Notes from the couch after the road.

Hello, road. Good to see you again.

It’s been a few months since I’ve strayed too far from home, so it’s good to be on the move again. I even managed to drag along my beloved friend/photographer (and not the other way around) James, who I’ve known since high school. He’s good. Damn good. So check out his blog if you haven’t already.

And so, after little planning and improper packing, we headed South taking the coastal road when we could and less gas-whorish freeways at night, crashing at random campgrounds and the homes of friends and family until we made it to our southernmost destination: San Diego.

Our way back North will be inland through Joshua Tree, Mojave and Yosemite where we will attempt to get our Ansel on.

But first,


The Northern Californian coastline is worth the winding drive.

James standing amongst the Redwoods.

Our first night of camping on the northern coast near Orick.

After making camp in the dark we awoke to this view of the lagoon.

Sutro Baths

The streets of San Francisco

James photographing off the roof of my truck in Pinnacles Monument Park.

James and Mark, another buddy from high school and college who now lives in LA and let us crash at his house.

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133 thoughts on “Notes from the couch after the road.

  1. Steven Tze says:

    Certainly worth the drive.
    Sutro Baths instead of Point Lobos?

  2. Whoa, great photos! As a WordPress photographer, I really enjoy these kinds of posts. Great job!

  3. Fiona.q says:

    lool, you both promote each other’s blog a bit.
    lovely, my best friend is also the one i got to know in high school 😀
    in the last pic, is James wearing long hair? looks COOL!
    the most funny one is James standing in woods. that can illustration two things in opposite way.. 😉

  4. Man, it looks beautiful, it all looks so damn good! Hope you guys are having a proper blast, hope you’re living it up on the road. And brother, I wish I could be there, camping underneath a windswept sky, walking the streets of San Francisco, all of it…Live it hard!

    • J. William Young says:

      Thank you so much, man, It’s been amazing so far, and really looking forward to Yosemite. How’s your journey going? I really need to explore France sometime soon, your project is giving me the bug.

  5. Ekua says:

    Love the pics. I live in SF and make sure to drive along the coast often. I never get tired of it. And in the last few years, I’ve become a little obsessed with the CA desert. It’s amazing and underrated. Last spring, got to check out some carpet blooms of wildflowers in the Mojave. It wasn’t the best season ever for that sort of thing, but it was still amazing.

    • J. William Young says:

      Thanks Ekua! Loved the desert. It had a different feeling than any other place I’ve experienced. Carpet blooms must’ve been an amazing sight!

  6. mutyang says:

    BNW is really nice. 🙂 Keep up the good work =)

  7. basangsisiw says:

    Greatly- taken photos! Never seen such a gigantic creature as those Redwoods you’ve shown. Amazing!

  8. triciamaria says:

    I am in awe of your photo with trees, the Gray-scale really makes you appreciate their height 🙂 Thank you for sharing them!

  9. Kale says:

    Being among ancient trees make you feel so small…

  10. oh, very good pictures, you are a great photographer

  11. lisslissliss says:

    Awesome, inspiring photos, thanks for sharing! 🙂

  12. thebehenjialterego says:

    Sigh. You make me want to take out my camera and invite you to a photowalk in India

  13. jensine says:

    LOVE LOVE LOVE the photos, looks well worth a trip

  14. The picture of those beach chairs is absolutely fantastic. Great post, you write amazingly! And major thumbs up for hitting Freshly Pressed

  15. imegafon says:

    These photos are so well composed. He really IS good. Enjoy your stay! Hope to see more I like from this blog. Happy easter

  16. pinangqaseh says:

    tracking the mother nature through lenses as it is
    the best!

  17. Marti Parham says:

    Nice. Congrats on being pressed!

  18. […] Bottlecaps & Broken Bits Blogging. […]

  19. uribg says:

    Brings back memories of a California road trip…love the photos and the feel of the post. Thanks!

  20. The Hook says:

    I love the idea of a “post-expedition” recap post!
    Well done!

  21. Ah the REDWOODS!

    Definitely my favorite part of northern California. I live in northern Nevada, so I try to get over the Sierras at least a few times a year to feel small. Very, very small…

    Beautiful pix.


  22. mjspringett says:

    You are wonderful and your photos are too, i especially like the black and white at the beginning, thanks MJ

  23. This makes the forests of the UK look so small in comparison. Love camping and used to get away often (not so much these days with a young child, yet). The only problem is the weather difference between California and England. It’s more shivering in you tent and less sitting in lawn chairs by the fire! Love the pictures.

    • J. William Young says:

      Haha, I hear you on the weather difference. I’m from Oregon and know what you mean. Gotta love nice weather when you see it. Thanks!

  24. Lotto Results says:

    Cool pictures! How did you get the old looks on these photos?

    • J. William Young says:

      Thank you! I use lightroom and play around with the settings til I like what I see. I used some grain and changed the colors a bit among other things.

      • Lotto Results says:

        Thanks for the tip. I will give this a try. Your pictures look brilliant in this old look.

  25. annhaycox says:

    Your view from the coastal drive is gorgeous – the rich grey sky, the mists around the hills, the ocean. Great job!

  26. hello, didn’t think San Diego is that lovely. wonderful photos! love the first and the second pics… thanks for sharing, regards, 🙂

  27. Genivalda Candido says:

    Beautiful your photos.

  28. Carlie Chew says:

    Wow! Great pictures, I love how old a few of them look.

  29. The Redwoods picture is fabulous. I wonder if you went one degree lighter on the first picture if you could get more detail out of the darkest part in the foreground.

    • J. William Young says:

      I underexposed a bit when I took it so some of the foreground was lost and I found it a little too distracting when I tried to brighten it up. Next time :), thanks for the advice.

  30. Great! Great! photos with equally great writing. Thank you for sharing this with your WordPress family.

  31. Nicole says:

    Great photos. Especially the redwoods. The black and white looks amazing!

  32. NamratazBD says:

    Wow! That’s all I can say.

  33. The redwoods are so amazing, and I agree, they, like so many other things in nature, make you feel so small. Great pictures!

  34. Jojianna says:

    Awesome pictures – I absolutely cannot wait until I’m travelling again!!

  35. Beautiful photographs! I was lucky enough to attend a wedding 10 miles north of Redway,Ca about six years ago. I regret that I only came back with a few photos. Such an amazing journey.

  36. love and dust says:

    These pictures are beautiful. I’ve been dying to see the Redwoods! I hope you had a fun time. Great blog, great people!


  37. valentinedee says:

    Totally magical. I love your pics. Great!!


  38. maryfollowsthelamb says:

    Eight snaps up!

  39. Jillian says:

    I love roadtripping! And roadtripping through California is always so beautiful!

  40. hold-up-now. says:

    This is fantastic, I am going to reblog this post.

    I would be interested in perhaps writing a feature about your photography. If you are interested then feel free to contact me.

  41. LOVE the redwoods!!! run into bigfoot out there? 😉

  42. hold-up-now. says:

    Reblogged this on holdupnow and commented:
    Some very well-shot photographs of a road trip.

  43. Beautiful Photos – thanks for sharing! Congrats on being FP!

  44. These pics are from like some fabulous French movie! Love your blog by the way!

  45. Pics of the Redwoods always amaze me, one day, one maybe I stand as a small tiny fixture near these huge mammoths of trees….

  46. eesh says:

    Love your pictures.

  47. Jerry Bryant says:

    Love the black and whites! That first one has a lot of depth with the hills. Great shots.

  48. These are so freaking good! I’m extremely impressed. 😀

  49. abbieprescott says:

    Great photos! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed. Love the Redwoods pic. 🙂 Abbie

  50. Currie Rose says:

    Wonderful! I wish I was there. I love the winding drive along the northern california coast. This post made a store of nostalgia rush to the surface. 🙂 Thanks for that.

  51. theredbench says:

    Beautiful pics! Thanks so much for sharing, inspires me to get my camera out.

  52. freethewick says:

    Cool blog happy I found it. Will be following

  53. I can’t believe how tall the trees are! Thanks for sharing.

  54. Grumpa Joe says:

    The black and whites are awesome. You did good to take your own private photographer with you.

  55. Erin Bohler says:

    These aren’t just photos, they’re proof of time well spent. Keep up the good work.

  56. Tim Shey says:

    I love the black and white photos. I am guessing that the top photo is somewhere around Big Sur. I hitchhiked through there years ago.

  57. Seasonsgirl says:

    Love the photo of the trees… nice 🙂

  58. Love the redwoods shot. I just couldn’t get a good shot when I was there last year.

  59. majinmax72 says:


  60. I liked how you showed the size perspective of the second picture

  61. Ardhini says:

    i like ur picture very much.. black and white, looks like we turn back to 70’s or 80’s..

  62. Astrid says:

    Love your shot of the redwoods, the toning really suits the feel of the image

  63. tuesday2 says:

    The black and white of the Redwood is my favorite; makes me want to lace up my shoes and head to the river trails for some much needed solace. (Or better yet, try it barefoot). Thanks for the view, and the inspiration.

  64. jai long says:

    great retro look, great photo’s overall 🙂

  65. Lotto Ergebnisse says:

    Brilliant pictures! Congratulations on being freshly pressed.

  66. Lovely pictures! You have a brilliant blog. Congratulations on being freshly pressed.

  67. Beautiful photos…makes me want to go on a road trip!

  68. This makes me wish I was on the road! Great blog…

  69. yuhaiwing says:

    Sweet pictures. What kind of camera are you using? I got a crappy point and click right now, and definitely want to upgrade in the future.

    Have a good trip.

    • J. William Young says:

      Thank you. I use a Panasonic GF1, one of those micro 4/3 cameras. So far It’s been a good buy and nice and easy to travel with.

  70. Looked like a fun trip. Nice post.

  71. Meghan says:

    Your blog is beautiful and photos amazing. Congratulations on being freshly pressed, you have a new follower!

  72. great pics…………..

  73. shil says:

    Gorgeous !! Superbe !!

  74. Congrats on being Freshly Pressed. I invite you to visit my blog…

  75. Samantha says:

    The photo of the California coastline is gorgeous. That drive is pretty spectacular. Do you use film? Either way, the pictures are fantastic. Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

    • J. William Young says:

      Thank you! I use my digital and a film point-and-shoot camera, but those were taken with my digital.

  76. I have a place for into stay in La Quinta, which at the bottom of Joshua tree. Bout n hour depending on which way u go, let me know

  77. Jean Angelus Pichardo says:

    Excellent photos! The second one… amazing! Keep going!

  78. Fresh from my desk... says:

    Breathtaking photos. Thanks for sharing with the world.

  79. C.P. says:

    My favorite stomping grounds, born and raised on the California freeways. You captured it beautifully.

  80. I have taken the long way home, the winding coastal stretch of road from San Francisco back to Southern California, it was beautiful. Every bit of it. I hear Joshua Tree is gorgeous and hope to shoot there when I move back to CA in June.

  81. C.P. says:

    haha yeah it was pretty rad 🙂

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