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WULFE. Issue 01 California//Nevada


Issue 01 California//Nevada

“US fl a g, l a te a fterno o n ” Pa c i fi c Coa st Hi ghw a y 1, Ca l i fo r n i a J une 2 017

Issue 01


DEATH VALLEY By Car p10 - 29

NEVADA Light & Shadow p30 - 51

PYLONS & Powerlines p52 - 63

HOLLYWOOD and Griffith Observatory p64 - 79

THE PACIFIC COAST Highway One p80 - 99

ONE DAY in San Francisco p100 - 117


I ssu e 01

Th i s I s W U L F E . B y Da n Tu rn e r

Let me begin by saying that I will be the

but also to translate the thoughts, feelings

Varial!) I started moving steadily down the

first to admit I haven’t the faintest idea of

and emotions trapped in those very mo-

enticing road of self publication - build-

how to create, publish or circulate a maga-

ments. I felt this would be the best way to

ing ideas and projects out of a seemingly

zine, let alone one that is already dwarfed

share the experiences.

endless collection of photography and memories amassed during the trip. A sou-

by independent publications accomplishing

venir of sorts. That was my initial aim for

more in their first and second issues than I

It’s with this notion that I recall a rather

could even hope for if I made it to a tenth.

more in-depth and meaningful essay ques-

WULFE. at least, but once I began to piece

In a way though, this is my experimental

tion once posed to me at university that had

it all together I found that there really is

tribute to those I was influenced by and my

strong links to Romanticism and Sublimity

something special in creating and crafting

contribution to their world all the same.

throughout - Are Landscape Photographs

a tangible chunk of time or an experience –

Always a Metaphor? The conclusion usually

and it’s a feeling I hope resonates through-

One of the first things I realised in the

drawn is that with most images the an-

out. This isn’t a travel guide or a ‘things

process of creating this magazine was just

swer is almost always yes - they stand as a

to do’ but a simple and hopefully eloquent

how challenging self-publication actually

reflection of each individual photographers’

recollection of time spent.

is, so my hat goes off to those who continue

complex feelings or emotional states in

to keep the independent publication scene

those instants, whether created intentional-

As for the future, I know already that I’ll

alive. At the same time however, in writing

ly, or later realised in hindsight.

continue to create and shape WULFE. as long as I am able to and write about the

this piece I’m still to finalise much of the first issue and am yet starting to think of

Presented here is a rather romantic form

places I may travel to and experience. No

all the who’s, where’s, what’s and how’s of a

of the latter. I could have started an online

plans, just my camera and I. I love photogra-

second. I may well have caught the bug and

travel blog but I felt that these magnificent

phy and I love exploring, but most of all I

only now am I really starting to understand

places I had visited deserved a much better

love the kick of adventure in my gut and a

the obsessive love that drives people to

treatment on a grander scale - rather than

journey with heart, soul and an evocative

create these sorts of things.

being half heartedly churned out on to a

story – wherever the destination, whatever

generic Instagram feed or lost to similar

the subject.

Now I think of it though, I begin to ask my-

swathes of scroll-fodder. And thus, inspired

self why producing a magazine didn’t occur

by my friends accomplishing great things

to me sooner. I was in need of a platform to

with similar projects (shout out to Lowlight

not only showcase the images I had taken

magazine and local Nottingham skate-zine,

Welcome to WULFE.


C h a p te r 1

D EAT H VA L L E Y B y C ar J o i n us b e hi n d th e wh e e l o f a co n ve r tib le F or d M us tang te ar ing We s t ac r os s s tate bor de r s , aw ay f ro m t he b l i nd in g lig h ts a n d n o ctu r n a l c ity buz z of c e ntr al Las Ve gas and in to the s c or c hing de pt hs o f o ne o f A m e r ic a s la r g e s t a n d mo s t r e c o g nis able national par ks - D e ath Valle y.

I had always dreamed of visiting America

Stopping at Zabriski Point (a well-visited

we encroached the border of the National

but never imagined I would get chance to

lookout point in the lead up to Furnace

Park. Cruising at a steady sixty-five miles

make the four-hundred-and-twenty-five

Creek) for what was meant to be a simple

per hour and picking up speed where

mile drive from Las Vegas to LA - detouring

half-hour break away from the confines

possible down the emptier back-roads, we

through Death Valley National Park.

and restrictions of a rather tight-fitting

quickly arrived at the Furnace Creek visitor

rental car, the coarse forty-seven degree

centre and gas station; a location we

Starting at the strip and heading West

heatwave bore down on top of us, reflect-

hastily pre-loaded on to the sat-nav that

through Pahrump, the sharp lights and

ing back off the bright sand-coloured earth

enabled us to fill up the tank one last time

neon noise of Vegas fall away quickly and

and clung tight to any exposed skin that

before making the descent further below

open up to a vast rocky wilderness. One

wasn’t already stinging and raw from wave

sea level, on towards Badwater and its

marked only by long, sun-scorched roads

upon wave of intense radiation. All at once

expansive salt-flat basin.

and the occasional smattering of criss-

storied tales of unfortunate semi drivers

crossed power lines preventing remote

experiencing mechanical failures on lonely

It’s worth noting that at the junction head-

shacks and loosely tethered livestock

freight expeditions began to flare up in my

ing down towards the basin there is no

ranches from falling completely off-grid.

memory. Faceless strangers straying too far

more than a two lane stretch of unending

from their vehicles then finding themselves

road that lacerates the intumescent land-

Crossing the state line from Nevada to

suffering from a rapid onset of heat stroke

scape. It eventually snakes away and trails

California in the lead up to Death Valley

and eventually expiring alone suddenly be-

off behind some tiny red-rock protrusions

Junction and then heading further North-

came very vivid and real people in my im-

in the distance and meanders up in to

west towards the aptly named Furnace

agination. After only a short while shooting,

the mountains beyond. Limitless plains of

Creek, the far-off hills and golden-brown

already feeling myself and my tiny Olympus

rock, sand and the occasional dry-rooted

rock faces creep closer to the road and only

struggling under the searing conditions,

shrubbery sit in between. The immediate

serve to intensify the sense of intimidating

I decided it was time to head back to the

surroundings offer nothing more than

scale and size the region possesses - dwarf-

cool and soothing sanctuary offered up by

the same sense of unending, boundless

ing even the most stereotypically Ameri-

the car. Apprehensive at the thought of the

distance felt in dreams where, frustratingly,

can-sized motor-homes cavalier enough

scale and length of the journey ahead, we

no ground is gained by those desperate

to romp through the infinite sparseness of

pressed on.

enough to attempt to run to the horizon and, for this reason alone, it became appar-

each dusty desert channel. From this point on the heat intensified as

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ent that the best course of action was to

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careful not to stray too far from our mobile

aesthetic - much akin to the eerie tranquil-

air conditioning unit. At 282ft below sea

lity felt on-board small boats in the quiet

Not that straying from it would have

level, the basin is the lowest point in North

vacuum of open water, perhaps.

mattered regardless, the view from the

America and due to the combined low

turning is an unfathomable one. I’m sure

air pressure and dry, arid climate of the

Back in the car as cautious explorers of

even the old masters of photography, given

surrounding desert, this too was a place

this beautiful but quietly threatening

endless rolls of film and a lifetime on the

we decided not to linger for too long, lest

world, we twisted, turned and pressed on,

junction, would fall short of doing justice

we find ourselves the unwitting subjects in

the sun setting to our right and finally

to the landscape and capturing its whole

some sort of ‘what not to do’ section of a

doing so below the mountains behind us

enveloping presence within the confines of

local travel guide.

as we pulled in to Baker. An idle truck-stop

stick to the road.

shanty town and small hub of fast food

a paper border. No doubt they would come close, but can pictures locked in the past

One thing that struck me about the place

chains vying for the custom of the many

ever live up to the same living, breathing

during our time there however, was the

dormant eighteen-wheelers and their


sound - or rather lack of it. No noise of

dozing inhabitants, it sits lazily beside the

background wildlife, no rustling of dry

wild rush of flowing headlights afloat on

Carrying on down the road and seeing

grasses in the wind and even the distant

highway fifteen. Our last chance to re-fuel,

cars turning back towards Furnace Creek,

speck of other tourists in their larger-than-

we watched the town succumb to dusk

seemingly knowing something we foolishly

life vehicles gave no audible clue as to

and continued our journey as just another

didn’t, time was lost to simply being in

their exact location on the horizon. Even

set of beams lost to the blinding highway

awe of the towering rock formations and

spoken words found themselves dampened

mass. Driving hazily through the night we

their alien colour palettes as we sped on

by dense air and were quickly stolen away,

drew ever closer to the next stop on our

by. Shadows grew suspiciously longer but

lost to the ether. This howling quiet only

adventure – Hollywood and greater LA.

the heat endured as we pulled up and

added to the alien-like sensation subtly

wandered around Badwater Basin, being

hinted at by the landscapes’ initial looming

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Chapter 2.

N EVA D A L i g h t & S hadow “ O u r j o b is to record, each in his own way, this world of light and shadow a n d t i m e that w ill n ever come a gain e xac tly as it is today.” - Edward Abbey

It’s always been known that Vegas is a twenty-four hour city and one with two sides to its personality at that. Days are spent akin to deser t wildlife; lazily lounging around a nearby pool of water, soaking up the sun or hiding out in the cooler, darker casino cave-systems running through the vicinity. Nights are the polar opposite, where Vegas really comes in to its own, alive with tangible sparks of colour and electric atmosphere. All manner of creatures come out to play, frolicking in the haze of whatever kind of magic is produced when relaxed alcohol laws and flashing lights combine in a neon crucible. But what about the interim? The transitional period between these two pronounced states of searing heat and buzzing electromagnetism? It would seem that, given the miles and miles of flat land, the setting sun has much longer to burn itself a lasting impression in to the metallic landscape. Towards the end of its voyage - in the time before an array of voltaic reactions cast the city in a much different and vibrant light - the towering architecture also has its say on the colours and lines of the city’s canvas; painting long shadows that dance with bursts of brilliant firered light and multi-coloured glows, warm and vibrant in their assor ted, glistening shapes. If the days here can be described as being born from a burning deser t furnace, then these par ticular moments would be the death rattle of the dying embers, mere minutes before the cool electricity of a blue, neon moon sets in. This ephemeral transition happens daily, yet is different in its complexities each cycle. The fragments of time held still in these photographs may have idiosyncrasies and similarities with other photographs of the same or similar subject matter, but no two moments will ever exist identically. This light has travelled millions of miles to greet me in this moment. And for that - I am grateful.

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Chapter 3.

PYL O N S & P o w erlines A v i su a l e x ploration of the dich otomy be twe e n the ple ntiful sc atte rings of g e o m e t ri c , steel structures and the wild, barre n landsc ape s the y inhabit.

Silent, strong and stoic in the lonely wild-lands, seemingly forgotten creations stand monolithic and unblinking in the empty desert vacancy. The elegantly constructed geometric beacons hold steadfast and unwavering against the relentless natural elements that sculpt and perpetually reshape the lands these steel giants infrequently populate. Quietly serving their purpose relaying volumes of information to the many bustling municipalities churning autonomously hundreds of miles away, the stark contrast of these apparent votive offerings against the boundless celestial backdrop only serves to amplify the obscurity of such vacuous territories and the scenes present within them. These static monuments, perhaps to an unknown information-age deity, vary most not in purpose or functionality, but more-so in their exchanges with the immediate surroundings. Some unwittingly blend in to the scene and give birth to a utilitarian hybrid of camouflage and symbiosis that allows for a more discreet and uninterrupted execution of their constant drudgery. At the mercy of grander vistas threatening total consumption, lesser, solitary structures and lone single pylons can do little in the face of larger localities not-so-easily interrupted. Others rise higher, however, protruding out from the surrounding wastelands and dwarfing the extensive neighbourhoods of nearby flora and fauna. Planting themselves so immovably, in an assertion of hushed dominance, they discreetly attempt to tame the unruly wilds that besiege them, unremittingly so, on all sides. Perhaps the unavoidable advancement of time and technology will eventually plunder these metallic anomalies in to some kind of neglected redundancy, thrusting them in to the perpetual state of forgotten obscurity they, from a distance appear to exist in already. But for now if you look closer they sustain - gently humming and buzzing, menacingly placid inside the frames of their landscape. Privately recording the single, slow seconds until some coming technological rapture allows them to transcend states and complete their surely imminent apotheosis, resting finally, as a form of real devotional-architecture.

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Chapter 4.

H O L LY W O O D & Griff i t h O b servatory Exploring the space around Hollywood and the magic of one of its most historical landmarks.

After a long five-hour night-drive consisting of hazy red tail lights

imagined for myself and now found to be so vastly different.

and blinding white headlamps along a busy highway 15, we eventually made it to our Hollywood Hills apartment (a short walk away

Perhaps I was immune to the magic of Hollywood and saw it for

from the famous Boulevard) at around midnight. Exhausted from

what it was through the same, tired eyes as all the aspiring devo-

the previous day’s romp through the desert wilderness we deemed

tees who failed to find work and had over time become jaded, years

it best to explore after a good nights sleep and a good, hearty

later still unknown faces trapped working as waiters or baristas,

American pancake breakfast.

their final chances at fame rapidly fading from their reach.

We awoke early to find the air a little more tolerable and a lot

Admittedly The Hills area (out of sight and away from the main

less thick and arid, although the temperature still sat at around

tourist areas) had an air of what I expected. Lavish gated prop-

an average of 30 degrees throughout the day. Perfect for a stroll

erties sat in the middle of beautifully maintained, palm-laden

around the main tourist section of Hollywood Boulevard and the

gardens that provided their inhabitants with a shade of privacy

Walk of Fame. Happening upon the first few names we recognised

from the prying eyes of the outside world. Though still not quite

on the Walk (arriving from the West) an excitement flared up inside

my naive imagining of the fabled Tinseltown it was, however, much

me as it began to sink in that I was actually here, a place I again

closer to it than the tackiness spilling out from the Boulevard and

never thought I’d be able to visit. Once again my mind raced as I

its never-ending rows of souvenir shops full of fridge magnets,

thought of all the great actors who had travelled here as relative

novelty licence plates and bootleg t-shirts. Overpriced ‘celebrity

unknowns, desperate to land a starring role, or hell, even a bit-part

homes tours’ were also popular offerings from boulevard locals

starting off their storied journey to stardom. I could feel the elec-

who became much more agressively animated as the day went

tricity as the frisson of the daydream took effect. The magic soon

by. That isn’t to say there is no magic or excitement to be found

faded, however, as I snapped back to the reality of the street in

there at all, but what little is left of it has faded and aged quite

front of me approaching the hoards of tourists outside Graumans


Chinese Theatre. I became disillusioned in a matter of seconds. My perfect ideological bubble bursting before my very eyes. I had

After a few touristy photographs at the Chinese Theatre and a

expected this pocket of LA to exude glamour and class; all the

trip to the gruesome Museum of Death (a building dedicated

glitz of ‘showbiz’ and elegance of cinema’s golden age should

to displaying graphic crime scene photographs from notorious

have oozed out of every once-prominent art-deco building in the

murder cases and disturbing artwork produced by convicted serial

area. I wanted lights, I wanted stars, I wanted excessive luxury. But

killers from inside their prison cells) we headed back West along

most of all I wanted it to live up to the reputation and vision I’d

the still-frenzied Boulevard to prepare for our evening at the

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Observatory. Late afternoon we followed the sat-nav towards the

That’s when we saw it - the grand Observatory standing monolithic

parking area at the observatory, taking in more of the beautifully

and quietly triumphant in its understated magnificence. The Art

ornate houses and lush gardens along the winding road leading up

Deco architecture strong and stoic against a dazzling backdrop of

to the entrance of Griffith Park. We noticed a great many other cars

downtown city lights and the burning, orange, red and dusty-pink

heading towards Mount Hollywood and were surprised to see that

sky heralded from another affluent LA sunset. This was the magic

around dusk the area was actually growing rather busy - enough

I’d been longing for. This was the feeling I’d fabricated from

so that we had to park in the lower section of the park rather than

piecing together years of tiny fragments and stolen glimpses from

driving, as we initially intended, to the car-park existing at the

various television programs and films growing up. Admittedly deep

entrance to the observatory itself.

down I knew this hyper-stylised vision I had created was the reason I felt such disappointment on the boulevard. But in this mo-

At first this was an inconvenience and we wondered why there

ment - the whole evening in fact - everything fell in to place and I

were so many people around. A mixture of young and old, tourists

was swept up, smitten and in awe of a city I perceived to know so

and locals alike. Was there an event of some sort happening? Were

intimately but never, until now, was able to reach out and touch.

we lost? We followed the crowds cautiously along the winding slalom of the observatory’s driveway, enveloped by a variety of

We spent the rest of the evening soaking up the tantalising atmos-

great trees one side and the steep slope to the peak on the other.

phere and with the inner exhibits of the building closed for the

All the way feeling a growing agitation in the tumultuous atmos-

day, began to wander up an external spiral staircase heading for

phere, heightened solely by the trembling excitement and hushed

the rooftop viewing platform. Looking south towards the distant

whispers emitted by a group of teenage girls following suit and

towers of Downtown, we watched as the shadows sank away,

joining the congregation behind us. My heart began to beat faster

absorbed by the now-glittering street-lights of the city’s early

in anticipation of what we were going to uncover as we crested


the peak of the driveway, finally revealing the open secret only we seemed to be oblivious to.

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There was a short queue on the platform to view the moon and

stars through the infamous twin Zeiss telescopes housed in the Observatory’s East dome, along with shorter queues throughout the grounds to stargaze through less powerful tripod-based versions. There is something to be said for events such as these where people from all walks of life come together to experience the humbling sensation that gazing off in to the great expanse of the galaxy brings. I felt a real sense of belonging and a real affinity with the people around me, all gathering to witness something much bigger than ourselves. But as far as I was concerned I didn’t need a telescope to be transported to far away galaxies. I was already a great explorer standing aboard my mountain-top vessel, balanced precariously on the edge of the Earth and ready to fall gracefully at any moment in to the distant, endless, sparkling light beneath. Surrounded by the warmest glow and a plethora of dazzlingly vivid colours, the city of stars seemingly miles below, I was already there, lost to the cosmos.

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Chapter 5.

T H E PA C IF IC C OA ST H ighw ay O ne Racing up California’s East-coast highway and experiencing the local way of life.

In southern California at Dana point where

nades and the endless tides of people that

infinitely through bountiful wooded areas

the I-5 breaks inland right, the California

frequent them. Yet further along the coast

interspersed briefly with harbour and

State Route 1 splits off left and hugs close

at Malibu and Santa Barbara, an increased

sea views a mile below, Arlene’s architect

to the ocean as it spans the length of the

wealth visibly alters the terrain with

designed, nineteen-fifties built wooden

Eastern side of the state, right up to Legget

residents owning more land, larger houses

home perfectly merges with its surround-

in the far North where it makes it’s final

and generally living further apart and more

ings. Looking like a magnificent tree house

merge with the 101. At the time of our visit

closed off from their neighbours.

it sits nestled within the foliage overlooking a wooded valley. Inside it houses not

landslides in Pfeiffer state park had meant that the most beautiful portion of the

Back on the southern beaches we rented

only Arlene and her lodgers but a whole

iconic drive was closed off to non-resi-

cruiser bicycles and rode from Venice

lifetime of possessions, objects and trin-

dents, especially Bixby Creek Bridge and

Beach to Santa Monica Pier, joining the

kets. Each vase, wall hanging, bowl, device,

Big Sur, forcing us to detour slightly inland

flow and joyfully weaving in and out of

instrument and minute fascination comes

through Paso Robles and the patchwork of

the foot-traffic along the board-walk. The

with a story, each connected intrinsically

surrounding vineyards.

warm sun, sea breeze and delicious smell

in some way with Arlene’s’ life and travels

of a nearby fast food stand drifting on the

or to someone she has housed previously

One of the first things you notice about

air had elevated the journey from a leisure-

in her forty years as a host and landlord.

the gargantuan route, however, is how the

ly one to near-perfect bliss. Spending the

Infinitely generous she shares these stories

landscape of the Californian coastline con-

day taking on the sensory barrage of the

and worldly experiences charmingly so

stantly changes and evolves as you proceed

tourist-heavy Santa Monica Pier, we even-

over dinner and breakfast and can recall

along it. On the southern beaches close to

tually cycled back and hopped in the car to

with such clarity many facts about a num-

downtown LA it mirrors the city’s dense-

take a lazy afternoon’s drive through the

ber of her previous guests and their vary-

ness - Huntingdon, Venice and Santa Mon-

slow moving traffic up in to the winding

ing interesting customs over the years. On

ica are all scattered with an abundance of

hills of Santa Barbara, ready to seek out

the morning of our departure she took out

bodies, vibrant life, colour and sound. On

and meet our first host who wasn’t just a

a very large rolled up piece of paper and a

any given day tourists and locals alike can

disembodied email or Air B&B notification

blue marker pen from a nearby side-table.

be seen hanging out from the understat-

- Arlene. “This is my second one” she declared.

ed yet functional beach-side apartments, leaning out over balconies that overlook

Tucked away in what seemed like a laby-

“The first kinda fell apart after 25 years, but

the comings and goings of the prome-

rinth of steep, winding roads that snake

I still keep it around in case I wanna look...

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crasies discovered from forty plus years of

and long-beaked common dolphins often

information gathered by opening her doors

make appearances too - huge shoals that

Unrolling the paper on a larger table and

to the world only seemed to make Arlene

swim up around the boat, ‘bow riding’ and

weighing down the edges with nearby

eager to discover more about people and

playing in the pressure waves created by

mugs and a few wood-carvings, laid out

humanity as a whole. Meeting her was no

the vessel.

before us was a huge world map with hun-

formal passing on of life lessons but a

dreds if not thousands of tiny inked dots

two-way exchange of knowledge, anecdotes

Along with these public excursions, the

spanning every continent. Concentrations

and experiences that inadvertently made

Condor Express often gathers and shares

of which were clustered around the larger

us realise that perhaps the best way to

valuable data and sightings with re-

capital cities with a few lonely markings

approach life was as Arlene did - with a

searchers and naturalists to help conserve

poking around the more remote regions of

welcoming heart and open arms.

and protect the marine mammals in the it sometime”.

channel. So confident are the crew in their

the world too. Shortly after, we said our goodbyes and

sea-life spotting abilities they will offer

“I make every guest place their dot some time

loaded our suitcases in to the car. Driving

another trip free of charge if there are no

before they leave, just so I can look at it and

back through the tight winding streets

sightings during the six hours out on the

remember all the people I’ve met and where

down to the harbour, we felt refreshed and

water. Fortunately for us they proved to

they were from - though I do always like to

ready to jump aboard the mighty Condor

be on their usual top form as we got word

think they’ll come back too”.

Express for our first ever marine life and

from the captain that there was a small

whale watching experience.

family of blue whales under a mile away from our current position.

Needless to say I was thrilled when I realised we were the first visitors to place a

The Condor Express is a seventy-five foot

dot roughly where Nottingham sat bare on

long, water-jet propelled, environmentally

We had just encountered two humpbacks

the map in the belly of the UK.

friendly catamaran that takes chartered

during their feeding time along with what

cruises across the Santa Barbara Chan-

seemed like hundreds of dolphins in the

With the rise of Air B&B and many hosts

nel in search of all manner of marine

area too. But now the low emission engines

opting-in solely for the financial bonuses

life, including migrating blue whales and

fired up and we raced to the last known

it was an incredible experience to meet a

humpbacks coming to feed in the plentiful

location of the blues, bracing ourselves

person so genuinely curious and interested

waters off the Californian coast. Perma-

against the rails on the raised bow and

simply in people. The tiny human idiosyn-

nent inhabitants like Californian sea lions

eagerly scouring the horizon for any sign of

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short moments it sank again, disappear-

for an overnight stop before heading to

ing gracefully back in to the deep. Once

San Francisco the next day. Wanting to

With a dive time of between ten and

again we too recessed in to our previous

make the most of it we spent the evening

fifteen minutes blue whales are elusive at

state of hushed vigilance. Minutes passed

amongst locals at Ukulele Beach, watching

the best of times but Captain Eric kept on

slowly again, until the whole bow full of

the sun set beyond the lighthouse across

their trail and with his knowledge of their

passengers erupted in applause, gasps and

the waves and basking in the dusty pink

behaviours, brought the boat to a complete

jubilant cheering as one hundred feet away

glow I’d come to know so well in the Cal-

stop where he calculated they may re-sur-

another Blue, bigger still, breached the

ifornian evenings. It was in these relaxing

face next. In still silence everyone on deck

surface. Forcefully exhaling a fountain of

surroundings I had chance to take in what

stood frozen to the spot barely breathing,

mucus and seawater before taking a short

I had experienced earlier that day. Such

the only sound the gentle lapping of waves

moment to roll sideways in the waves, its

rare and mesmerising goliaths, the largest

and muted thuds of large buoys collid-

one huge black eye peered, unblinking,

the world has ever seen, appearing so

ing with the hull. Seconds turned in to

towards the boat. After a number of breath-

sudden and serenely out of the blue right

minutes; the sea breeze and calm swaying

less seconds it became decidedly satisfied

next to us. In these semi-visible moments,

of the boat the only observable movements

with whatever it thought it saw and with

obscured by the lapping waves and encom-

in the vicinity. All of a sudden an out-

a hulking effortlessness, dipped back in to

passing blue-grey hues of the sky and sea,

burst of sharp gasps to our right from the

the unknown. With that, the excursion came

it’s easy to see why such awe and majesty

other passengers on board was followed

to a close and we made the hour-long

surrounds these creatures, even at such

by a large and loud burst eminating from

journey back to shore.

brief interjections.

long and colossal form distorted but

Back on dry land our tight schedule

Perhaps spending more time with them

visibly huge under the water. After a few

required us to drive up to Santa Cruz

could have unveiled many of their mys-

the gentle marine giants.

the spout of a surfacing blue whale, its

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teries - a peek behind the big blue curtain

Somewhat of a calm before the coming

ferings, each of the destinations along the

if you will - but part of the magic I felt in

urban storm we took a moment to appre-

drive had their very own attitudes, facades

the moment materialized from a grander

ciate and reflect on the four-hundred and

and personas with much more beneath the

sense of unknowing and created perhaps a

sixteen coastal miles driven over the last

surface than one might expect from the

somewhat anthropomorphised connection

five days and to heartily fill our lungs

more relaxed and easy-going ocean-front

to them. Though whether what I felt was

with a last full breath of real fresh air and


genuine or just willful projection, to know

feel the calming cool of the salt-laden sea

so either way would change the memory of

breeze one more time. Sitting and watch-

If I were able I could write pages upon

the event forever and alter those special

ing the hypnotic ebb and flow and gentle

pages about each in greater detail - the

few lingering seconds with the curious

crashing of the emerald waves was exactly

surrounding landscapes, local characters,

whale as I felt them.

the kind of respite we needed to quietly

lifestyles, attitudes, foods, bars, shops,

reflect on what felt like a whirlwind of

sounds, smells, even feelings that radiate

stop-and-go experiences.

from these coastal hubs. Everything.

Further along the highway we stopped

But never before have I been so relaxed

to say goodbye to the coast at a series of cliffs known as ‘Devils Slide’ - The last real

From the Santa Monica Pier, Arlene’s Santa

and lost to places with such reams of rich

scenic coastal views before reaching Pacifi-

Barbara hillside nook and an intense day’s

sensory information laid out before me -

ca and the densely populated beach-towns

whale-watching on the Condor Express, we

photo opportunities and literary curiosities

on the outskirts to the rhythmic-beating

both felt that each place was deserving of

around every corner - and yet found my

heart of San Francisco.

more of our time. Small in comparison to

incessant compulsion to document so sud-

the giant mass of central LA and all its of-

denly and easily silenced. All in favour of

just living and breathing in the moment.

with any clarity is that there is a lot to be said for slowing down and stopping to take

Such are the auras of these Californian

it all in in every once in a while.

beach-towns that they really do make it so easy to slide right in to the local way of life and join in with that too-good-to-betrue, laid-back Californian brand of golden magic that seems so unattainable and semi-fabricated in the adverts. Maybe the golden beaches, constant sunshine and a dose of English cynicism have their part to play in this seemingly Truman Show-esque tableau. Or maybe it just really is that simple - in which case these coastal Californians are on to something. Having raced up the coast from town to town, rushing from place to place and attempting to fit in as much as humanely possible at each, all I can definitively state

W U L F E . 99

Chapter 6.

O NE D AY I n S a n F rancisco A rapid pedal-powered rush through the Bay and across one of the United States largest man-made landmarks.

On the drive in to San Francisco you can start to both see and feel

our leisurely ride (stopping off to catch a view of the notorious Al-

the difference in personality from its other Californian West-coast

catraz prison along the way) we were now stocked up on a variety

brother and sister cities. There is a real feeling of density and

of energy bars, a new rucksack and two large bottles of water. All

busyness, ever so slightly different to the likes of the laid back

for, as far as we were concerned, absolutely nothing.

southern areas. Back out on the generously sized public cycle paths I remembered Bustling and active would be good words to use if you were to sum

the feeling of freedom cycling provides. The ability to effortlessly

it up. The good old Californian friendliness and hospitality is still

float along, allowing yourself the pleasure of being mechanically

apparent in every local you meet but your average San Francisco

propelled to wherever you please and taking in the surroundings

city dweller appears to always have somewhere to be or a task in

as you go has always appealed to me over the constant, required

hand. There’s no time here it seems to sit back and be swept along

exertion and slow progress of walking. Naturally I was in my

by the meandering flow of a lazy southern beach day. There are a

element, the sun shining and my camera around my neck ready to

hundred possible conclusions one could conjure up as explana-

snap away at a mere glimpse of the iconic landmark. As we drew

tions for a hundred more subtle differences in the city’s’ persona

closer we caught a distant view of ‘International Orange’ paint

but to do so would be to waste time - something that we certainly

spanning the bay, disappearing skyward in to the clouds and coast-

didn’t want to do having only one complete day here.

al fog above. The very same excitement I had felt in such moments earlier in the trip started in my stomach and carried its way up

On a predetermined mission to cycle through the city and over the

through my chest, finally settling on my face in the form of a huge,

Golden Gate bridge, we parked somewhere in the heart of the bay

joyful, child-like grin. I had always known the bridge to be big but

area with our last remaining physical dollars and found a route

standing at such a distance and having the mile and a half long

to the nearest (and best value) bike rental store - ‘Basically Free

structure encompass the bay in full view before us, it was easy to

Bikes’ - a great place for tourists wanting to hire bikes in the city

see how it has solidified its place as an industrial wonder of the

and a great marketing home run for its sister store Sports Base-

modern world.

ment. The price customers pay to rent the bikes can be claimed back in store credit at their huge warehouse on the cycle route

Reaching the pinnacle of the cycle path on the non-walking side

towards the bridge. The cost of the initial bike rental is the same

of the bridge, our first crossing quickly became an adrenaline

as anywhere else in the immediate vicinity, so in the end the bikes

fuelled one. The sum of the decks’ convex bow combined with

really are ‘basically free’. Genius, and something any potential

high speed winds and many a speedy commuter-cyclist whipping

visitors should be keen to take advantage of, as a short way in to

by meant that the leisurely part of the ride was over and the work

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to control our heavy hybrid bikes and

national landmark in to an exciting, intense

on the cycle route towards the small

maintain a heightened sense of situational

and thrilling action-movie sequence. To the

town of Sausalito, the high-altitude winds

awareness began. With the extra focus on

outside world it probably looked very much

had all but disappeared and I was glad

our immediate surroundings it became very

like the former but inside my heart was

to be able to speak and gush about how

clear how high up the sixty-seven metre

racing and I felt on top of the world - quite

exhilarating I found the whole experience.

cycle lane actually is and the large gaps

literally. Letting out a not-too-discreet

I was pleased to hear my partner had found

in the railings do nothing to rid the gut

scream of excitement I allowed my feet to

it just as heart-poundingly breathtaking.

quivering feeling gained from glancing

fly loose from the pedals and kicked wildly

Hearing from other cyclists that the ferry

toward the horizon out to sea. The batter-

in all directions, childlike and joyful as we

back across to the bay area could only be

ing winds and acrophobia-driven pump of

crossed the halfway point on the bridge.

paid in cash we decided to cycle back the same way we had came over. I was elated

adrenaline actually turned what should have been a leisurely cycle across a docile

On the descent off the bridge and heading

to find the second bridge crossing identical

to the first, causing me to re-think my

coast all the way back to that nights Twin

having to leave this beautiful city and

stance on the experience. I decided that,

Peaks apartment - albeit not on bikes but

mesmerising state. Despite visiting for

all in all, it was the colossal and command-

rather the joint feelings of elation and

just two weeks, California delivered and

ing essence of the bridge itself that was

contentment, reflecting once again on the

exceeded expectation. Feeling like a home

accountable for my earlier reaction, moreso

trip as a whole.

from home no matter where we laid our heads, I have no doubt that it will always

than the adrenaline fuelled anomaly I had thought previously.

In the morning we would stand atop

hold a place in my heart.

Christmas Tree point and say one last We coasted back along the five kilometre

goodbye to a city draped in grey cloud

A place I for years had longed to visit and

route we had started out on, dropped the

and infamous Bay fog, personifying and

one I am now sure I will forever long to

bikes off with a smile and continued to

reflecting a quiet, tired sadness on finally

return to.

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SPECIAL Thanks To Jim and Soph ie for insp iring me wit h t h e i r work on Lowligh t magazine and Hi-V is P r e s s and t o Tom Quigley for sh owing me wh at ca n be ach ieved wit h a great DIY at t itu d e . A special t h ank you t o Melissa; t ra ve l buddy ex t rordinaire, driver, navigat or a n d advent ure inst igat or. Th is mag wouldn’t exi s t wit h out your sup port , encouragement a n d sp ont an e i ty.

GIVING Back Te n p erce nt of a l l p rofi t from thi s i s s ue of WULF E. w i l l b e dona ted to the Tee n a ge Ca ncer Tr us t.

CONTACT D a n Tur n er w ul fe .c rea ti ve @ gma i l . co m www. t m @ wulfe.crea ti ve

COPYRIGHT Information W UL FE. is a t ravel and ph ot ogra ph y publicati o n . Rep roduct ion of any p art of t h is publicati o n or p h ot ograp h s/ t ex t s wit h in is st ri ctl y p roh ibit ed wit h out prior writ t en permis s i o n from t h e publis h e r. I SSN 2515- 6 934 Print ed in England by Mixam P r i n t © 2018 W UL FE. Crea t iv e

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WULFE. Magazine - Issue 01 - California//Nevada  

WULFE. magazine is a fledgling DIY travel and photography publication showcasing perspectives from one daydreamer's wandering journeys aroun...

WULFE. Magazine - Issue 01 - California//Nevada  

WULFE. magazine is a fledgling DIY travel and photography publication showcasing perspectives from one daydreamer's wandering journeys aroun...