Well I finally got my truck back and boy was it about time….! I dropped it off at the mechanics last Friday and since then I’ve been stranded at my cousins in Encinitas. Luckily I have a place to stay which I’m very thankful for but other then the two adventures with Bradley I’ve been cooped up inside and it was starting to make me feel stir crazy… Long story short, as soon as I got my truck back yesterday I hit the road right away and drove north towards the desert. My first destination on the itinerary was George Air Force Base which is all but abandoned excluding a select handful of buildings. The buildings were thrashed to hell, scrapped and saturated in paintball spray making it less than ideal for the images I was looking for. Sometimes I enjoy that level of carnage but there was nothing of interest left in any of the buildings I explored so it definitely dumbed down the experience. Here are some shots of the first building I explored which was a hospital back in its hay day.
The next building I explored was also pretty destroyed but was cool in its own way… The winds had blown numerous tumbleweeds into the entrance which was something I had personally never seen or shot. Something so small might seem insignificant but I think paying attention to small details can be one of the most rewarding aspects to exploring, photography and life in general. Thats why I love photography! Its made me appreciate even the most subtle details! Clouds casting shadows on a mountain side, an authentic human reaction or expression of emotion…. all of these things I look at and see the beauty in.
After finishing up at the Air Force base I continued to head north to make my way towards Owens lake. My plan was to camp that night and then explore the numerous gold mines and abandoned towns around the lake the next morning. It became pretty apparent as I started to make my way north that a big storm was rolling in… My ambitions of shooting the milky way that night quickly faded as the reality set in that I wasn’t going to be camping at Owens Lake. I decided to head back towards San Diego and find somewhere to camp that would at the very least offer some interesting photo opportunities. Earlier in the day I had driven past one of the central intersections for the west coast rail lines which caught my eye. Not only do I love trains and locomotives but the landscape surrounding the various intersecting train tracks was stunning so I figured that might be my best bet. By the time I reached the area it was dark out so navigating to a potential camp spot was a challenge. The property I parked on was owned by the railroad but luckily I parked discreetly and wasn’t bothered. Here are some pictures from that night as well as the following morning when I shot the warm morning light.
My night of sleep was filled with the distant rumbling of cargo trains in my dreams. I awoke the following morning to a noticeably colder, damper and windier environment then I had fallen asleep in. A storm was brewing in the sky and I had a feeling that maybe it would be a good day to seek shelter. The weather forecast was warning of torrential rain and extreme winds which to me was good enough reason to go back to San Diego and stay with my cousin. I tried to make the most of my journey back south and stopped at an abandoned learning center in San Bernardino. The building was definitely a virgin find as there was not a single sign of graffiti or metal scrapping! Unfortunately there wasn’t much of anything left besides some old files, some dead kittens and other rodents… Gross but surprisingly interesting seeing an animals corpse semi “petrified” like this. I know its not technically petrified but you get what I mean when you see the picture. After shooting all the interesting stuff I could find in the building I continued on my way back to San Diego.
I just got back from one of my most exhausting explorations to date and have over 1500+ photos to go through! Stay tuned for that in the next blog post!