Ouch!

We interrupted our trip to Orlando by stopping for Sabbath between Phoenix and Tucson.

We explored the countryside today under lovely skies, 78 degrees, a light breeze, and 11% humidity….

Desert as far as the eye can see, cactus everywhere…careful where you step!
DSC_8140_aDSC_8144_aBut all is not lost. Even cacti have flowers now and then…and you know what comes with flowers….
DSC_8164_aDSC_8158_aWhat a place! Hardy doesn’t begin to describe what it takes to live out here!

We had so much fun exploring back roads outside Tucson…stopping when we saw color, stopping to admire the many, many variations of the saguaro (səˈwɑroʊ) cactus, and stopping to take in the view of miles and miles of prickly pear and other strange cacti. Notice the holes in the saguaro in the second photo below…probably made by woodpeckers for nesting purposes, which are usually taken over by other birds the next season.
DSC_8171_aDSC_8175_aDSC_8178_aDSC_8181_aWe finished our tour in the shadow of the Santa Catalina Mountains that overlook Tucson, in a forest of saguaro cacti.
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One last thing

Couldn’t resist sharing a couple parting shots.

Tomorrow will be spent getting this show ready to go on the road…

We’ve spent more time in and around the harbor in Trinidad than anywhere else on this North Coast.

We’ve caught sunrise and sunsets from one spot, drowned a Nikon beside one of its rocks, and climbed/walked miles and miles of trails around its edges.

One intriguing feature has been a very small island out in the bay, and a cleft in some rocks around the side that faces the open sea…that causes quite a geyser when the tide is right and the waves are great.

We finally got a shot of it in action…
DSC_8072_aAs we say Goodbye for now, we leave with a backward glance at the western sky…
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Just a few of her favorite things

Sorry for the silence…been a little occupied with Ryan, adjusting some of his meds…

The shaking we felt about 10 days ago was quite an earthquake directly offshore about 50 miles from where we’re parked! No drama beyond about 20 seconds of shaking.

The shaking you feel on March 17 will be the result of our celebrating the 21st anniversary of Robyn’s 39th birthday!

We’ve been celebrating all month, but we took a special drive to catch a last look at some of her favorite things…because of her birthday, but also because we head east this Wednesday on our way to Dayton!

We have enjoyed soooo much the bounty of nature on this North Coast of California! Of course, it has also been a special joy to be parked 5 miles from Robyn’s dad and his wife!

As we leave here, we head to Orlando for some special alignment work on the Big Taxi chassis, then up to Sharon’s place in Albemarle, NC for a few days, and finally to Dayton. Jared will fly in to meet us at Sharon’s, and will ride with us to Dayton!

Then here’s a special kicker: we expect to head right back here for the summer!

Things might be a little quiet here on the blog for days as we undertake all the travel and appointments necessary for this major loop. During this trip, we will actually set eyes on the West Coast, Gulf Coast, and East Coast by the time we land in Dayton!

Enough talk. Happy Birthday to my Sweetness…she ain’t over the hill by any measure, she’s just getting started!

These are just a few of her favorite things:
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Anything anywhere

Here’s an interesting tidbit: this portion of the California North Coast gets almost exactly the same average amount of precipitation each year as Dayton!

Different format, mind you.

The biggest difference in weather between here and Dayton is temperature. Here, the average temperature never gets up to 70 and never gets down to 40.

Despite the almost constant fog, the air in general doesn’t feel humid when the fog blows away.

But the combination of fairly cool temperatures and constant application of moisture results in stuff growing. Everywhere.

Not just redwoods.
DSC_4642_aThat’s a service station roof…notice the wood shakes?

You build it, they will come…and grow.
DSC_3267_aDSC_3269_aDSC_7420_aEven trees aren’t left alone…some have a multitude of hitchhikers.
DSC_0857_aBut not always…or forever…
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Around and around

Some days we wander, going from pillar to post, as it were.

We headed into town to check out a small park we’d heard about, and I didn’t have my good camera with me…just the tiny one with the waterproof housing.

It takes such *wide angle* pictures that you sometimes lose track of anything more than 6 feet away. It’s fun to use, but you can’t expect too much from it…it cost less than the standard lens on my Nikon!

This park is called Redwood Park, so we had high hopes…

Check out what greets you at a tight corner just past the entrance sign:
DCIM101GOPROMultiple carvings on the massive base of an ancient tree that fell ages ago!

Did I mention this park is on the edge of a university?
DCIM101GOPROThe place was filled with students who were relaxing in a thousand different ways.
DCIM101GOPROThat dog grabbing the flying saucer was a pit bull, not the usual border collie!
DCIM101GOPROWe hiked a very short way into the woods, to absorb some of the majesty of these tall trees. This stand of redwood has numerous stumps from old growth trees, but it consists of much younger trees. Still, look how they grow out of…and across…ancient fallen trees.
DCIM101GOPROWe kept moving, because we wanted to catch a particular beach for sunset. On the way there, we stopped past another beach to check the tide. We were drawn to watch a rock climber who was practicing with a safety rope on the cliff we had just driven around to get there.
DSC_4547_aOn our way to the destination beach, we had to stop because a large herd of elk were using our bridge to conveniently cross a river. As they arrived in the field on the other side, a couple “teenage” elk blew some energy racing around the herd!
DSC_7209_aWhat with all the distractions, it was nearly miraculous we made it to the destination beach.

Worth the trouble, eh?
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Thunderation

I’m still in awe of this ocean…the constancy of its actions.

The waves crash on the shore all day, every day…no wind, no recent storms, no noticeable swells offshore…still they crash. We hear their thunder a mile inland all the time!

On days when there’s strong wind or there was a storm somewhere…the swells get rambunctious, and the waves get crazy!

In the areas where large rocks are in the intertidal zone…look out, there’s gonna be some REAL crashing and splashing. A smooth rock face will cause a deep “whomp” sound when hit, and about every tenth wave will cause the ground to shake nearby!

But enough talk…see the pictorial proof. If you click on some of these photos, you can see the grains of sand in the water churned up by the wave action!
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Just driftin

These North Coast shores seem to catch everything…apparently flotsam and jetsam from the Japanese tsunami nearly three years ago is finally washing up hereabouts!

We’ve not run across grotesque stuff, and I don’t make it my hobby to shoot junk…

But we thought you’d enjoy a few of our pictures of shoreline treasures.
DSC_1820_aRobyn’s dad really enjoys looking for smaller pieces of wood with interesting shapes…he uses them to create mobiles and wind chimes!
DSC_0285_aSome pieces are a bit large for wind chimes, but a scrubbed piece of redwood sure would look lovely in the back yard…
DSC_4298_aRoss and Ryan found the perfect use for a large piece…
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