Photos Illustrate Pirsig's "Zen Art Motorcycle Maintenance" 
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Highlight for Album: Photos of “The California Trail”, “The Oregon Trail”, & “The South” Possibly Robert Pirsig's Way Back Home To Minneapolis.
Photos of “The California Trail”, “The Oregon Trail”, & “The South” Possibly Robert Pirsig's Way Back Home To Minneapolis.
Following the Route of the California Gold Rush ‘49s (In Reverse Direction). This album shows photos of my return trip back to my home in Aiken, South Carolina.

Introduction: My ZMM Research involved following the "ZMM Route, and of course, ended in San Francisco. On my way home from "The Bay Area", I first traveled to Stutters Fort, now a Historical Monument. This very large fort and terminus of the California Trail is now a wonderful well preserved museum. AND it is a very good way to learn about the lives of the "Emigrants" on the California Trail. For me this was the start point for following the California Trail (backwards) into Nevada & Idaho. In Idaho, the California Trail joined with the Oregon Trail, I followed the combined trails (backwards) through Southern Idaho to St. Louis, MO. Along the route were fantastic wide open natural landscapes, many Informative Local History Signs, Interpretive Centers, Museums, Commemorative Monuments (re California/Oregon Trails), and a wonderful Fossil Museum at the Fossil Butte National Monument.

Details: Starting from my home in Aiken SC, my Research lead me, of course, to Minneapolis, and then along the ZMM Route to San Francisco, and close to my son’s, David Gurr’s, home then in Palo Alto, CA. I arranged to stay with him for about two months. There I rested, visited, and toured around with my son: We toured, mountain drives, beach vistas, Frank Lloyd Wrights buildings, nature museums, etc). I also made computer back-ups of all my ZMM Route photos, re-read and edited all my ZMM Route research notes, and visited friends in Irvine, California. On my drive to (and from) Irvine I studied & photographed the St Andreas Fault and visited the J. Paul Getty Museum near Santa Monica, CA. While in Palo Alto, David and I also traveled to see my Nephew, Edward Gurr, and family in Mariposa CA. He treated us to a trip up to the Sweetwater Gold Mine. This was quite exciting.
After I left Palo Alto, I traveled East on I-580 and crossed Altamont Pass, by Livermore and thru Stockton. In Sacramento, I was quite excited to visit the old Stutters Fort (mentioned above). After an overnight visit with friends, in Chico, CA, I "angled SouthEast to I-80 at Auburn CA. Going now N. East, I soon switched into the old paved road, parallel and just South of I-80. This is the old route of the California Trail over Donner Pass. As I followed the Historic California Trail (backwards) into Nevada, I was in fact, following the entire Historic Trail of California Gold Rush ‘49ers! This was a very rewarding experience for me! Very thrilling both for the history experienced (first hand) and the incredible natural beauty and open spaces. Altogether, my trip back was just as thrilling as the ZMM route itself, which is saying something!!
Moreover, as mentioned elsewhere in this Photo Gallery, I have one of Robert Pirsig’s old National Geographic Full Size Wall Maps on which a pre-1968 versions of the ZMM Route had been "inked-in". Significant to this discussion, the “Route of the ‘49ers’ is likewise marked on this map!
Thus, for Pirsig Pilgrims, there are multiple reasons why I highly recommend ‘49ers route. Here now is a selection from my photographs taken on my return trip. Henry Gurr, Dec 04. Rev Oct 07.

Last changed on 03/01/2012. This album contains 55 items.
This album has been viewed 22566 times since 10/26/2004.
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Highlight for Album: ZMMquality Web Site: Our Software & How We Got Started. 4 April 2002.
ZMMquality Web Site: Our Software & How We Got Started. 4 April 2002.
The photos here show some our working environment here at University of South Carolina Aiken, and a few "screen captures" of our software in use. The screen captures show the pages we work with and some of the "quirks" encountered & what to do about them. Active planning for what was to become ZMMquality WebSite, began around April 2002, when I walked over to the USCA University Library to visit Paul Lewis. I wanted his advice on what GPS Handheld Receiver I should purchase for my forth coming ZMM Research Trip. Paul is a University of South Carolina Aiken Research Librarian. Among his multitude of skills and interests, he is a first rate technology/computer expert! And among his various library responsibilities, he is in charge of the USCA Library's Global Position Information System (GIS) Computer Database. So I thought he ought to know what GPS would work best with a GIS. You will read "the rest of the story" in the captions of this album. Links to the software we use are also given.

This ZMMquality Site is dedicated to Paul Lewis, since in essence, he is it's co-creator! And … with many, many hours of prime trouble-shooting and expert computer code manipulations, Paul Lewis has definitely shown he is ZMMquality's mentor and friend!


Last changed on 08/31/2011. This album contains 15 items.
This album has been viewed 9620 times since 11/20/2003.
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Highlight for Album: Non-ZMM Book Experiences You Will Have Along the Route of the Book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
Non-ZMM Book Experiences You Will Have Along the Route
of the Book Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
This album shows photos of various Rewarding (But Non ZMM) Experiences the ZMM Pilgrim may see along the ZMM Route.

In June/July 2002 I traveled and researched and photographed the entire "route of travel" described by Robert Pirsig in his Book "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" (ZMM). Of the ~1800 photos taken, those chosen for this album are specifically restricted to those photos that do not illustrate ZMM.


1) Other Rewarding ZMM Route Experiences may be viewed in My Wide View Panoramas Albums.
2) More rewarding Experiences in my album of Flowers and Red Wing Black Birds along the ZMM Route.
3) My Photo Album which specifically does illustrate passages from ZMM is above.
4) Robert Pirsig in Encyclopedia.
5) If you want to see driving instructions on how to follow the "ZMM Route", you may also want to look at my ZMM Travel Guide
6) View Instructions for Slide Show Of These Photos.
7) To Contribute Information, Ideas, Stories, Photos, etc or Ask Questions Contact Me Addresses..


Last changed on 11/05/2012. This album contains 344 items.
This album has been viewed 46990 times since 11/06/2002.
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Highlight for Album: Summer 2008: WINDING ROAD 40 YEARS AFTER Pirsig's Cathartic Journey; A Photonarrative by Marc G. Boileau
Summer 2008: WINDING ROAD 40 YEARS AFTER Pirsig's Cathartic Journey; A Photonarrative by Marc G. Boileau
I share Pirsig’s preference for the back roads. Gestation of my plan was long, after the initial climactic inspiration to trace Pirsig’s original cathartic ride into history. My goal was to attempt to recreate for myself a comparable Zen experience, but I had no desire to mirror the entire trip. I knew I couldn’t. (My hat is off to my fellow countryman, Mark Richardson though.) However, on a motorcycle any road can potentially envelope us in a Zen retreat. Tracing the Pirsig trail from Minneapolis to Yellowstone would be a significant part of my Zen Summer plan.

It all began with my own son’s tortured reading of "Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance." He mentioned it to me when his reading had stalled, like so many others I know (even my brother, the Philosophy major). Some have said it is turgid, quite tangled and painful to read. My son was well into the trip narrative, where it increasingly yields to the Phaedrus/Philosophy dissertation. I confided that I too had never really consumed the whole text in my original reading of the book.

Mike had facilitated my return to motorcycling twelve years earlier and now his query kick-started me into a renewed ascent of this revered motorcycle tome. Reading it again stirred my youthful memories of motorcycling. It inspired me to uncover the Pirsig trail and I plotted the route from the locations in the text (I was unaware that many pilgrims had also done).

Since my first attempt to understand ZMM, my experience had deepened and I was better equipped to appreciate the tale. Like Pirsig, I have supped at the table of academe. The cocktails of arrogance and guile nearly eroded my native curiosity and enthusiasm. I survived.

The Road Star, ELEETia 2, in this story was the fourth mount of my second motorcycle life. It survived the journey, requiring little maintenance. Soon after though, she was destroyed in an accident that nearly took her pilot. Her spirit lives on in ELEETia 3.

Created on 11/03/2008, last changed on 07/16/2013. This album contains 65 items.
This album has been viewed 6555 times since 11/03/2008.
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Highlight for Album: Pictures from Robert Pirsig's original 1968 trip.
Pictures from Robert Pirsig's original 1968 trip.
Yes! These are the pictures taken on Robert Pirsig's very own camera as he, Chris, Sylvia, and John made that 1968 epic voyage upon which his book "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" (ZMM), was based. These 12 photos seem to be the only existing photos from that trip. Mr. Pirsig, when he sent me these photos, said that if he had known his book was going be so famous, he would have taken more photographs. As you will see, nearly all these photos appear to have been "written into" ZMM. This leads me to conjecture that there might have been many other photos that likewise were formative for many, many, other parts of the ZMM Travel Narrative.

NOW AVAILABLE: …
A Travel Route, Marked By Black Felt Tip Marker, On A USA Map Mailed To To Me By John (ZMM) Sutherland.
In Mr Sutherland’s cover letter, he said 1) ”The map had been given to him by Mr. Robert Pirsig”, and 2) [The (black felt tip) marked travel route,] "Showed some of Pirsig ideas for their proposed trip in 1968." In essence showed an early ZMM Route.!!
In the envelope, all folded up, was an old National Geographic 26” x 40” Wall Map, dated in the title block June 1951. It is a Pre-Interstate Highway Road Map, that has old deep discolorations of Scotch Tape on the corners, indicating it was, in it’s history, for quite a long duration, actually hung on a wall. On this map, someone, most probably Mr. Pirsig, had marked a planned route West, through Northern Oregon, to the Pacific Coast and thence to San Francisco by way of the Pacific Ocean Coast.
Some other routes were also marked, one of which might have been a return route. Also there were notes on the map, using the same black marker, are written in what appears Mr. Pirsig’s hand writing. (Mr Pirsig typically signs his paper letters, with a black felt tip marker.)
In considering the above, I don't agree with Mr Sutherland, that this map was prepared for what became the "1968 ZMM Trip", over what is now known as the "ZMM Route": Had this map been marked any time after Mr. Pirsig was a Professor (1959-1961) at Montana State College (now Montana State University), Mr Pirsig would have included in the marked routes, Bozeman MT. Which this map does not show: Hence it must show pre 1959 route planning.
To see this map & travel route marked by Pirsig, with complete discussion go here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28421778@N02/9694139034/
By Henry Gurr Site Master http://VentureArete.org

For the photographs you will see in this album, I have added a title, added a selected ZMM passage, and provided standard caption format, which includes: ZMM passage & page number, nearest town name, the probable GPS location where the picture was taken, as well as the photo number of my closest matching picture. Mr. Pirsig's own photo captions, sent with his original digital photo files, are included. My photo locations are referenced by a so called "GPS WayPoint Reference Number". A corresponding GPS WayPoint data file will made available upon request. This data file will in turn give precisely the coordinates (degrees North Latitude) + (Degrees West Longitude) for the site of each of my photographs.

New topic: Look closely at the reflection in the shiny gas tank in the first photo. You can faintly discern the image of John, holding the camera at his waist, as he took that photo! HSG


Last changed on 09/08/2013. This album contains 12 items.
This album has been viewed 170437 times since 03/26/2003.

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