The Broken Little Car.


Here is the good news, I bring you this image of the docks on the flathead lake. I had an amazing pancake breakfast, thought I’d have to drive here myself, potentially calling a tow truck which I cannot afford, but have have had my day turned into a fun road trip adventure. Its 4th of July eve! Neysa and I adventured through Taco Bell, a thrift store, and getting lost on the dirt roads. Someone has been shooting at the roadsigns again and we, with no cell signal, as always, missed quite a few turns.

As far as the car, I have the parts and jacks, but have run into a snag. The mounting hardware for the new shocks does not match that of the old shocks. I’m falling short on the funding for the alignment, having to instead purchase a few tools and plates for the upper bushings.
I am raising my funding goal, despite raising over the initial amount.
I am in need of a 15mm, 14mm, 13mm, deep sockets, as well as a 13mm articulated box wrench. Hopefully the local store will have these as well as a coating agent (not grease) for the hardware as well as a few nuts and bolts I can buy to piece together the upper assembly as the original and the new are different sizes. I was extremely lucky to bum a ride to Polson, MT today after discovering the parts could be sent to a shop there next day. Polson Auto Parts was nice enough to match the price I had found through the Monroe reseller. I should only be $50 off of my needed goal.

Please donate to my repair fund at GOfundme!IMG_2365.jpg

I will be hoping for the best. oddly enough, my American made car parts are in repair on the 4th. If its not become apparent, this is not as much a blog about art or travel or photography. I don’t want to sugar coat how “#vanlife” works in the real world. I have been traveling, roaming, housesitting, and backpacking off and on for most of the last decade. I bring out these posts to provide insight to what it means to be a traveling, working freelancer, on a normal budget, with bills and setbacks. Everything from cutting mat board on a pick-nick table in a national forrest, to automotive repairs which hinder travel. there is a vast unseen element in solo travel. I love every minute of it. But, this lifestyle isn’t glamorous. It’s hardworking and stressful, but rewarding simultaneously.


A few good golden moments

img_2351IMG_2357I am dealing with a delay regarding the car and have been for the past few days. It’s just the basic suspension and bushing issues. Though it has been dampening my abilities to make it through the mountains and spend a week driving out to the Mojave. I have started a go fund me, since I am between paydays and projects, as my finances are short. I either have the money for gas or the suspension repair, but not both. The silver lining is that my friend’s wonderful neighbor has all the tools and equipment to help me do the over haul. I couldn’t be more grateful having a talented mechanic next door. The people in this region really do care about the well being of their neighbors. And it shows in so many ways.

After weighing out my luggage, it has become apparent that the suspension is going out regardless of the weight of my gear. to balance out most of the costs, Ive listed and sold my canon 1d. so, I will be traveling with only the EM5 and no back ups. I should be able to barter a 5d upon arriving in LA. fingers crossed. I will miss the Flathead Valley more than I’d like to admit.

This is the link for my GofundMe posting.

As always, I also bring you a wonderful image of a Montana sunrise.

Something old

Breaking from my normal routine and photography, I am once again r organizing the car. In my cleaning, I reopened a portfolio I picked up from my brother in Dayton. This is one that I have not really been through in the last decade. To my surprise, it is filled with many old and cherished lithographs, etchings, and serigraphs. I am hoping to find new homes for these guys. Most of this is old student work from either dayton or bowling green. Needless to say I’ve spent too much of the day in nostalgia. On Monday or Tuesday I’m off to Barstow, Ca, packing these back away.

The Rodeo Was in Town.


You know what they say, full frame is the way to go. Oh wait, these are actually a wonderful delight. Not only have I never been to a rodeo before, I’d never used a M43 camera for sports photography. Neysa and I went to the annual rodeo and I only brought the Olympus. Its strange how much fun can be had on a Saturday night, when the sun sets after 10pm. We never figured out if this was a BYOB event or exclusively an $8 beer event, but the town was out in full western gear. And to dispel a common misconception, at least 25% of the attendees did not stand for the anthem. Albeit the town of Hot Springs is adjacent and partially on reservation lands. This little town proves time and again that rural people are not the insane rightwing nut jobs that the world has made them out to be. There are indeed places where farm culture and, gasp, normal people can coincide. Needless to say, I have been thoroughly enjoying this little slice of near wilderness. I learned all the intricacies of the amateur rodeo circuit. Honestly, I’ve never known much about horses and livestock. But what I’ve learned is that every action that may appear to be inhumane to the animals has a deep rooting in practical ranching. Not industrial ranching, which is without contest, a brutal vile practice. Rather, the roping, barrel racing, and bull riding, all stem from skills that ranchers needed to learn in order to successfully maintain their herds.  I fear that this will not be my last rodeo.

I hope this little photo essay enriches someone’s day.

Postal Service is GO!!


Traveling and shipping orders has its draw backs. A week to order supplies, 35 miles to pick them up. Forget a few things. Add a few more days to rally more supplies. Yet, after a week of matting and packing, interwoven with shooting schedules, This fine package of prints is ready. I’m rather impressed as my car makes up most of my office/studio.

A Day of Busy Work Deserves a Cat

LCAS4357.jpgThere have been a few funny ups and downs the past few days, but this happens while fighting the rain, mechanical difficulties, and a large pile of mat board. Ive huddled myself away for the past two days, cutting and gluing, and building boxes. I have so much photo busy work ahead of me. And so much work to ship out.

This cat will never let there be a (quiet) bad day.

Travel Woes

P5090051.jpgToday I am taking off from shooting. I’d been planning to venture around the Flathead Valley for a multi day trip, circling the wildlife areas of the south, the Mission Mountains, and the northern end of the Flathead Lake. The goal was to find more bison to photograph and incorporate some of the stunning sunrises that I can never wake up early enough for. I’m all packed up, pending an hour of coolant work on the car. Instead, today became centered on the coolant system, after many debacles flushing the system the night before. If you read back to the earliest posts in this blog, you’d see that while being mechanically adept with bicycles, suspension and small electronics, cars are not always my best subject. The blog even acquired its name from an old travel friend who referred to an old bronica camera I repaired as a fortunate toaster, amazed that I cared so much about a kitchen appliance, until she realized it was just my camera.

But no. No roadtrips today. In the process of bleeding out my ancient coolant, which has been loosing its fight with the Montana heat and never ending sun, the system refuses to push coolant through and may be leading clogged parts. The heat went out. I almost had to send a friend to plains 45minutes out, to get a few hoses, thermostat and radiator cap/valve. But after some wrenching this morning, it came back to life, the heat came back on and we are back to being road worthy. The clog appears to have flushed out in a gush of rust and debris. 110,000 miles will do that to a small 4 cylinder coupe.

None the sooner, returning from a 30 minute excursion to the only gas station, I dove into the local diner, PJ’s, for a pancake before the closed at 2pm. country life often has me up at early times. I spent a while talking about the guy next to me, Don Angle. Turns out this town collects Ohio people as well as some extremely talented photographers.

I headed off to the house determined to work and camp out in the backyard. Maybe I’d get a chance to catch the sunrise with the camera.  Yet, in the morning I woke in a quite large puddle after testing out the new tent in a storm. the view was too awash with clouds and fog, despite having to rush and check camera stuff to determine how much water got where. Luckily, no water damage, just my pride spent fighting the intermittent rain to dry out the gear.

I keep telling myself that tomorrow may be bison day!