Ren Vasiliev
July 29, 2015 @ 8:31 AM

Pods and leaves on a shrub in a grocery store parking lot.


Yard art.


Street art.


Honest yams at a very good soulfood place. And the yams are yummy!

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July 15, 2015 @ 4:11 AM

I've seen more things than I could photograph, like the guy who thought he was so cool in his 2015 red Mustang but his gas cap was hanging out from under the gas cap cover that he somehow had managed to close on it without noticing. Really.


In Bishop, California, my hotel was next to a restaurant that was highly recommended, and it was a bowling alley! I ate at the bar and met a lovely couple; she's a teacher so we had subjects in common. When I suggested that we bowl a game, she was excited and we got her boyfriend, who was quiet, to join us. I had to buy socks from a vending machine.


In Tucumcari, New Mexico, I stayed at one of the original US Route 66 motels that has since changed hands a number of times. It...............

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July 13, 2015 @ 4:12 AM

Or, why I went to New Mexico: I took a short course on Astrophysics in the 21st Century, which is all done with radiotelescopes. We think of optical telescopes when we think of looking into the sky. But the optical ones provide opaque images, so we cannot see through the images we get to see what is behind those stars or galaxies or whatever else we might see. Radio waves, however, are able to penetrate beyond the visual wavelengths and show us what else there is. Here is an example of a quasar that we could not see otherwise:

Image courtesy of NRAO/AUI. An explanation of this can be found at NRAO.

The Very Large Array (VLA) is located outside of Socorro, New Mexico. It is called that because it is made up of 27 dish telescopes, like ...............

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July 11, 2015 @ 3:50 AM

Road to Death Valley from the Sierra Nevada Mountains, going east.


Not the lowest point. As we all have been taught, that is at Badwater, 282 feet below sea level.


BMW was doing heat tests on its new cars the day I was here. I saw at least a half dozen of them, all clad in these kinds of coverings that are supposed to keep us from truly seeing what the cars look like.


And it was hot. This was late afternoon at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center, 190 feet below sea level. Too much for me. Cripes.

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July 8, 2015 @ 4:39 AM

On my way south into California, I stopped to see some places the likes of which we don't see on the east coast. Which is fine, actually, because it gives a reason to travel, and to come home. Frankly, I'm looking forward to crossing the Mississippi River to see some deciduous forests. It's been very dry and evergreen-y.


Crater Lake, Oregon. Yes, it is this blue. More information about its formation is at the National Park site.


Lava Beds in California. The west is made up of the remains of volcanic activity. We hear about the volcanoes in the Cascade Mountains (Mount St. Helens) and that potential one under Yellowstone. But this activity is so geologically recent out here that the lava beds have not yet.........

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July 5, 2015 @ 3:44 AM

I've seen a number of things since leaving Land's Inn and the wildfire. Everything is fine up there, which is good to know, given that when I left only 20% of the fire was contained. Whew!

Below are just a few things I saw along the way to New Mexico, where I'm supposed to be by July 6th. Enjoy!


Venus and Jupiter, as close as we were going to see them.


Car wash!


They sell worms, too.


Detail of a wonderful, old Ford dealership in Klamath Falls, Oregon.


And, finally, never do this. Ever.

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July 1, 2015 @ 4:03 AM

On Saturday, June 27th, there were lightning strikes on Sugar Loaf Mountain and a wildfire happened. It burned 1000 acres in the first hour; it was up to 4000+ acres when I was told to pack up what I didn't want to lose and leave. On Sunday, I was allowed back to collect the rest of my things and see the results of the fire. Our buildings were not damaged, but everything was smoky and ashy, so I continued on my big journey a day earlier than originally planned. 




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Nothing to see here!