ROAD TRIP - March 2016

March saw our first visitor from the UK - my future brother-in-law - so it seemed good cause to rent a mid-sized (UK huge) SUV and see how much of California we could cram into six days of driving.

 

Our route was a little erratic. We headed first from San Francisco to Yosemite via Sacramento and a rather peculiar small town by the name of Groveland, which laid claim to the oldest bar in California and had a population of 601, a dozen of which decided to have a bar fight at 1am across from our 'serial killer vibe' motel. We then cut back across the state to Monterey via Big Sur, followed by another diversion to Joshua Tree before ending up in Los Angeles. The pictures below were all shot in auto mode as I wasn't confident enough at the time to shoot in any other mode.

 

 

SCENIC DRIVE TO MONTEREY

Most of my photos from Yosemite aren't the best, a combination of yet figuring out the manual mode and arriving at peak daylight, so there are only a couple here. However, it's hard to describe the enormity of the place and how overwhelmed and inconsequential you can feel stood in front of Half Dome or El Capitan.

 

After spending a day in Yosemite (we were certainly cramming) we headed diagonally back across the state and down the 101 to Monterey, taking in Big Sur and hundreds of mating Elephant Seals at - - - beach. Monterey was pleasant enough and it was awesome to recognize the buildings from Steinbeck's Cannery Row. I woke super early to get some sunrise shots over the bay, bothered only by flocks of screeching gulls and the distant sound of Elephant seals getting it on.

 

it's hard to describe the enormity of the place and how overwhelmed and inconsequential you can feel stood in front of Half Dome or El Capitan

VICTORVILLE ABANDONED AIRBASE

We came across the abandoned George Airforce Base at Victorville by accident following a wrong turn past what looked like a max security prison to try and get photographs of a very suspicious looking power station.

 

Turns out the airbase has been abandoned since 1993. Although I didn't think it was too creepy to see the buildings stripped to the bone and riddled with bullet holes, I did find it's location, literally miles from any kind of civilized life, very eery. I ran around for fifteen minutes or so before being ushered back into the car.

 

I would love to go back and take some night / dusk shots of the place.

 I didn't think it was too creepy to see the buildings stripped to the bone and riddled with bullet holes

FOGGY SANTA MONICA

I snuck out of our Motel before sunrise to get what I thought would be some attractive shots of the Venice Beach at sunrise. I had checked the weather the night before that stated there would be a short period of fog followed by brilliant sunshine.

 

As you can see, that was not the case. I wandered around for a couple of hours (freezing) and chatted to a very polite old fella who was stalking the beach with a metal detector.  The fog didn't budge until  midday, but I was quite happy with how moody muscle beach looked,

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