More from Coastal California

Well, this three-day weekend turned into only two days of traveling for me.  When I got to Santa Cruz Sunday afternoon, I started noticing that Sparkle’s idle at a stop was a tad bit rough.  Probably something that most people wouldn’t even notice — just a slight stutter once in awhile.  I did the sensible thing, which I rarely do, and headed for home.  The traffic was unbearable as it was — both in cities and on the highways.   And the Monday holiday would only have been worse.  The next destinations were to be inland — in scorching heat.  So I thought it best to cut our losses (time) and not face a possible breakdown.  Sparkle ran fine all the way home at highway speed.  Hopefully, it’s just an adjustment and not more money!

Got home 10:30 pm, exhausted, but am rejuvenated now after a good night’s sleep.  The dogs are still thrashed from all their adventures.  I have a nice batch of photos for ya.


One disappointment was that I didn’t get to meet John Cerney on this trip.  We had tentative plans for Saturday but I didn’t make it there in time.  He was “booked” for Sunday so… another time.  I’m one his biggest fans.  He makes these incredible, realistic plywood signs of farmers & ordinary people.  He lives in Salinas so there’s lots of his stuff in the area.  But his stuff is found in other parts of the country as well.

His website shows samples of some of his other projects:

But better than that maybe is this video with him — almost as good as meeting him for now:

Some photos from yesterday south of Salinas — an enormous single panel sign:


This piece has several gigantic panels — this detail shows a closeup of two of the panels (one of man cutting grapes in the foreground with larger rectangular panel behind it):


This one is two panels — the handsome dog (Rat Terrier?) is separate:


and in Salinas:



I did manage to meet someone else for the first time.  I forced myself to put the camera down for awhile and head over to a USDAA agility trial in Prunedale.  This paragraph isn’t really roadside-related — but I know some of you are here for my doggie stuff & know me from my agility days.  So anyway.  I’ve been a big fan of this woman’s blog which covers mostly the adventures of Laura and her three small dogs.  Not just agility but other stuff.  I think even non-agility, non-doggie people would be amused & hooked.

Sorry I didn’t get any photos of her or her dogs — but there’s plenty there at her blog.  And next time when the trial isn’t going on, we’ll get the seven of our dogs & us to some beach for some photos.


Back to the roadside stuff — some Salinas stuff:



The last time I saw this Wagon Wheel Motel sign in 2008 — it had neon:


Well, the neon’s gone now which is pretty sad.  But at least at least it wasn’t replaced with some cheap plastic box sign:



An even sadder situation with this former movie “palace” in Salinas from the 1930s — the former El Rey Theatre.

Info about the place here:

A vintage photo of the place in its prime:



A closeup showing the glazed, polychrome terracotta tile — and terrazzo — and the spot on the ground where the ticket booth was:



Midway thru the Santa Cruz stuff, I reluctantly turned tail for home.  At least I grabbed a little neon during the five hour drive.  Here are some goodies from Pismo Beach.

The Pismo Beach Hotel:



This place has been around since 1942.  The signs might be 1940s or 1950s:



I don’t think this one is vintage — unless it’s been repainted & updated — still lovely day & night:



This sign might be modern or super refurbished as well:



And don’t forget — more photos from this weekend over at Flickr & Ipernity:


No traveling next weekend — but I will probably be doing some shooting in L.A. and Orange County Sept. 14 & 15.  Then I’ll give Sparkle a break and focus on getting all these photos (you’ve only seen a sampling) into the website.

Hope you all had a great holiday weekend and are getting a little “chill” time today like we are.

dj & the dogs

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