Wednesday, March 25, 2009


They only look dead... I think. The males are gone, and these are mostly youngsters, but they sleep all the time just like their daddies!.. .

Too much excitement...

Can't stand it....

Getting weak...

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

There's Always to Morro...

I’m in Morro Campground again. The wind has died considerably, but it’s still cold after the sun starts to set. As you can see, this is a pretty little campground. It was built in the 30’s by the CCC during the depression. The workers got paid $1 a day and were damned glad to get it. All the work was done in rock and cement rather than wood, so it stands today as it stood back then.

Morro Rock. I drove into town to get this picture (I have others you’ve seen, including one of my favorite pictures of all time, taken in the fog), a new trip gets a new picture. Apparently, I missed the HUGE gray whale that was just off to the right of this picture... if I’d seen the crowd, I would have checked it out, but didn’t. One of the neighboring campers has some great shots of it. It came into the bay to feed, left, then came back. I’m going to check tomorrow to see if it comes back!

Had a nice chat with the neighbors about camping and driving in the wind and all.. seems he had a 1962 Buick Le Sabre, which was my first traveling vehicle back in 1967 (the Summer of Love), and also they traveled in a 1969 VW camper (Joe and I did also)... I love coinky dinks like that! We talked until it got too cold to stay outside.

So, tomorrow morning it’s off to town to catch a whale and look for wifi so I can post this. If you get it, all this happened yesterday.. not today...

I’m not paying $7.99 for 24 hours of wifi..

Never have...

Probably won’t...

Monday, March 23, 2009

I'm Off....

Ok. Quit laughing... we ALL know I'm "off", there's no need to get mean about it!

Don't know where I'll stop, but in case I don't have wifi, I'm saying Hi for this morning.

So it wasn't THIS cold last night, but it sure felt like it!

(not my picture... 'borrowed' it)

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Santa Inez Mission

It rained all last night. I was very cozy, but a bit bent. Parts of me hurt when I camp, it seems (remember the knee fiasco last trip? IT remembers!)

I decided to stick here for another day. I have been in all 50 states and the only one in which I am wary about driving under adverse conditions is California. Hell.. I don't like driving in California in GOOD conditions.

So, I went to the Casino. Broke even. End of story.

Drove inland and checked out the Mission Santa Inez. It's been here since 1804. I'm sure it was damaged in the 1812 earthquake. I had never heard of (nor could I find any information about) the earthquake of 1812 EXCEPT this. In the 4th grade in California schools, they study the missions. There were missions from San Diego to North of San Francisco. Every mission story tells of some damage from that earthquake which must have been massive... I finally saw it mentioned somewhere, but it must been a doozy!

Then I drove through Solvang (Danish.. not Dutch). I've been here too many times to thrill at the billions of gifty shops and such, but it is quaint. Really really really quaint.

as you can see.

My sister reminded me of Los Olivos, which has a small restaurant in which scenes from "Sideways" were filmed.

Off I went.

Los Olivos Cafe

It was only a few miles away, and a charming little town which shows the influence a popular movie can make... There is some kind of wine tasting thingy going on in Solvang and surrounding areas, and the restaurant was packed. I had a veggie sandwich which does not convey the good gooey things included.

The little town reminded me of Sisters, Oregon. It had some new buildings in an old style, and lots of gifty shops beginning to bloom.

The restaurant is right across from the Fess Parker Inn (yes, for those of you who are old enough to remember... Davy Crockett). My last meeting with Fess Parker was more than 50 years ago when a friend of mine and I tried to sell him some of her sister's girl scout cookies... we were way too old and managed to spill the open box (used for courage only) on his front steps. By the time he answered the door, all 6'6" of gorgeous him, we were in nervous hysterics.

He didn't buy any cookies.

But for years I had a rock from his rock wall and a piece of wood from his front door..


While driving around town, hoping to catch sight of him again, I saw this restaurant, which used to be a stage coach stop in 1886. I might be open at night, but it certainly wasn't doing business today.

Then I saw some teeny tiny little horsies on the way back... aren't they adorable?

I noticed, both in Los Olivos and Buellton, some rather large, wonderful parks, newly built. This area is certainly trying to appeal to permanent residents...

cool park!

and, as I mentioned, it's prettier than I remember..

must be all that


Saturday, March 21, 2009

On the Road Again... Again.

Short post from Buellton, Ca., home of ANDERSON'S SPLIT PEA SOUP. Very famous. Been around forever, and has a little logo of two little chefs splitting a pea. There's now a restaurant and hotel attached to the business, and the town has pretty much built up around it.

There''s also Solvang, a quaint little 'dutch'(?) touristy place a few miles east. Big tourist place.. Big. I may get some pictures tomorrow, but there were too many cars and people there today.

I left home later today instead of Sunday, and I'm about 130 miles or so away. It's GOOD to be 130 miles away.

Last time I went through this area the hillsides were dry and dangerous, but there has been some great rain this winter, and everything is green. It's a pretty state when it's green. In this area there are horse farms and a CASINO, which I'm off to visit for a bit tomorrow.

I don't know how far north I will get this trip. I may just muck around in places I have sped through in recent trips on my way to Oregon, as I no longer need to go and visit my old friend there. I'm not eager to do long driving, at least it seems that way today.

Might change my mind tomorrow.

You know me.

Monday, March 16, 2009

A Very Tense, Unhappy Kitty...

She's so sorry I adopted her...

Doesn't it show??

She's sooo cosseted it's embarrassing..

That's her little tiny nose under her arm..


Friday, March 13, 2009

File Under: Just Had To...

A 45-minute time exposure made for circular star tracks is seen over this run-down barn along County Road A near Iron River, Wis., Sunday night, Feb. 15, 2009. During the time exposure, the barn was lit with a battery powered spotlight using a technique called light painting. (AP Photo/Nate Rendulich)

This is such a beautiful picture. I love the North Star, and it's always a treat to see just how it looks over time. I think the 'light painting' concept is incredible! I might just have to try this sometime... maybe I can get a kitty to sit still for a ...


never happen..

Sunday, March 08, 2009


Manhattan Beach has changed over the last 30+ years, as has everything else. When I first moved here, it consisted of a gaggle of mismatched beach houses. I would suppose most of them were built in the 50's, as was my house. The tone was casual and the people eclectic and friendly.

4th of July was an armed camp on the beach, with sand bunkers and unlawful fireworks... it looked rather like the invasion at Normandy, and was not a safe place to be unless you were young and swift.

I had a friend who called the cops on himself once, when the wildest of the local pubs wouldn't serve him (and believe me, he had to be realllly gone for them to say no). He went outside and called the police (no cell phones, just the convenient Clark Kent device on the corner). When they came, he gave them his sob story about how that mean old bartender wouldn't give him anythingtodrink. The local police, also being more eclectic and friendly, merely collected him and let him sleep it off in the 'drunk tank'... no harm. no foul. no ticket. no lawyers. no shame.

It's changed, as has the look of the place.

We call them McMansions.

and they're everywhere..

This is one of the best examples of a McMansioned street.

Keep in mind that the average lot size in Manhattan Beach is 30' by 90'. Yep, that's FEET, people. Not a lot of room, so many people (where DO THEY GET THIS MONEY?) buy TWO lots and fill them both.

Here are some pictures of the evolution to this point.

First we have the 'little beach home'...

Then, the larger, boxier, and completely boring house... but bigger... bigger is better..

So... I'm thinking, when the time comes, that I will travel a great deal, and stay in little towns across the country, like mine used to be, and visit with my flatlander friends.

and I won't miss this place at all...