Wednesday, October 30, 2013


It's been a long but wonderful trip to LA and back.  Mom and I enjoyed spending time together, chatting and seeing a few sites.

We left Tualatin, Oregon heading north on I-5 with no plans to stop anywhere.  Maybe a little weary of the road.

I dropped Mom and Reba off at their apartment, said our goodbyes and headed home.

We arrived to find everything at home covered with a bright yellow-green layer of pollen from our Cedrus Deodara tree.  Home Sweet Home.

I had to clean out the van of shipping blankets, speakers and the rocks I had collected along the way, and take it back to the rental agency.  Lucy and I took a bus home.  It is nice to be back with lots of nice memories and an appreciation of home and family.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Mom, Reba, Lucy and I left Redding heading north on I-5.  We got a great morning look at Mount Shasta, with rings of clouds around the top.

Mount Shasta from the south.
The plan was to stop and visit with a friend of Mom's in Medford, Oregon, but it turns out she was unavailable that day, but Mom had a nice chat with her on the phone. 

We pulled into Ashville, a cute little town.  We noticed the Ashville Springs Hotel, a historical site, so we stopped there for a bit.

In the lobby of Ashville Springs Hotel

There are botanical specimens on display everywhere.

There is an interesting display of birds and their eggs.
Back on the road, heading north, we stopped for a picnic lunch at Valley of the Rogue State Park.  It was such a beautiful day.  This area in southern Oregon puts on such a spectacular display of autumn colors.  We were here on the perfect day.
Enjoying her favorite beverage.

The Rogue River

I finally found a nice cache where I could drop my Travel Bug, Mona Lisa on the Road.  I'd wanted to drop it somewhere in southern California, but we never found a cache that was big enough.  This one would do perfectly. 

Goodbye, Mona, happy travels!

After a nice break at the park, it was back on the road.

Looking at everything.

Reba usually rides in a container while in the car.  This was her first time being able to see outside as the world whizzed by.  She seemed to enjoy it.

We made it all the way to Tualatin where we spent the night.

Monday, October 28, 2013


When I asked Mom if she'd like to fly down and ride back with me, I told her we could go wherever she wanted and do whatever she wanted to do.

After much talk and discussion we decided to go to Yosemite, since it was one of the few places that she and Dad had never been to.  Darrell and I have never visited the park either, and he was a little jealous.  We worried about it as we made plans, because of the Government Shutdown, the park was closed at the beginning of October.  The Shutdown actually lasted a lot longer than I had thought it would, but it did open in plenty of time for us to be able to see it.

In the morning as we left Fresno, it was raining.  As we gained altitude the temperature was dropping and at around 4000 feet altitude the rain turned into snow.  We didn't get very far when it started coming down pretty good, covering the road. 

 As we were pondering whether we should turn around we encountered a roadblock that made the decision for us.  They said, no chains or four-wheel drive, then turn around.  Okay.

We were both very disappointed, but what can you do?

Not having any plans at this point, I told Mom about this great little area I knew about, where Darrell and I usually go, to look at birds.  She was game.  So off to Consumnes River Preserve we headed.

This was Lucy's first time at Consumnes, too.

Mom enjoyed looking at the birds and ducks

We encountered a Great Egret standing on the pathway.

It decided to not hang around for any closer looks.

After having lunch and looking at the ducks we headed north on I-5, where we made it to Redding to spend the night.

Sunday, October 27, 2013


Today was the day Lucy and I said good bye to Darrell, who is staying to teach a class at Wm Ng School of Woodworking, and headed back home.

But first we swung by LAX to pick up my Mom, and her little dog Reba, who flew into Las Angeles to ride back with me and Lucy.

Got 'em!

We headed north, four girls on the road!

First we had to make our way out of the LA Freeway system.

We drove up to Fresno, where we spent the night.  It would be a good launching point for our trip to Yosemite the next day.

Saturday, October 26, 2013


We left Santa Maria, heading south on Hwy 101.

Good morning California!

We couldn't resist stopping for a short walk on the beach as we passed by, somewhere south of Santa Barbara.

Lucy actually enjoyed the beach.
I tried to capture the colors of this seaweed.

Three on a walk.
We had time before we were scheduled to deliver the furniture, so I talked him into detouring off the main road to go through Ojai again.
We got there before anything was open again, so we walked around and found a few geocaches and enjoyed the peace.
There was a banner across the street announcing a Pumpkin Festival that would be today and thought we might go there for lunch, until we found out it was at the local senior center, which didn't sound like as much fun.  We headed out, looking for somewhere to have lunch.  We ended up in Santa Clarita at a Coco's Restaurant.  I was doing a quick sketch before our meal of the people sitting at the table next to us.  The waitress noticed and told me that the girl at that table was sketching us.  How funny.

We headed into Pasadena and since we were a little early for the delivery, we stopped by the Gamble House, since Lucy had never been there (as far as we know).  I think she was impressed.

Darrell went into the bookstore to make sure that had his book out for sale and was delighted to find they had both of them!

We made our delivery in Pasadena then headed south to Anaheim to deliver the rest.
As we left there, with an empty van, we drove by Disneyland.  Hi Mickey!  

We went to Wm Ng's shop to drop off the supplies Darrell would need for his class next week and checked into his hotel.  

We had dinner at a nice Thai restaurant, Lanta Thai Fusion.  Excellent.

Friday, October 25, 2013


We left Ukiah early wanting to get into San Francisco and get the fun started.

California sunrise

Heading into the tunnel before the Golden Gate Bridge

Approaching Golden Gate Bridge

There are so many things to do and see in San Francisco we couldn't decide.  We ended up at our default destination Golden Gate Park.  There's a lot to do and see there.  The exhibits currently on display at the De Young didn't appeal to us, so we decided to just take a walk and look for a geocache or two.  We headed to the little island in Stow Lake.  It's a great place for a walk and there are lots of birds to see.

We headed for the top where there was a geocache.  It took us quite a while, maybe twenty minutes, to find it.  There were a lot of people around making it even more difficult.

Once that was finished we went down the stairs next to the waterfall, which we'd never done before.

A conversation with a squirrel.

We had bought a picnic lunch earlier, so we found a nice picnic table, sat in the sun and enjoyed the smell of eucalyptus and the sight of colorful flowers.

We headed south on Hwy 101 again. 

We stopped in Gilroy and bought some garlic, of course.

We wanted to spend the night in San Luis Obispo after having dinner at the Cajun restaurant we enjoyed last time we'd been through here,  but all of the hotels were filled up for a Parents Weekend at the local University, so we continued on to Santa Maria where we found a nice cheap room.  It was getting late and we were very tired.

Thursday, October 24, 2013


We spent the night in Crescent City, got up early and headed south on Hwy 101.  We stopped at the first pull out to get close to the ocean!  Lucy was cold and unimpressed.  We loved it.

 Next stop was Trees of Mystery.  It seems we always visit here before they open.  But we stopped for the obligatory pictures with Paul and Babe.

Trees of Mystery on Hwy 101 in northern California

Paul and Babe the Blue Ox

At Trees of Mystery

Next stop was Prairie Creek State Park, home of the Roosevelt Elk herd.

The herd asleep in the morning.

The big guy of the herd.
We took an 8 mile dirt road (easy does it - we have a van full of furniture) out to the coast so we could walk to Fern Canyon.  

Dirt road to Gold Coast

The dirt road seemed to go on and on...

But we made it, after crossing several creeks (with the van) we parked, left Lucy in the van because dogs are not welcome on the trails (??).  Darrell and I had a great time in Fern Canyon.  It is spectacular.

You could see it from the end, but the farther up the creek you went, the better it seemed.  The catch being that you had to cross and recross the creek using just the fallen limbs and logs and rocks that had been laid across the moving creek.

We had a couple of close calls, but we managed to not get our feet wet.

When we got back to the van, we tried going out to the coast to find a geocache.  Lucy was allowed on that trail.  Someone warned us to beware of the three big bucks hanging around very close.  We got unbelievably too near them.  Unfortnuately we couldn't find a way around the streams and ponds to get near the beach, so we headed back without finding a geocache.

 We got off Hwy 101, to drive on the Avenue of the Giants.  We stopped a few times to get close to the big trees.  We found a geocache, which was difficult under such big giants.

 We drove on further than we would have liked so we could make it to within striking distance of SF for the next day.  We spent the night in Ukiah.

Lucy waits patiently as we check-in to a motel.

Good night.