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 one of a series of twenty-nine posts of those paintings accompanied by the relevant diary entries.

043 laurel inn, salinas, CA

Laurel Inn, Salinas, oil on board, 9 x 8 inches (approx.)

27. May 20th, 2006

Thank God!A motel with net curtains!

You can take the girl out of Ireland etc. etc.

…and a hot tub!And a pool!Went straight into the sauna when I checked in to see if I could sweat out this cold..

…which I was convinced I had caught off Laurence.  But no joy. I was sick.

On the way here I passed over the Bixby Bridge and there was another, the Rocky Creek Bridge, one of which must have been Kerouacs’ bridge..its near Raton Canyon anyway.

Raton Canyon is Bixby Canyon. Big Sur was written after Kerouacs’ success with On the Road. Lawrence Ferlinghetti of City Lights book store in San Francisco-who is still alive at 98-loaned him a cabin to dry out in. DRy out from the drink not from a rain shower that is. Big Sur is a recounting of this time, DTs and all. Though it is a dark read, I think its my favourite Kerouac book, not least for the ‘wiggly bushes’ that wave in the windy night as he sits on the cliffs losing his mind. Kerouac is included in the painting of Big Sur previous post but you may not be able to spot him…

The weather was beautiful. Got trapped in Monterey, then in Salinas…

…presumably by traffic, I’m sure I would’ve noticed if it was some sort of Godzilla incident…

…but eventually got to this hotel, The Laurel Inn and it’s cool. Got the car washed but there are still loads of insects stuck on it and chips out of the paint work. I have no idea if this will be a problem. There’s also a big scratch on the back and glue or gum on the seat but I sorted that.

I had dinner in the Black Bear Diner…in a booth. I will sit at the counter for breakfast. Rain forecast for tomorrow. Bought some cool cut-off combats in…Wal-Mart! Can’t stop watching TV. Waiting for Seinfeld but my eyes are sore from my cold or at least because I just put nasal drops in my eyes by mistake.

Impressions from the drive here..wrinkled green hills in the sun, spooky mist, buzzards- or condors-floating on the breeze…

I think they were condors..

May 21st, 2006

It’s PISSING!Irish weather and palm trees. Got a crap cold. In bed until lunch time. Organised my gear so its not too much hassle at the car drop off tomorrow. Throat like sandpaper. Goddamn the ‘healing’ Indian. Jeez my writings’ gone to shit, I will be lucky to decipher any of this..

Ah sure I’m used to me..

Tried to watch Windtalkers…again. What a load of shite. Nicholas Cage me arse. But it’s addictive, flicking channels. So many. I think of my Dad banning TV, when we were growing up, applying American Christian ethics to 1970’s Ireland and its two channels with nothing on and which closed down before midnight..

Parents take note: Banning things doesn’t work so good. When I eventually left home I spent the first six months watching TV and doing nothing else. I haven’t really stopped since.

And it’s still raining…

Late breakfast at the diner, sat at the counter. Unfortunately a chap came and sat next to me and made a big show of calling the waitresses babe and baby and trying to address me with

…’you should smile, it’s not as bad as all that’ ..

or some such shite. I completely ignored his existence. It was that or get nasty with him. Men. At moments like this I never want one.

Next, San Francisco again…


5 responses to “ROAD TRIP : SALINAS

  1. Oh yuck on having a cold, Laurence cursed you for sure 😊 I would have told the ‘baby’ man ‘actually it is, I’ve just been diagnosed with leukamentia and haven’t got long left’ (this works, I can vouch for it 😄) Laurel Inn looks nice, sounds nice, shame about being poorly and rain!

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