Bodie, CA

It’s a ghost town. An abandoned mining town where people come and press their noses against the windows of rotting homes to see what chaos has long been left behind.

I head down to the school-house to see the dusty old desks and the writing on the chalkboard. I walk up to one of the windows, and I straddle the rocks that are stacked right below it. (You’ll see them under most of the windows in the town. They’re for people to stand on should they not be tall enough to see in over the sill.) As I smash my face into the glass to see inside the school, a little girl trots over and stands right in front of me. She balances on the rocks below the window, but even on the tips of her toes she is still too short. I ask her if she wants help seeing in, and without looking at me  she tells me yes. I grab hold under her arms and lift her up. She leans forward and bumps her head into the window pane, forcing her magenta baseball cap to push back and almost fall off.

“What’s that?” she asks, referring to a cracked beige ball on the other side of the window.

“It’s a globe,” I tell her.

She doesn’t know what that is, and when I explain to her that it’s supposed to have a picture of the world on it, she asks what happened to the picture.

“The sun faded it away,” I say.

“Why?”

And I tell her it’s because it stayed in front of the window too long.

“We should move it,” she says.

“Yeah. I don’t think we’re allowed to though,” I say. Pus, I think, that’s what people like about Bodie– they like that it hasn’t moved.

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Bishop, CA

Those paintings that I see all the time with a field of tall green grass, maybe a run down barn or fence, horses grazing, a stream, and snow topped mountains– I think I just found the real thing. Eastern Sierras. No picture. I think I’ll just buy a painting one day.

Cabazon, CA

Saw some dinosaurs today at the World`s Biggest Creatures roadside attraction and creationist museum. I climbed up inside a T-rex and looked out his mouth onto the four cars in the parking lot. I`m genuinely happy my $6.95 helped fund this funny place.

Salton City, CA

Drove out to the Salton Sea yesterday looking for pieces of the decaying community that I saw online (Google Image search). Turned down a street that had some decapitated palms and got out of my car only to find myself standing on the bones of some dead animal. Took pictures of the charred trailers and houses, and started to move in closer, curious with what the insides of the thrashed homes looked like, when through the lens I saw I was also photographing a person who had been lying on a mattress in the front doorway, his head the only part of him poking out. I backed away. It was daylight but all I could hear was two little kids screaming and a dead palm frond flapping against a fence.

La Jolla, CA

I visited a friend in La Jolla yesterday. I made six U-turns on the way to his house up in the hills. I was almost frustrated until I rounded one of the hillside corners and saw all of La Jolla and the Pacific laid out in front of me below. I sat on my friend`s deck facing the ocean from sunset to night, drinking margaritas, eating Middle Eastern food, and listening to his teenage son celebrate with friends the start of summer vacation. I didn’t take a picture of the view. It probably wouldn’t have looked right in a frame anyway.