Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Traveling Up and Down the Coast

Above, the grasshopper I carved in Happy Camp, California the summer of 2008.  Across from Parry's Market, nestled in the weeds, the grasshopper came about in a strange way.  I'd made a barter for a place to stay while I made a documentary about the town of Happy Camp.  In exchange for the use of a recreational vehicle, I offered to carve something for the couple who were friends of Dennis, an old guy I met while visiting Happy Camp with my friend David.  I had a weird dream just before I woke up my first morning.  In the dream I was carving a giant grasshopper.  I asked Dennis if he knew of any insects the local Indian tribe had myths about.  He told me to go to the museum and talk to them.  When I asked the lady at the counter the insect question she went to the books sitting on shelves for sale and pulled one off.  "Do you mean this?"  she asked.  She held up a book called Valley of the Grasshoppers.

Below is the old - 159 years old - hotel that David bought in Happy Camp, where I'm camping out for a few weeks.  It's the perfect place to write and make art.  The town is full of artists.  During the BigFoot Jamboree this last (labor day) weekend I talked to people also waiting for the Parade to start and learned that back in the beginning the building was a brothel for the miners, that it was well known to have ghosts, that at one time it was the post office, as well as lots of interesting facts. I interviewed on a digital recorder Rosie who lives across the street now but used to live here.  She's introducing me to Rick who lived here for 20 years and now lives another street over.  The yard is a motherload for old coins I'm told.  The yard is beautiful and lush green, because of it's age it is one of the best gardens.

Below, the view from my window in the back yard.  The first day that I arrived I accidentally locked myself into my room.  I realized that the only way out was through my window.  I crawled out and scooted around on my butt (to spread the weight around) and turned to the street to see if anyone was around.  There, to my amazement were two women who had just pulled up and were taking a ladder out of their truck.  I called to them and they ran over with their ladder and helped me down.  How lucky was that.  They were two artists who made extra money painting over graffiti.  My luck always amazes me.  I got down, met two nice women, and learned not to accidentally lock my door.

I couldn't resist photographing this baby, and her proud mom inside Parry's Market.

I happened to be using the free wifi at the art center when a photo opportunity showed up in the form of Bigfoot, who couldn't see and had to be led to his sitting place by two firemen.  It looked like he was being arrested.

During the parade one firetruck threw candy out the window, then below, another firetruck sprayed the kids with water.  Much happiness ensued.

One of the spectators.

I'm using one of the upstairs bedrooms as my painting studio.  

I spent a week with Janet in Southern Oregon, here she is below with Sherry (left) who has a certified organic farm and sells goat milk and vegetables, see below.

The smoke from all the fires was intense, making mountains disappear.  

Below, the door to my room at Janet's.  The smoke was really bad, then we had two days of drizzle.

The creek behind Janet's house was getting low, then two days of drizzle made all the difference.

Above, Before - Below, After rain.  Exact same place.

I kind of fell in love with Cave Junction.  The day after the drizzle the sky cleared up - this is looking south on the main street, below that looking north.

It even has a great bagel shop.

The local market is extraordinarily expensive - higher than California, but people can leave their dogs outside the door safely, below.

At the local laundramat.  

Below, the Hands Of God.

When I asked the guy inside the store about the bug, he told me it had to do with the two giant fly swatters hanging on the wall that were attached to the keys to the toilets.  It's an inside joke.

Going up Janet's driveway - do you see the deer?  Look at the next photo where I moved my truck up a little.

My latest experiment with the goddess faces I've been casting in cement.  I painted one of them and attached it to a flagstone.

David and Laura - hard to get them to let me photograph them.  This was while hiking to see a waterfall near the coast in Mendocino County.    

I love redwood trees.

It's always cooler at the coast.  We like to go on the 90 and above days.

One of the 5 paintings I've been working on about children and animals.

A still life photo of some things I bought at yard sales.  A chain with old religious medals on it, tin type photos and a very old greeting card.


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