|Sycamore Falls, Kaibab National Forest Arizona|
I’ve been curious about Brad Dimock for years. I’ve read several of his books (I’d especially recommend Sunk Without a Sound, particularly if you enjoy real-life mysteries) and have seen some of the boats he’s built. As it turns out we have a mutual friend. When I leveraged that relationship to invite myself and my husband to see his boat shop, he graciously agreed. My husband makes exquisite furniture, so I knew the two wood guys would have quite a bit to talk about.
So, I had a chance for a new experience.
|Brad admiring the Hetch Hetchy|
When we showed up Brad told us that his crew couldn’t make it that day. Marco volunteered to do some sanding and before I knew it, he was helping with painting and attaching the chines. He was loving every minute, believe me. I was minimally involved, taking some iPhone snaps and chatting, and I ordered the lovely Thai food that we ate standing up in the shop because “I don’t leave the shop,” Brad says.
My other favorite quote from the craftsman, “superstition is bad luck.”
The best part was that the project is a restoration of one of the Martin Litton Boats, The Hetch Hetchy. The poor girl was pretty beat-up, but with Brads’ magic touch, she’s going to look stellar. You can follow the project on his blog, Fretwater Lines. Litton commissioned a series of Whitewater Dories in the late 1960s, naming them after lost natural places. Hetch Hetchy Valley (adjacent to Yosemite Valley) was drowned by a dam in the 1920s. In short, the vessel is a legend and we had the privilege of helping a bit with her restoration. Sigh.
For more about these dories and a really great read, check out The Emerald Mile, by Kevin Fedarko.
|The Second Falls, Sycamore Falls Arizona|
Marco managed to tear himself away eventually, and on the way back to Yarnell, we checked out Sycamore Falls. I’ve been dreaming of ice and robust water flow over the waterfall for years. I was rolling the dice, really, but was so pleased that we took the detour and didn’t even mind the rust-colored mud all over my Subaru. It was all I had hoped for. Another first.
|Stallions sparring a bit, Bush Highway, Tonto National Forest Arizona|
This same weekend began with a trip to photograph the Salt River (feral) horses along the Bush Highway. My friend, photographer Sara Goodnick lives nearby, is familiar with these bands of horses, and knows so much about the animals in general. Like photographing bears with Stan Cunningham, what I learn is as much fun as the photography.
|Juvenile horse and brittlebush, Bush Highway, Tonto National forest Arizona|
I’d never photographed them before, either.
I’m still smiling.