Sunday, February 28, 2010
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Posted by Steve Chase at 9:20 PM
Friday, February 26, 2010
Posted by Steve Chase at 8:32 PM
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Posted by Steve Chase at 11:23 PM
Yesterdqay we drove the most scenic road we have been on so far. The cliffs and rugged coast of Big Sur and Monterey Bay. We stopped at Morro Rock to see Perigrine Falcons and to watch the surfers then went on to the most rugged coastline I have seen since Maine and watched wild Sea Otters playing in the kelp beds and the Elephant Seals by the hundreds that haul themselves up onto the beaches to fight, mate and nurse their young. Many of the young pups lay dead on the bech from drowning in the storms or getting crushed by the big males or just lose their way and cannot find their mothers to nurse them. We also saw our first Brants, Surf Scoters, Brandts Commorants and Horned Grebes. The wildlife along the Pacific Coast is just amazing! Also the towering trees, the rugged cliffs and the green, green hills are truly something everyone should ttake the time to see. We finished our day driving about 70 miles of this mountainous terrain in the dark and the rain making for a very exciting ending to the day and we were gald to finaly see the lights of Monterey and most of all the very rare and endangered 25 dollar California motel room! The room even had a fireplace! Considering it cost 35-50 dollars to tent out in a California State Park this was a no brainer! I saw on TV that California is so broke it is going after dog owners who do not get their pets licensed so that they can recoup all that lost money! We also paid a record $3.59 for gas in the mountains...no wonder they call it the Golden State......better bring your Gold AMX card!!
Posted by Steve Chase at 11:39 AM
Monday, February 22, 2010
" Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink in the wild air" - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Today we got on the road about 10AM and headed north on the PCH through San Diego, La Jolla, Del Mar, Solana Beach, Encinitas, Carlsbad, Oceanside, San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Newport Beach, Huntington Beach, Long Beach, Redondo Beach, Inglewood, Santa Monica, Maibu and ending at Oxnard near where I was born. We saw some beautiful beaches and also some terrible slums near LA. We saw seals having pups in La Jolla and lots of pelicans along the coast. It was a tiring drive going along the shore and not too much on the way of pay offs of scenery for the effort. We are hoping it will get better the further north we go. Tomorrow it looks like the PCH goes north through some more undeveloped areas and hopefully the views will be much better.
Posted by Steve Chase at 10:40 PM
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Well we left Vegas and headed to Lake Havasu City. This is the small town in Arizonia where a Mr. Maculloch bought the old London Bridge in Englland, had it transported to Lake Havasu and reassembled in on the edge of the lake on dry land. He then dredged the area beneath the bridge and made a small canal to connect it to the lake forming a new island. He then built an Old English Village on the site and since then it has attracted tourists and retirees to the area. We spent the night there and then headed to Maricopa, Arizonia to see Sheila's sister and brother in law. They live way out of town on a dirt road with hills of cactus all around them. We hiked up to oneof the top of the nearby hills and got a good drenching from a rare rain shower. We did get to see a fantastic rainbow though, on the way back to the house! They put us up last night and this morning drove us into Maricopa to have breakfast. Thanks Billy and Penny! Then today we headed south to I-8 and then west toward San Diego going through some beautiful mountians in the rain and past the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail in Campo. Right now we are in El Cajon in a El Mucho Cheapo motel about 3o miles east of San Diego.
Posted by Steve Chase at 10:54 PM
Saturday, February 20, 2010
In Vegas, I got into a long argument with the man at the roulette wheel over what I considered to be an odd number. ~Steven Wright
Today we left Las Vegas after spending yesterday and last night at the Stratosphere. We thru-hiked the strip and then went up to the tower's observation deck for a night veiw of Vegas. It was nice to see it all but I have no desire to go back there, too many people, too many fake man made "wonders" for me I guess! Tonight we are in Lake Havasu City after seeing the old London Bridge and tomorrow we head to Phoenix to visit Sheila's sister who lives outside Maricopa, Az.
Posted by Steve Chase at 1:01 AM
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
We are all but fellow travellers, along life's weary way, if any man can play the pipes, in God's name let him play.
We are now in Williams, Arizonia after hiking all day in the Petrified Forest National Park. We hiked down out of the park and into the Painted Desert Wilderness Area. We also did most of the short trails in the park and toured the Inn and the Museum. Then we drove to Williams where we will board a train to take us to the Grand Canyon in the morning. It has been a long and tiring day but one of the best days on the road so far. I am too tired to write a long entry tonight so I will try and put up a few pics and leave it at that. We have to pack some gear for the trip to Grand Canyon in the morning.
Posted by Steve Chase at 10:43 PM
Monday, February 15, 2010
"Travel is the frivolous part of serious lives, and the serious part of frivolous ones." -- Anne Sophie Swetchine
Today we hiked at Petroglyphs National Monument in Albuquerque, N.M. We saw hundreds of petroglyphs and also our first sighting of Mountain Bluebirds that differ from the Eastern Bluebirds by having an entirely blue body and not the russet colored breast of the Eastern species. The petroglypghs have been chipped into the black volcanic rock by ancient ancesters of the Indians still living in the area and also by Spanish settlers and early explorers to the area. Unforntunatley some also show signs of modern vandalism and even bullets holes. We had a great time hiking with snow covered mountains in the background and even climbed to the top of one of the old volcanic mountains that surround the canyon. The sun was very intense and after a couple of good hours exploring the area we headed west once more toward Arizonia on I-40. We stopped in Thoreau, N.M. just before the divide because I just had to see the town named after Henry David Thoreau! It was disappointing because there was nothing there, not even a single thing worth taking a picture of. We were hoping for a diner to have lunch in Thoreau. We next crossed the Continental Divide and headed into Gallup, N.M. We had been seeing billboards for 50 miles advertising "The Home of the Stars" El Rancho Hotel built in 1936. It was built by a brother of a Hollywood big shot and was soon a hangout of movie stars of the era filming westerns in the area. We decided to have lunch in the hotel restaurant but as soon as we saw the lobby we knew we had to inquire about spending the night! The lobby was an amazing medley of heavy wood beams, brick and stone with Indian and Spanish artwork and old Hollywood movie stars pictures all over the place. Trophy animal heads adorned the walls around the massive fireplace and an old player piano was going in the lobby. This is truly a unique old building and we just had to stay the night! We were afaid to ask for the rates but found with AAA discount and the off season it was just 80 bucks....so here we are in the Jack Benny Room and feeling like big shots ourselves!
Posted by Steve Chase at 8:53 PM