My Epic Covid Road Trip….

Drivel Starved Nation!

First, my sincerest apologies to all of you who have emailed me, or posted comments on this board and have yet to receive a response. I will answer all this week.

I HAVE A GREAT EXCUSE!

My son, and his family (including my only female grand daughter), reside outside of Dallas. Being a grandpa and not seeing your grand kids is a brutal form of punishment (particularly when they are two years old). So, on July 4th I left Portland and drove to Dallas to see everybody. It was just a short 2,000 mile, 4 day trip.

I also helped my son build a 550 sq. ft deck on the back of his house. Because of the heat, humidity and the most difficult clay soil you can imagine, I stayed in Dallas for 19 days. And during this time, I disconnected from social media which is a wonderful thing. Really.

While in Dallas I received a phone call from DSN member Neil Clemmons. I shared that I was headed next to Knoxville, TN to visit an old college friend. He convinced me to come visit his new house in Bentonville, AR which was along the way (almost) … Truthfully, the lure of free food and lodging is an irresistible attraction. We had a great time and his shop is awesome… as in magazine worthy. Remember magazines?

After spending the night in Knoxville, I drove up to Long Island, NY to shoot bird pics on Nickerson Beach. More on this later.

I then hopped on I90 and came home. On both the trip to Dallas and the trip home from NY, I stopped at every national wildlife refuge along the way (if not too far off course) to take bird pics.

8189 miles, 36 days, 24 states, and over 8000 bird pics later, I arrived in Portland to re-introduce myself to my dogs. This past week I have been doing nothing but fixing stuff that always seems to break when I am not around…

I spent over 100 hours driving by myself, and having never done anything remotely similar in the past, I can share it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I will blog about how I did this safely during this pandemic in a follow-up post.

Lastly, this coming week I will be involved with the approval of the Pencil Precision first article components and if there are no surprises, we are looking at delivery in Q4 of this year. So, fingers crossed!

So there you have it. I checked out for the first time in my life but now I am back!

That’s my story and I am sticking to it.

-John

PS: Back in the old days, Don Schroder of Popular Woodworking used to swindle me sell me ad space in the magazine. As we became more antiquated, I learned he is an incredible wildlife photographer. So, for the past two years, I have been doing a brain suck on him in hopes of taking pictures that would be worthy of my grand kids admiration. He met me at Nickerson Beach on Long Island before that storm wiped out the rookery we visited. Here are a couple of pics from a great couple of days of doing nothing but photography…

10 comments on this post:

  1. so dude,

    do you have a covid worthy beard and hair to match?

    welcome back.

    if i had known (only a few hundred miles off your course), could have offered you a pallet next to my fireworks sitting on my shop floor, a bucket and potty ring mounted on a trailer hitch along with some good kentucky road kill for meals.

    dave

  2. Having created advertising for Delta, Powermatic, General International and, most recently, Harvey and BCTW, I’ve had a lot of interaction with Don over the years. But I wasn’t aware of his awesome wildlife photography until this past year. Don has been sharing his work with me and it’s amazing. And speaking of amazing (I’m known as the prince of segues), I love “Quality is Contagious.”

  3. It’s great to hear from you, John. Those pictures are amazing! I had no idea the Black Skimmer’s beak was so razor-like. I guess that makes it easier to push through the water – and to slice into prey.

    I’m glad that in all your driving-induced solitude you found yourself to be engaging company. It doesn’t always work that way…

    I’m looking forward to hearing stories, and seeing more pictures (of the deck, too). And I’m looking forward to seeing my new palm brace and centerscribe, too!

    Peter

  4. It was great having you a guest and catching up. But it might cost me in camera gear! Beautiful photos John. Glad you made it home safely!

    Neil

  5. “Having created advertising for Delta, Powermatic, General International and, most recently, Harvey and BCTW, I’ve had a lot of interaction with Don over the years. But I wasn’t aware of his awesome wildlife photography until this past year. Don has been sharing his work with me and it’s amazing. And speaking of amazing (I’m known as the prince of segues), I love “Quality is Contagious.””

    I have purchased a couple of Don’s images. He is really good!

  6. “so dude,

    do you have a covid worthy beard and hair to match?

    welcome back.

    if i had known (only a few hundred miles off your course), could have offered you a pallet next to my fireworks sitting on my shop floor, a bucket and potty ring mounted on a trailer hitch along with some good kentucky road kill for meals.”

    dave

    Dave, I would have taken you up on this offer. -John

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