Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Happy Birthday Lynne

So - whaddaya wanna do for your birthday? Well, she said she wants to drive a little of the spectacular California coastline on a perfectly glorious day, see a wonder of nature called Elephant Seals. Then, lets spend the night at a place like William Randolph Hearst used to live on. OK Here we go. Lynne finds out everything you want to know about Elephant Seals from the ranger. He said a couple miles further was the best Elephant Seal viewing area. Warning, the following is XRated. Yep, these are Elephant Seals mating. The 'Alpha' male. These are BIG guys! I had a little computer work to do. No problem. Just crank up the generator and raise the Datastorm dish. How d'ya like my office? Then, we find our home for the night at San Simeon State Park. Happy Birthday Lynne!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Bye Bye Lake Lopez

God! It was beautiful here this last week. The weather was supposed to turn nasty yesterday afternoon, so we had an early dinner together. As it turns out, it was very nice. Warmer than it has been, and no wind at all. Then we took a nice walk. Playing on the Live Oaks. You could tell that something was happening with the weather - the sky looked like something from a Van Gogh painting. So, now we say goodbye to our friends here: As I've mentioned in previous posts, life on the road continually presents lessons in Letting Go. I'm still learning! I always thought I was a 'glass half full' kinda gal rather than a 'glass half empty'. But I find myself thinking about all the things that I *didn't* do during our month here. I think about the fact that we haven't yet figured out how to make a living. We didn't get very far in our campaign to get in shape. We don't know where we're going next. yadda yadda yadda. Lynne reminds me to think in terms of 'Here comes the next adventure' instead of worrying about what's not happening 'according to plan'. Easier said than done, but so true. The uncertainty of what each new day will bring, the mystery of the road, the adventure. That's what I wanted by choosing this lifestyle. Guess what? I Got it!! Now, I just need to learn to live with it! I think of this proverb often: An elder Cherokee Native American was teaching his grandchildren about life. He said to them, "A fight is going on inside me ... it is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, friendship, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. the same fight is going on inside you, and inside every other person, too. " They thought about it for a minute and then one child asked his grandfather, "Which wolf will win?" The old Cherokee simply replied..." The one you feed."

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Birding

It's never been my thing. But it is Liz's thing. Birding. So, she came out to Lopez Lake this morning and gave us a taste. There sure are lots of cool birds out here. And, they look a lot better thru her scope. Thanx Lizzie!

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Hike at Lopez Lake

We really want to take advantage of this spectacular place while the weather is good. It's supposed to start raining like crazy tomorrow. Yesterday we went kayaking! I didn't want to take the camera, so you have to take my word for it. All four of us launched our kayaks just down the street from our campsites. We paddled around for about an hour and thoroughly enjoyed the sights and sounds of a lake with lots of water fowl. Even pelicans! Big white ones with black-tipped wings. Odie came too and went for a little swim. Whether he intended to or not, we'll never know, but he did pretty good. He fell out of my kayak and swam over to Jim's. Today we saw a notice for a ranger-led hike, so we took advantage of it and met up at the trail head for the Tuouski trail. We had a delightful ranger named Kristen for a guide. I made sure to wear long pants so I could avoid contact with any poison oak. And, we left Odie at home. Good thing. There was poison oak everywhere. But the trail was well-maintained and I'm pretty sure we did not make contact. I took the pants off and put them in a laundry bag as soon as we got home, and I scrubbed my hands and arms with Tecnu. If I started all over again with this menace, I think it would be the end of my California hiking days. So - forget about that. It was a BEAUTIFUL hike. We were hiking for over 3 hours and we climbed up pretty high. Yes! Some needed exercise! When we got up to the top, Kristen pointed out a lookout where Condors are sometimes spotted. And, Jim remembered seeing that there was a geocache around here somewhere. Kristen poked around a bit and, voila! It's not quite spring yet, but the wildflowers are already starting. Lupine Indian Paintbrush Shooting Stars And, I just love the majestic, yet intricate, live oak. Nice hike.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Lake Lopez Park

Pretty place. Here's our site: And, here's the lake: No WiFi here. And, NO Verizon cell phone service. That's been a long time since we've been out of cell phone range. Even plugging into our Wilson Trucker external antenna doesn't help. But, our Datastorm is working just fine, so we have Internet and we're happy! Lynne and John can use it parked next to us too. So we can Instant Message each other to see what our plans are for dinner. Or, to tell the other to 'Look at the Peacock right outside your window!' Odie and I went for an early morning walk today. There was frost on the ground and fog in the air. We took the 'Rocky Point' trail out to the lakeshore.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Poison Oak update

I remember that poison oak was nasty from when I lived here 25 years ago. I remember that the rash lasts longer than any rash has a right to - 2-3 weeks instead of 2-3 days. I don't remember how the rash can keep getting worse and going in and out of a stage that includes 'weeping blisters'. I will spare you a photo, but if you really want to see what it looks like - other people have posted photos on this page. There is an entire shelf at the local drugstore of salves and washes for poison Oak and I tried several - with minor successes. The most relief still came from a hot, hot shower. Ice helped a little too. Both the heat and the cold ease the itching for a while. Night before last was a 3-shower, 2-ice night with an hour or so of sleep in between. Liz got me to a doctor who gave me some prednisone, luckily before I had the chance to *shoot* myself! I started taking it yesterday and last night was just a 1 shower, 1 ice night! It also looks much more like a normal rash now rather than something from a documentary about a leper colony. Looks like I'll live. We've moved out to a county park called Lake Lopez. Lynne and John have joined us now, and I had hoped to do some hiking on the miles and miles of trails out here. hmmmm, I'm not so sure now - I'm a little gunshy - and I gotta read up on what happens with poison oak contact when you're already on prednisone. We could also go kayaking in the lake - no poison oak, but it's a little chilly. 39 degrees right now at 8am. Hopefully it will warm up. We'd *better* use our kayaks while we're here since the park charges $3 per night per kayak!! I've never heard of such a thing! Those poor kayaks stay on the top of our car day in and day out. If every place had such a policy - we'd be in trouble. I gotta admit, it's a pretty cool place though. Since we got here last night, we've seen at least a dozen deer, a flock of wild turkeys and a peacock. Here's the turkeys just wandering thru camp. And the male really likes to strut his stuff.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Picasa Class at Mary Ann's

Good looking students at Mary Ann's don't ya think? This was such a cool thing. Giving a seminar, not to an RV park, not to a computer club gathering, but to a group of friends. Since *everyone* uses digital photos these days, they can all benefit by using Picasa. It is just SO useful. One woman in the class (Nancy) is a teacher of Adobe Photoshop Elements which is a powerful Photo editor. She has downloaded Picasa and started to use it. With what she learned in class today - she says she will probably continue to use it along with Photoshop because it is so much faster and easier to manage all the photos with Picasa. Sure wish we knew a Mary Ann in every town we traveled thru. It was so nice to do this in her home with such a friendly atmosphere. If you were one of the people in the class, I'd love to get an email from you and learn if you did download Picasa and how you're using it. I love getting email from students and I'm happy to try to answer any questions you may have. Thanx Mary Ann!Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 17, 2006

Morro Bay and SLOBG

Morro Bay is so beautiful. We visited the museum - right across the street from the State Park. They have the best views. Just down the road ... we took a drive out to another nearby park - MontaƱa de Oro Spectacular. One problem though. Dogs are NOT ALLOWED on any of the trails. boo hoo. But, actually I wasn't too dissappointed. I saw SO much poison oak all along the roadway, that I didn't think I was up to a hike anyway. Although, I really do want to get out on those dunes one of these days and I think this is the best access except maybe for kayaking across the bay. One way or another, leaving Odie home and going for a hike, or paddling in the cold and wind, we'll get to those dunes before we leave. One of the best days in my memory was spent on those dunes in 1982. Daydreaming. Just down the road from our camp is "The Inn at Morro Bay" where, by pure coincidence, the Annual Dinner of the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden (SLO BG) was being held last night. SLOBG is Liz's job and her passion these days, so, she got us tickets to attend the dinner. We *even* got dressed! We actually knew a few people from dinners the last couple weeks. And, Jim makes friends SO easily! The lady in red here is Mary Ann. She is Liz' friend who joined us for the Picasa lesson. She liked it so much she scheduled a class at her house and has 5 or 6 people coming! She is what you call a 'mover and shaker'. And a fun lady too! The crowd in attendance for this annual dinner was really impressive. What a cool project. Not just a garden, but a world-class attraction, is what they have in mind. Visit the Monterey Aquarium, then a little further south to Hearst Castle, then a little further south to the Botanical Garden. The master plan calls for complete experiences of all 5 mediterranean climate zones: California, Chile, Australia, South Africa and Mediterranian. There is a major visitor center, all built with sustainable technologies. A beautiful dream. They really need a name better than SLOBG though dontcha think? Just not very inspiring. Something like the Eden Project in England. Work on it Lizzie! This morning we grabbed a cup of coffee at The Rock Espresso Bar. They had 3 computers in this little shop that patrons could use, or bring your laptop and use the WiFi. The owner said lots of folks call it their 'Coffice'. We took our coffe and braved the cold to let Odie run on the beach down by the Rock. What Joy! There were actually people braving the cold (low 50s) and taking their surfboards into the ocean! brrrrrrrr Aaaaaahhhh to be young and foolish! But wait, what's this? Old and foolish ... even better!