More Atlas Obscura in SLO

Here are three more places we found during our short stay in SLO thanks to Atlas Obscura.

  1. Madonna Inn

I love the description, “Writer Umberto Eco perhaps described it best, imagining the decor was conceived when “Albert Speer, while leafing through a book on Gaudi, swallowed an overgenerous dose of LSD and began to build a nuptial catacomb for Liza Minelli.”

2. The Dorn Pyramid

Located in the cemetery near the Madonna Inn is a tomb for the Dorn family.

3. Bubblegum Alley

Here it is, but I wouldn’t make a special trip to see it.

Poly Canyon – San Luis Obispo

Last week we went to SLO for a few days. The last time we spent time there was in 2013. This time I looked at Atlas Obscura to see what else we might enjoy in this cute college town.

The thing that piqued my interest the most was the Poly Canyon Experimental Structures Lab. As usual with Atlas Obscura, it was not easy to find where we were going. The road leading to parking was blocked off, so we used our phones to find an alternative path. That led us along a stream, scrambling across rocks while we could see the fire road across the way.

After a half-mile or a little more, we met up with the fire road, where we saw the first of the structures. “The site is an “outdoor experimental construction laboratory” for the university students. The structures were all built by architectural, engineering, and design students over the last several decades. They range from sculptures to semi-houses, but most of the structures fall somewhere in between.”

We only had 45 minutes on our parking meter, but I could have stayed another hour looking at everything. On the way back we took the fire road for most of it, found a stream crossing and took the path back to the car.

Wandering Moses Finds Home

A year ago we read that a tree sculpture, carved by Charles Chase of the Folk Music Center, had been taken down at its home on the corner of 12th and Cambridge. The sculpture, reminiscent of Easter Island faces, was carved from a rescued tree trunk in Memorial Park in the 1980s. After considering many places to house this Moses, it now sits on College Ave. at the offices of Hartman Baldwin. At least it did not take 40 years.

Here is the house on 12th after its “renovation” with a large live oak tree missing. I wish I had a before picture.

Pomona College Alumni Weekend

Last weekend was the first reunion at Pomona since the pandemic. Tents were up everywhere. As I walked to the library, I saw that College Ave. was closed off for a few blocks. They were setting up for the parade of classes. This route mimics the one that first year students take upon their arrival. I blogged about that in 2013 here.

They do not make the alumni run through the gates, but the 5-year-reunion class did have a moment of jumping with Cecil the Sagehen Ithe mascot.

Most colleges have reunions every 5 years. Pomona is no exception. However, because the number 47 is mythical at the school, they also welcome alumni who graduated 47 years ago.

More photos available at claremontography’s Instagram.

Student Life with Sailboat

A number of years ago, some HMC students bought an old school bus, planning to drive it to the desert for some reason (Coachella? Burning Man?). It broke down en route, and they never made it to their destination. At least this is the story I remember hearing.

Recently, students found a free sailboat on Craigslist. For the moment it is in the courtyard of West Dorm. I don’t think the students plan to sail it anywhere soon.

Claremont’s First Jail

On June 2, 1913, a bid was accepted for the construction of the fieldstone jail behind the first city hall at Eighth Street and Yale Avenue (still standing).

So says Judy Wright in her book, Claremont: A Pictorial History.

Wright goes on to say, Supplies requested for the jail included hand-cuffs, come-alongs, a pistol, and two blankets. This two-cell jail served Claremont until the city hall, fire station, and police department moved to the Second Street building (now the City Council Chambers) in 1925.

The building in front of this small one is now home to the Masons. I am guessing that the original inmates did not have the luxury of a window air conditioning unit.

Spring Celebration and Egg Hunt Return

Ten years ago I blogged about Claremont’s annual spring event in Memorial Park. After a two-year hiatus (thanks Covid), the tradition returned on Saturday under cloudy skies. Not much has changed about the event.

Children wait patiently (or not) for the countdown.

Then the free-for-all begins and lasts approximately one minute.

As always, more photos at claremontography instagram.

Celebrate Oregon! at PDX

Since the pandemic, PDX (Portland’s airport) has been under renovation. In December, Concourse B reopened, and with it, this Celebrate Oregon! mural by artist Liza Burns.

You can read about it at this website (even if the PDX website about the art at the airport hasn’t updated include this colorful art).

Photos of details on claremontography’s Instagram.

Maybe next week I’ll return to photos of Claremont…..