1. 8/18. Sitting. It becomes one of the better pastimes in the desert. “That rock?” is a close second. When it is flat, or the tides have changed, or the direction is a little off, or bodies are tired, or any other excuse, sitting takes precedence. If there is a trickle of swell, there is someone down below to watch. An afternoon in the chair can be entertaining. A walk to the van. A trek to the bathroom. A book to read. Actually, sitting around in the chairs is exhausting - mentally. It is the worst way to pass time in Baja. Trails run up to the tops of the hills. Ladders or ropes descend onto the rocky coastline below. Sitting does not last long. There is too much to be missed from the window of the cliffs. Moments like this exist mostly after dark, around a fire where dried stems of agave plants are dragged over the coals to send scorpions hissing towards safety. There is always something to do.  

  2. 7/18. One hundred years ago, San Diego and Southern California reflected a similar landscape. Caravans and covered wagons would have taken the place of panel vans then. Removing the modern amenities of gasoline, packaged foods, and electric lights, there is little that has changed geographically in Baja, Mexico. Wind still blows hard after the land becomes warmer than the ocean, the sun still burns bright throughout the day, coyotes still threaten the quiet of the nights with their blood-curdling howl, and the freedom of commitment still feels as palpable. The desert cloaked coastline of Baja honors what Southern California could have been if it weren’t for the development-hungry entrepreneurs who sought to turn the barren hills into endless-summer enclaves of respite from the hard won trek across America. The drive over the border has become as routine for Americans as changing an address, yet the wild pleasures on the other side remains to be changed. 

  3. 6/18. In relative consistency of both form and section, the sets continue to roll in through the afternoon. The tide still separates the smaller rights, but allows waves to jack on the cobblestone further down. A change in shifts has left the peaks open for Jacques Beriau’s choice. Running out of shoulder, he begins to wind out a long, slow arc to burn some of his speed. Staying up where it sectioned before, Jacques rounds out his turn, and resumes top-to-bottom surfing from the middle of his board. Past the frame, the wave peels closer to the shallow sections and around the cliffs edge. He draws out two more, shorter turns, and rides over the back, the only evidence that remains is the hooting and clapping 200 feet above. August 2013. 

  4. 5/18. Swinging wider than the previous sets, the change of tide has affected the swell direction. At first, they came in shoulder-to-head-high towards the cove. There are a few people who came before us that are hanging onto that spot. They’ve held their position for the better half of two hours, and a shift change is taking place. Jacques Beriau paddles over the bull kelp covered section of cobblestone reef. Sets come through in almost identical form. On the ledge separating the shorter, faster rights from the longer, more powerful ones, he paddles into one of the set waves on a small quad fish shaped a few hundred miles north in San Diego. Top to bottom and long, drawn out arcs define his movements with the wave’s. Around the curve of the cliff the wave ramps for a section. Jacques moves up to the center of his board for two, quick pumps then pulls back to his tail to float it. Alongside the sounds of white water rolling over rock is the clicks of camera shutters. He rides it out and down the line

  5. 4/18. The PEMEX offers only the essentials: petrol, soda, beer, bathrooms, maps, cigarettes and knick-knacks. Stucco construction with Zinc roofing. To say the building is nondescript would be a bold lie. Washed in a now faded sherbet orange, hand-painted advertisements reel off the purchases to be desired: Cuban Cigars, Licores, Kodak Film, a Motel. Poorly lit, the rough shelves and dust covered merchandise only add to the decor. The man working the counter chats with friends. Both customers and employees are reluctant to speak to the nortes who come. It is clear profits come mostly from those north of a border they may never cross, even for a day. Still, they smile, thank customers for purchases and send them on their way - wherever that may be. August 2013. 

  6. 3/18. Reflection travels north and south on Highway 1. Through the arid patches of desert, up to the pine covered cordillera, the pitches and crevasses open up for thought. Outside the PEMEX station in Punto Santo Thomas, we pause from reflection and invest in Tortas, Mexican Coke, and bagged candy. Text advertisements on the weathered side of the storefront reflect off the small coating of dust that has turned the glossed shine of the window to a soft matte. Behind Eamon, the tilted telephone wires wind south until the depth of field becomes a fuzz of mountains that divide land and sky. Continuing in that direction, conversation will subside as the hum of the wheels becomes background music to the soundtrack of the road - other trips, this trip, an old chick, the new chick, getting married. Casting a shadow back at what has come before this pause, a light hangs off one of the poles, its wires travel another direction that now carries memories. Going forward sometimes means glancing backward. 

  7. 2/18. Pan right from the last frame. The Leather House, Cine Vip, Mexican Art, stucco buildings with Spanish-Catholic era domes. Remove the four Americans from the image and the scene is purely Mexico. South of here the road switches to a single lane with a dotted yellow line as the only divide from life or death of the oncoming traffic. On this trip, those long stretches of hot pavement and conversation are broken only by the bathroom breaks or police checkpoints that crop up like carrion at dusk. This city is small, the next will be smaller, until towns with basic supplies mark the map as places of brief respite for the nine passenger van. Ensenada will be the last major stop. Once the desert takes over the towns, those breaks are long enough only to use the bathroom and have a smoke. If there is anything that needs to be purchased, purchase now. No one in the last town before that right turn towards the coast needs to see the two car entourage of nortes poking around. This is the final opportunity. Make it count. 

  8. 1/18. Baja. Depending on who the word is mentioned by - or to - it holds a variety of definitions. To the news junkies cranked out on CNN and FOX, Baja is place where poverty and chaos are close relatives, where one term is equally exchanged for any number of synonyms including murder, gangs, cartels, or violence. For people seeking empty line-ups, miles of chaparral and agave covered desert, candle bright stretches of Milky Way covered nights, and clean point breaks, Baja defines brighter moments. Campfires, strong off shores, warm caguamas, hand-hewn fences, washboard roads - the more accurate adjectives and nouns. Seventy-five miles into the 1,000 mile long peninsula, past two-lane, oncoming traffic traveling at upwards of eighty miles per hour, and around harrowing turns that promote the sharp-contrast of cliff and ocean, the landscape defines the country. Still, the hour and half proximity from the U.S. Border is forgotten only for so long, as Western Expansion trickles south by Multinational Corporations like McDonalds capitalizing on the low-cost of land and labor.  

  9. The portal to the sky hovers over Rat City, Allston, Ma. #boston #allston #sunset #summer #doomsday #ratcity #blanchards #clouds

  10. Across three sets of Green Line tracks, an overpass, and around a pond. The city reveals its worth not in the money made on State Street, but with the spoils of its surroundings. #boston #jamaicaplain #jp #jamaicapond #sunset #summer #meditate #silhouette (at Jamaica Pond)