Journal for October, 2007         Back to journal index
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October 1st.
After a leisurely start to avoid rush hour traffic in Sacramento we hit construction around Clear Lake not once, not twice but three times. For the past few years it's been perpetual road work in this area.

Dave thinks I drive too fast and took this blurred photo to prove it. I actually drive too slowly and am constantly pulling over to let the "speeders" pass.

We stayed at our "second home", the Beachcomber. Just north of Fort Bragg, it sits right on the bluff and is reasonably priced. A great view and direct access to the beach and trails draws us back time after time. A storm had moved through the day before and the waves were huge.

The cliff walk with its access to beaches at low tide always draws us out to watch, beach comb and hike. The jellyfish were thick on the sand and offered Dave some interesting photo ops.

This driftwood chair was too enticing to pass up.

Sunset viewing from our 2nd story deck is spectacular.

October 2
This trip on the Skunk Train was our first and we enjoyed it thoroughly.

The train left the station at 10:00am and chugged straight up the Pudding Creek canyon, through a tunnel and up the Noyo River canyon to a spot halfway between Fort Bragg and Willets. The conductor was knowledgeable about the history of the area. He was an old-timer who worked at the mill and logged the area and had some interesting ideas about sustainable forestry.

The turn-around point was called North Spur and the engine was detached from the cars and after a three point turn on a triangle of tracks, was re-connected backwards.

We crossed many trestles over small creeks and saw cabins in the woods that were served only by the train, few roads penetrated the area.

Dinner that evening was at Silver's on the wharf. We drove down to Mendocino after dinner just to look around but everything was closed.

Another lovely sunset at the Beachcomber.

October 3
Glass Beach was our first destination. The tides were at their lowest in the very early hours so we had to roust out early to avoid getting our shoes wet. I wanted to gather beach glass for a project but to my surprise, Glass Beach was covered in sand. I found a few bits around the corner but the air smelled like sewage and we didn't stay long.

Navarro River Road took us away from the coast through the lovely redwoods.
There are high water marks on some stretches of this road that look to be about 8-10 feet up the trees. Morning sun through the trees and the extreme quiet was enchanting.

Although we didn't taste any wines, we stopped at Navarro just because Gregg talks about their wines so enthusiastically.

This hamburger stand in Cloverdale was built in July of 1923. The library was next door until the early 1980s. It is a true drive in with pull-up, off-street parking preserved when the city beautified the streets.

The trip back was through the Alexander Valley into the touristy "wine country" where traffic was incredibly congested on the main highways. On Wednesday at noon, there was more traffic than I remember on a weekend a few decades ago. Bucky was glad to see us.

October 13, 2007; A day at the Nature Preserve
Back in November of 06 I attended Naturalist training at Cosumnes Nature Preserve. Now, about once a month, I volunteer at the visitor center located about 11 miles South of Elk Grove on Franklin Blvd.

This is the time of the year when the Sandhill cranes migrate to the preserve where they will spend their winter. Some of these magnificent birds stand nearly four feet tall.

Here are a few snapshots from the afternoon.

October 17, 2007: Cache creek and a new chair.

Photo by Linda
We gathered in Arbuckle and drove through "Hungry Hollow" on the way to the Cache Creek Indian Casino.  Once at the Casino we spent our "free money" and enjoyed a great lunch at the cafe.  On the way back we drove the back roads to highway 20 and stopped to take a look at the Tulle Elk (above).

Once back in Arbuckle we tried out Leo's new chair and Mary Lou's new cell phone.  

October 1966; I was in the Army attending the Signal Corps Officer Candidate School (OCS). I shot this short video.

October 22-24 2007; Monterey.

The weather was so great we decided to take a short trip to Monterey and Pacific Grove.  Dave started a head cold and cough on Sunday but soldiered on and on Monday morning we loaded up and headed down I5, through the Pacheco pass and on to the Casa de Fruta, the halfway point. Restroom break over and goodies for the trip secured we drove on to Monterey.  Highway 1 was stopped outside of Sand City so we detoured off into the Fort Ord area and took back roads to our motel in Pacific Grove.  The lovely, pink Lover's Inn which was getting a make-over and all in scaffolding was our destination for the day.  We parked and unloaded our folding bikes and tootled up to the aquarium to check out the marine life and have lunch.

First stop after lunch was the two-story kelp tank.  Anchovies glitter and flash in the sunlight and the kelp sways in the current.  Attendance was light so I could hang out and stare as long as I liked.  The jellies were so amazing Dave had to take some video.

Click twice to watch the jellyfish videos.

We had supper at the 17th Street Grill just up from the motel.  Dave had the Cajun snapper wrap and Linda had a snapper burger.  Tuesday we looked around Asilomar and drove down to Carmel.  We sat on the beach at Carmel River and Dave fed the gulls while I looked for shells.  Nepenthe, below Big Sur, was our lunch spot and the atmosphere was as peaceful as always.  Dave and I both noticed that we heard many European and Asian languages.  Exchange rates are favorable for them.

After a short nap in the motel room we hopped on the bikes and rode to the wharf in Monterey where we spotted this colorful sailboat. No restaurants on the wharf appealed to us so we rode back to Lover's Point and went for a drive.   The Fishwife restaurant had been recommended to me a couple of years ago as a fun and delicious place to eat.  We coasted by all the folks parked along the road watching the sunset and scored the last table at the restaurant.  It was everything that was promised.  The waitstaff were friendly and helpful and the place was bustling.  I had sole with achiote sauce and Dave had a seafood fettucini that was spicy enough to break through his stuffy head.  Excellent dinner.  We parked along the Asilomar State Beach to watch the moon come up and take some night photos.  What a wonderful place this is.  I was sorry to leave the next day but Bucky was very glad to see us when we got home.  The aquarium inspired me to create my own "seascape" with a rocks found on the beach and some beads.  The rocks had holes in them that were perfect for the wavy "tendrils" coming out of glass bead bases.

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