After a very busy summer and early fall, October all of a sudden turned into almost a solid month of “free time” (meaning, barely earning any money), which would normally be something I could ride out without much hassle. However, this free time happened to coincide with some significant and unforeseeable expenses, thus making it difficult to utilize my free time as I would otherwise have. Not complaining, though. I still got to do some cool shit.
Take the Skunk Train party, for instance. This party was started by a couple friends of mine 11ish years ago, and happens every year in October. People get dressed up in ridiculous costumes and begin consuming mind-altering substances bright and early in the morning, then jump on a train and ride it through the redwoods to a designated stopping point, where the party rages for a number of hours, complete with catered food and live music. This time I was lucky enough to get my buddies Marty O’Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra to come play, and they fucking killed it. People couldn’t stop telling me how much they loved this band, and it was well deserved.
Last year (for various reasons) I wasn’t able to ride the train, so I had to drive out and meet up with everyone at the halfway point. At first I was disappointed, but once the day was over and the train had pulled away, I was left alone in the redwoods & realized this was exactly the right amount of party for me. So this year, I did it in purpose. Again, just the right amount of party. The weather is usually cold and wet for this event, but this time it was warm and sunny. Thanks global warming!
The following week I headed south, stopping to see my folks and to wish my Dad a happy 88th Birthday. I took a little drive out to Google headquarters (which is pretty close) and took a photo of one of the only remaining buildings from the farmland era of that area, which I remember from when I was a kid. Starting in the mid-80s, the farmland was slowly gobbled up by business parks and giant buildings, but somehow a few folks managed to hold onto their land and not sell out. I admire them for that.
I cruised down to the Santa Cruz mountains for a little party thrown by Chris from Marty O’Reilly’s band and his landmates. The balmy, clear night didn’t really feel like the mountains in late October, but it was pretty enjoyable nonetheless. I enjoyed being there and photographing the goings-on, but again realized that my capacity for partying is fairly limited and I can’t really hang for long. When I awoke in the morning and had breakfast, I took a little walk around and saw a few brave souls who still hadn’t gone to bed yet. I can’t relate.
I got to have breakfast with Aurora in Santa Cruz proper, then had a lazy day of walking around and enjoying the coastal sunshine before heading out to Oakland to join Megan and her mom who were busy unpacking and moving into Megan’s new place.
As October drifts into November, the calls and emails requesting my photographic skills have slowly started flowing back in, and the mental stress begins to settle out somewhat. I’ve got a few super awesome things happening in November, which you’ll be seeing and reading about right here, so stay tuned.