Experience and camaraderie. Two parts; both in equal measure. The ability for me to gather inspiration for the stories I write and the photographs I take arise out of the times I spend in activities other than writing and photographing.
Last year my "brothers-bound" (as we refer to one another) and I took what has become the annual pilgrimage to a Willie Nelson concert. This one was held at the not-to-be-missed Konocti Harbor in Northern California. Built decades ago, its a throw back resort to the times when camping in aluminum Streamline trailers were all the rage. Today, even with a new stage, that old dilapidated feel of innocence-lost pervades the atmosphere. The place is a destination unto itself.
To Konocti flock all manner humanity; from the biker gangs, to the tweekers from the hills, grandparents, outlaws, and truckers all intermingle with regular salt-of-the-earth folks from around the country. They all come to pay homage to one man. And though the beer and whiskey flow into the early morning, while strangers hook up in the Jacuzzi Suites, this small edge of Lake Konocti becomes Eden; no fights break out, no one is heard disrespecting another. People young and old gather together around cheap Wal-Mart picnic tables and recount stories from past Willie concerts while toasting one another with plastic cups of the devil's ale.
The picture above was taken in from of Willie's Tour Bus. The following morning, as I soaked myself in the jacuzzi and sipped from a Budweiser, the sun rose over the hills, and I caught a distinct waft of weed emanating from the direction of the bus. Willie Nelson and me, sharing a "morning wake-up" after a most successful evening.