We had a drone photographer accompany us to Bagdad recently, so we could get some aerial views for the travelogue piece I’m creating about the location. We thought we’d get there early in the morning and avoid the heat, but nope! Early morning and the sun was still intense. Just no mercy.
Bagdad? Bagdad, California, that is. Located in the middle of the Mojave Desert. A ghost ‘town’ with not even the hint of a building anywhere.
How do you know when you’ve found it? Well. there’s a single salt cedar tree that stands as a marker, a tombstone, an “x marks the spot’ — a lone testament to a once bustling community that was home to a few hundred people in its heyday.
Here’s a few interesting tidbits about Bagdad, CA
–In the late 1800s thru the early 1900s it was an important watering stop for the railroad. There were homes, hotels, stores, a school, and even a Harvey House restaurant. By the 1940’s, population began to dwindle, and somewhere in the late 1960’s the town gave up the ghost.
–It holds the record for the longest period of drought in the history of the country… from July 1912 to November 1914- it had 767 consecutive days without precipitation.
In the 1940’s, people would come from all around the desert to the Bagdad Cafe, which was the only place for miles around that had a jukebox and dance floor.
–Mysteries are encased in the landscape… is it merely folklore or is there some truth to the story that 50 Chinese railroad workers, who died during a cholera epidemic, are buried in an unmarked grave at the location?
What other mysteries does this place hold? Aha! We’ll let you know what we discover!
One of my favorite TV shows as a child growing up in the 60’s was Lost in Space–the adventures of an astronaut (space pioneer )family named Robinson whose mission was to colonize different planets in outer space. However, their spaceship got off course and they traversed around the universe discovering strange, new, and sometimes hostile territories.
Though I enjoyed all the characters, my favorite was the robot who I remember as a constant companion to the youngest Robinson, Will, who was about 12 years old. Whenever something was amiss, that robot would start waving his arms, flashing his lights, and shouting something like “Warning! Warning!” And my favorite “Danger! Will Robinson, Danger! ”
We could have used that Robot on our latest journey.
We were on a road trip to the Old Woman Mountains wilderness area do some hiking and filming for a project I’m working on, and the area we were in was quite/very desolate. Saw nary a soul and the only signs of wildlife I saw was a lizard and a big green bug scurrying across the dirt road. I was surprised to see NO ONE. No campers, no hikers, NOBODY.
And as it generally is in these remote areas… there is NO cell phone service.
About 20 miles into the wilderness (i.e. 20 miles away from a real road that would take us away from there) the unthinkable happened.. we had a flat tire!
And there we were… lost in space.
Fortunately we were able to get that taken care of which made for a happy ending. However,I realized there were a few other things we could have done/had that would have made us better equipped. We’re going to be making a short info-film giving some safety tips for road travel, and will also cover the things we didn’t think about before that would have made us better prepared. Coming soon, in a future Silver Sage episode!
We found it!
And we’ll share our good fortune with you! 🙂
We traveled to Pie Town, New Mexico, to celebrate the mathematical Pi (π) Day, which is held on March 14 (because π =3.14159265359) and March 14 is my birthday! (So we went to Pie Town to celebrate my birthday, which is on Pi Day).
Pi Day is a big thing in Pie Town and we were there to film an episode for Silver Sage. We met some wonderful people, heard interesting stories, and… ate pie! Our new favorite pie is the New Mexican green chili apple pie with pine nuts! Sweet and spicy (REAL spicy!)
We camped at the Pie Town Cafe where we interviewed the proprietor, Lori Elliott, met the awesome crew there, and learned some interesting history about Pie Town. All of which we will share with you in a future episode!
The title is not totally accurate as Las Vegas was in the middle of my trip home– the stopover city after leaving San Antonio. But a title such as Leaving Las Vegas sounds more poetic ….like… a movie or something
I bid a fond adieu to San Antonio this afternoon as Imaging USA ended last night with the usual, great closing party. I did have time this morning to visit the Alamo to do some filming there to include in my San Antonio missions piece.
Did you know the Alamo was actually a mission? The Mission San Antonio de Valero.
Today, the Alamo is designated a shrine and sacred ground, and no photography of any kind is allowed inside. However you can photograph to your heart’s content the outside of the building and grounds.
Some tidbits of info about the Alamo:
Before the Texas revolution, the Alamo was home to missionaries and their Indian converts for nearly 70 years , beginning with the construction of the mission in 1724. –
In the early 1800s the Spanish military stationed a Cavalry unit there and soldiers referred to it as the Alamo in honor of their hometown of Alamo de Parras, Coahuila.
The Alamo holds the distinction of housing the first recorded hospital in Spanish Texas. It was established in 1805 to care for soldiers stationed on the frontier. –
The famous battle saw the 200 defenders holed up in the Alamo besieged by an army of 1800-6000 soldiers led by general Antonio Lopez Santa Anna. The siege lasted 13 days ending March 6,1836 with all of the defenders perishing. — The Republic of Texas joined the United States in 1845 and the army used the Alamo as a supply depot until 1878. The military presence helped create a safer climate in the dangerous frontier town of San Antonio.
The Alamo is remembered worldwide as a heroic struggle against overwhelming odds–a place where men made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom.
Wow. What a shock for the historic Summit Inn to become a casualty of the Blue Cut Fire that raged through the Cajon Pass and surrounding areas August 16.
We were just there in July, filming my interview with Route 66 expert Jim Conkle. This was my first time being there.
I perused the gift shop full of Route 66 items. (I had another first — I bought 5 lottery tickets from the gift shop– they were all duds.)
He had his first ostrich burger with a big chocolate shake.
I had an orange soda float… reminded me of the 50/50 ice cream bars I used to love as a youngling.
Word is they’re going to rebuild. Glad to hear that.
We’re taking on Route 66! How far will we get and how long will it take us?
We started with an interview with Route 66 expert Jim Conkle, who has traveled the iconic highway from one end to the other over 200 times.
Jim shared his knowledge and experience as a tour guide for Route 66.
Interviewing Jim Conkle at the historic Summit Inn on Route 66
And we will be sharing our exploration of Route 66 in our photo travelogues.
We started this week, taking a day to travel from Victorville to Needles. We decided we’d make stops at the Bagdad Café in Newberry Springs, and visit the GHOST TOWN OF Bagdad, searching for a tree and a sign that I read was there to mark the former location of the town (there was no sign to be found)
This did turn out to be an interesting trip, and it was rather ambitious of us to try to do it in one day, because there’s just too much to take in. We’re doing this stretch again– in smaller chunks. And then we’ll move on to the next..and then the next. We expect to have a lot to share in upcoming episodes.
So… come along for the ride!
…It sure felt like it!
Honored to be a 2016 Honoree of the Dreamers, Visionaries, and Leaders Project!
Just returned from New York, New York… again!
This time I went to be part of an exclusive Filmmakers Master Class hosted by BH Photo and Canon, and held at the New York Film Institute. I was one of 65 students selected from more than 700 applicants!
My local newspaper did a story on me which you can find here
As part of a team of 15 students under the guidance of an industry master, we created the following music video.
July 19th- Visalia Adventure!
We love road trips! And though it was a short one, we thoroughly enjoyed our 4-hour drive to Visalia to interview Jennifer Brandolino, RN, CiH of Total Healthy Lifestyle. We also were able to take a little time and catch up with she and husband Rob, Arnie’s best friend and fellow musician.
Arnie’s brother Jonathan lives in Visalia, so he came for a couple of hours to watch the filming. It was good to see him!
And Jonathan did us a big favor by taking in-progress shots of the prep stage of production.
We enjoy agricultural scenery, so it was nice driving by rows and rows of corn and fruit trees.
It’s been a while since I’d seen dairy cows so I wanted to stop and photograph them. When I was a child, we would drive out to the dairy near us, and that’s where we would buy ice cream sandwiches!
Funny as I was photographing the cows, they all started lumbering over to the fence to check me out. It was rather comical as they lined up along the fence, staring at me. I started to feel like they were waiting for me to break out into a song or something.
We all know we need to exercise on a regular basis.
So I got my trainer, Jaime, to do some workout segments for the show, with the plan to start with simple exercises that can be done easily at home.
We filmed at her home gym, and in this clip we were warming up for the camera and practicing what we’re going to say and do. I was also telling her how to stop, pause, and then start over if a mistake is made in something said. A couple of times I drew a complete blank for what I was supposed to say next, so at one point I just was went with an impromptu story which is not part of the script, nor part of the actual episode that will air.
If we ever have an outtake video, this would probably be on it.
We returned to Altadena, CA to film the interview with Scott and Lori Webster, owners of Hoopla Emporium. We love their business model of Buy Local, because not only does this help local artisans to thrive and money to stay within the community, you’re also able to find unique items you wouldn’t find elsewhere. A high percentage of the products in their store are from local artisans.
Simply put, to buy local means purchasing what you can from independent, locally- owned businesses. Studies have shown purchasing locally keeps more money flowing in the community–Purchases made locally are twice as efficient in terms of keeping the local economy alive.
An article in New Economics Foundation (NEF), from researcher David Boyle:
Indeed, many local economies are languishing not because too little cash comes in, but as a result of
what happens to that money. Money is like blood. It needs to keep moving around to keep the economy going, he
says, noting that when money is spent elsewhere—at big supermarkets, non-locally owned utilities and other
services such as on-line retailers—it flows out, like a wound.
And Scott and Lori are just all-around nice people to know.
While there, I picked up this get-well card for… my daughter’s cat. Well…he was ill. And add to that– the cat in the picture looks like him.
Twice a year, the art community of Pasadena and Altadena (CA) hosts a two-day event known as Open Studios tour, where home studios of local artists are open for visiting. Open Studios members also include owners of local retail businesses and/or restaurants who support art and artists by featuring art for sale and display art in a gallery setting.
We are featuring the owners of Hoopla!- a unique gift store located in Altadena in one of our shows. They participate in the Open Studios tours, so I visited during the event to film the activities for B-roll footage that could be used for the show.
The store was bustling with activity which made for some good footage , meeting interesting people, and partaking of some tasty snacks. ☺