Sunday, November 08, 2009

Last Sunday in Southern California

While I really need to get the RV packed up for the trip home, one last tour of 29 Palms was on my "must-do" list. This was Weed Show weekend at the Museum, a tradition since 1941, and I really wanted to see what could be done with the weeds in this area. I wasn't disappointed at all, there were so many creative and amazing designs by local folks. They are very artistic. I didn't have my camera, but they said they would be putting some of them on line.
After the Weed Show I drove over to the Oasis for a little exercise and one last walk around. My quail family was still there, they stay pretty close to the water. I really enjoyed the symphony of bird calls in the area, some melodious, some not. If I could have seen all the birds that I heard, I would be there still.
Did add to my bird list, I saw a number of phainopepla's. Did I know what they were? No, but I found a couple with binoculars - always a good person to ask. Then once they told me, I had to look up how to spell it. The same couple also pointed out a flycatcher.
I'm am going to miss this weather. It's been in the low 80ies lately and rainy in Washington where I'm headed.
Trip home is going to be via eastern Nevada and into Idaho. Leaving on the 13th. Friday the 13th.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

My short bird list- JT/29 and surrounds

My bird list is pretty sparse, to say the least, but as my time here is winding down, thought that I would share what I have so far.
WHITE PELICAN - no, not really here, but Betty and I drove down to the Salton Sea where they were plentiful and beautiful.
TURKEY VULTURE - I was really lucky to see them as they only come around to this area twice a year, once around Easter and again in October. After work, I was heading to a meeting in Yucca when I saw what looked like a funnel of circling birds over the desert. I looked and found a dirt road that would take me in their direction and I got close enough to see they were the famous visitors. I didn't dare get any closer as the road was becoming a rut and I didn't want to get stuck.
RED TAILED HAWK - I mentioned him/her earlier. I saw her just sitting on something along side the road and there was no place to pull over.
FALCON -This was a rare treat for me and my first. I saw him twice. A water line had broken hear the housing area and he/she was taking advantage of it, but having issues with a family of crows who had already claimed it as theirs. Saw him/her again in the same area about a week later, this time sitting on a phone line. (Yes, kestrels are more common around here but this bird was black/white/gray and kestrels, at least the local ones have some red. I absolutely could be wrong and probably am.
GAMBLES QUAIL (Why not Californian? Cause the Gamble is common to this area but again, my eye isn't trained to know the nuances of their different coloring) Gary and Mary Frans back yard was full of them yesterday and as there was a window between them and me, I was able to watch them play and squabble with other birds. (Gary was telling me that he saw a Chuckar in his yard. That would have been a sight to see. )
MORNING DOVES are plentiful as is the ROADRUNNER. Brandy has a owl nesting in her back yard, thats so cool.
When I lived here before there were tons of Hummingbirds and I've seen some but not up close and personnel. I bought a feeder but all it attracted was ants.
FLYCATCHER/PEWEE. Lots of them around but again my eye just isn't trained to know the difference.
JAY - I've told that story earlier and I still feel its a SCRUB
CROWS, RAVENS, STARLINGS are all very common, especially at the Oasis.

So thats my short list. Nothing spectacular and even if I saw something great, I wouldn't know it. One of my favorite BLOGS is a RVer who also BIRDS, but he hasn't posted in awhile. I need to check on him.
I'll be leaving in about a month and next weekend heading for Santa Barbara to meet a cousin I have never met. I'm excited about everything except the drive.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Milky Way

Joshua Tree Institute held a class on the milky way and I went and took it. I was told to bring a coat/gloves and a hat because it get's chilly at night. I was a little skeptical as the day time temps were constantly in the triple digets, but I followed directions and brought a coat and a cap, not a hat. I didn't need either. BUT what a great class. Part one was in the classroom where we're shown pictures from the Hubble( ) and they were so awesome. (Hope the link works, but if it doesn't google it and check them out. Space is NOT just black and white)
After the class, we caravanned up to the park, to Barton Dam, my most favorite hiking area, and set up some huge telescopes. I'm sorry, my eyes aren't very good, and the stars look like bigger stars, but I did see Casiopea, one I didn't know.
Joshua Tree at night is just as awesome as JT during the day. Not only are the stars spectacular, but howling cayotes just make it perfect.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Vanilla Trees and Cool Air

DD came out to visit and we had a great time, even in the extreme heat. We drove up to Big Bear for some cool and I've posted the pictures below. Big Bear is beautiful but crowded, we found a hike in the woods and that was nice. The ponderosas smell like vanilla to me but others call it butterscotch, what ever, I always come away with a bit of sap at the end of my nose from smelling them up close and personal

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Friday, August 07, 2009

Cool lasted all day

What a long day. I got to work at 0800, ate lunch at my desk, on the phone til 1630 and just as driving away from the office, I saw a couple and in my heart I knew they needed the Red Cross, so I backed up the car, parked it and helped them. Got home just in time to watch Rachel.

Weather cool all day, like in the 80ies

Circle the Calendar

What a great day it is and it's only 0700 in the morning I got a voice mail from my friend Mary Fran who was told she needed to have heart surgery and now they told her, "never mind, come back in 6 months" I have yet to hear the details but I know she is much relieved.
Then I get an email, I'm going to be a Great Grandma. LOL, you know that I am way to young to be a great ANYTHING, but I'm excited. Think I need to plan a trip to the east coast, if I take my time, I'll get there just in time for the great event.

Another bit of news, I had to get up to find a comforter last night, I got a tad bit chilly. Hope that means this long hot summer is about to end. I want to get back up to the Monument but it has been just to hot.

Off to work. BTW, I now remember why I retired and became a volunteer!!

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Joshua Tree

Of course, I can't download my photos, forgot to bring whatever its called.

There is no question where Joshua Tree got it's name, Joshua trees are everywhere, as are the tumbled rock formations climbers drool over. Friday was a holiday and I promised myself early rise and a trip up to Hidden Valley. Well my "rise" wasn't as early as it should have been and the need for a petrol stop, the sun was way to high for me to tackle Hidden Valley. ( A comfortable chair in the shade is about all I'm up to these days.)
I did do some of the Valley, I climbed up and through the narrow entrance and did about a quarter of the loop but it became very obvious the sun was more than I could tolerate.
The Valley has ghosts you know. Well at least I saw and heard them. Ghosts of old B Cowboy movies where the outlaws always hide away from the law in "hidden valleys", when rustlers hid their booty to change brands and when eventually the good guys in white hats come and saved the day. Actually there is a legend that this valley was used for just those pursuits but since the only way in and out is also said to have been blasted open by one of the ranchers, history doesn't always mesh.
The loop trail has storyboards, telling of the flora and fauna. For instance, the Pinyon Pine: while I used its canopy for some cooling shade, I read that the Native Americans used the seed for protein and the thick sap for glue and tar.
My JT bird list has grown. I saw a huge Redtail Hawk sitting atop some plant. Of course I was driving down the road with a car behind me so stopping to look wasn't going to happen. Later that morning, while enjoying my snack of bing cherrys, a Jay (I'm thinking Scrub Jay as that was my first thought "your a scrubby lookin fellow",) came and stole one of the cherrys from about a foot away. Reading about Scrub Jay's it said the Pacific cousin is very bold, but by the picture, the little thief looked a lot more like the Interior cousin. ( I left another cherry out to see if I could get him to return, but all that attacted was ants and yellow jackets, and then I remembered, we are asked not to feed the wildlife. Stolen fruit is one thing, but....)
I took lots of pictures. Going to run to the PX and see if they are open.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

I don't think I 5 qualifies for our name

A Road Less Traveled
But here I am, on I5 heading south as it is the most direct route. This is also a first. I'm towing a vehicle, alone and trying desperately not to get myself into any situation where I might have to back up. That would be a disaster. I would have to unhitch and then rehitch, both which might cause me pain.
My first day was fine, my stops were all in rest stops where I had no problems. I found a lovely campground south of Roseburg Or at the 7 Feathers RV Park and Casino and my last hurdle is getting gas.
Where to stay Day 2 is another question. I can go south to Corning, CA where there is an campground or two with pull throughs, but after that is little to pick from until after I get past Sacramento. Thats a long drive. I guess I'll just see how it goes. Past Sacramento is a long one day drive.
BTW, I dont think that I do badly towing, I followed on RV towing a car for about 30 miles and his/her foot was on the break every time we came to anything that might resemble a downhill grade, and this was farm country not the mountains. I wonder how long his/her breakshoes last. LOL

Monday, June 01, 2009

Great weekend

We did our annual trek to Teanaway Campground just north of Cle Elem Wa with our group of friends and had an absolutely wonderful time. The weather was near perfect, the food was delicious and of course the friendship was so great.
Since I didn't take the camera, have no picture to share but heading out day-after-tomorrow for 29 Palms and will take the camera and will blog along the way.
This will be a first.
I am going to be traveling alone and towing a car. I'm not worried about it, but I want to get to the desert by Saturday so I have at least one day to set up camp and visit with friends before starting work. The job may be just a little while, a month or so, but long enough to get down to Indio to my most favorite Mexican Restaurant in the World, El Rincon del Norte, and into Joshua Tree for some spiritual rejuvenation.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Okay, not so official

Now my reporting date is 24 July. Get the sunscreen out.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

It's official

I'm going to be heading south to Ft Irwin end of June for a 5+ month job with the Red Cross. Roy and I have to be in Cle Elem first of June, Spokane - mid June, so the plan is spend the first part of June wandering around Northeastern WA and then after Spokane, we will head south via Montana, Utah, Nevada and ending in Barstow.

We are getting ready:
I went shopping at the PX and lucky for me, they had tons of summer clothes on sale 75% off. How lucky is that. Here in Washington State we don't really need summer clothes and I have nothing for 100 degree weather.
Washed and waxed Ms Tioga. I am sure she appreciated it, as moss was developing here and there after a winter in storage. She still needs an oil change and I am going to go through the 'basements' and see what we can eliminate. I know we didn't use most of what we took last year and what's the point. (I washed her yesterday and today, of course it's pouring rain. Looked out and there is one big old black streak that I missed cleaning off. )

I'm looking forward to working again but I'm glad it's only for 5 months and I am so glad I'll be near my friends from Yucca Valley. They are going to get tired of seeing me. LOL

Native American Tribes

Roy and I have visited a lot of Native American reservations and this trip was no exception. While at Lava Beds and Klamath Falls the museums all told the story of the Modoc's who fought a 6 month war, under the leadership of Modicus, to regain their homelands. It didn't work, they were hung, but they did manage to kill more US soldiers than we lost in the Spanish American War, including one General (the only general killed in any war) General Camby. (Califorina, Oregon and Washington all have towns named for General Camby)

We also visited the Tree's of Mystery's in Northern California and they have a wonderful museum on the different tribes. Its free and well worth the visit.

Our last visit was to the Yurok Village. Here are some photos. The Yuroks, Algonkin family, still use this village.


We didn't have much luck finding lighthouses that were listed on the map. Samoa was suppose to have one and we drove around and Roy even walked about a mile down the beach and nothing.

We did find a little one at Trinidad Head
Trinidad Head

and revisited the tiny one at Crescent City.

In Oregon we tried to find Cape Mears, drove around and around and finally asked a Ranger who told us the road washed out a couple years ago and only a vista remains. Our next find was Cape Blanco, at Port Orford


and the last was at Umpqua. Actually it was our last stop and after this we headed home.

It was a great trip, we had a wonderful time and now I have a ton of washing to do, a car to empty etc, etc.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Eureka and the Redwood Hwy

After a couple days in Redding Ca, we headed up and over the Coastal Range to Eureka and the Redwood Hwy. What awesome views.
The Carson House is the most photographed house in the US and you can see why. The Pink House across the street was built by the same Mr Carson for his daughter as a wedding present.
I have to explain about the pole, it didn't get named and I couldn't go back and name it. It shows where the high water mark was during a 1964 storm hit the town of Weott. This poor, ill fated town had been flooded out in 1955, then Hwy 101 was built around it so it lost all the revenue from the tourist and in 1964 it was hit again by an even larger flood. That killed it, folks moved away and what is left is the poles showing the water level of the 64 flood.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


View from Lava Beds National Park

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Big old Juniper tree and our friend George. This tree probably 200 years old.

Day 4


Its Friday and our plan is to leave Klamath Falls early so we can get to Redding sometime in the early afternoon. So, lucky we're on vacation because we overslept, and didn't get out as planned.

Yep that's a cave. Called Mushpot and I was the only one interested enough to want to go down into it. It's at Lava Beds National Park and actually a park that I wouldn't recommend going to. The southern way in, Hwy 10, was nothing but pot holes and torn up road for about half of the 16 miles in. It's in bad need of some stimulus money....

We stopped in this tiny town called Canby California for lunch and found a small cafe. It had the best patty melt I have had in years.

From there to Redding was mostly down hill and we pulled in about 4, later than we had planned..Poor Roy, who was raised in Redding, couldn't get his bearings as it has changed so much since he left 50 years ago.
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Our third day out, drove up to Crater Lake, not even considering that there might be a ton of snow. As you see, at the top there was still about 10 foot and we had to climb up on it to see the lake itself. Not prepared at all, I slid around having visions that I would fall on my butt, but did manage to get to the top to see the great views. LOL, I sat down and slid back down to the car as I knew that I would never make it without falling. We met a couple from Germany who had no issues with the snow at all.

We drove up to Crater Lake on 97 but then drove back via the back roads. It was a wonderful drive and one I would recommend.
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Weather held!!!

Couldn't believe how beautiful the weather was as we departed Portland. We took I5 down to Eugene, Or and then cut across the Cascade Range on Hwy 58. It was a great road with little traffic and as you can see below, a couple of great stops. The covered bridge was a great fine, and the Logging museum, while mostly a ton of rusting machines, getting out and walking around was good for the old bottom.

I think Roy and I need to return to Klamath Falls as it has lots of trails, birding and things that our friend and travelling companion George isn't able to do. We will stay at the same hotel, the Maverick which is cheap and right downtown.

We drove all the way from Roy WA to Klamath Falls on one tank of gas, 452 miles. I didn't mean to drive that far, and didn't even think about getting gas until I noticed the little light was on warning me to get to a gas station quickly.

Collier TImber Museum

Another great fine and free also. Located just north of Klamath Falls on Hwy 97, this large logging museum is a great place to stop and streatch your legs. You can see not only tons of rusting logging equipment but also some cabins that have been moved to the museum from all over the area.
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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Covered Bridge


This was a lucky find. I had seen on the Oregon State map that there were a lot of covered bridges in the area around Eugene Oregon, but I really didn't expect to see one. This was a great find, build in 1945 it's no longer being used as it is to narrow for today's trucks.
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Friday, April 24, 2009

Eagle's Nest - day one adventure

I wish I had some pictures but while we took the camera, we forgot to charge the battery. Lucky for me there was a website.
What an awesome site. It seems that a farmer near Portland had been watching a pair of eagles for years building and rebuilding the same nest but a couple years ago, the tree was dying or dead and the farmer knew the nest would be gone after the next big wind. He called the Jackson Bottom Organization and they called the PG&E and they managed to cut down the tree, wrap the nest in celepane and move it.
The size of this nest is awe-inpiring and seeing how the eagles wove the branches into a nest is nothing but spectacular.

If your ever near Portland, Check out Jackson Bottom

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Heading out tomorrow

Finally we are on the road again, this time for a small shake-down cruise to eastern Washington and back. WIll be home one day and off again, this time to Oregon and California.
Anyplace where sun might shine.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

View Larger Map

This is so cool. THis is the house that I grew up in 55 years ago and I found it by using Google Maps. That door in the wall held a secret room to hide booze in as the house was built in the 1920s.
Its looks a little different. It looks smaller than I remember and it was a sky blue, but other than that, its the same house.