Tuesday, December 15, 2015

When the weather changes for bikers:

Winter is closing in here in New Mexico.  My close neighbor is a biker too.  This morning we shared some text.   D = my neighbor...C = or course is me. It went like this:

D - In spite of the impact to motorcycle riding, watching this incoming storm is pretty cool.

C - Have to agree.

D - I noticed this morning that you parked your Jeeps in front of your garage, and that further they'd gotten icy overnight.  So now you'll have to scrape the windows before you can move them in order to get your motorcycle out, and I couldn't help wondering..."What is up with that?" 

C - Excellent observation...but look closely...perfect spacing between the Jeeps to ride out...always plan ahead in New Mexico.

D - Good point...I stand corrected.  So are you saying I'll be hearing the rumble of the Harley here shortly?

C - Checking out studded snow tires right now.

D - Awesome.

C - Shall I order you a set too?

D - I think I'll stick with the tire chains for now.  I am eager to see if you get better performance with the studs that I do with the chains.

C - Looks like the studded tires are pricey.  Headed to Home Depot later to pick up a big box of nails.  Should work to take the tires off and drive the nails through from the inside.  Will let you know how it works.  Will have plenty of extra nails.  I can bring some over later.

D - Sounds like a good plan.  Will you be bringing the extra nails over on your bike?

C - Only if my air compress can keep up.

D - Well this turned out to be one of those days where I actually rode as far as I was tempted to....

C - Just how far was that?  Were you in the zen moment...at that point just sitting in the garage on the bike will carry you along...

D - Yeah...just came in from taking out the recycling, which tempered my motivation considerably.

C Well...special on heated gear this weekend at SF Harley.  Just how heated can it be???

D - You gonna check it out?

C - Yea...got batteries?

D - It's not solar....I'm shocked!!

C - It's not easy being green. 

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Power of a photograph
Working in Farmington, NM this week.  Training Navajo Nation community members to use their cameras as tools to create a visual voice for issues surrounding their lives.  South on HWY 550 near Counselor, NM graphics on a deserted building caught my eye.  Made a u-turn.  Extensive oil and gas development on both sides of the highway.
Power of a photograph pasted on a crumbling building.  "Protect my future...Protect our water." Power of the visual voice.
 be strong, be safe, Carlan

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

And now the rest of the story...
On the road two weeks ago heading into the Texas Panhandle.  A week crisscrossing the Panhandle, wi-fi less, limited cell phone connection, rain, dust storms, small towns fading into history, meeting the real individuals of the Panhandle.  This is the rest of the story.
Cotton is king in the Panhandle.  Peanuts and wild pigs run a close second.
Shorty grows peas, beans, okra, cantaloupe, watermelon, tomatoes, and sweet corn.  "Anyone who needs food can come to my garden, pick anything they need, it's all a dollar a pound."
 Gas station For Sale.  Make an offer.
Once thriving communities playing host to stories of the past. 
Deserted schools and scoreboards.
Chairs along a main street echoing laughter once heard.
The rumble of my Harley brought Dennis into the street.  "Been ridin' Harleys for over 40 years.  Come on in and sit a while.  Know anything about fixing a stuck clutch?"
Mid Way Drive Inn.  Mid way between Quitaque and Turkey, TX or New York and Los Angeles.
 Girls at the Dixie Dog Drive Inn.  Best corn dog special ever.
Gas stop at Bob's Oil Well full service.
Kickstand down at the Hotel Turkey.  Built in 1927.  Good food, good bed, good stories with the ranchers.  All the ingredients of a great American road trip.

That's the rest of the story.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Headin' for the Panhandle
Packed the Low Rider, kickstand up, heading for the Texas Panhandle.  Early morning rain cleared to blue skies dotted with puffy clouds.  Tail wind north on I25 to Springer, NM.  From Springer following the Santa Fe Trail to Clayton, NM.  Dropped south to Dalhart, TX into the great Panhandle.  Hamburger highway to Dalhart = thousands of hamburgers on the hoof.  Spending the next 5 days zig zagging across the Texas Panhandle riding the black ribbon of highway into towns lost in history.  Working with a  Texas photographer, riding, exploring, making photographs of yesterday's way of life.  Motophoto Tour at it's best.
Gladstone, NM.  Looking for faces in the strangest places.  Gladstone Trading Post.  High on my list for Green Chili Cheese Burgers.  

Kickstand down in Dalhart.  Bagged my seat.  Rain tonight.  For all you bikers...be sure to add "key to bike" on your check list before heading out of town.

be strong, be safe, Carlan 

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Expressive Black and White Landscape Workshop:
Several years ago working on a commercial photography assignment I was asked a question which has stuck with me ever since.  The question?   Whats in your tool kit?  In other words, what do you need to get the job done?  A camera is a tool, and a powerful one at that.  Its not so much about the camera, but how its used.  Good photographs require the photographer to slow down, see, and personally express the world in front of them. 
Landscape photography is formed by the point of view of the photographer; it is a spiritual experience, the reflection of a culture. Historically, the great masters of black-and-white landscape used large-format cameras and traditional film processes. Now advances in digital technology have opened new opportunities for photographers who wish to explore the aesthetic and technical aspects of digital black-and-white landscapes. 

In this workshop we take the time to see and fully express the spirit of the black-and-white landscape as we discover a place and the secrets of its beauty. We consider the concept of landscape and how it is connected to the cultural, social, and geographical aspects of our environment.
Join me November 2-6 at the Santa Fe Photographic Workshops in Santa Fe, NM for Expressive Black and White Landscape Photography. More information here:
be strong, be safe, Carlan

Monday, August 24, 2015

Flattest Camera in the West
Harley-Davidson HOG member?  Check out the Flattest Camera in the West feature article both on-line and in print.  Some fun pointers on capturing the ride with you phone!

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Monday, August 17, 2015

Sorting it Out...Putting it Together
There are times when life's experiences seem like a puzzle.  Often wondering how the pieces fit together.  Ridin' the open road is the medicine needed to sort it out.  Week home from Sturgis now.  All the pieces fitting together.  Every morning on the way to and from Sturgis as well as during Sturgis never ate breakfast alone.  Had good conversation and meals with bikers from California, Iowa, Missouri, Oregon, Texas, Nebraska, Illinois, Australia, and Scotland.  It's all about the conversation.  Sharing stories with folks across the country.  Where you from?  What's the weather like in your part of the country?  You can learn a lot.  Helps to fit the pieces together.  It's what riding' the open road is all about.

Kickstand down in Santa Fe...not for long.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Two lane highway from Sturgis:

Left Rapid City this morning under blue skies with the wind on my back.  Decided to take the back roads through the Badlands across the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Few miles out of Rapid City the traffic disappeared.  The thousands of bikers and rumbles of V-twins began to fade like old paint on a 50's Harley.  Thump of my bike's motor became one with the rhythm of my heart.
Entering the Pine Ridge Reservation it was clear to understand the Lakota People's call... "Save Our Land".  The road reached out to the land.  The land to the sky.  The sky to the clouds.
Slowing, breaking to a stop, looking up, clouds wrapped around a hilltop knoll.  Low wire fence encircles a mass grave site.  Wounded Knee.  I have visited here many times.  Each time stopping to pay respect to the brave Lakota women, children, and elders whose spirits are present.
Into Nebraska stayed on the back roads.  Smooth two lane.  Rolling sand hills.  Dotted with ranches and farms.  Found a rest area with full services including WiFi.  Standing at the rest area a lonely car pulls to a stop.  A family from Scotland touring the US.  "Is this actually an authorized highway rest area?"  Yes, I reply with a smile, "you may not find another one like this for miles". 
Just outside of Alliance, NE  short stop to record the wonders of Carhedge.  Motorhead art at it's best.

Kickstand down in Bridgeport, NE tonight.  Perfect day riding with the wind, embracing the freedom of the open road, remembering the history of our country.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Wrappin' it up at Sturgis "75"
Streets were full every day by 8AM 
 You can always tell an official photographer by his hat
"Issy" was busy all week making magic with ink on skin 
Kings of the Road
Baring it for a biker from Barre
Important historical information
Ridin' in style
Leavin' Sturgis behind

Kickstand up in the morning.  Rolling on the throttle.  Heading for home.  It was a very good Rally.

be strong, be safe, Carlan

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Sturgis 2015 Takin' It To The Streets:

Talking with some of the locals today in Sturgis the word on the streets is the 75th Rally may break 1.8 million bikers.  No exact figures yet.  From what I saw it would not surprise me.  By 7 AM the streets were full of bikes, parking filled up quickly.

Roamed the streets all day.  Met so many great folks.
 What a bucket list...and ink to match.  Better yet was her big engaging smile.
 Visited with old friends as they worked their daily art.
 "In Memory of My Dad"
 Hard to chain this bull down.
 Old School Choppers.  Desert "DOC" working his magic on repairs.
 Body "ART" at it's best.
 True blue "Harley" from bike to ink.
OK...what can I say...everyone is working the streets to earn a buck.
Freedom of speech...freedom to express yourself...this is what Sturgis is all about.
Inked and proud of it!
No question about his favorite things in life.
Everybody coming together as one.  Doesn't get any better.

A good day to be in Sturgis.

be strong, be safe, Carlan
Sturgis 75 Years:
2015 marks the 75th year of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.  It began in 1938 and was originally held for stunts and races, but has evolved into being a meeting for motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world.  It is one of the largest motorcycle rallies in the world.
Numbers floating around  town are calling for over 1.5 million bikers to roll through Sturgis this week.  The streets were full by 8AM this morning.  Rumble of Harleys filled the air.  No better sound for a biker!
The rally brings significant income to the citizens of Sturgis, a town of only 6,627 people.  From renting out tent space on front lawns, parking bikes in driveways, and supporting local family cafes the week long rally provides income for the year.
 Everyone hands out free items from bibles to beer kozzies.
Harley-Davidson motorcycles are all about creating your own personal statement.  Thousands of bikes, not one the same.  A personalized Harley for the KING...Elvis of course.
It's all about personal statements.  Freedom of expression.  Not only personalizing a Harley, personalizing your body and feeling the freedom to express it as well.
The town is rockin'.  Even the hula hoop is still popular.  Word on ths street is..."what happens in Sturgis...needs to stay in Sturgis..."
Armed guards are on duty to make sure every Harley is safe and secure at all times.
Bikers are some of the friendliest folks you will ever meet.  Generally misunderstood because of their independence and belief in freedom.  A patch on his vest records his support for the Rolling Thunder Project.  He is one of four individuals to ever be honored to place a memorial on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Washington DC.
"He would have ridden a Harley".  There is no doubt in my mind it would have been a Harley.  Why would I even question it?

Kickstand down for the night.

be strong, be safe, Carlan