In 2006 I took a Road Trip from San Francisco to New Mexico and back over the course of a month, writing and taking photos all the way. Two years later I had a show of paintings based on the photographs I took along the way. This is a series of posts of those paintings accompanied by the relevant diary entries.

San Francisco to Yosemite, oil on board, 8 x 24 inches

6.May 1st, 2006

Finally I was on the road. You can tell from my diary entry that once I had cleared the hurdle of worrying about driving on the freeways I was more relaxed…

Well, I did it!I am here at the Yosemite Bug in Midpines. Collected the car but had to change it twice before getting on the road. The first one was really cool, but there was something wrong with it. I was on the road by midday. I spent half an hour in the car park getting used to it…

…i.e. mistaking the brake for the clutch and driving around in a circle, periodically smacking my head off the windscreen…

I left the car park and found myself going across the San Mateo Bridge, which is really long-and then made a wrong turn, but its easy enough to get back on track…driving is quite easy, I relaxed into it after an hour..

I remember the joy of having four lanes to switch across…

Stopped at Mercred to look for a tent but I overshot the turn off for the K-Mart. The 140 from there to here is lovely, green foothills clotted with chestnut trees echoed in the sky by the cumulus about to pounce on the Sierra Nevada on the horizon.

I remember also a traffic plane overhead, on the look out for speeders, and that the lack of ditches and fences was a wonderful thing coming from Ireland.

I made a rest stop to have a Dr. Pepper…

I had become familiar with Dr. Pepper through James Lee Burkes’ Robicheaux books so it was near the top of my list of things to sample. It’s basically like liquid marzipan with added sugar…

It took me five hours to get here without the stop at Mercred, 180 miles. Not great time but it was my first day. Half a tank of gas, eight gallons-it’s gonna be expensive!Oh well. I’ll be dead long enough.




      1. I love marzipan too…so much that I continued to drink it!I just could not believe how sweet it was…another friend had the same experience, said he was in no way prepared for the taste of it…off the scale..

        Liked by 1 person

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