online diary for the masses

the blog none of your friends are talking about

Bayview, ID

You know when people demand that you try something? “You simply must try that new burger place”; “You haven’t seen such-and-such movie? You have to see it!”; “You’ve got to listen to so-and-so’s new album!”

That more or less happened to me last week when I told a lady I’d met only moments earlier of my upcoming trip to Sandpoint. The words used were less dramatic, but the point came across clearly: I needed to stop by Bayview, ID on my way to the concert. Unable to think of an excuse as to why I wouldn’t make a detour on my way up, I took her advice, and I’m so glad I did.

Masses, welcome to the most beautiful town you’ve never heard of.

And my personal favorite shot from the day, a pano taken from the driveway of a house that’s for sale in Bayview (if anyone’s interested). Click to enlarge.

Josh Ritter | Festival at Sandpoint

Last weekend I took a solo journey to northern Idaho to see one of my favorite songwriters and Idaho-native, Josh Ritter, perform at the Festival at Sandpoint. I tried with all some of my might to get friends to accompany me to the show, but they kept coming up with reasons not to attend. This found me playing the role of a new-to-town freshman at a music festival full of seniors.

I arrived an hour and a half early and was number 178 in line. When the gates opened I filed in with all the other music fans, only I was unaware of the fact that you were supposed to make a mad dash to the stage and claim your territory with your lawn chair and blanket… I’d brought neither.

As the stampede of people continued to pile in and fill up the lawn, I noticed a mosaic of blankets littering the area closest to the stage and thought to myself, “Surely one of those blankets has enough room to house a new kid with no friends.” I approached what I thought would be my best bet (two twenty-something bearded fellows) and asked if they might have any extra room on their blanket. Turns out they not only had room on the blanket, but they had food as well, both of which they offered me. Incidentally, one of them had been the 4th person in line, so I very much reaped the benefit of that which I did not sow that night.

So a million thanks to Travis and Dusty for your hospitality, and for not being awkward when Ritter commanded everyone in the crowd to slow dance with one another. These photos wouldn’t have been possible without you.

Mr. Ritter, if you’re reading this (and we all know you are), thank you for such an incredible show.



Manito Park Rose Garden :: Spokane, WA

Rose Garden
Manito Park
Spokane, WA

on Father’s Day

The majority of the past week has found me putting all of my possessions into boxes, moving those boxes to a new living space in Spokane, Washington, and emptying them out in hopes of finding homes for their contents. Over 100 years prior, Sonora Smart Dodd was in a similar boat as she moved up to Spokane from Arkansas. Dodd, a church-goer like myself, sat in on a Mother’s Day sermon one Sunday and felt compelled by her love for her dad to create a whole new holiday in 1910: Father’s Day.

And it worked.

So here we are all these years later celebrating our fathers on June’s third Sunday. At least I am.

My dad is a stallion. He’s modeled excellent fatherhood and husbandry to me for longer than I’ve been watching. He loves his family and the Church well. He worked the graveyard shift at 7-11 on top of his day job to pay the bills when he and my mom first got married. I can’t think of a single one of my gymnastics meets that he missed despite having a schedule so busy missing would have been justified. Though he has his moments of token “dad humor”, he actually is quite funny. He even gave up those Camels shortly after this photo was taken, because his wife wanted him to (and, turns out, smoking isn’t good for you).

From the bottom of my heart, and the city in which it originated, happy Father’s Day, Pops.

* Update: Turns out, that is my dad in the photograph, but it isn’t me. It’s my cousin. Good one, D.O.

The Converters – Spokane, WA

Friday night after leaving a rock show with a cameraful of poor images due to the venue’s horrible lighting set up, I came across two street musicians playing on the corner beneath more appropriate lighting. Between songs I asked if they had a name, and they told me they were just two members of a larger group called The Converters. Our conversation was promptly interrupted by a less sober inquisitor, so I gave them my card and an I’m-sure-I’ll-see-you-around look… and I hope I do.