Category Archives: Expeditions

Hiking to Jefferson Park

This little clip is from about 12 years ago when we hiked into Jefferson Park, Oregon and spent a few days.  It turned out to be an absolutely spectacular place, down by the lake.  

We were in a bit of a rush though.  At that time, we were just starting up the Thoughtform project, using Dramatica for the CIA, NSA, and NRO to analyze the complex narrative motivations of terror groups and unfriendly nations and to project how those narrative might lead them to respond in various what-if scenarios.

Interesting work that I hope saved lives and supported peace.  Still working on such projects on the side this very day, though I’m official retired and more interested in pursuing my art, documenting the Dramatica theory, and enjoying my family.

But in regard to this hiking trip, we were living in Salem, Oregon at the time and I had just returned by plane from Los Angeles where we were developing the Thoughtform project. Day after I got back, we were on this trail.  Got to spend just two nights there, then had to hike out and fly back to L.A.

I might not have made the trip under those circumstances, but I had promised it to Teresa before the project had really taken off, and I knew she was looking forward to it so much.  But in the end, I’m so very glad we sandwiched it in, for it covered some of the most beautiful scenery I’ve ever encountered outside of Yosemite.

You’ll see some nice pictures of all that down the line, but for now, this grueling moment on the trek in.

Lucky Baldwin’s Mine

Near our home in Big Bear, California. Lucky Baldwin was an entrepreneur in the 1800s in Southern California – a land owner and also owner of this mine up in Big Bear. The stamping mill here ran 24/7 in its heyday, but ruins are all that remain now.

A Birthday Trip to the Norton Simon Museum

My daughter arranged a birthday trip for me to the Norton Simon Museum – the interesting building you see in the Rose Parade on the other side of the street. I had wanted to see it for decades, so this was a real treat!

The best part, of course, is having a wonderful experience together with family. We started off with a surprisingly good lunch at the museum cafe, then explored the various exhibits including Southeast Asian Sculptures, European paintings and sculptures beginning in the 1500s, and a fabulous presentation of late 1800s Parisian art.

Here is a smattering of the 150 or so pictures I took, which is only a fraction of what is currently on display: Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Renoir, Rapheal, Dega, and Picasso to name but a few. Enjoy. I did! And just one more thank you before I post to my most splendid daughter. She is, indeed, my “Special.”

Additional Notes:

I love the rain, and unexpectedly this turned out to be a rainy day, so an additional birthday bonus as well.

We met at the Museum at noon – Mindi, Ed, Nicholas and Tomas. Mary rode with me. After Mindi paid for admission, the first order of business was lunch! They had a surprisingly eclectic menu at the museum cafe. I had the roasted vegetable Ciabatta , which had eggplant, peppers and squash among the variety of perfectly prepared flora. The bread itself was light yet dense as well as steamy/fluffy. I tried the Hibiscus flavored Italian soda as well.

As part of her meal, Mindi had purchased a roasted pear torte with the intention of sharing, and it was magnificent!

After lunch we began on the ground floor with the Southeast Asian exhibit featuring statues and sculptures of gods, goddesses, and iconic mythical figures.

The lower floor also offered an extensive temporary exhibit of late 1800s Parisian art – paintings, sketches, posters, and even a few photographs. I’ve always been enamored of Paris, so this was an unexpected treat for all of us, especially me!

Moving upstairs we found three halls featuring different eras of European art beginning in the 1500s and up to the mid nineteenth century. And lastly there was a modern art wing, which is not my usual cup of tea, though there were several works of interest, making the exploration a worthwhile venture.

It was four o’clock when we completed our excursion and it was raining moderately well, so I brought the car around from the lower lot so Mary could get under cover sooner, and Ed did as well for Mindi.

After, stopping for gas (as our tank was nearly empty, we reconvened with Mindi, Ed, and Crew at Outback Steakhouse in Burbank – one of my favorite places for a family meal, and was treated to steak, shrimp, lobster set against a loaded baked potato, and my share of a brownie topped with hot fudge and cold vanilla ice cream.

I love each marvelous individual in my family – my son and daughter, my Teresa, my Mary, my in-laws, and all three of my grandchildren. Yet I must say that Mindi’s proactive pleasure in arranging joyful experiences for others endears her to my heart and enriches my life whenever I am the beneficiary.

La Purisima Mission (session)

Another expedition set up by Teresa that offered unlimited photographic opportunities. I shot these the morning after a wonderful hotel stay that included a fine dinner and rooms in which celebrities has slept in the 1920s through 1960s. We enjoyed the “Judy Garland” room – chosen by Teresa because of my love of Wizard of Oz.

Jefferson Park, Oregon (session)

See session notes below gallery…

Back in 2015 we were living in Salem, Oregon. I was flying down regularly back to southern California to work on projects for the United States intelligence agencies in counter-terrorism, based on our theories of narrative psychology that grew out of our Dramatica theory of narrative structure.

This strip had to be sandwiched in between two trips down, so we only had three days before I had to be on the plane again: one day to hike in, one day to explore, one day to hike out.

Shortly after this, we decided to move down to California again since there were far too many trips to be economical, and logistically it was extremely tiring. We ended up living in Pine Mountain Club again, then Big Bear, and then back down to Burbank where we remain to this day, four yeas later, yearning to return to the mountains or back to Oregon or somewhere else that is closer to nature than the San Fernando Valley.

It’s been great to spend time here with my kids and grandkids, and Mary was nice enough to take us in when all our government contracts ended at the same time, leaving us without the funds to return or even to pay out bills.

But Teresa has paid our rent here by improving the property with her carpentry and construction skills, while I have pulled us up out of the financial maelstrom once again to solvency.

Regarding the picture in this session, Jefferson Park and Mount Jefferson itself are absolutely stunning, especially late in the Summer which is the middle of Spring at that altitude.

I’ll post a few of the best of these photographs as individuals to highlight the amazing scenery, but here in this session gallery you can see all the photographs from this session.