Photography is about contrast, light, color, form, and line, because those characteristics are a good way to describe life itself. My life today emphasized contrast.
My day started socially by meeting my friend Tom Schulte. He is vice president of research and director of clinical studies for Pelikan Technologies, the company that makes the best blood glucose lancing device:
We met for an early breakfast in Palo Alto, near the offices of Pelikan Technologies. I had stayed in a Palo Alto motel last night. While my day started with a great visit with a friend who I see all too seldom, I spent the rest of my day completely alone on the road.
The day ended in a motel in Needles, which couldn’t be more different from upscale Palo Alto, except that both places are in California. Tonight I’m less than a mile from the Colorado River, which separates California from Arizona, and river recreation is the only reason for Needles to exist.
My journey today also contrasted with the few miles I drove every day on this trip until now. Today I drove almost 600 miles in 12 hours on the road. The trip showed me contrasting parts of California, starting with the nation’s technology center, the Silicon Valley around Palo Alto and San Jose. Then, for hundreds of miles I drove through the San Joaquin Valley, one of the most productive agricultural regions of the country. Finally, I drove through hundreds of miles of the Mojave Desert.
The drive could showed me contrasting parts of the state. Around Pacheco State Park, which contains the San Luis Reservoir, the land is green:
By the time I reached the Tehachapi Summit I saw the best demonstration ever of alternative energy. This is a very dry and windy place:
After all those hours on the highway, I had to get back to nature. I found it just north of Interstate 40 in the desert between Barstow and Needles. The Mohave National Preserve was the one wild place that I wanted to visit today.
I was hoping to get there for the violet hour and made it just in time for that special light:
In the Mojave National Preserve I checked out the campground, because it was getting dark, and I was about 80 miles from Needles and the nearest motels. Camping out would have been another contrast, but perhaps too much of one. In the high desert even just as the sun went down I could feel a cold night coming on. Instead, in my Needles motel room I appreciate the air conditioning.