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Archive for December, 2016

When we visited California earlier this spring, I was fascinated by the trees.

“I like that tree,” I’d tell Jeff. A minute later, I’d see another: “Oh, that one’s nice.”

It wasn’t just trees, though. I loved the flowers, the succulents, the plants that flourished in tidily maintained spaces and those that found life on bare rock faces and in the sand.

When we returned to California this fall, that same fascination arose, as well as the same, often one-sided conversations.

“That succulent is really nice. Did you see that tree, and its bark?”

We spent our last full afternoon in California in Carmel-by-the-Sea, a seaside town known for its fairytale-like cottages and storybook-like village center. It was utterly charming, but it just so happens the only pictures I made there were at two very different churches — and their respective gardens.

First up, San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission, otherwise known as the Carmel Mission.

© 2016. San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. San Carlos Borroméo de Carmelo Mission in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

Then, we happened to pass by a smaller church whose garden — open to the public — was pure joy.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Church of the Wayfarer garden in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

That’s it for my fall California film — but rest assured, there’s a boatload of New Zealand film at the lab this very minute!

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When Jeff and I spent an all-too-brief weekend in Monterey, Calif., with my brother Matt and his family, touring the Monterey Peninsula’s 17-Mile Drive was a very last-minute decision. I’d previously read briefly about the drive, which navigates private neighborhoods, upscale golf courses and the Pacific coastline, but wasn’t quite sold on the idea until about 30 minutes into it. To everybody’s surprise, driving the 17 miles ended up taking several hours because there were so many beautiful stops along the way, and turned out to be a magnificent way to spend almost the entirety of a beautiful, late October morning.

We started our drive at the Highway 1 gate, where the toll guard handed us a brochure with descriptions of 21 designated points of interest. First up were Shepherd’s Knoll and Huckleberry Hill in the Del Monte Forest:

© 2016. Morning fog in the Del Monte Forest on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Morning fog in the Del Monte Forest on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. The Del Monte Forest, as seen from the Shepherd's Knoll vista point on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. The Del Monte Forest, as seen from the Shepherd’s Knoll vista point on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Huckleberry bushes on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Huckleberry bushes on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

After we meandered back down toward sea level, the views suddenly changed:

© 2016. The Restless Sea vista point on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. The Restless Sea vista point on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

After you pass the Inn & Links at Spanish Bay, the drive follows the Pacific coast through to the end. While much of the actual coastline is rocky and off-limits to visitors, Spanish Bay was a beautiful beach with picnic tables and wooden boardwalks.

© 2016. Spanish Bay on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Spanish Bay on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Spanish Bay on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Spanish Bay on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Spanish Bay on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Spanish Bay on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Portra 400, Pentax 6×7.

After Spanish Bay, many of the points of interest began to blend in together, as the coastline became rockier.

© 2016. The Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. The Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. The Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. The Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. The Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. The Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. The Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. The Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Golfers tee off at the 14th hole of the Monterey Peninsula Country Club's Dune Course near Point Joe alongside 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Golfers tee off at the 14th hole of the Monterey Peninsula Country Club’s Dune Course near Point Joe alongside 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. A flock of birds over the Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. A flock of birds over the Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. The Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. The Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. The Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. The Restless Sea on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Pescadero Point on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Pescadero Point on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

So many views on 17-Mile Drive were breathtaking, and well worth the $10-per-vehicle toll. We took our time going through it on a Monday morning, and never felt crowded at the stopping points except at Bird Rock. Golf enthusiasts may enjoy getting the chance to pass through at least six different golf courses on the drive, while bird watchers have several points at which they can observe various shorebirds.

© 2016. The Lone Cypress on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. The Lone Cypress on 17-Mile Drive in Monterey County, California. Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Ektar +2, Pentax 6×7.

And for two photographers and the parents of two young, walking children? The drive was a great way to kill a few hours and burn through a couple of rolls of film.

More California/Carmel-by-the-Sea film coming up, soon!

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Jeff and I won’t see my family for Christmas this year, so when we found super-cheap roundtrip flights to Los Angeles, we immediately arranged a somewhat impromptu trip to meet my brother Matt and his family in Monterey at the end of October.

On our way from LAX to Monterey, Jeff and I stopped at Morro Bay just as the sun was sinking into the clouds over the horizon.

© 2016. Morro Bay, California. Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Morro Bay, California. Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Morro Bay, California. Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Morro Bay, California. Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Morro Bay, California. Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Morro Bay, California. Saturday, Oct. 29, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6×7.

We met up with Matt, Emily, Layla and Henry in Monterey, where we shared a big hotel suite for the weekend, and the next morning we all piled into a minivan to Big Sur. From there, we’d work our way back up north on Highway 1.

© 2016. Layla at Lucia Lodge off Highway 1 on Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Layla at Lucia Lodge off Highway 1 on Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 400+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Big Sur in Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Big Sur in Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

On the drive down to our southernmost point of the trip, the weather was gnarly — once, we pulled over so I could look at a vista, and my hair blew out sideways in the pelting rain as soon as I opened the car door. So we took a long, leisurely lunch in Lucia before heading back north. Fortunately, this tactic paid off at the very, very end.

© 2016. Mill Creek Picnic Area off Highway 1 in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Mill Creek Picnic Area off Highway 1 in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Mill Creek Picnic Area off Highway 1 in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Mill Creek Picnic Area off Highway 1 in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. Layla and the bubbles at Mill Creek Picnic Area off Highway 1 in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. Layla and the bubbles at Mill Creek Picnic Area off Highway 1 in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. McWay Falls trail in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. McWay Falls trail in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. McWay Falls trail in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. McWay Falls trail in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

© 2016. View from McWay Falls trail in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6x7.

© 2016. View from McWay Falls trail in Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park in Big Sur, Monterey County, California. Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016. Portra 160+1, Pentax 6×7.

(more…)

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