Welcome to my photo journal.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Saturday, October 29, 2011

More from Death Valley

Wed. was a very windy day but we visited Ash Meadows Wildlife Refuge then took a drive over to Pahrump, NV.
Thursday turned out to be a beautiful day to head back into Death Valley our largest National Park in the lower 48.
We drive and drive to see all the different features found in the park, average per day is 150 miles, just into and around the park.
Friday Ken decides he would like to hit a couple of back roads which call for a higher clearance vehicle. Friday is our last day in Death Valley.
Saturday we join in the fun at Beatty Days, a really fun time put together by a town of 1000 people.
Tomorrow we head south again.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Death Valley NP

Here's a few photos of Death Valley.

The weather's been in the mid 90's and nights are cool in Beatty that we turn the heater on in the morning to take the chill off.
Remember you can click on collage photo to enlarge it.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Moved on

We had a nice visit in Vegas with the grandkids, and did a little sightseeing.
You think of Vegas for gambling and shows but we went birding and found a great spot just down the road from where we were staying, the Henderson Bird Viewing Preserve and we spotted two new birds to add to our list. We also took in the movie The Big Year which is about birding.
We are now at Beatty RV Park just a few miles from Death Valley NP. We will be spending the next week exploring the area.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The High Desert

The last two days we have been exploring the area around Barstow, CA. We have gone from chilly coast to the heat of the high desert just on the edge of the Mojave Desert.
We settled in at the Barstow, Calico KOA around 2 pm Monday and had a nice lunch at Peggy Sue's 50's Diner.
Today we visited the Borax Mine visitor Center and stopped at the little Twenty Mule Team museum in Boron. In the area is the town Hinkley that was featured in the news and movie about their poisoned water which Julia Roberts starred.
Then we found the Harvey House museum in Barstow but it was closed so went to Calico the Ghost Town which is now a regional park with a fee. It was quiet as we just missed the bus tours, so not much going on but it was interesting to learn about the silver and borax
mining that made it a boom town of 1200 in 1887.
Tomorrow we head to Las Vegas for a weeks relaxation with Ken's grand kids.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Some sun and lots of sights

What beautiful ocean views here, we've driven down Hwy 1 to Big Sur which really isn't a town just a collection of small resorts and cabins. We've walked trails at Point Lobos State Reserve.
We've gone birding and finally found the Townsend Warbler.
We've driven the Pebble Beach drive which is a toll drive of $9.50 but well worth it.
We found another cluster of monarch butterflies at the Pacific Grove Sanctuary it is still early for them, more will be arriving over the next couple of months.
Our week flew by and we couldn't take it all in but we tried.
Tomorrow we are heading inland and further south, back to warmer temperatures.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Some rain a train some museums

The last couple of nights we've had some nice rain and it threaten to rain Weds off and on and today it did rain most of the day. We didn't stay in we head out anyway Weds we headed north to Felton and Santa Cruz and guess what is in Felton a steam train. Roaring Camp Railroad has been in oporation for years and is in Henry Cowell Redwoods SP. We didn't ride this train just took photos and then walked the trail in the park.
Then back to Santa Cruz we stopped at the mission park but the old mission was destroyed in a earthquake and today's mission is a half size replica. We had to stop at the visitor's center to get a map so we could find our way around, then we headed to the boardwalk where there's an amusement park and casino so we didn't stop kept driving along the beach road. We stop at the lighthouse which is a surfing museum and we watch as a few surfers wait for a wave. Next we stop at Natural Bridge SP, we already paid for one SP so it is good for any we stop at in that day, nice.
To our surprise this SP has a monarch preserve and some monarchs have arrived to spend the winter among the eucalyptus trees. There are several groves along the coast here where the monarchs will spend the winter, so we don't have to go to Mexico to see them. The numbers of Monarchs wintering here are much smaller but they are just the west coast butterflies.
Today we decided it was a good day to visit a museum and I'm a Steinbeck fan so I was really interested in seeing his Center in Salinas.
Next stop since the sun had come out was the San Jaun Bautista Mission in the town of the same name (our RV park's address is San Juan Bautista.) It's a beautiful mission and it was used in the movie Vertigo.
The weather is supposed to improve this weekend, that would be nice.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Salad Bowl of the US

We are now at the Betabel RV Park just outside San Juan Bautista on Hwy 101 which is about 30 miles north of Salinas which is NW of Monterey. Salinas is known as the Salad Bowl of the US, we have never seen so many fields of lettuce, strawberries, and plants we haven't ID'd and on our drive here there were fields and fields of orchards, nuts we believe and some olives.
Today we decided to take in the world famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, expensive at $30 for me and $24 for seniors but we enjoyed it especially the jellyfish and seahorses.
After finding a penny smasher in one of the shops on Cannery Row we took a drive along Ocean View Blvd to find the Point Pinos Lighthouse.
What a wonderful drive and all long the ocean side a bike trail and of course the other side beautiful homes. We will be taking that drive again. The lighthouse is surrounded by golf courses.
I think we will be having a really good time exploring this area, so visit again to see what we find.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

First cloudy days..

We've had our first really cloudy days the last couple of days since we left MO but we risked getting a little wet and took the tour of Shasta Dam. We took the first tour of the day and were the only ones on it so it was really nice, very interesting.
The Redding Turtle Bay Exploration Park had a free family day so we took advantage of it later that morning, it was well attended by families too. We had fun in the Loorikeet aviary and watching the Wildlife show then took a walk across the Sundial Bridge to the gardens.
It was partly sunny today so we went birding, saw a few nice birds but it was hard to get photos because as soon as we spotted a bird a bicyclist would come by and scare it down.
The trail systems in CA are wonderful and there seems to be alot of people who take advantage of them. There are just miles and miles of trails along the rivers, the bridge in my photo collage is one the first of it's kind in the US a green bridge that doesn't disturb the river bank.
We went downtown Redding, Ken wanted a look at their old Theatre but it was in use and we couldn't go in. In fact, we went down twice they had a church service in it the morning and a movie in the afternoon. Across the street was the Damburger shop but it was closed on Sundays so we didn't get to try their burgers instead ended up at In and Out, which is always packed.
We ended our day early, we are watching Turner Classic TV the silent movie the General and deciding what are next move will be tomorrow.
So you'll have to stop by and see where we end up.