Thursday, February 23, 2006

Oregon Again

As much as we enjoy traveling we love our home and our state. Oregon is an emerald stone in the landscape of America. Green hills, green of the University of Oregon Ducks, blue green ocean waters and the wonderful agriculture that makes my state a down to earth place to live. The top agricultural products of Oregon are:


Cattle and Calves Dairy products,

Hay, Ryegrass

Well we do have some clouds also especially in the winter months. But it's been very nice since we got back except for some unusually cold nights.

So we will buy some new spring plants,

Photograph the rural beauty,

and follow the road less traveled we will always remember the joy of travel and the comforts of home.

Scrabble Scores - Scrabble King 453 - the new contender ex-champ 323 and tonight
Scrabble King 312 - the new contender ex-champ 294

Quote of the Day " All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. ~Anatole France - pseudonym for Jacques Anatole Thibault (1844-1924), was the son of a Paris book dealer.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Road Home

Yes you did see this picture before, well it was one similar that I took on the way south back in December. This picture was taken February 13. Castle Creek is still just as beautiful.

It's an amazing outcropping of rock near Lake Shasta and Mount Shasta.

There are other high peaks in the area some I may never know the names.

The dominant peak in the area of course is Mount Shasta. There is a rest stop near the Weed (Yes that's the name of the California town) Airport.

The wind was out of the North East.

Of course these pictures don't do the view justice but you get the idea.

Mount Shasta rises up like the volcano it actually is.

I thought the Rest Stop picnic cover was appropriate being next to the airport because it looked like a paper plane.

I guess we are not very good snowbirds because we got home yesterday and today it's snowing. Well that's another trip for the books. Glad you came for the ride.

No Scrabble

Quote of the Day ~
"No kind action ever stops with itself. One kind action leads to another. Good example is followed. A single act of kindness throws out roots in all directions, and the roots spring up and make new trees. The greatest work that kindness does to others is that it makes them kind themselves." ~ Amelia Earhart

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Gold Country & Peter our Golden Child

We are in Gold Rush Country for sure. Drytown, Sutter Creek, Jackson, Amador City. Amador County California opened the populating of California to the US and the world. It is an absolutely beautiful countryside I hope never becomes an urban sprawl and remains the home of California Happy Cows

Well I found out Drytown wasn't really dry and had at one time 26 saloons. Drytown appears to have changed brews from the "hard stuff" to the more gentile wine line. This is no longer gold country but California's "other wine country" which includes Sonoma and Solvang in other parts of the state.

I really liked this barn and the symmetry of the fence posts behind it.

The valleys and hills make for some great views.

I guess the rustic nature of this area means rusty roofs and seen on the Amador Hotel.

We were driving the mini-Musemobile so I had to get a Museum shot there in Amador City.

There is a block of old storefronts in Amador city.

I liked the art and quilts at this store.

Then there was Sutter Creek with the miners and mine cars. I was reminded of the miners lost recently in mine disasters.

It was Sutter Gold that helped open the west and speed up the migration west. We were reminded of a television show we enjoyed while living in California. The show was on PBS called Huell Hauser's California Gold. Huell gave very upbeat tours of California on the show and the series was one of our favorites ever.

The Argunaut and Kennedy Mines is the heading on this plaque. It goes on to give some facts about the mines. They produced $105,288,780 in gold. Kennedy mine had a vertical shaft of 5,912 feet, the deepest in the US. The Argunaut Mine was the scene of the "Mother Lode's" most tragic mine disaster where 48 miners were trapped by a fire 3,500 feet underground after a fire August 27, 1922. Only a few survived. The mine was closed in 1942.

This is the Kennedy mine - again I thought of the miners lost more recently.

Perhaps it's not coincidental the next structure we saw was this church and it's graveyard.

Then there is the first Wells Fargo office, they love gold now and they loved it then. It was almost like being in Sturgis with all the motorcycles in town.

Again another old storefront town but much larger in Jackson, California and goes for three city blocks.

The real highlight of the day was getting to see Peter in his new surroundings at the Mule Creek Facility. Peter looked great and happy in the new place and it was great to take only a short time to get in to see him. We had two pictures taken with him one for him and one for us.

We got back to the RV in time to watch the Luge runs from Torino, Italy. It was a good day but its' always bittersweet realizing we can't bring our golden child home with us.

No Scrabble

Quote of the Day
"The Indians in this portion of the State are wretchedly poor, having no horses, cattle, or other property. They formerly subsisted on game, fish, acorns, etc., but it is now impossible for them to make a living by hunting or fishing, for nearly all the game has been driven from the mining region. . . . The rivers or tributaries of the Sacramento formerly were clear as crystal and abounded with the finest salmon and other fish. But the miners have turned the streams from their beds and conveyed the water to the dry diggings and after being used until it is so thick with mud that it will scarcely run it returns to its natural channel ." E. A. Stevenson, Special Indian Agent, San Francisco, Ca. (1853)

Friday, February 10, 2006

Going North

We often hear about a turn for the worse being called "going south." For the last two days we have been going north toward Oregon. We stayed in Bakersfield, CA last night in a nice RV park but unfortunately it had no wireless internet (they assured us they had it and it worked) to use for a blog or anything else. The company that was supposed to carry their internet was Transnet and unfortunately their net wasn't working and neither was their 800 number - I think they went out of business. It's the same poor service we had in Williamsburg, VA last year. We normally stay at the Palms RV park a good but not the most attractive RV park with great rates and the same Wireless Web we had in Escondido. The Wireless Web is run by a very nice and efficient guy in San Antonio named Dick L (privacy) who has been a great help providing service at a few places we have stayed. Dick, if you read this Sharon in Bakersfield may be calling you for a second location,

Well all is not the internet or the blog - we get to see Peter tomorrow and can't wait. The area here is beautiful and much greener than Lancaster. We hope he is in good spirits. I can't say enough how great it was seeing Steven's family (by the way David congratulations on the 3.30 grade average), and Matt and Diana (damn we miss him and will miss her from here on out), Jill and George and their critters) and finally my golfing buddy "Big" Ed.

It will be great to see Oregon and our home in a few days. Maybe we can relax a bit for awhile and plan for Easter and hopefully a visit by the Hogles (I hope Michelle is fully recovered from a serious auto crash and can find a way to visit). I would be amiss to not tell Stella and Vivian how much their E-Mail notes to Scrabble Queen have meant on this trip and daily for the last several years.

No scrabble tonight.

Quote(s) of the day ~
This trip has been an adventure now it's almost over and I couldn't pick just one quote so here are four:

"“We should come home from adventures, and perils, and discoveries every day with new experience and character"” ~ Henry David Thoreau quotes (American Essayist, Poet and Philosopher, 1817-1862)

"“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open."” ~ Jawaharlal Nehru quotes (Indian Prime Minister. 1889-1964)

"“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable." ~ Helen Keller quotes (American Author and Educator who was blind and deaf. 1880-1968)

"When you're safe at home you wish you were having an adventure; when you're having an adventure you wish you were safe at home" ~ Thornton Wilder quotes (American writer of innovative plays and novels, 1897-1975)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

El Norte Car Wash - The Vinyards Driving Range

Well we are leaving tomorrow for Oregon with only short travel stops on the way back. The Mini Musemobile needed it's monthly Car Wash. This time it was the El Norte car wash at the corner of Seven Oaks and El Norte Parkway in Escondido just to the east of Interstate 15.

They have a nice area to wait because this car wash is very detailed and through when they do a wash. My wash took about 20 minutes and included a vacuum, wheel treatment, tri color wax and interior cleaning of all surfaces and windows. All for only $15 and a cash rebate of 15 cents a gallon on the fillup for a per gallon cost of $2.30, a bargain in the San Diego area. The older gentleman looked a lot like Ed and the woman talked on her cell phone the entire 20 minutes I was there. Well heck, cell phones are a Southern California requirement for being a resident. If you get caught driving a car with California plates and you don't have a cell phone attached to your body the fine is $300.

This car wash even had a fountain of Trevi knock-0ff (made in Tijuana) in the customer waiting area. Just kidding the fountain of Trevi is too risque to show on a family web site - just kidding again but it is human figures and is a beautiful sight. Look it up on google images it's worth a glimpse.

The cover of the gasoline pump area is very stylized and I especially liked the screens above the pillars (I'm sure to keep the birds out)

Also from the customer are I got a picture of a driveway with a long white wall. I have no idea why I took this picture, but I did.

So today I took Ed out to hit a bucket of balls at the Vinyards driving range. It's the third time we did the golfing thing and Ed was striking the ball really well today and with much more confidence than the last two times.

As you can see he was really concentrating on keeping his head down and looking at the ball on impact.

It's a good thing none of the long hitters were out today because there was a guy at the other end of the driving range. It's probably good he wasn't a long driver either because we never got hit.

I managed to get a picture of the point of impact on one of Ed's shots. I used a timed exposure to capture the movement. This was a perfect shot because you can see the ball clearly when it was hit and the blur of both the ball and club as Ed swung through. I had a good time and will miss taking Ed out to golf. Maybe if I'm lucky he can come to Oregon for awhile soon.

Scrabble Score - from yesterday since there wasn't a blog and especially because the score was:
Scrabble Queen 299 - The contender 303

Quote of the Day
"You gave me my first glimpse of a real life, and at the same moment you asked me to go on with a sham one. It'’s beyond human enduring —that’s all." Edith Wharton from the "Age of Innocence" (it was on TV last night)

Monday, February 06, 2006

Sunsets and Fairy Tales

You can click on these pictures to see a larger version

Coming back to Escondido at sunset we an unexpected treat. There was a marine layer cloud rolling in as the sun was going down providing a beautiful sight.

Though I've enhanced the color in these photos I have to say this is closer to the actual coloration than the original images.

Pinocchio and Snow White seemed in a good mood in this mural on a day care's wall.

The sun just kept giving us a show. All of these pictures were taken within a 10 minute span of time.

Great Spanish style building.

One last high cloud blushing at the end of the day.

No Scrabble.

Quote of the Day
"They say the sun never sets over the British Empire, but it rises every morning. The sky must get awfully crowded." ~ Steven Wright US comedian and actor(1955 - and still going) My sister likes Steven Wright quotes. This is for you sis.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Wedding Trip

Guess what? The road from San Diego to Las Vegas skirts the western edge of the Mojave Desert and Death Valley. It's a stark but beautiful place.

Baker, California, Home of the World's Largest Thermometer and Gateway to Death Valley National Park is located on Interstate Highway 15 between Los Angeles and Las Vegas. Baker is located in San Bernardino County. Baker is part of the Riverside-San Bernardino, California metro area. It was named after R.C. Baker, railroad president. The landscape in this arid desert location appears earthen in color tones ranging from a dusty pale brown to golden yellows and in the rainy season, even green in some locations. The temperatures in the summer can be very hot and dry but at night, the air cools and in the winter, can even become chilly.

You'll see some cacti growing in the hillsides and unique trees and shrubs native to this Southwestern region. It's stark beauty is worth a visit, though some proclaim the trip between Los Angeles and Las Vegas passing through Baker is boring.
Here is Matt's picture of Baker's worlds largest thermometer.

Las Vegas at night is a wonderland of unique architecture.

Even a replica of New York City skyscrapers ......

The view in daylight is impressive. These pictures were taken by Matt from the soon to be wedded couple's honeymoon suite.

Diana looks gorgeous in her wedding dress.

And the two of them look great and ready to tie the knot.

The limousine ride to the chapel was very luxurious.

They don't look nervous at all snuggled in the back of the limo.

The gate (seen in the previous blog) was very sweet and cute.

So into the Little White Chapel's Tunnel of Love they go.

They look fantastic just before the vows.

What a nice couple..

Smile you are on stage for the big event.

Then the ceremony - wish I had been there what a special day.

Finally a kiss to seal the marriage.

Followed by some great images of love.........

...and tenderness ....

... and a rose to say "we do" congratulations Matt and Diana V.

No Scrabble.......

Quote of the Day ~
"There is nothing nobler or more admirable than when two people who see eye to eye keep house as man and wife, confounding their enemies and delighting their friends." ~ Homer

Homer is the name of the Greek poet who wrote the epic poems "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey". Not much is known about him, or even if he was a real person. Some people think it was really a group of people who made those poems. Other people think Homer was really a woman. According to legend, Homer was a blind poet who lived in Ionia. It is thought that he lived around c 1100 BCE.


©Paul Viel