California Road Trip, Part 3

 

Continuing my epic road trip to California and back…

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Day 6

 

 

By day 3 in Berkeley I had a rhythm of going to the French Hotel and Coffee Bar on Shattuck to pick up some pastries and coffee, then heading over to Chelsea’s house. She seemed thankful for the Cafe Mocha that morning but it sort of looks like Otis is in need of it even more.

 

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One of the cool things about staying at Airbnb spots is seeing homes uniquely designed.

 

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My hosts in Berkeley had devised a pretty cool way to both display and have available their collection of earrings. they simply hooked them on the bottom of the sheer curtain in the guest bathroom.  I don’t know if it originally was a way to keep the curtain weighted when the window was open and the wind was blowing, but it made for a fun and unexpected design element in the bathroom.

 

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And here was another design element in the bathroom I thought was pretty cool. It was a functional art piece on the wall and I liked it!  And no, I did not steal any of the belts, though the green one was tempting!

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Graham had to rehearse for a big show he was going to be in so Chelsea, Otis and I took a foray into the hills of Berkeley. We went up to the very top of the area, to Tilden Regional Park.  It is a beautiful and serene spot not at all far from the bustle of the East Bay.  We chose Lake Anza because Chelsea could sit and nurse Otis while I went on a run around the lake and presumably I would not get lost. I took a few spurs off the lake not realizing it but I made my way back without too much consternation on anyone’s part.

 

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This is about a 3rd of the way around the lake. Chelsea and Otis are just to the right of the marker in the water in the middle of the image.  On the left is a popular beach that allows you to swim in the lake. It even has lap lanes beyond the play swim area. I thought that was a pretty cool idea.

 

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Right after taking the vista shot of the lake I turned was about to restart my run when I found this fellow fetching balls while wearing a doggie floatie vest.  I immediately thought of a friend of mine back in Tulsa, Rosemary Dougherty, who has a serious love affair with all things bulldog.  I knew it would make her happy to see him and it did.

 

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In the meanwhile, this is the trail I was running. I thought I was going to be running a flat trail around a lake, but it was anything but. It was a challenge! I twisted my foot at one point but didn’t really feel it until that night and it wasn’t serious.

 

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When I returned Otis was a happy camper, as you can tell!  

 

 

After Otis was filled we took a hike down Chelsea’s favorite trail.  It was easier than the running trail I found, that is for sure. We think of redwoods as being in big forests all by themselves but throughout Northern California there are many places they grow in and among a wide range of trees.  Tilden Park is one of those places.

 

 

Along the trail we found an old pump house.  I loved the stone around the empty window and had Chelsea and Otis sit in it for a portrait.

 

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I got Chelsea to take one of me as well.

 

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Chelsea kept Otis in the wrap for the entire hike. It was long and got a bit warm by Berkeley standards (still felt cool to someone from Oklahoma though). It translated into both of them being very tired when we returned to her apartment and they settled into a nice nap.

 

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While they slept Graham and I walked down to Shattuck Avenue, to an area of Berkeley known as the Gourmet Ghetto.  Destination: The Cheese Board.  As you can tell from the line in the photo, it is a popular place.  It sells only one type of pizza per day.  No choice.  It’s listed on a board but all those people in line? They don’t check first to see what the type is for that day. They know it will be great and they are going to get it no matter what. We were the same way. Turned out ours was fantastic, with guacamole and cilantro and peppers and sausage (if I remember correctly). YUM!  They also had a cool jazz band playing.  It was quintessential Berkeley.

 

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Later that night Otis’ Godmother Lina came over to see Otis and meet me for the first time.  We hung around for a long time talking about all sorts of things. She had just returned from her umpteenth time at Burning Man so she had lots of stories to tell. Chelsea and she gave me the low down on how to prepare and experience Burning Man in case I ever make it to the event.  I want to and hope to within the next few years!

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Next up: The road trip home!

You can read part 1 here and part 2 here.

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Hidden Yoga On The Rocks – Photographic Sunday

 

Muse

Recently I did a fitness photo shoot at Chandler Park here in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  I was using the shoot as a scouting trip for a larger shoot I am planning with my PHOTOG group I help lead here in town.

I was originally thinking of the shoot as being runners and cyclists but then decided Yoga would be best in an environment of rocks, cliffs and tree roots.

I knew A friend of mine, BR, who had modeled for me before, was doing Yoga regularly and asked her if, once again, she would model for me.  She was more than up for it and these photos are the result of our collaboration.

It was fun, but it was not an easy shoot.  The landscape was rocky, with fallen trees, sheer rock faces and trails that went up and down at steep angles.   In addition it was a hot and steamy morning that had us sweating from the git go.  While I had to carry a camera and a few bags and that took some effort, BR did the bulk of the hard work, posing in intense yoga poses, climbing up and down high stone monoliths, balancing on very small spaces very high up.  She’s a fantastic muse who inspires me with her courage, creativity, intelligence, beauty and fitness.

 Hidden Yoga

Around this same time I gave a lecture at my photo group called ‘The Photo Essay’ in which I explained some details of what constitutes a photo essay and what gave examples from photographers past and present.  

I chose a small group of images from my Yoga shoot that I felt held together as an essay on the idea of the yoga practitioner being hidden in the landscape.

 

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Yoga on the Rocks

There were a number of other photos where BR was not so well hidden. That group is titled ‘Yoga on the Rocks’.  Here is a selection.

 

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Through it all BR kept a smile (except when I asked her not to) and a great attitude!

 

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Photographs by Marty Coleman

 

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What Can Your Wealth Live Without? – Wealth #8

 

After a bit of time away from drawing I am back on my Wealth Series.

 

Wealth #8 - 2014

Without

A typical biography will often have a line in it that goes something like this, “We didn’t have much money growing up, but we never felt poor.”  Why is that?  Why do some poor families feel poor and others not? What is it that divides them?

Who is Wealthy?

Of course, necessities are one thing.  People who don’t have a safe roof over their heads, who can’t get enough to eat, likely they feel as poor as they are.  But just up from that level of poverty, what about the family who can’t afford vacations or new cars or cable TV or new clothes?  Why do one of those families feel poor and another not?  I would think often it would be about comparisons made with others.  Not necessarily by the kids, but by the parents. The parents might be constantly saying, “I wish we had this, or I wish we could do that.”

The Never Ending Climb

You would think that wouldn’t be a big deal the wealthier you get. But the truth is it gets MORE severe the more money you have.  One family takes ski vacations to Aspen, but your family can only afford to ski locally in Vermont.  Sounds silly that one would feel deprived, but if the parents are constantly harping on how they can’t afford something then the kids will learn they indeed don’t have enough no matter how much they have.

Appreciation and Gratitude vs Envy

The key for me is appreciation and gratitude.  For example, I appreciate my little charcoal grill out back. I don’t look at it and see that I don’t have the same giant gas grill my friend has, I look at it and see the enjoyment I am getting from cooking on it. I am grateful for it. If someday I need a new grill I will figure out how big I need it to be for me and my family and I will do my best to get that grill. But it won’t be because of envy over what someone else has, it will be based on my need and what I can afford. And I will be happy with that.

 

You can see the entire Wealth Series here

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Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman

Quote by Epicurus, 341 – 270 B.C., Greek philosopher – Find out more about Epicurus here.

 

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Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

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California Road Trip, Part 2

 

Hello again Napkin Kin! Here is the part 2 of my epic road trip to the west coast this past week.  

 

Day 4

 

 

Since Chelsea and Graham live in a studio apartment with a new born, my housing was obviously going to be elsewhere. I found a great Airbnb spot about 6 blocks away in the Berkeley Hills.  This is their living room overlooking the small winding street below.  Edrie and her partner JoAnn were friendly and hospitable hosts, with coffee in a French press ready for me each morning.

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Chelsea’s family unit had an appointment on Tuesday morning so I was solo for a few hours. I took advantage of the time to get my first run in. I had to return the U-Haul trailer and the location was way down in flats of Berkeley, near the San Francisco Bay. I figured there had to be running trails near the bay and I found a great one that goes for miles and miles.  Within that trail was a loop that went out into the bay towards the Berkeley Marina.  It was there that I found Cesar Chavez Park, with a great latticework of dirt and asphalt trails.

The sky was overcast and the air was cool with that fantastic California ocean breeze.  After a summer of 90 + degree running days in Tulsa, it was exhilarating to run in cooler temps.  It wasn’t just the temps but the surroundings. This little peninsula of a park was beautiful and natural. You would not know you were in the middle of one of the most densely populated areas of the United States, that is for sure.  But as I crested over a little hill in the middle of the park I realized where I was.

 

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It may look like just a trail with water in the background but look close.  The water leads to a bridge on the left, which leads to a city which lead to another bridge in the center right.   One of the best things about running in new places is how you always end up seeing that place in ways you can’t anticipate.  Seeing the Bay Bridge, San Francisco and the Golden Gate Bridge all at the same time from this angle was fantastic.  It was so cool I made this loop about 3 times, going 2 miles further than I had planned, just so I could experience it longer.

 

 

Then of course there is the more mundane angle to a run. What can be a majestic bay is always a small and intimate one with birds and mud and grass just like the Arkansas River back home or any other body of water. But look close again and there are always things to admire and wonder at.

 

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Here is another thing runners often see that others don’t, the homeless.  Of course in most cities you don’t find them waking up with this view. A night outdoors might be a tad bit easier on the SF Bay, but overall I have a feeling the burden is the same no matter where it is.

 

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As I turned around at the halfway point of my run I glimpsed the BerkeleyMarina and the Berkeley Hills from whence I had come.

 

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When I returned the Coleman-Patzner family were folding laundry and playing.  No worries, he isn’t about to break his neck. He does a lot of backward and upward bending motions and his neck is already quite strong. I experienced it first hand. Not bad for a 6 week old!

 

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Otis and I hung out on the porch for a while. He was quite mesmerized by the amazing stories of my many road trips, as you can tell. 

 

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So much so that it wore him out. Here he is dreaming of going on an epic road trip with Papa Marty.

Even though Linda wasn’t there, I knew it was what she would have done so Chelsea, Otis and I went on a shopping trip that afternoon, getting stuff for the kitchen and the rest of the apartment.  We also got fixins for a family dinner.

 

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Graham’s parents, Curt and Karla Patzner, came over for dinner. I had met Karla before but hadn’t met Curt. I liked him because well, he had a nice hat. What more did I need to know, right?  I made Linda’s famous Smoked Salmon Pasta with lemon and Dill. It went over pretty well!

 

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Day 5

It was babysitting day for me!  Graham and Chelsea took a break in the afternoon to go see a movie and Papa Marty and Mr. Otis had our first bonding time alone.

 

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But first Graham got Otis all ready for our big adventure. I don’t know Graham all that well, having only met him a few times, once when I visited California last year and another when Chelsea and he came to Oklahoma on their own epic road trip in the spring.  That trip was a 6 week music tour around the entire US of A in a little Saturn car while Chelsea was preggers so yes, it was truly epic!  Graham has been a very attentive and hands on father, playing with Otis, changing diapers, just taking care of business as a father. It’s been good to see.

 

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While he slept I did a bit of work in the kitchen, moving out the fridge to put in a plug and mopping the floor.  After that we went for a walk around the neighborhood.  I introduced him to the jungle that is in the Berkeley Hills, with an elephant standing guard in a corner yard.

 

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It was made of old pieces of tires. It was amazing.

 

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A lot of Berkeley is amazing. While most homes don’t have huge land mammals in their yards, most of the homes have fantastic flowers and landscaping in their hilly lots. The homes are of all sorts, with a large percentage being of the Arts and Crafts movement, one of my favorite architectural styles.

The day ended with us going out to a Himalayan Restaurant on Shattuck Avenue in what is known as the Gourmet Ghetto area of Berkeley. It is too, amazing amount of restaurants in a very short stretch.  It was really good!

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California Road Trip

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3 

 

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California Road Trip – Part 1

Hello Napkin Kin!

I’ve been gone on an epic solo road trip to Berkeley, California and back.  It was 9 days, 3,675 miles and 62 hours in the car.  I took 2.5 days to get there and 3 to get back with 3 and 1/2 days in Berkeley visiting my daughter Chelsea and partner Graham along with my first Grandson, Otis!  

I didn’t post here during the trip because I posted on instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr instead. I figured I would show you the pics in 2-3 posts.

Airbnb

I have done similar trips before where I pushed it to 2 days and even 30 hours straight but I decided to do a little Airbnbing this time around.  Do you know what Airbnb.com is? It’s an online room renting service.  I first used it back in 2012 for 4 days in New York City when I spoke at Blog World. I rented a room in a little apartment in the West Village and loved it. So on this trip I not only found rooms on the trip out and back but stayed 4 days in Berkeley at an Airbnb home as well. Chelsea and Graham live in a studio apartment with a newborn so staying with them was NOT going to be happening.

So, here are the pics from the way out + some bonus ones only YOU get to see. Aren’t you special?!

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Day One

 

I was also pulling a trailer full of furniture on the way out.  It was a couple of beds, a dresser and miscellaneous tables for them to put in their little studio space. I started off on Saturday around noon after coaching my running group. I ran 9 miles which I thought wouldn’t be so long a run as to make a long road trip immediately afterward unbearable. I was right, my legs and the drive were fine.  My goal was to get to Albuquerque, New Mexico by 10pm or so.

 

 

I wasn’t deep in the heart of Texas, more along the edge, but the Panhandle is about as Texas as it gets.  I loved the simple design of the two stars, one a shadow cutout, the other a window to the sky.  Texas has some of the best tourist info areas, always well designed and interesting.

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Texas Information Center, Texas Panhandle

 

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If you are wondering of West Texas is a flat as they say?  Yes, it is.

 

 

I hit the New Mexico border at sunset and was able to grab a shot of the sun setting in the Land of Enchantment.

 

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Day Two

 

 

 

The flowers outside my first stop, an Airbnb room in Albuquerque, were amazing – especially after the sun rose and they were brightly lit.

 

 

I took off early and as I turned my first corner leaving town I found this rising to greet me as the day dawned.

 

 

Later in the day I hit the high desert area of California. The Mojave Desert to be exact. It’s not all one big sand dune, most deserts aren’t actually. But it is arid and stark. But that arid starkness leads to incredible beauty and exquisite design.

 

 

This was taken in Boron, California. When I was a kid there was a cleaning product called 24 Mule Team Borax. I always knew it came from here, Boron in the high desert. And now I’ve seen it.

 

 

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I spent night 2 at a fantastic Airbnb location in Tehachapi, California. It is also in the high desert, at the western edge right before you travel down into the central valley and Bakersfield.  Richard was my host and he was attentive, interesting and engaging.  We talked about our mutual lives (he had lived 40 years in Hawaii as a dive instructor) before I went to bed. 

The house was built by a silent screen star named Thelma after her retirement in the 60s and he had spent the past year doing renovations to the place. It was immaculate.

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Day 3

 

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He had an indoor pool that I was able to swim in in the morning. It is solar heated and was fantastic. Yes, that is a rubber ducky in my hand and no, that is not my tail coming out behind me.

 

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My first official stop in California was at the home of Cyndi and Darrell Blaschak in Livermore.  Cyndi is the younger sister of my exwife Kathy.  In addition to furniture for Chelsea I had brought on piece, an old sled bed, for Kathy as well. She had left it with me when she had moved back to California from Tulsa in 2004 or so. And now, 10 years later, I was bringing it back. Unfortunately Kathy lives far north of San Francisco and I wasn’t able to get all the way up there so I dropped it off at Cyndi’s house for safe keeping.  

It was great to see Cyndi and Darrell again.  I started dating Kathy in 1979 when Cyndi was only about 14 years old so I have known her a long time. She is now a mother of 3 as well as an incredibly active athlete.

 

 

And then finally I had arrived at my destination, Otis.  Yes, I was going to Berkeley, but I was really going to Otis. He’s only 6 weeks old here. After our introductions Mr. Otis settled down and started to get used to Papa Marty.

 

 

Since I still had the trailer attached to the car I wasn’t sure if I would be able to find a parking place at my Airbnb spot nearby. So Chelsea and I hiked the Berkeley Hills for close to a mile to find the spot. On the way Mr. Otis went to his very first library. It was a free library on the street.

 

 

Chelsea, Otis and I had dinner at Cafe Gratitude. I chose the ‘I am Humble’ for my dinner but I felt Iwas all those things as I watched my daughter take care of my first Grandson. 

 

 

As we walked home the sun fired it’s last rays into the Berkeley sky.  I am blessed.

 

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California Road Trip

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

 

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