Earthquakes & Elephant Seals

Published: March 10th 2010
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Ever since Steve and I first traveled US Rt. #1 from LA to San Francisco (1974) I have wanted to do it again. It is the most dramatic stretch of highway I have ever seen. The cliffs meet the ocean in such a spectacular way; and when the sun is shining on it all; oh my! So after leaving the Santa Barbara food co-op, which is doing quite well because a lot of UC-SB students must be health-minded; we headed north.

That night’s camping was a little wet. One of my only complaints about the Gypsy Outhouse is that it doesn’t provide much shelter unless you are sitting in the front seats riding/driving or lying down in bed. It has been so cold we have not been using the rear tent at all. I’m not complaining. We are cozy under our down comforter, and by morning the windows are usually all wet inside from our breathing (no snoring)!

The next day was glorious for our scenic coastal drive, yippee! We stopped to see where the elephant seals like to stay (weird animals…), but skipped the Hearst Castle (hey, we have Biltmore House!). That night we camped and hugged big Redwood trees at Big Sur. When we got to Monterey the hostel was full, but they directed us to a cute-cheap place on a main thoroughfare. The next day was the world-class Monterey aquarium, yum! Their special exhibit of live Sea Horses was amazing.

Pinnacles National Monument, (which we stumbled upon) kept us for 2 days with hiking, incredible views and caves, but when it started raining on morning 2 (after coffee - before oatmeal), everything got thrown in the van (packing well is important on most mornings)! Today we are in Yucca Valley CA. It’s a cheap-hotel-night because the temp barely reached 50 today and the wind speed is 35+ mph. Last night it snowed…

We just returned from the high desert museum, which showed a model of the fault lines nearby - there are about 7! Tomorrow and the next are Joshua Tree Nat. Pk.
P.S. We feel blessed to have been in 3 places where California Condors have been released. No sightings, yet.
P.P.S.S. We do get your responses on our message board. Thanks so much, it keeps us connected to home-bodies & keeps us going (blogging)!

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10th March 2010

Your photography is fantastic! I did the US 1 trip back in '84, starting in San Fran, ending in LA. No camping that trip, which would have been my preference, having just finished working a conference where I was inside for 7 days straight. My traveling buddy, a film production assistant, had just wrapped on Testament, which was about a future nuclear holocaust, so had a bunch of $$$ but was emotionally drained. She drove up to get me in SF, and then splurged her way back to LA and I went along for the ride. I like a freebee! We stayed awhile in Big Sur, first at the Ventana Inn then at the wonderfully rustic Deetjens Big Sur Inn which was much more my style. Somehow John channeled that place when he built our "workshop", probably because he was pragmatic and a scrounger, like the guy who built much of the compound back in the 30s. Had drinks at Nepenthe in Big Sur, it was sort of rundown then but the deck overlooking the Pacific was a wonderful place to watch the sunset. As I was on the passenger side all the way to LA, I really was on the edge of that road and enjoyed it most of the time but a few times was totally freaked out!! (Maggie was an LA driver). I also remember that we loaded Maggie's VW bug with thrift store finds and vintage clothes that we picked up in SF and other spots all the way down the coast. Wish I still had some of that stuff. I also remember that by sheer happenstance, we ran into a guy we both knew from "back east" who was on furlough from his post manning a minuteman missile at the bottom of a silo in Minot, ND. That's another story but Maggie wasn't mentally ready to see someone straight from the edge of Armageddon. You can buy old missile sites now and rehab them into homes, which I can't imagine, but it's being done. Would love to hear about your trip there in '74 and more about your current roadtrip when you get back. It's beginning to feel very spring-like. I didn't build a fire last night and probably won't need one today either. That's a relief, isn't it...not having to crank up a fire. You welcome it like an old friend in the fall, but by spring you're ready to see 'em go! In anticipation of 5 days of rain, I spread three truckloads of mulch all over the yard yesterday (erosion problems) and slept "knocked out" for 8 hours straight...that was a bonus! I'm heading to the coop in a few hours, to do some filing, shopping. You guys are missing the Spanish Red wine tasting on St. Pat's Day, but I know you'll be somewhere even more interesting instead. Ciao-Liz
10th March 2010

Cool guys! Makes me want to "go west, young man...". Miss you both. I'm in Atlanta this week working over Spring Break. Lizza says hi. Love Ian
11th March 2010

Temps are finally normal here and Spring is arriving which means you can come home soon. But I'll miss my vicarious and fabulous trip out west. xo margaret
14th March 2010

Sawat Dee from NC!
HI, Guys! We are back, rescued from the airport by Chuck, who has been caring for all of us absentees overtime. Now they are off, and we are so glad that you all are having such a great time. Both of you are writing such interesting blogs and the photos are terrific. I'm glad you're getting to zoos and parks as well as campgrounds. Hopefully, spring is just around the corner there, too, to make the camping a little more reliable. The miniature rock daffodils are blooming in the yard here, and I'm having "survivor's guilt" to have gotten back just as spring poked in. I guess it's been rough, but Wes says we may yet get more snow. We'll be in Calloway next week, and then I'll go to Rochester. My dad's voice breaks a little when he says things are "OK," but not really great. He's finally understanding that Mom's strokes have left some dementia. She, on the other hand, is happy a great deal of the time, when she is not aware of forgetting things. Maya got back ok from Thailand and is happily back at work. I got a nice note from Emily and she sounds challenged but fine in the new job. Eric just came off two weeks of nights and is so excited to see the kids more! (He had a friend who was scraping his car windows and lost his wedding ring just as the snow plow came by several weeks ago. Eric was so jolly to report that he'd looked at the melting snow banks every day, and Friday he found the ring! He says it's from all the years of hunting for 4 leaf clovers at the nursery.) Wes and Jim are out hiking today, so I'll get caught up on more news soon. Loy's picture was in the Sunday TN learning how to do Facebook at the Coop's computer class - some good PR for sure! xoxoxo Sharon

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