In 2006 I took a Road Trip from San Francisco to New Mexico and back over the course of a month, writing and taking photos all the way. Two years later I had a show of paintings based on those photographs. This is a series of posts of those paintings accompanied by the relevant diary entries.

Yosemite Tent Cabin, oil on board, 8 x 9 inches

7.May 1st-3rd 2006

My tent cabin is lovely and I am looking forward to my first stress free night in a while….

..that didn’t last…

Later…It’s a wee bit scary coming down to my tent cabin!I’m out in the wilderness. Hope there’s no bears. The river is gushing below my tent. I’m tired now and it’s only 9:30pm.

..a couple of days later….

Sitting outside my tent cabin. The trees are beautiful and it’s warm and sunny. I’m reading a book on individuality as the new conformity called, Hello, I’m Special, by Hal Nedzviecki. It really nails down thoughts that have been floating around in my head in relation to individuality and personal responsibility. It’s very scary…

I can’t remember why it scared me except the idea of a world where everyone is clamouring for attention and no one is listening, everyone is looking out instead of looking in is scary-and also too accurate….maybe not as scary as bears though..

This hostel is quaint but it’s a pain in the arse having to walk up and down hills to get anywhere-toilet, shower, laundry, restaurant. Wish I didn’t need to pee in the night (bears!)

I haven’t given up complaining anyway but it seems to be my regular, happy-type of complaining…

This trip I seem to be more reconciled to the fact that I have brought ME with me. More love?Lower expectations?Or old age?

Probably the latter two. Tomorrow we head into Yosemite to complain some more…



  1. That’s a really bad photo of that painting too..I sold it before I have a chance to snap it properly…and bears, I hate them, they freak me out!even more than lions. Lions kill to eat you but bears, they’ll kill you for no reason at all except they are in a bad mood.

  2. I did!Read the book also…I am a devil for reading about bear attacks…and Grizzly Man!argh…there’s another beautiful book called Walking Home by Lynn Schooler…there’s a bear in that too…bears, no likee!

  3. So we’ve gone from city life to the wilderness in a day. I don’t know what to think about camping where you might be greeted by bears if you have to get up in the night, except that I wouldn’t ever do it. I’m glad we already know you weren’t killed by the bear.

    I don’t know that self-reflection was ever terribly popular, except among the well-off two hundred years ago. Perhaps it’s because we know we’re going to be disappointed that we don’t look inside ourselves.

  4. Yes, I was zipping around the place..the States is strange like that, though I didn’t have any encounters, you realise that it can be a bit more dodgy being out and about than in a place like Ireland. Africa is the same but its more in your face. America lulls you into a false sense of security…
    I had a discussion with a friend about self reflection in the past recently when we were at some neolithic site. I wondered about what people were thinking, if they were envious of the person in the next dwelling because they had a nice stone shelf…and he poohed poohed the idea they thought like that at all…it comes back to me all the time…anyway, brace yourself!the past wouldn’t have suited me at all!There’s a LOT of self reflection on this trip as I spend it mostly alone 🙂

  5. I doubt living in the neolithic period would suit anyone who lives now. Just because I’m interested in the fourteenth century it doesn’t mean that I want to live in it. I’d like to visit, but I know that it was a dirty, dangerous place where staying alive took up most of your time.

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