Friday, December 30, 2011

Elephant seal vista 15miles N of Cambria, CA. Babies, babies, babies. Babies are black. Bulls talking and wanting to mate. Mommas not ready.
Brother and I met at Gilroy, CA last night. He wandering North and I, South. Bought some Gilroy garlic.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS! Solstice celebration, Zoo lights, art museum and spending time with my son. It's been fun.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Chet's new coat

Chet was feeling the cold and damp here in Oregon so I bought him a coat. It is a warm fleece with lime green on one side and blue on the other. Am still looking for a suitable raincoat for him. He will be glad to be in warm Baja sunshine.

Finally -- some pictures of Baja kayaking

Last campsite on our 4 night 5 day camping/kayaking trip. Second picture is me towrd end of trip in my white hat. Another picture shows a practice session for rollovers. And lastly, my practice with a single kayak.............for daily paddling I was in a double with one of the guides.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Visiting in Oregon. Will be here until after Christmas then drive to Baja. Decorating tree at friend's home today.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Left Beverly Beach today for Junction City to have RV maint done. Cannot do RoadTrek maint in Juneau, so go lower 48, Canada or interior AK. Sun!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Beverly Beach. An angry sea today with heavy rain and strong winds. Tops of the breakers blowing sideways. Wind to be gtr 60mph.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Beverly Beach. Awakened to frost, calmer seas, sunshine and cloudless skies. Chet eats better, walks to beach, gets pats from dog lovers.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Am at Beverly Beach campground near Newport, OR. Cozy in RV. Jan here too. Winter storm coming and big waves to watch.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Picked up Chet

I am back in Oregon to be with my elderly dog Chet. He was not eating well at the boarding facility, so I came back and now have him with me. His caretaker did a wonderful job caring for him and gave him special attention and food to try and keep him eating. Chet greeted me with a big smile and a wagging tail. We will head toward the beach near Newport, Oregon and camp there for awhile.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Instant coffees

Before coming to Baja I experimented with instant coffees to find something good and easy to make when I drive down in January. I tried Starbucks, Fred Meyer and Folgers singles, instant Espresso and Nescafe. The instant Espresso and Starbucks were my favorites. Tho expensive I especially like Starbucks Italian Roast. Second was Espresso in a jar. Third were the singles that you use like a tea bag. I said "bleahhhh!" with the Nescafe. Did not like it at all.

Well, the reason I am bothering to mention all this is because of the Nescafe. My little store on the corner sells a Nescafe Clasico (made in Mexico) that actually tastes like good coffee.

Fashion and art show

Last evening there was a local art opening and fashion show in the Plaza. There were 4 judges for the fashion show who choose the best outfit and also the best accessory. It was fun. My friends from Loreto Bay showed up and we all went to dinner after. Loreto Bay is 5 miles south of town.

The local artist E. Davis was showing his paintings of wildlife and local places. My favorite was a painting of two breaching humpback whales. Reminds me of home, but different background. I loved the water splashes in the painting.

Today was market day. The market is a 20 minute walk from my house and located in the dry riverbed. Maybe someday I will be here when there is water in the arroyo....don't know if that will be a good or bad thing to see. There has been no rain here for 2 years now.

I bought dates, asparagus, avocados, kiwis, apples, red onions, garlic. There are still vegetables from last week in my fridge. The asparagus was a surprise. Had not seen that before at the market. Aspargus was 15 pesos for a 3 inch diameter bunch. Dates were 40 pesos a kilo. Did not pay attention to other prices.

Yesterday, I cooked the remainder of fish with onions and garlic and for the first time I cooked tomatillos. The tomatillos were cut into chunks and cooked with onion, garlic, black pepper and mushrooms to make a chunky salsa verde. It tastes good and I will eat it with the remaining fish. Was surprised to see the tomatillos cook a bit slimy like okra, but the slimyness was gone by the time all was browned and moisture reduced. Tomatillos will become a part of my kitchen.

Dee was at the market. We visited and stood quietly for a bit watching the mountains. Lolita, a pointed triangular mountain, is my landmark to the west and lies in the Sierra de la Gigante. The morning light was showing the mountains as I had never seen them with all their valleys and wrinkles. It was beautiful! The changes seen as the light moves during the day amazes me and I hope never to lose the wonder of that as I hope never to lose the wonder of Alaska.

I am reading "Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas" by James Patterson.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Just a day in Loreto

Began my day before sunrise. Linda and I walked over to the marina for coffee and to sit and watch the sunrise. Light begins about 6:30, but the sun doesn't show above Carmen Island until after 7 this time of year. Then we walked the length of the Malecon (sidewalk along the shore) and back thru down for breakfast at Orlando's when they opened at 8.

The rest of my day was lazy except for doing some laundry and hanging it out to dry. I love the smell of laundry that has been dried outdoors. Caught up on my emails, phone calls with Skype and reading. Am reading John Grisham's "The Associate".

Had Pinto, another sea bass similar to Cabrilla, for dinner last night. The 'Davis' Pescadoria is just a half block from my house. The family cleans and processes the day's catch behind their home and that is where you go to buy fresh fish. There are several family locations in Loreto and the Davis Pescadoria is recommended as the best for cleanliness and fresh fish.

Pinto was selling for 70 pesos a kilo and Cabrilla for 110 pesos a kilo. Current exchange rate is 12-13 pesos/dollar.

I coated the fish with oil, seasonings and bread crumbs and fried and served with sauteed broccoli, squash, tomato, onion, orange pepper and sliced avocado.

After dinner, I took a walk to the town plaza and over to the Malecon in the cooler evening breeze. Also did a bit of shopping for household stuff as more stores are open late. Saw Joani and her neighbors at Orlando's. Stopped by the shoe store around the corner (where I drop off clothes to be washed) and was given a gift of pretty shells. Not sure why the gift, but it is fun getting to know the people at the shop.

Watched "Second Hand Lions" before falling asleep about midnight. Am slowly working my way thru a 2 foot high stack of vhs tapes of movies I have never seen and some I want to see again.

Life is slow, warm and easy here.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

carmen and coronado

Turns out we went snorkeling yesterday instead of Sunday. Sunday cancelled with a scheduling conflict and wind. Water was mirror calm yesterday when we left the harbor. Went to north-eastern shore of Carmen to some caves. The caves were fascinating to see, but not many fish for good snorkeling. Caves might have lobster at night tho.

Went to a couple other reefs on Carmen and saw a variety of colorful fish. While we snorkeled our guide Chava fished. He caught some nice Cabrilla to take home for dinner.

About noon, we headed for Coronado to find turtles. During the rest of the day we saw a lot of turtles from the boat, but not while swimming. I quit counting turtles when I had seen 12 and there were many more. Chava took us to a spot where they often come to spend the night.

We lunched on Coronado and then snorkeled. Saw many colorful fish there also and the beach has a palapa for shade...........and it is a much shorter ride from town than going over to Carmen. Had a few small jelly stings. The jellies were scattered and did not have them everywhere we swam. A thin allbody layer over your skin helps.

The water is already beginning to seem cooler than last week, but still bathtub warm for me.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Snorkeling Oct 30

A preview:

Will go snorkeling Sunday with 4 friends. We have rented a boat and guide to take us over to Carmen Island (another Island in the National Marine Park) for snorkeling and then over to Coronado Island (3rd Island in the group) to see if we can see tortugas.

I am sitting outside a coffe shop near the town plaza with free wi-fi. It is a fine place for people watching, checking email and drinking frappes.

Sea Kayaking Oct 24-28

Trudi was in the pickup with me on the way to the wedding. She does kayak and mule trips locally. She had a kayak trip leaving Monday Oct 24 so I decided to go along and she fit me in at the last minute for a kayak trip with four others and a couple guides. We drove south of town to a beach near Puerto Escondido and launched our kayaks there. Group decided to leave tents behind so we camped under the stars. It was a 5 day and 4 night trip. The first day we paddled over to Danzante Island and unloaded our gear at one of the beaches on the south end of the island and then paddled back north along the shore to Honeymoon Beach for snorkeling, then back to our campsite for the night. I shared a double kayak with Adrian, one of the guides, and he was helpful getting me in and out of the kayak without tipping over.

I loved sleeping under the stars. Orion was nearly overhead about sunrise and I saw several meteors. Will "google" to see when to watch for the November meteor show. If I awakened and Orion was still low in the sky, I would go back to sleep until just before dawn. The sunrises and sunsets here are colorful.

Danzante Island is one of 5 Islands in the National Marine Park here at Loreto.

After the first day, we paddled over to the mainland of Baja and paddled south camping along the way at two different beaches. We spent two nights at our last camping beach and did a lot of snorkeling, swimming, beach combing, and hiking up into a canyon. This last beachg had hundreds of hermit crabs crawling about. The snorkeling was nice with a lot of different fish..............ones I cannot name.

This morning we paddled to a beach near Agua Verde for our haulout. Just as we were approaching the beach, a van pulled up to pick us up along with all our gear (including the kayaks.) We had two double kayaks and 3 singles.

It was hot,but I could cool off in the water so that was just fine.

Once the gear was packed for our return to Loreto, we stopped at a ranch for lunch and then drove up the hill to Highway 1 and back to Loreto. The road to Agua Verde leaves Highway 1 about 30 miles from Loreto. The dirt/boulder road is a slow 20 kilometer drive to the first ranch at sea level and then another 20 kilometers to Agua Verde. Takes a long time, but is worth the drive, especially if you can camp a few days while there. There are hot springs nearby that are accessible only at low tide. I have not seen the hot springs yet.

Again, if/when I have pictures to post, I will.

Wedding Oct 22-23

The wedding on the beach at San Basilio was wonderful. A lot of guests, good food, swimming, music, snorkeling and sleeping under the stars. I came in by pickup on a dirt road. The road to the beach was about 14 miles and best travelled in a 4x4. We returned in a rental school bus and bogged down on one spot with soft dirt. The bus nearly made it up and over the soft hill, but had to back down. We were towed by a Ford F150 and between the two vehicles we made it up and over the hill. Would have made a great commercial for Ford pickups.

Still not pictures to post. When I have some I will try and post.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Am in Loreto, BCS

wedding is sat. I have wifi access and can check emails.

it is hot here and so far that feels good.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Spent a couple days visiting in Bremerton, WA. Then to Beverly Beach, OR and here two more nights. Beautiful and sunny. Had sprinkles.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Waiting for ferry to Kingston. Seahawks on radio. Seahawks 36; Giants 25. ....time to load. ...on board...brake set. A 30 min ride.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

La Conner, WA

Spent today in La Conner, WA. Lunch, browsing artwork and buying hats, Fildalgo Bay coffee and gooey cinnamon rolls. Fun! Picture of guitar made of license plates.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Arrived Bellingham this morning. Walked Chet, drove 13 miles down the road then napped. Continued on to Mukilteo for visit, dinner w/friend.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Arriving Ketchikan. Sunny, cool, light breeze. No clouds! Will walk Chet outside here, then car deck 15 min walks only 3Xday to Bellingham.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Humpback whales bubble-net feeding in Peril Strait today. Saw from Alaska ferry Malaspina. 1st stop Sitka on way to Bellingham, WA.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Same view, same time 2 days later.

September Sunset in Tee Harbor

This was taken last night Sept. 26th.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Herbert Glacier Hike

Florence and I walked up to Herbert Glacier recently. The trail is easy and 4-5 miles one way. It was a brisk Fall day. Trees were beginning to color, a lot of mushrooms popping out and the forest had the pleasant odor of Fall. Florence and I poke around alot looking at what is growing and taking pictures. Well, Florence usually takes the pictues. The ones I've selected show a pretty pond with reflections, a look along part of the trail and both of us posing in from of Herbert Glacier. Florence took this with her timer and several tries later (with only an arm or a leg in the picture)she got success with this one.

The trail is in great shape. Several families rode up on their bicycles. It is a wonderful improvement from the old muddy, rutty, rooty, rocky trail of old.

Our first look at the glacier was awesome. We popped out of the woods to see a huge wall of ice riddled with blue-lined crevasses. I had expected a long pleasant walk in the woods and at the end of the trail to see a hanging glacier way off in the distance. Not so. That wall of ice was impressive and the Herbert River begins as a large river at the glacier's base. The day was overcast, termination dust on the peaks, and we assumed the cloudy day was the reason for such beautiful blue color in the ice. We picked a couple nice rocks to situpon and had our lunch in front of the glacier and strolled back to the car. Began just before 10am and back to car at 5:30pm. My feet were tired..............haven't done a long walk for awhile.

This will be a nice memory to take with me on my winter travels.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

50th High School Reunion

Here we are: all 14 of us and a mother of one of our departed. It is hard to get me to leave Alaska in the summer, but I did venture out to attend my 50th High School Reunion. That and a family gathering in Maui took me south for a month of visiting and sightseeing.
The HS reunion was fun. I graduated from a class of 29 and we had 14 show up for the 2 day event. Most came with a companion so there were 30 or so. I enjoyed being re-acquainted and visiting with my classmates. The antique car is a 1929 Model A and a fun ride.

McKensie Pass

This pass is a delight to drive thru and the views at the summit are "otherworldly" with chunks of lava as far as you can see. There is an observatory at the summit with peepholes to look thru. Each peephole will show you a mountain in the Cascade Range and a label names the mountain with its distance from you.

Below McKensie Pass on the way to Salem is Clear Lake and Clear Lake really is clear. I don't know how far down you can see, but dad used to tell stories about fishing for trout there. He said he would watch a trout mouth his salmon egg on a hook, then blow it out to see if it looked natural. Do not remember it he ever caught any of those trout. I remember seeing tall tree rising from the bottom of the lake in the crystal clear water. Had not been there in 40+ years and was delighted to see not only is the lake still clear, there are still campsites, cabins and rowboats for rent.

The Steens

Awesome! The Steens were all I had imagined and more. Have been wanting to go there for years and finally did. The road to the summit is only open in summer...about mid-July to October because of snow. The summit is 10,000 feet. What is special about the Steens is the geology. I think it is called a fault-block mountain and a huge hunk of land rises gently out of the desert if you approach from the west and drops a mile to the Alvord desert floor if you approach from the east.

I met a friend in Burns, Oregon and we stayed in Frenchglen at an Oregon State Park Historic Hotel there. We drove up the gentle slope from the west to a viewpoint at the summit and YES!, you can look down a mile to the Alvord desert below.


Had some free time so drove over the Lolo pass to montana to see my friends there. The drive takes you along one of those clear green water rivers. Since living in Alaska I see a lot of rivers filled with glacier silt and few that are sparkling clear.
My drive from Montana took me to Ontario, Oregon via Grangeville, Idaho. Another road new to me. I was surprised to find the wheat fields here in what I thought was either evergreen trees or desert scrub.

PAM - Allure Auto show

Had an enjoyable time visiting my son and spending time together at the art museum. The highlighted event was the "Allure Auto Show" with several beautiful old and special automobiles.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

6 turkeys launched off roadside cliff and flew across highway to downhill side and (Whew!!) missed my car.
Country music lyrics dring thru Idaho: l gave up smokin', women and drinkin' last night. It was the worst 15 minutes of my life.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Maui pictures

A black sand beach in Hana and a waterfall along the road to Hana.

Haleakala summit in the clouds. A sign showed all the cinder cones we could have seen had the clouds not been there and they would have been visible beyond these rocks.

A blowhole near our hotel.

The snorkeling was fantastic in this bay. Saw lots of coral and many varieties of fish; even an octopus.

Thursday, July 14, 2011


Am currently in Maui with brother, niece and her family. Have been driving around to sightsee and swimming and snorkeling. Went up to top of mountain yesterday at 10,023 feet. Were in the clouds and it was raining on top so couldn't see the crater, but enjoyed the journey anyway. If the clouds lift, may drive up again. Temperature on top is 32 degrees cooler than the beach. It changes 3.2 degrees per 1000 feet elevation.
No pictures to post yet.

Cedar Lake Pt. Bridget Park

My friend Florence and I went to Cedar Lake July 2, 2011. She wrote a wonderful account of that hike and I have put her words here:

Have to tell you and send my photos - my friend Marcia and I took a "hike" (and I do mean a hike - probably the hardest and longest one I've ever done) last Saturday. Thank goodness we had two days after that to let our bodies heal. And - this was on my "bucket list" so it is now checked off!

We left Mile 37 at 10:30 a.m., then went down a boardwalk, down some stairs, walked over some walks on the beach, got back up into the woods and hiked the first small section. The trail is in very bad shape - roots constantly and ups and downs - and once in awhile we could walk about 25 feet on the trail without roots, but only once in awhile. We then ended up back out on the beach, the area called Akiyama Bight, and walked on the beach until we could sort of see where the trail might be - and it was there. We then went into the woods again - going up and down and down and up over roots, big steps, little steps, more bigger stepss, until we came to Camping Cove (we are now in the state park). There is a little cabin there that people can rent - it's quite a pretty spot (and looks like a good swimming beach) and has a little creek by it. There were people in the cabin, and it just so happens I knew them. We had some lunch there and a nice visit. It had taken us three hours to go two miles! And there isn't much to see as we were in the woods but once in awhile we could see the water.

Then the people showed us where the trail started again - behind the cabin and in the woods - we were off to Cedar Lake. Climbing, climbing again on a very, very rooty trail and also mud (we had muddy areas on the other wooded trails as well). We went up and up and up - climbing up to about 700', all through a yellow cedar forest. There aren't many areas in northern Southeast which have yellow cedar, so this area was pretty special. But we are still in woods. We then went down some, and got to the lake - very, very pretty, small but pretty. Needless to say we were soaking wet with sweat - soaking. So we took off all our clothes, went into the water (which was pretty chilly...) and go thoroughly refreshed. There is a little float-like thing there (about 6'x6') and then lots of sticks to try to walk on and then muddy. But it felt good! The whole trip was worth that.

We then had to continue down I think about 400' (again through a rooty, muddy trail - but we could get on our bottoms to go down easier this time). We went about 3/4 of a mile this time (the first section was about 1 1/4 miles) and ended up at the cabin at Cowee Meadows - gorgeous green - and got to have another little snack. We left the cabin about 6:10 and started two miles back to the road through the meadows - where the grass was high and it's eventime for the bears - we saw lots of bear piles and trails in the grasses but didn't see any bears. Very pretty, very pretty. We had 2.1miles to go to the road - and it took almost two hours (we felt like we were really moving along) but now we were walking on a kind of graveled area, then had to do boardwalk for quite aways (which is always precarious). We ended up in the bog by the road - sat down on the boardwalk just to enjoy the bog and had a little more snack. Then up and at 'em. We are now at 38 Mile so we still have to go a mile on the road to get to her truck. And we got there about 9:00 PM...

I will go out to the Cowee Meadows again - but take the nice route - and I may go up to Cedar Lake again - but go to the Cowee Meadows Cabin first, then up to the lake and back. We were very proud of ourselves - and Marcia gets great credit because she's older than I! And she's in good shape. Actually, I kind of held her back - but she's a good sport.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

I thought it was gunshots. No! A whale slapped its tail on the water 31 times. Awesome!
A perfect day to clean garden for planting. Cool and dry. A Humpback whale is going back and forth across mouth of the harbor. Cool!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Pink rain! What an awesome sight. A couple nights ago I was watching a sunset turn the clouds pink from western sky to eastern mountains. Beautiful clouds and rain could be seen falling from some of them. Pink rain. How cool is that?!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Awakened to sunny skies in the Willamette Valley this morning. My RV has been fixed and is with me now. Tomorrow will take Chet to a local vet for his health certificate to allow him to travel on the ferry. Heading to Portland Tuesday and am on schedule to board ferry to Juneau in Bellingham April 29th.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Checking in. Am hanging out in the Willamette Valley while my RV is getting some work done that I cannot get in Juneau.
This is a picture of Chet at Mt. Shasta on our drive from Reno to Oregon.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Mt. Shasta is quite beautiful today covered with fresh snow from the storms of past 2 weeks and a backdrop of blue sky.
Buddy Holly Story. That's what I went to see last night on stage at the Eldorado in Reno. Fun, energetic and wonderful music!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A correction for my "Foodie" friends: The soup was onion and not tortilla. A piece of toast topped with melted cheese floated on top.

Am in Sparks, Nevada and will be here for a couple weeks before beginning my drive North.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Today went to Coronado Island from Loreto. Saw fin whales, dolphins, osprey&nests,sea lions then picnic on beach and snorkeling.
"Foodie" friends: meal at house in Mulege cooked onsite by local chef. Meal was: tortilla soup, ensalada, lobster,scallops,yellowtail,shrimp,vegies,rice and flan for dessert. :-)

Thursday, March 10, 2011

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First is a picture of a poppyseed birthday cake made for me by our host in Ignacio Springs. Ignacio Springs is a lovely place to stay. Accommodations are either casitas or yurts and do have indoor bathrooms. Ignacio Springs sits on a lagoon with water from the springs and is fine for swimming and kayaking. I went swimming each day we were there and the plunge after our return from the mule ride was cool and relaxing.

Next: spy hopping and a baby Ballena Gris next to the boat.

Last picture is our Kayima host Carlos and his first child Rene. He and the baby are both happy, happy, happy. Carlos wrote a song for his daughter and played his guitar and sang the song for us and Rene.
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Pictures of our mule ride to the cave paintings in Sierra de San Francisco mountains. The mule ride was about an hour at a walking pace. We drove up a dirt road for an hour or so to a ranch named Santa Marta and got on the mules there. Permits were required and purchased for us to go see the paintings and we each had a permit for photography. As you can see the cave paintings are HUGE.
Am in Mulege today and will be back in Loreto tomorrow.

The Whale Camp "Kuyima" in San Ignacio Bay was a lot of fun and we saw many gray whales, birds and tide pool life. Spent 3 days there in camping cabins. Food every day was excellent. Had lobster the last night and guitar and singing by our host.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

At whale camp today. Many gray whale:.moms and babies, spy hops and mating. Yesterday mule ride, cave art. More later for pix.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Loreto Fin Whales

Today we went from Loreto to see whales. This is a good year for whale watching just off the shores of Loreto. People have been seeing Fin and Blue whales. Our panga took us out near the south end of Carmen and near Danzante Island where we saw many fin whales. Whale spouting in abundance. We think we saw 15 - 20 different whales. Some were mamas and babies. Unlike at the bays at Lopez Mateos, San Ignacio and Guerrero Negro where the whales come up to the boats, here we and the whales keep at a distance.

Fin whales are larger than the Humpbacks I see at home and smaller than blue whales. We had hopes of seeing some blue whales and thought maybe we did, but after watching that whale and baby for awhile decided they were Fins.

The water was calm this morning and the sun felt warm. The wind came up in the afternoon, but we came back to the harbor before the sea got rough. Our boat left the harbor at 7am and returned at 2pm.

Lunch was on a beach at Honeymoon Bay on Danzante Island. This is a beautiful little bay with a sandy beach and a trail to the top where you can look down on the sea. I lost track of time and think we were there over an hour. The sun and sand were warm and the water cool and clear. I stretched out on the warm sand and let the heat fill my body as I took a little catnap. Ahhh. Wonderfu!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Pictures from the Tortuga tagging overnight camping trip to Coronado Island.

The first picture is sunset over the Sierra de la Gigante mountains. Second and third are one of the Tortugas after being measured and weighed and waiting to return to the sea. These are Black Tortugas, also known as Green Tortugas. Fourth picture shows Jude thinking about re-entering the sea. She is the one on the left with sand on her back and weighed 85 pounds. Fifth is the 128 pound male named Grant being carried to the water's edge.