this past Saturday for the second annual Anna in Wonderland event. Shenanigans started out at the Oakland Motorcycle Club for this 65 mile, 8 stop treasure hunt. All kinds of unexplainable and idiosyncratic things occurred just like in the original story. And here are some of my observations:
  • 3 different Alice characters from every age group
  • 39 participants, 22 on motorcycles and the rest in cars
  • being filmed out the passenger side of a passing car on High Street right after we left the club to go to the first stop
  • the policeman who pulled up at the first stop and kindly gave us "the look" to get the photographers car re-parked (no ticket issued)
  • the running adults in our group when each spot was given the green light to find playing cards hidden the day before, fun to watch
  • at the second stop... a "fresh" newborn baby on a picnic table with a couple and a scared dog under the table not moving an inch as our imposing group descended on them feverishly in search of playing cards
  • the two families having what they thought would be a quiet picnic at Eckley Pier picnic ground and our group momentarily interrupted them to look for the cards and roses but the young girl in the family had found a rose so she got a prize of course
  • some people got lost and then some missed the tea party and the cake resulting in confusion 
  • the big red hat of the Queen of Hearts Carol was left on the back of the sidecar so it blew off onto the road and Nick retrieved it from a possible sad existence when they circled back to go get forgotten sunglasses at the lunch stop
  • the cake, the cupcakes and Tracy the maker of this cake ferrying it about all over the course with the help of the photographers car
  • Julien wearing his great grandfather's vintage leather hand-painted motorcycle jacket and having his first motorcycle ride as pillion on Brent's motorcycle
Special thanks to Judyth Greenburgh for inspiring this event all the way back on May 7 2012 when I attended her Alice party in the desert, click here to check that out. 

To see photos of the event taken by professional photographer and friend of mine Ian Tervet, click this link. 

Below is a video I created with some of my photos and a handful of participant photos as well as my behind the scenes time lapse videos from the day before.

Anna in Wonderland 2018 from Anna MacKinnon on Vimeo.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Sheetiron 300 Dualsport ~ ironing those sheets

As part of the Oakland Motorcycle Club, I worked the annual 27th Annual Sheetiron 300 Dualsport this past weekend and wow, what fun. This two-day ride began in Stonyford on Saturday morning, and it ended up in Fort Bragg on Saturday night, and returned to Stonyford on Sunday afternoon. This ride takes place each year on the weekend before Memorial Day Weekend.

Friday afternoon registration opened

a sense of humor

tech inspection


sweeper bikes

day one in Fort Bragg
Add caption

Kurt's doll (his passenger) lost an arm

Nick with his Ural and his monkey Kevin

fun with rear tire changing the morning of day 2

this was an R100 PD BMW that ignited on Day 1

day 2 as some of us in the support group made our way to Ft. Bragg

all I saw of Paul Gregersen was his dust as we went to Ft. Bragg

the roll chart

day 2 tossing bags on the trailer to head out

time lapse of the baggage unpack in Ft. Bragg

organization at its finest
Joe Rico has a sense of humor for sure
time lapse of day 2 loading bags in the truck

not one of our riders but we saw this at The Zen Motorcycle Shop in Pt Arena

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Another turn around the sun so off I went...

On Sunday the 22nd of April I left Alameda for the first leg of an 8 day trip. Below is the route (read it counter clockwise).  A total of 1,455 miles in all, mostly pavement with occasional dirt.

Santa Barbara is always a step back into nostalgia since I attended UC Santa Barbara and as usual, I was hosted by Jim who I've known since college days and he fetes me like royalty anytime I'm around. We went whale watching on Monday for a couple of hours, saw two gray whales with calfs as they made their northern migration. We saw countless dolphins, common dolphins to be exact. The dolphin pod stayed with our whale watching boat for quite sometime, surfing the wave at the bow.

Then on Tuesday (my actual day-of-birth), I left to head East through Ojai, then north on the 33 to Lockwood Valley Road and due East to Lancaster. About 30 miles north of Ojai was a complete moonscape because of the Thomas Fire that went through there in December of last year. The devastation was eye opening, melted signs, melted guard rails, occasional remains of homes, a bare outline of stone, small hints of new life just beginning to come up with purple flowers.

evidence of the Thomas Fire from December 2017

the most deluxe outhouse you'll ever know
I arrived in Lancaster in the later afternoon and was treated to the "wood king" experience at "the Ranch". It's really unique there at the ranch -- chickens, artifacts, interesting souls that hang out there and stuff that defies explanation. I believe it might be a portal to another dimension.

throne on the wood pile in Lancaster

the sunset "Queen of the woodpile" experience ~ hello to all
oh the things I learned about chickens ~ they are amazing creatures
And from Lancaster off we went, me and the wood king Timbo ~ destination Death Valley Junction. Our destination was the Amargosa Opera House and Hotel. I have heard about this place for years and wanted to stay the night there. The interesting woman behind the legend here was named Marta Becket and this video fills you in on her vision and life at the junction.

the wood king, Timbo and his GSA

the Amargosa Hotel

inside the opera house 
the commemorative chair for Marta

The weather in Death Valley was hot. Yes it was early season to be quite so hot. Riding a motorcycle in 104° F is like going through a blast furnace, don't know why people say "oh you'll cool down once you get on the bike." 

We took a tour of the opera house in the morning and then onward to Darwin to beat the heat (well not entirely but we tried). Darwin is outside of the park and sits up at altitude close to 5,000 feet above sea level so it was more comfortable with the temperature. My friends Jude and Pierre have lived there for some time now. This video is a good overview of life in Darwin and Jude appears in the piece (around the 1:57 minute mark).  David and his dog Cinder are always a "must visit" and when his mom Ida is there, it's a real treat. The gentle souls of these people give one hope that the world is indeed filled with kindness and creativity.

Father Crowley overlook, near Panamint Springs

Darwin, CA

my favorite statue and dog Kane in the background

me near sunset in Darwin, CA
David and his dog Cinder

Leaving Darwin, the F18 Hornet is an almost daily occurrence around here because of the nearby Naval Station. The air seemed to rip in two when one came by me from the back and I didn't see it coming and of course didn't know what the hell was happening for a moment. I felt like I could have driven off the road with surprise. I could practically see the face of the pilot. 

in Lone Pine, heading north

Silver Lake at June Lake loop
Jackson California
The drive North up the 395 was relaxing and nice with the end of my day in Walker, California. It seems like a big fishing area and it was the opening of fishing season so lots of people on the rivers. '

On Sunday I went up and over the Sierra Nevada pass via Highway 89 and Monitor Pass. The roads were clear and I noticed the fires had touched these lands too for many miles. The weather was clear and cold of course. So most of my time across the Sierra was average of 35 °F but not actively snowing thankfully.

My final night out was in Vallecito in the gold country and then home the next day, Monday the 30th of April.

Kit Carson pass over 8,100 ft