Thursday, December 19, 2013

Heading Back

Heading back to what really feels like my second home, Fort Irwin CA. I have been there twice in the last couple of years, once when Stephanie retired and again when Bill quit. I have a real love/hate with the area. I hate the long drive from Barstow to the base, it is dull and boring, folks drive to fast or to slow and its nothing but creosote bush, dry lake beds,sand and rocks.

 Barstow is a rather sad little town, a relic of the 40ies and 50ies, with lots of liquor stores, a couple of grocery stores, empty stores, and fast food stores and a downtown that looks much like every small town in America that WalMart has ruined.

But I love the desert, and the weather. When the wildflowers bloom, they really make a show. I love how the sun plays on the mountains. I love those occasional water feature where birds or all shape and sizes flock to. I love Death Valley, Ash Meadows. I love the Mojave and Lake Havasu and I'm so lucky to be only a couple hours from Joshua Tree.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Mexican Onion Soup now that the Onions are so cheap

Mexican Onion Soup.
This was a favorite once upon a time. Going to try it again.

6 large onions, thinly sliced
7 1/2 cups of veggie broth, I'm going to try the No-Chicken broth if I can find it.
1 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon coriander, 1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves,
1/3 cup flour
2 Tablespoons ground NM or California chilies
1 1/4 cups shredded Jack Cheese with jalapenos,
Fried tortilla strips

In large pan place the onions, 1 cup of the broth, and the 3 spices. Cover and cook stirring occasionally until most of the liquid evaporates 25 to 30 minutes, Continue until the onions are caramelized
Mix in flour and cook a few minutes to get the starch out, then add rest of broth,
Garnish with cheese and Tortilla strips.

Note: Okay, 3 T flour at most.  1/3 cup is way to much.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Travel while Vegan is always an issue. You can't just stop at a fast food place because even if they have something you can eat, like salads, you can bet something will have an animal byproduct. And when cooking you don't want a million different ingredients. So this is going to be my travel blog with recipes.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Never added our pictures from Jim Creek. We had a wonderful time and actually managed a full week without a cell phone or WIFI.  Its a wonderful campground

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

We spent two days in the town of John Day, Oregon and it was wonderful. We toured the fossil beds, a restored ranch and the Kah Wa Chung Museum all which were pretty wonderful, especially the museum.
Roy's family had a farm in a small community called Lookout. Now the only claim to fame that Lookout CA has was a rather embarrassing and down right nasty event when the town hung a family of Natives for stealing. They really had no proof but that didn't seem to bother the residents, one who could have been Roy's grandfather for all we know. Its very funny that no one's name is mentioned in connection with this event. We stayed in Adin, CA and checked out the cemetery where we found not only Roys Great Grandfather, Isaac Hastings but also two of his children. The broken tombstone was a surprise. It belonged to George Washington Oxendine who was Roy's 2nd Great Grandmothers brother. We didn't know any Oxendines lived in the area. The town of Lookout and Adin are now both pretty sad places, although Adin had a great hamburger restaurant and friendly General Store. Lookout was just ghost town status.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Our first day in Corning was spent just getting our bearings and driving around. Roy got this awesome picture of an Osprey by standing under a tree and waiting for just the perfect picture. There was at least one baby in the nest, could have been more.
We drove a lot of miles today looking for a white ranch on Hwy 44 where Roy and Kerm both remember living. We drove up 44 and back down 44 and nothing. It was a beautiful drive though and then we found out from Roys sister that 44 had been rerouted when the built the freeway, but it was to late to try it again so we'll save that for another day. Stopped in the small town of Los Molinos where Roy's grandmother had last lived. Had a great hamburger at a small café and the museum was really nice, but we didn't learn anything.
Had a busy day. We started out by driving to Black Butte which are the landscape pictures, It was beautiful country and a nice drive. Found this campground where noticed these acorn woodpeckers in the oak trees. Our next stop was the Sacramento National Wildlife Refuge where we didn't see many birds but this bobcat kept our attention for quite awhile. While we watched Niece Lori called and we meet her in Arbuckle where she showed us Great Great Grandfathers grave. She ordered a new stone for him as he was a civil war vet but we all rather liked the homemade stone.
Our last day in Corning and we felt that we had pretty much seen it all and done it all so because we knew that Roy's Grandfather died in Chico, we decided to go and see if we could get a copy of his death certificate. It was easier than I thought, took about 10 minutes and $16. and we learned where he lived in Chico and that he died of heart trouble at 58. Pretty young. He worked for Zimmerman's Furniture Store which doesn't exist for some reason buried in Red Bluff California. It was a nice drive.
Leaving Corning we decided to see if we could find Roy's grandfather's grave. By using the death certificate that we had gotten the day before, we knew he was buried at the Oak Hill Cemetery, in Red Bluff but the second we drove in, we new we would never find it. The place is huge with over 15000 residents. But we drove around and way in the back we found an office and a nice lady who laughed when she saw who we were looking for, the site was about 10 foot from her office door. As you see, Grandpa didn't have a stone so on the way out, we stopped at the man who made memorials and ordered one. It should arrive soon.
Redding Calif. So don't stay at the Howard Johnsons in Redding. I always thought Howard Johnson was a pretty good hotel but this place was pure scary, creaky stairs, buggy rooms, etc. But our day in Redding was wonderful and we enjoyed spending time with Roy's sister Pat.
Leaving California was rather bitter sweet and I hate that section of I 5 in above Redding as for some reason its always heavy traffic and slow-moving trucks or speeding trucks that scare the life out of me. We arrived in Portland just in time for the evening traffic and more bumper to bumper traffic to negotiate. The next day, we picked up George and drove to Tillamook for ice cream and the beach.

Saturday, March 02, 2013

 So looking for a place to go birding, I read about this lake that was called "Dry" but wasn't, and had a lot of shorebirds and it was only 20 miles out of Barstow. I googled it and one person posted that the last 2 miles of the road was pretty bad and not to try it in the rain.
So,this morning I head out to see this oasis in the desert and turned off the highway at the sign that said "Wildlife Viewing -8 miles". The map said the road was paved and about 100 yards in there was a sign, "Road Work Ahead".  Should have thought something was fishy cause the sign looked old and battered. But I drove on with visions of shorebirds and green. The more I drove, the worse the road became.and I was thinking about turning around but I wanted to see this lake and kept going.
I came to a what may have been a town at one time. but now the buildings were empty and forlorn looking, street signs were hand made and I didn't see anything that looked green.
Beyond the town, the road got worse, and I was reduced to maybe 10 miles per hour. But the odometer said 2 more miles so I kept going. All of a sudden I come to what is suppose to be the turn off onto the dirt road and instead I'm greeted by a newly paved road, and one of those signs, Speed Limit 15 miles per Hour and your going --" Now,there is a fence along the north side of the road and there is some building going on, but I have no idea what they are building and if I'm really suppose to be there.  About a mile further, I come to a stop sign and security guards!!!!! But they wave me on, I guess what ever it is, the little old lady doesn't look like a threat.  The only thing that I can think these things are is maybe solar panels, miles of them. 
Well, you can see this beautiful oasis!  What a trip.
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Saturday, January 05, 2013

 Morris County Courthouse, Cottonwood Falls. Unfortunately the sun was in the wrong spot
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 Spring Hill Ranch.Originally this was a chicken house. All I met was a huge tabby cat that came to say hello and followed me around for awhile
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 Spring Hill Ranch stonewall.
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 Spring Hill Ranch Barn. It was huge.The Ranch was started in 1878 to 1986 and owned by a lot of different folks.
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