Tag Archives: travel

SOLC Day 7: Weather or Not

There’s not much weather where I live.  In fact, it’s not unusual for a forecast for rain to fade away before actually materializing.  It’s been a dry winter, so the prospect of rain is something people look forward to–even if it causes inconveniences.

I spent the last two days working in Berkeley.  When I looked ahead at the weather to pack for my trip, I noticed that rain was expected today.  I packed my raincoat, double checked that my umbrella was in its home in my suitcase, and hoped that the rain wouldn’t be the deluge I experienced on my last Berkeley trip in January that left my socks drenched and my pant legs damp.

When I awoke this morning and peeked out the hotel window, the streets were still dry.  Thick cloud cover quilted the sky, suggesting that rain might just arrive.  By the time I was ready to head downstairs for breakfast with my colleague, the air was damp.  A light mist spritzed us as we navigated the sidewalks to our chosen restaurant.  As I dipped my hands into my raincoat pocket I felt a slip of paper.  Closer examination revealed it was a receipt from my last trip to Berkeley.  Had I not worn my raincoat since my trip in January?

The rain increased by the time breakfast was done, now coming down at a steady rate.  With hoods up, we walked and talked in the rain.  It wasn’t coming down so hard that we had to hunch down, instead we reveled in this liquid gold, knowing our state is in great need of water.

By the time I got to the airport later in the afternoon, the sun peeked out, casting a glow over the tarmac.


My flight home was painless–and especially gorgeous as we started to descend.  Layers of clouds interspersed with ribbons of magenta, red, and orange framed my view of the ocean. As we dipped lower, we sank into thick white cotton, obscuring the view for a bit until finally my city came into view.

I caught the last bits of sunset walking to the car and am left wondering if the rain will follow me here.  The weather app says it will rain overnight, but will it?  Rain overnight sounds good…but in these parts we never know weather or not the weather will arrive!


SOLC Day 5: Flight Risk

It’s eerily quiet as I approach TSA at the airport tonight. There’s no line…not in the TSA pre line or in the regular line. I zigzag through the empty lanes, making my way to the person who checks your ID without stopping. There’s a few people ahead of me once I get to the x-ray lines, but the entire process is done in minutes…single digit minutes.

Is the relative quiet because I’m flying on a Thursday evening or because of the potential risk involved in flying because of the COVID 19 virus keeping people at home? The freeways I traveled getting to the airport were packed, at one point my navigation told me that the 13 miles I had left to traverse would take 40 minutes—and it was accurate!

As I type this waiting for my flight I see the Southwest agents pull the disinfecting wipes out, swiping counters. A few minutes earlier I watched another pump the hand sanitizer, rubbing away those unseen dangers. The lady a few seats down from me just pulled out her own hand sanitizer, the smell of the alcohols wafts in my direction.

Am I putting myself at risk by getting on an airplane tonight?  I don’t think so.  In fact, with all the disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, and many fewer people than usual, this flight might just be safer than other similar flights I have taken.  And the relative calm of the waiting area is allowing me space to think and write, my belongings spread around me, rather than feeling squeezed in the more typical sardine fashion that I am accustomed to.

But I do have my own hand sanitizer in my bag…and I think I will use it on that tray table before using it tonight.  I might as well keep the risk at the lowest possible levels.


When is it Worth it? SOLC 2019 Day 16

When is it worth it to fly halfway across the state for a Saturday meeting?  Up at 3:45am, driving before the sun has even begun to think about peeking over the horizon, at the airport waiting for a flight before my regular wake up time.

Arriving well before the meeting time–because airlines work on their schedules, not yours.  Searching for coffee on a sleepy college campus, a futile exercise on a Saturday morning.


(Luckily a Philz was right off campus…a pour over experience to fuel the day to come.)


When is it worth it to meet face-to-face?  Our hunch was right.  We needed to be human, to be real, to not only see and hear one another, but to feel each other too. We were in need of an opportunity for a shared experience AND spaces for those small, informal conversations that build relationships and enhance the more public and formal interactions.

A network is a network when we are connected.  Today’s long day that spanned hundreds of miles of travel for our group was definitely worth it.


I’m filled with information, inspiration, and hope…for the network, for the work, for the future.  And I feel the warmth and comfort of relationships reinforced, bonds renewed, and the tingle that will lead to growth and new ideas.

And the cherry on the top?  I was able to change to the earlier flight home!


Weekly Photo Challenge: Leading Lines

Lines can mean linear–straight lines from here to there and in my life I can be resistant to those neat and tidy pathways.  But in photography, sometimes the lines can create interest in an image.  I started to look at photos taken this week and noticed a number that highlight the photography technique of leading lines.


Here’s a pretty traditional leading line I noticed in downtown Seattle where the arch and the sidewalk lead your eye down the street…but what I was seeing in the distance was this:


and I’m not so sure that it qualifies as a photo with a leading line.  (It is a fun neon sign!  Can you imagine a hotel room for 75 cents?!)

As we were looking for the light rail, I caught sight of the train coming along the tracks below.  The lines converge and diverge, with the train following a clear line.


I started to notice some lines in nature too.  In Seattle these purple flowers are in bloom everywhere.  They are made up of tiny blooms and dangle from the branches of bushes (or are they trees?).  I’d love to know the name of these beauties.


I chased down this swallowtail as it flitted from bloom to bloom while I walked around the hotel grounds where our resource development retreat was held.  Sometimes you just need to get outside to clear your head and take a mental break!  It seems that the butterfly creates its own line in the photo.


I liked the way the window created some interesting lines in this image from the restaurant window where we enjoyed some clam chowder and musical entertainment…you can catch a glimpse of the Pike Place Market outside the window.


And the sign itself–which does not include a vertical line, uses horizontal lines to draw your eye across the words.


And today, as we drove from Seattle toward Tacoma and beyond, we crossed this lovely big bridge.  Through the passenger window of the car, I was able to capture this view.  I love the clouds in the distance…with just a tiny hint of blue toward the top.  After leaving a heat wave in southern CA, this weather is almost winter-like with temps in the low 60’s and occasional rainfall.


So, try your hand at leading lines in your photos this week.  What lines will you find?  Will you capture a traditional vertical line or will you find some other variation?

You can post your photo alone or along with some words: commentary, a story, a poem…maybe even a song! I love to study the photographs that others’ take and think about how I can use a technique, an angle, or their inspiration to try something new in my own photography. (I love a great mentor text…or mentor photo, in this case!) I share my photography and writing on social media. You can find me on Instagram and Twitter using @kd0602. If you share your photos and writing on social media too, please let me know so I can follow and see what you are doing. To help our Weekly Photo community find each other, use the hashtag #leadinglines for this week and include @nwpianthology in your post.

So follow some lines and see where they take you!  I can’t wait to see what you find.