Monthly Archives: April 2009

Chateau skull

Chateau Skull

I had trouble editing this to look “nice” so I started just blowing it out in different ways, and this is what I came up with.

This is a picture of the chateau (the ‘teeth’ of the skull) from the allee.



Filed under Chateau St. Julien L'Ars, Europe, France, Photography, Travel

Keeping it going

Hi Everyone –

We’d like to keep you guys interested even while we’re not traveling, so we’re going to post picture touch ups, videos and other pieces of travel that we have from the trip. Check back!


Filed under Travel

The tomb near Pinareddu

Tomb near Pinareddu

This was taken on the east coast of Corsica, just south of Ste. Lucia de Porto Vecchio.

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Filed under Corsica, Europe, France, Photography, Travel



Hello Everyone!

Azure and I have been home for a week now and I’ve been searching for the way to wrap up this trip but I just couldn’t find it. I was thinking about listing my favorite parts, but that seems petty. I was also thinking about sharing what I felt was the overarching theme of the trip, but I think you got the idea if you read the blogs.

Last year I wrote about my first reactions on arriving home and a lot of people had strong responses to that, so I think that’s how I want to do it. My first reaction:

As we were flying south toward Seattle I saw the Olympic mountains, dark and low and folded, and I remembered that Washington State has been populated for as long as Corsica has (Kennewick Man is 9,300 years old). Our place is as ancient as theirs, it’s just not as celebrated and I’ve never given it its due attention… our predecessors in the Pacific Northwest built with wood. No stones to run my hands across, no stones for new populations to wonder about or rebuild into new structures or interpret. Certainly there’s an archaeological record, but we don’t physically navigate history the way they do in Europe. Our culture hasn’t pulled ancient magic into the present the way they had on Corsica, but our landscape does suggest it. Where are those myths waiting?

Anyway, thank you for following us to Colombia and Europe this year. We’ll be back on the road in November.

Our photos:


Filed under Corsica, Europe, France, Travel, USA

Safe flight home


(And, you know, not to brag, but you know the band UB40? Well, I was sitting next to their roadies on the flight home and they thought I was cool!)

So we’re back! We spent three days in London grabbing the occasional pint of cider, we went to the London Museum where I learned about the great fire in 1666 – it destroyed 80% of the city.

We went to the British Museum where I learned that cuneiform writing started as pictures then became more abstract, in later years looking like random scratches organized into columns.

We watch a lot of The Office at Ellen’s place, our first real TV experience in a long time (we had the occasional hotel tv in France, but nothing we actually used) and had great Indian food.

Ellen was an excellent host, I suggest everyone get on the next flight – Tomorrow! in fact – and go crash her pad. You won’t regret it.

This is the 8th time I’ve come home like this, looking out the window at evergreens on low hills as I’m driven north from the airport. Few of the eight are distinguishable from the others, so here we are again, being gently placed back into the impressions we’ve made in Seattle’s fabric.

I learned a ton on this trip and I’m still trying to sort it out in my head. When it comes out, it will be here!

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Filed under Europe, London, Travel, USA

Last night at the chateau

Just kept working on it until I got it right – I’m happiest with this one.

The flowers at the St. Julien L’Ars cemetery were all fresh and popping.

One of the workers has installed himself in this little room, it’s kinda his home base for the workday. Beautiful walls.

I’m sure not everyone will like this, but it’s one of my faves from the batch. I wanted to create a picture that showed how I saw the Jeanne d’Arc statue with its emotional power, but I wasn’t sure I’d be able to do it. When I saw the result I was really excited – I’m happy that I’ve learned enough technically that I can start with a picture in my head and bring it into being through the camera. Mmmmaybe I’ll brighten it a bit.

by Mike

A wedding party from LA showed up yesterday so we had to tip-toe around and stay out of the chateau proper. They were playing rap in the dining hall which was evidence of a horrible disconnect. I like rap, but on your first night in a chateau? We could sense that their pace of life was different than ours had become over the course of the trip and it was grating to be around.

Whatev. I’m obviously just territorial (even though the chateau isn’t my territory).

Anyway, we arrived in London safely and are in wonderful Ellen’s wonderful apartment. We walked in and she had a chicken roasting in the oven, herb potatoes and a fennel salad waiting for us. What a welcome! Tonight we’re off to what’s been touted as the best Indian food in London. My whole body is watering at the thought.


Filed under Chateau St. Julien L'Ars, Europe, France, London

More from the allee


by Mike

Last night we went into the allee (it’s an alley of trees) to take some pictures from inside. Azure said that with two people there it wouldn’t be as frightening so she offered to chaperon me. When she was there it wasn’t as terrifying as it was when I’m alone, in fact it seemed a little silly to be so afraid. We took some nice pictures then started walking back toward the chateau.


I decided I wanted to take a few more pictures but I didn’t want Azure to be bored, so I said she could go back inside since we were so close to the driveway and I was over my fear. Well, that was a bad idea. She went to do some emailing and when I clicked the first shutter for a long exposure (Click, 1, 2, 3, 4….) the night started growing larger and I felt like little eyes were watching me. I heard noises like a tin can being swept in the forest and another bird took off and my heart went from 70 to 150 bpm in a flash. So I ran out of the allee and when I was finally in the open I set up for another picture. I opened the shutter and counted. I heard a noise in the forest again, but then it got really silent. There are really no good options for night in a forest. You don’t want it to be too quite nor too noisy… I was crouching down for the photo and at that moment there was a loud splash behind me that seemed to be coming at me. I turned and in a moment of completely unplanned instinctual response I literally hissed in the direction of the noise.

I thought, “ok, this shit is getting to me,” so I went back to the chateau and found Azure and we walked briskly back to our room.



Filed under Chateau St. Julien L'Ars, Europe, France, Photography, Stories