Last weekend, instead of doing traditional Mother’s Day things, my family and I headed downtown to the Truckee River to watch some kayakers. The Reno River Festival has been around for 11 years and features world-class kayakers in a variety of competitions on the water. The event has struggled in the past and the weather here isn’t always predictable but this day was perfect. The skies were blue, the air was warm and the crowds were just right.
If you have been reading my 52Rolls adventures, you probably already know that I happened into a big, box of vintage cameras and been having all kinds of fun figuring out which cameras work or what they do. It has been a big inspiration on getting through a roll of film each week. It has also increased the price of this little project significantly. But, it’s all for the love of film, right?
A bigger bonus in the box of cameras was the discovery of FOUR rolls of exposed film that had not been processed. If you are a film geek like me, this is a Christmas treasure. Just imagine what wonderful images could possibly be on those rolls of film? Treasures from the past.
It did not even remotely occur to me that I didn’t know who had taken the photos or that they might be weird/obscene/ruin my perfectly normal relationship with the film developer that I have been sending film to this year. Not, that is, until AFTER I had sent them off. A twinge of worry set it at that moment and did not go away until I got the email. This could end up very awkward.
The Darkroom sends an email when they receive your film and then when it has been processed so you can see it online. They also send prints or your negatives back to you in the mail. I love this place.
The email came that two rolls were blank. I was bummed. Disappointed. Then, I waited another day before a new email arrived.
“Your Images Have Been Processed.”
THE OTHER TWO HAD IMAGES! I was so excited. It really was Christmas for me.
Thankfully, the photos were perfectly normal and probably boring to most people. What.A.Relief.
And, since I do actually know the person who knew the people (his family) that the cameras had belonged to, we went on a mission to discover what/who/where/when for the following photos. Enjoy!
The following shots are of a 1967 Ford Mustang. My friend still owns this car and it is his favorite. I think it tinkled him to discover the photos of the car on the old camera. Partially, because the camera was his mom’s and … well, you know how that stuff goes. The best part of this story is that THIS car in THESE photos was how I met my friend in the first place. He ran into the back of my 1987 Suzuki Samurai with this beautiful Mustang. I was so mad at him that I was speechless. The damage was minor, we were in a parking lot at the time. I was pissed that he had scratched my car but even madder at him that he had scratched it with such a beautiful Mustang.
And, now, the photos have made it a full circle from my friend’s family all the way back to my friendship with him.
I believe there’s a little bit of kismet in these photos, don’t you think?
An interesting tidbit about Reno, Nevada, is that there is a nice art thing going on in “The Biggest Little City in the World.” Do you think of art and culture when you think of Reno? Hmmmm …
Reno is home to a month long summer celebration of art. Every July, Artown takes over and there are tons of daily activities from world-renown musicians to hometown heroes with all kinds of creative talents. Then, August swelters into September and Labor Day weekend is the pinnacle of the Burning Man festival on the playa of the Black Rock Desert not too far from the casino lights of town.
While I was on my photowalk with film a couple of weeks ago for the 52 Rolls project, I found a butterfly, a BIG one.
What on earth is a big, steel, butterfly thing doing next to the temporary ice rink in downtown Reno? Well, back to all of that stuff about art and Burning Man. This sculpture piece by Bryan Tedrick was part of an installation at Burning Man in 2008. The downtown renovation project brought the sculpture to this location last summer and the website lists it as temporary but I hope it stays.
If you think this looks interesting black and white, you should see some of the other artist’s photographs in color by light of the moon in the desert. Bryan’s website has several photos but a quick Google search shows how well photographed this sculpture is. There are a couple of interpretations on what the butterfly and flower-type petals represent but I’ll let you soak it in and decide what you see.
Throughout my childhood, this wonderful, old clock was always at the main shopping mall in Reno, Nevada, known as Park Lane Mall. The times have changed and that mall is long gone, now demolished and an empty parking lot. The clock, however, was saved and recently re-installed in downtown Reno. As a child, I had no idea how much history this clock held but, now, I know there is a storied past to this timepiece.
I took this photo as part of my film project with 52 rolls. This set was all taken with my Nikon FM2.
Back to the clock, there is a nice engraving that was added to the base of the clock that gives a good bit of information:
And, the photo turned into a little bit of a selfie for me, too. Bonus.
Downtown Reno isn’t the grandest of locations for such a spectacular clock but there is a renovation/revitalization effort in the area. I think this is a great place for the clock and a good reminder of the history that has happened in “The Biggest Little City.” I hope that it is well-taken care of in this spot and that people respect it.
Just look at the inner workings on this clock, they don’t make them like this anymore.
Where there’s smoke, there is no kayaking. Ugh.
In case you haven’t heard, there is a huge fire roaring on the edge of Yosemite in California aptly named The Rim Fire. Normally, a fire more than 100 miles away wouldn’t be that big of a deal. This is no ordinary fire. Currently, it has burned more than 250 square miles and all of that smoke is landing on Northern Nevada. It is so gross that there are major health advisories to stay indoors and, seriously, it is hard to breath. We are talking worse than Beijing air quality here, people!
So, that means I did not go kayaking last weekend and I will probably not go this weekend. And, ultimately, that is killing my summer goal of making it around Lake Tahoe via kayak. The weather and the water are cold. That’s not good for kayaking, either. Well, not when you don’t really have cold weather gear. My kayak buddy isn’t that into cold weather kayaking either. This is turning into a big bummer.
Let me show you how bad the smoke is. This is a comparison from my backyard:
And, here’s the sunrise:
And, for good measure, here is a shot taken by someone on a flight to Los Angeles. Those NASA people can even see the fire from the International Space Station:
Another one from the local newspaper, this is just how smoke-gross it is in downtown Reno. Photo by Marilyn Newton, RGJ.com:
Just south of Reno, there is a county park with some fantastic history. Bower’s Mansion hails from the heyday of mining on the Comstock and the riches of the wild west. The property has changed ownership several times and still struggles to survive but it remains, as beautiful as ever.
Throughout the month of June, the park as put on a Friday night “Programs on the Porch” series and I have gone with my family. Everyone is invited to bring a lawn chair and picnic dinner to enjoy free shows with everything from cowboy poetry to tales of the Donner Party.
This park is one of those magic places that reminds everyone of their childhood, no matter where you grew up or what parks you visited. There is a public swimming pool here fed from a natural hot spring. The grounds are beautiful, the trees majestic. If you have ever lived within a 100 miles of the park, you probably have more than one memory of a family picnic or school field trip to visit. There is even an old cemetery up the hill that you can hike to and the tour of the mansion by park rangers have inspired many campfire tales.
Here are a few of my Instagram photos from my family’s evenings at the park:
The cowboy in this photo is Richard Elloyan. Fantastic performer — we bought a couple of CDs that night.
I love the fountain in front of the mansion. The view over to the rest of the valley never disappoints.
I took quite a few photos inside the mansion but this one is my favorite. Legend is that the mistress of the mansion was a fortune teller … I wonder what her crystal ball shows for us in this shot?
I have a thing for old chandeliers and light fixtures. The light on this one was just right to get all of the red. That’s not a filter. The ceiling reflected red. Cool–creepy.
For more information on the history of the mansion and the park, please visit http://www.washoecounty.us/parks/parkdetails~pkid=1.
This is the first view from my new commute to work. I am now living in the valley instead of driving down from the mountain. And, this is just the same view from a different angle. Pretty awesome, eh? Pretty lucky to see this from my living room, too, huh? Ya, go ahead, be jealous.
I’m also using this opportunity to play with a new app on my phone. It’s called Pixl-O-Matic and it’s about the same thing as Instagram but it has tons more filters and you don’t have to share them in an Instagram feed if you don’t want to do it. Pixlr also has a couple of other photo editors available but this seems to be the easy, more playful model. Pixlr did not pay me to say that. The app is free and I like it.
Back to my commute view, I now drive through Washoe Valley by Little Washoe Lake. The lake itself is a part of a state park and wildlife preserve so there are tons of birds. The wind kicks up around here on a pretty regular basis so there are lots of opportunities for windsurfing but the lake isn’t really deep enough for big boats or anything like that. I do, however, plan to do some kayaking out there when the weather warms up a bit.
Once you are out of Washoe Valley and headed back toward Reno, you drive through Pleasant Valley. This was recently the main thoroughfare from Reno to Carson City. I am happy to report that there is a new freeway and this road has much less traffic. It’s almost like an old country road, including pastures with horses. I am going to have to get more comfortable with using cruise control, though. The speed limit is only 50 mph through here. Yikes.
My old drive was down from those mountains in the background. The sunrises from this angle are going to be awesome.
And, of course, my drive to work still includes this stop. Why can’t I break you, Starbuck’s, WHY?
I recently posted this photo as I had taken it pretty much straight out of camera. Then, I played with it a little bit in Instagram and shared with it with a few friends. My Instagram and Facebook accounts have pretty much blown up with comments and likes. So, I thought I would share it on here as well. It’s just another one from my daily commute. I literally just rolled the window down to take this picture. I didn’t even get out of the car.
This was taken from the Geiger Grade rest stop looking west at Mount Rose above Reno, Nevada.
I am just now blogging about the Great Reno Balloon Races because … well … someone else was Freshly Pressed for almost the same photographs a while back and I didn’t want to just copy them. But, I think my shots are pretty good, too. So, here goes! First, for more information on the event, please go to http://renoballoon.com/. It is a fantastic, FREE event that showcases some of the good stuff that Reno, Nevada, is all about … without ever going into a casino or brothel. (ha ha)