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Winkie Conference Road Trip, July 22-27, 2004

Torvald's First Trip

A 2000 mile road trip offers lots of opportunities for fun, and this one was no exception. In addition to the Winkie Convention, we managed to hit all three west coast state capitals and the San Jose Mystery House. Here is Torvald posing for the camera at each notable stop along the way.

Our first shot is of the Washington State Capital in Olympia. This is an exceedingly easy capital to get to from I-5, our main route for this trip. It's just off the road, no problems at all. Much more difficult was finding a way to pose Torvald so I could take a good shot of him. I hemmed and hawed for several minutes, even considered walking around the building to try and find a better place, before I noticed the nice planted area off to the side of the street. I put Torvald up, held the camera over far enough, and thanks to the video screen on the camera was able to get the shot in one try.

July 22, 2004 - Olympia, Washington

The next stop was at the Oregon State Capital in Salem. Neither of us had ever been to the capital in Salem, so we were both expecting a capital dome. When we saw the building with the statue on top, we wrongly assumed we were lost. But we weren't, and after a frantic search for parking followed by a short walk, we discovered that there is no dome in Oregon, just a golden pioneer.

As with Olympia, there weren't any really good vantage points to take a shot of the capital building with the Troll. So we used the box we brought the troll in as a platform, and I stretched out flat on the grass and took the picture from as close to the ground as I could manage. All things considered, I think the shot turned out very nice.

July 22, 2004 - Salem, Oregon

This next picture isn't a complete failure, but it's close. My excuse is that we'd been driving a long time when we reached the Mount Shasta Vista, and that it was a lot hotter than I expected it to be so I was in a bit of a rush to get out of the weather.

The vista point is on I-5 southbound just a few miles after you get into California. You are still quite a ways away from the mountain at this point, and there are many much closer spots, but it's a very complete view of the mountain and surrounding countyside, so it's a good place to stop and take a picture.

Sadly, I didn't frame the picture properly. I managed to get the sign in the way of the mountain. After we checked out this image on my computer later, we decided that we would stop in Weed on the way back to get a better picture of Mt. Shasta.

July 22, 2004 - Vista Point, California

After a long eleven and a half hour drive, rest is badly needed. The troll kindly checked out the bed in our Motel 6 room in Red Bluff to make sure it lived up to our standards. He declared the bed satisfactory.

July 22, 2004 - Red Bluff, California

Torvald stayed quiet until we reached Asilomar Conference Grounds. At that point it was clear that we needed to take a few more pictures. The troll went with us down to the beach, and we got images on the boardwalk through the dunes, and on the beach itself.

I confess that this image of the troll is a little small compared to the close-ups I usually get, but sometimes you really need to get an image of a sign or landmark in... the troll can't always dominate the image. Really.

July 25, 2004 - Pacific Grove, California

This image of Torvald was taken on the Dunes, which is a protected area of the grounds. In addition to getting this lovely shot of the troll, I also took some images of some of the flowers that grow on the dunes (those will no doubt show up on my blog later). This particular shot was taken about half-way down the boardwalk to the beach. Torvald complained a bit about how damp it was, but I got a good image of him anyway. I'm not sure what he's looking at.

July 25, 2004 - Pacific Grove, California

Once we got onto the beach for the main photo shoot, the troll tried various poses. I took a lot of images, but in the end, this one said "beach" better than any of the rest. It's by far the best picture I took. And no, I'm not sure where Torvald's surfboard is.

July 25, 2004 - Pacific Grove, California

If you go look at my blog, you'll see a nice entry about our visit to the Winchester Mystery House. What I didn't mention there was that Torvald was with us. Ok, he didn't actually come in with us (was he frightened of the rumored ghosts?), but he had his picture taken at the entry on the main sign. As with the Asilomar sign, he is a little small, but as I said, sometimes you need the landmark as much as the troll.

July 26, 2004 - San Jose, California

If you couldn't find the troll in the last image, you wouldn't know where to look for him in this one. I just pulled out a bit to make sure to get more than just the sign. This is just a tiny portion of the Winchester Mystery House, by the way. The mansion has 160 rooms and is spread out over six acres.

July 26, 2004 - San Jose, California

As with the Washington State Capitol Building, we took our picture of the California State Capitol Building in Sacramento from the side instead of the front. On some future visit I may have to rectify that little error, but for now I'm not too concerned. Considering the circumstances of this picture, I'm just glad I managed to get a shot at all!

As you know, we're from Seattle. And in Seattle, 70° F is hot. So when we got out onto the grounds in Sacramento and it was 97° F, we were a wee bit overwhelmed. We walked a ways onto the grounds, looking at the veterans memorial and the firefighters memorial, then I just looked for a good spot to set up the shot. There weren't any. None. It was an impossible shot to get. We wanted to get on the road toward home as both of us were anxious to reach Oregon by nightfall. We were too hot to go all around the building. So we set up in the middle of a path/road, putting the troll on his upturned box, and I held the camera down close to the ground and tried to get the shot without being able to see the video screen from the glare. On the sixth try I got this shot. The capital building and sky are a bit washed out, but it was the best I could do.

Next time I will make sure I plan ahead better.

July 26, 2004 - Sacramento, California

Later that evening we stopped at a truck stop in Weed, California, one of my favorite places for no apparent reason. Somehow I've always had good stopovers in Weed, I guess. In any case, we set Torvald on top of the car and I got this rather magnificent picture with the mountain in the background wearing a beautiful cap.

July 26, 2004 - Weed, California

After Weed, Torvald stayed quiet in his box for the rest of the trip. I hope to be adding to this page soon. Watch my blog for news of updates.

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