Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Sailboat in Annapolis Harbor

Sailboat in Annapolis Harbor, originally uploaded by bikerphoto.

One morning back in the fall I woke at 4 AM and told my wife I was getting on the bike to ride to Annapolis, MD for some dawn photography before work. It is about a 30 mile ride from my house in the pre-dawn fog. She thinks I'm an idiot. I don't know, maybe I am.

Nevertheless, I got this shot while there. At the time I was not impressed with the sunrise or the early morning light. I snapped this picture just to prove I went there. I guess I underestimated how the pink morning hue would look in the picture. It turned out better than I thought it would.

For those unfamiliar with Annapolis, it is the sailing capital of the world. Waterways are crowded with sailboats. If you don't have your own boat, you can go out on charter sailing trips. The sights you would see would include the US Naval Academy and Thomas Point Lighthouse.

The Chesapeake Bay is so beautiful, yet so polluted. Much of the bay is bereft of oxygen, and contains algae blooms that kill underlying grasses. All this kills off the crab and oyster population. The main problem is simply too much population and too much nitrogen runoff. Governments in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Virgina are always trying to clean up the bay, but it has not gotten any better in the 24 years I have lived here.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Rented Roadking

Rented Roadking, originally uploaded by bikerphoto.

In 2004 we took a trip to Sedona, AZ. My wife, my kids and me. While there I rented this Roadking. I had sold my motorcycle when my son was about 3. My son barely remembered me having a bike when he was a baby, and my daughter did not remember her dad as a motorcycle rider at all. So i decided to rent this Harley and take them riding. Needless to say, it wasn't long until I got another bike of my own. I had always known I would get another bike. The kids were little, and I had no time to ride. But now things had changed. They were growing up. It wasn't long after renting this Roadking that I went out to buy my Kawasaki Nomad.

In Sedona, I spent the day riding up Oak Creek Canyon to Flagstaff. There I got caught in a thunderstrom. Arizona highway 89 is one of the top ten scenic drives in the US. Then I rode it out in the desert to Jerome, AZ. Jerome is literally on a mountainside, a very interesting place.

Since it is 33 degrees with sleet today I dug out this old picture from a ride in a warmer place and time. Next week the temperature might hit 60. I plan to pick the warmest day of the week and take the afternoon off to go for a ride.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Thames Street, Fells Point

Thames Street, originally uploaded by bikerphoto.

Fells Point is a bar hoppers paradise. The area is an eclectic mixture of trendy shops, upscale restaurants and dive bars, with clientele ranging from yuppies to college students to gritty city folks. If you want to talk with a diverse collection of characters, Fells Point is the place to go. Pictured on the right side of the street is The Horse you Came in On Saloon. “The Horse” is well known for live music. I found one blog that has an entry about this bar as being the place the blogger met his wife. This building is circa 1775. In 1972 Howard Gerber and a partner opened The Horse and give it the unique and memorable name. Howard sold the bar in November 2006. Rumor has that the ghost of Edgar Allen Poe was at the auction. Legend has it that in 1849 Poe was found near death on a street not far from here.

Not shown in the picture, but on the right side of the street is Ledbetters Tavern. The City Paper (a free weekly paper in Baltimore) had this writeup about Ledbetters when they named it one of the best dive bars in Baltimore in 2006:

“Sometimes you just want a damn drink--not a green faux-tini, not a nutmeg-and smoke-infused microbrew--and you don't want to have to put on heels or a clean shirt, or even necessarily shower to go out and have one. Thank God Leadbetters remains a watering hole of little-to-no repute, where the fanciest beer you might want is a Sam Adams, and you can sit at a slightly dingy, albeit welcoming, bar and listen to bands and singers that range from rocking to ridiculous. And you know what? You don't care. Because you're shooting the breeze with Fons, the bartender, the walls look like they might crumble in a few days, the floor is swept with questionable frequency, and you're drinking a damn cold brew in a damn fine place, and you don't have to worry about impressing a soul.”

The night I was in Ledbetters there was a great acoustic band in there playing a rocking rendetion of Steve Earle’s Copperhead Road. It was a Saturday and the place was packed. People were very friendly and really enjoying the band. The entire bar seems to be only about 15 feet wide, with the band lined up on the right side wall as you come in, and only enough room for people to pass between the band the people sitting at the bar on the left side. Very simple, yet very cool.