A Runny Curse of the Mummy

Cairo, 1947

Cairo (1947)… here I am on a dig at King Tut’s Tomb. Found this photo in the attic and was immediately transfixed…trembling in the throes of crypto-nostalgia. Why I’d almost forgotten my former life as an archeologist and my frequent trips to Egypt. Mind you, this was back when Cairo was Cairo. Ahh, those balmy nights aboard a pleasure boat (a converted death barque) drifting down  the Nile…  sipping  hashish and smoking champagne beneath the loony moon. (Yes, we were quite stoned back then, but we were young, reckless, and deeply disturbed.)

You may laugh when I tell you my camera was a box Brownie.  But I was able to capture some remarkable shots by torchlight  inside the tomb. Alas, the  photographs were lost in London when my luggage was stolen from the ship by a band of masked assassins. (No, they were never apprehended and the whole affair was rather fishy, I daresay.)

Breaking into a tomb is no picnic (it’s like trying to type hieroglyphs at an ATM machine), but we persevered. This photo—taken by my friend  Lord Charles Wisner of Oxford—shows the effects of the 24-hour curse I caught after my initial entry into the Ra library.

Evangelicals claim to see satanic apparitions in the photo, although I remain skeptical.


In Summary…

photo by Derek Pell

I have little to show for my 14th cross-country drive. I-80, the northern route, is a mind-numbing bore. Fast, yes, but excruciatingly uneventful.

Bad weather provided the only suspense, as in “Am I gonna make it, Lord?”

Photo ops were far and few between. I expected to snap some strange road signs, but nothing really weird appeared. I took one trite, touristy shot at the Utah border (above). Add a coyote and you’d have a decent postcard.

Oh well, the important thing is I’m back in northern California, and Zoom Street has a new home with a wrap-around deck and a gorgeous view.

Zoom Street Photo

And we’re right near the lake…

photo by Derek Pell

Gone fishin’, more later.

Cold Snap

photo by Derek Pell

It seems I just can’t escape the winter no matter where I go. This  photo was taken in Tahoe. Some poor sap has been stranded at a gas station for two months.  Imagine his shock when he gets the thing out  and sees the price at the pump.

Might as well just leave it there.

photo by Derek Pell


boxcars boxcars boxcars

photo by Derek Pell

Finally made it to Utah. Here’s a fitting image for a monotonous trip.


Spring Check-Out


I’m getting another taste of winter. About 20-degrees this morning here in Laramie, bitter winds and tea-weak motel coffee. Last night, en route from Denver, we encountered a wicked ice storm, featuring dense fog and 50mph wind-gusts. I crawled past jack-knifed trucks at about 20mph while trying to find  the divider line.  A night like that is enough to erase all this trip’s boredom.

Well at least the sun is shining.


From Badlands to Blandlands

from the Blandlands

This is what happens when you’re at a motel in Independence, MO. You begin to wish you were seeing things. Or you think you are but you’re not. Then again, maybe you are…

Here’s evidence of a theft. Somebody lifted the fourth window while I slept. It was a professional job, real clean. In fact you’d hardly even notice.

Good thing I did.


Whatever Happened to Waddy Peytona?


Received a tip from Peddy Bottom, and found her on the side of the road.

Somewhere in Kentucky, Ducky

This, however,  is not my photo. I drove by too fast.

Waddy, my first love, lives alone and misses me dearly as well she should. She looks remarkably good for her age, still sexy after all these years. Sadly, there was no time to dance.


I’m on the road now, finally.

Never thought we’d make it out  the driveway. No room in the trunk for a toothpick.

California Here I Come

Main gear bag serving as an armrest, wedged between driver & passenger. You can bet I’ve mastered the art of packing after so many cross-country drives. My working theory can be summed up in a single image…

The Art of Packing