Archive for the ‘places’ Category

I haven’t felt like researching more bugs or doing another Palin photo shoot lately, so here are some random photos to enjoy until I get off my butt and create something new.


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After several years of visiting Death Valley during winter break, I told my husband that we were doing the trip at spring break. I was tired of cold and dark. I wanted warm and sunny. The trip wasn’t as warm as I would have liked, given that we were chased out of Humboldt County by snowstorms. We stayed just ahead of the chain restrictions and road closings on our way to sunny weather. Warm weather lagged behind the sun, but eventually kicked in. The trip was nice, but way too short. Maybe another month would do.

Heavy snow on Berry Summit, 40 miles east of Arcata. Barely got through without chains.

Kinda scary.

Snow and fog on Lassen Plateau, west of Susanville.

Sun-kissed snow on hills around Carson City, NV, the following morning.

Barbie says hi from the motel room.

When we started the day, we had three passes to go over that required chains. We drove slowly and checked for updates. The restrictions were lifted one at a time as we approached each pass.

The turn to Sonora Pass (closed), just before Devil’s Gate Pass.

View of the Sierras from Bridgeport.

Mono Lake from the viewpoint on Conway Summit.

Mono Lake and Inyo Craters.

Folded rocks in the “narrows” on the road to Eureka Valley.

The road to Eureka Valley and Eureka Dunes.

Down to Eureka Valley.

Dust clouds from small dune field near Eureka Dunes. It was a very windy day after the big storm.

Almost to Eureka Dunes. They are the tallest dunes in California and probably the entire country.

The barbie gang pile out of the car and drag out their couch.

The gang in front of the Last Chance Range.

Getting rowdy on the couch.

Last Chance Range.

Eureka Dunes with barbies for scale. The fences are actually restoration attempts to stablize the sand. Sandboarding has become a popular sport among the environmentally insensitive. They are destroying the ecosystem of the dunes.

Multi-hued limestones of the Last Chance Range.

A view of the dunes from their east side.

Steve finds some ripple marks in the rocks of the Last Chance Range.

Dunes with our rental car for scale.

The barbie party moves to the dunes.

Some of the girls want to roll down the dunes.

Hanky panky on the couch.

Last Chance Range and my footsteps on the dunes.

Our campsite between the dunes and the mountains.

Last Chance Range and footprints again.

Roll down the hill!


Weird dolly in sand.

Weird dolly in sand.

Dunes with weird dolly for scale.

Still rolling!

Here comes Steve.

Our tent and the Last Chance Range.

Dunes in late afternoon.

Tent again. It’s a Springbar. Best cabin tent in the world. Made in the USA.

People climbing the dunes to watch the sunset.

I’ve been up there. It is way cool.

My new favorite picture of Steve.

Cool hills west of the dunes. I think it is pediment capped by lava flows and then dissected.

Getting ready to leave for Death Valley.

Mount Whitney.

Mount Whitney and Sierras, Alabama Hills, Steve, and bridge over the Owens River.


Mount Whitney and Alabama Hills again. Many westerns were filmed in the Alabama Hills. I think some old Star Trek episodes were filmed there too (I’m pretty sure the episode with the Gorn was filmed there).

On Highway 190 to Death Valley.

Panamint Valley.

Down into Panamint Valley. Telescope Peak is tallest mountain in Death Valley, in the Panamint Range.

Almost down. We will be staying at Panamint Springs Resort, on the west side of Panamint Valley.

Green grass growing because of leak in pipe, on the trail to Darwin Falls. The falls are about 3 miles west of Panamint Springs Resort. The resort pipes its water all the way from the falls.

What happens when you add water to the desert.

Water from the falls.

Darwin Falls.

Close-up of the falls.

Early spring wildflowers on the way back to the car.

Aguereberry Point, the viewpoint on the west side of Death Valley, in the Panamint Range.

Great view from the point. The viewpoint on the east side of Death Valley is called Dante’s View. If you go to both viewpoints, you can see virtually all of Death Valley.

View toward southern Death Valley.

Another southern view.

Badwater “lake” just visible on other side of the valley.

Looking down at alluvial fans to the north.

Looking south to Telescope Peak.

From here we can see the whole world.

Pete Aguereberry spent 40 years living nearby and mining for gold.

View of Mt. Charleston in Nevada.

Pete’s mine at Harrisburg (Pete’s home and mine WERE Harrisburg).

The main mine entrance. I got to go in many years ago, but access is now limited during bat breeding season.

I’m very fond of old mines. I do not have claustrophobia.

Part of Pete’s rail system that took his carts of ore to his crushing mill.

Cashier Mill, where Pete crushed his ore.

Endangered Death Valley pupfish at Salt Creek.

Salt Creek.

Boardwalk at Salt Creek.

My “kiosk” on the hill behind Furnace Creek Inn.

King’s Pool at Point of Rocks in Ash Meadows Wildlife Refuge east of Death Valley.

Pupfish and algae in King’s Pool.

One of the pathways on the nature walk around Point of Rocks/King’s Pool.

King’s Pool again. Ash Meadows Refuge is a beautiful, spring-fed oasis that was slated to be a subdivision before it was saved by those evil enviro-nazis who go around ruining the money dreams of asshole developers.

Artwork on one of the bridges.

Artwork on a bench at the picnic area.

The famous opera house in Amargosa, just west of the refuge.

We spent our last night at the park in lovely Greenwater Valley, east of Death Valley.

The barbies piled out again and got ready to have a party.

Spring green in Greenwater Valley.

Party time.

Couch party.

Blanket party.

An uninvited guest lurks in the bushes.

No wonder he wasn’t invited. What a perv!

More lurkers in the bushes.

Spying on the party.

Our campsite.

Early evening light in Greenwater Valley.


More sunrise.

Still more sunrise.

Morning light on the mountains.

What a beautiful valley!

Morning coffee while we pack up.

Somebody wake up the party people.

Passed out on the couch.

A bit of morning hanky panky.

Packed and ready to leave.

Back to Death Valley on our way to the western exit of the park.

One last stop in southern Death Valley to admire spring green and first few flowers.

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I took another weekend trip up to Oregon to visit my friend. Although I spent most of the visit just sitting and gabbing, I did manage to snap a few pictures with my camera.

I spot some Prairie Creek elk on the way up, so I pull over to take a few pictures.

My friend took me to Winston to see Harvest, a lovely little natural food store that specializes in homebrew supplies and good beer. I gabbed about IPA to the owner, and we came home with an assortment to try.

I recommend this place if you are ever in Winston, Oregon.

The owner’s homebrew vats.

The next day I take a walk down the driveway with a yerba mate IPA and barbie.

A bird let me take a picture.

My friend has a pretty place.

I had to put down beer and barbie to take a picture.

Barbie stops to admire a little stream.

A mossy pause.

Wild plum in bloom.

Sky and branch.

Wild plum.

Barbie still hanging out by the stream.

Spring driveway scene.

Barbie says hi from a fencepost.

She is sharing my beer.

The neighbor’s cows are curious.

Cows make good photo subjects because they always want to know what’s up.

This one is a bit of a ham (or would that be a beef?).

Cows in spring.

This one looks preggers.



Barbie still guarding the beer.

Back to the mossy stream.

The neighbor’s horses want into the act.

Hey! We are way cuter than those muddy cows!

Miner’s lettuce.

Yo! We are totally cute!

Barbie spots some mushrooms.

Pause for spring portrait.

Miss Cat.


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More semi-random pictures

I haven’t been in a blogging mood, so here are more pictures from my archives.

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It is random picture day

There is too much going on during the holidays for me to focus on blog posts.

So here are some random pictures I pulled out of my picture files. Well really they are just semi-random, since they are in numerical order in my picture file.

Fizzbin and Cleo.


Spring flowers.

Summer flowers.

Aravaipa Canyon in late fall.

Fall colors in Aravaipa Canyon.

White-tail deer.

Topaz and Fizzbin.

A friend’s metal art, decked out for the holidays.

Deer on lawn.

Northern California beach.

leafy footbridge.

Hi there.

A California Woodpecker was busy.


Our hawthorne tree in spring.



Old fenceposts on Lassan Plateau.

Middlegate Shoe Tree.

Old building in Eureka, NV.

Vista at Idaho/Montana border.


Water stop in Oregon.

Old boat at Cabin Lake. The lake hasn’t been there since the Pleistocene probably. Maybe the boat is that old.

Trail Gulch Lake.

Lavender rose.

Summer flowers.

A very green lake.

Lava tube cave at Lava Beds.

Tule Lake wetlands.

Fire in our neighborhood.

In the dark, in the night.

Lava Beds cave again.

Bird above surf, Bodega Bay.

Decor for Halloween/Dia de la Muertos.

My halloween costume one year.

Which of these is not like the others?


Somewhere in San Diego.

Melting tree.

San Diego fog.

Military cemetary.


Rocks in Joshua Tree NP.

Blooming joshua tree.

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Trip to Oregon

I had a nice visit with my best friend. The trip up was uneventful. The ocean waves were big because there was a storm rolling in. I arrived at my friend’s house in time to hear that her daughter was headed to a hospital, probably needing surgery. That was stressful but it all worked out well. We spent the days hunting for mushrooms, working on a mosaic project, and hanging out.

I made a couple of brief picture stops on the way home. North of Cave Junction is a special sign. The original sign looked handwritten, with the misspelling being unintentional. But over the years, the farm must have gotten enough comments on the misspelling that they made it permanent when they had their sign professionally done. I stopped in Cave Junction to buy everclear for my kahlua, and some sausage at Taylor’s. I fell off the curb and badly bruised my hands and jammed my wrists. Ow.

Back in California, I turned off 199 to take the Stout Grove/Howland Hill scenic drive/bypass as part of my driving therapy after the road panic attacks on my Arizona trip. It is a 7-mile dirt road that bypasses Crescent city by making a diagonal behind it. It was muddy in spots but generally in good condition. It adds at least 5 minutes to the drive, but it avoids a bit of freeway and driving 25 mph through boring Crescent City.  I made a quick stop at an overlook south of Crescent City, and then at Trees of Mystery, before continuing south to Arcata and home.

Even an ocean-hater like me can appreciate the big waves in front of the incoming storm.

Storm clouds in the distance.

Sadie’s Turnout. This is where I rescued a sweet, panicked dog who had been accidentally abandoned at the nearby rest area. She ran out into the road in front of an oncoming car just as I was approaching the turn for the rest area.  She looked like she was trying to get the car to stop. It swerved around her and kept going. I was so worried she was going to be hit that I pulled into the turnout and jumped out of my car. She ran straight at me, bypassed me, and jumped into the car via the driver’s door I had left open in my panic to get her off the road. She sat in the passenger seat and gave me a look that said, “Well, what are you waiting for? Let’s go.” So I got in the car and drove into the rest area to see if anybody knew about the dog or had seen people looking for a dog. No luck. I drove north into Oregon and stopped at the first real town to leave information at the Sheriff’s Department. Then I continued on. I was headed for a three-day conference in Eugene and was planning to spend the night at my best friend’s house on the way up. When we got to my friend’s house, the dog jumped out and made herself at home. My friend’s kids liked the dog. My friend liked the dog. I said I had no clue what to do with the dog. We left her outside overnight and she found a skunk that proceeded to spray her. So the next morning there was no way I could put her in my car and take her with me. My friend offered to keep her until I was done with the conference. So I left the dog and went on my way. Three days later, when I returned, the whole family said they loved the dog and had even named her Sadie. Sadie had found herself a home. She lived out the rest of her life in a happy home with lots of company and places to sniff. She was a sweet and loving dog. I’m sure her original owners were broken-hearted to lose her, and I wish I could let them know she found a family to love her to the end of her days. She is missed. Everybody loved Sadie.

Sadie’s Turnout is between Crescent City and Grants Pass, just south of the Oregon border.

The tunnel just before the border. I only took a picture because I was driving really slow following a pilot truck through the road work.

I-5 somewhere north of Grants Pass.

I was almost to my friend’s house but had to pee really bad. I stopped at a little county park that had a restroom. I think Herbert’s Pond used to be a millpond in the distant past, but I can’t really remember.

It’s a pretty little pond.

Fall colors around the pond.

Mushroom hunting at my friend’s house.

The underside of the big mushroom.

My friend in Willy’s Wood.

Her driveway.

Yard and ranch next door.

Yard and house.

Oak trees.

I love oak trees.

Winter is coming.

Working on our mosaic.

My friend’s daughter catching up on healing sleep after surgery. Silver keeps her company.

A fall scene on a neighboring farm.

Our finished mosaic tabletop.


The famous sign on the road home.

Back to the ocean in California.

Nice day.

Sunlit water.

A rare stop at Trees of Mystery.

Paul’s boot.

Babe’s sign.

“Swingin’ Beef”

If Barbie had a big blue ox it would have no boy parts.

I couldn’t get my camera out fast enough to get a picture of a kid hugging Babe’s balls.

I don’t know how many times I’ve driven past Paul and Babe over the years.

One of our northcoast landmarks.

The pine needle basket my friend’s mom made for me. She is a second mom to me. I lived with my friend’s family for a year and a half when we were teenagers.

My cat was fascinated by the smell of the basket. Isn’t it gorgeous?

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A walk in the woods

When I was visiting my best friend in Oregon, I took a walk in the woods behind her house. My friend’s parents used to own the woods and surrounding fields and hills, about a hundred acres. After the kids were all grown, the parents decided to sell the house and land without consulting their adult children. The kids would have bought it, even if they had to pool their money. It was where they grew up and they loved it. Instead it went to a grouchy rancher who proceeded to put fences everywhere and run too many cows. Sigh.

When my friend and I were twelve, we would take turns hopping on her bad-tempered pony and going for a wild, uncontrolled ride. The pony would gallop madly across the pasture, into the woods, through the meadow, across the stream, into more woods, all the while attempting to unseat his rider by running under low-hanging branches. I think my forehead is still dented from those rides.

My friend’s family also owned an ancient black Plymouth, and my friend’s youngest brother would take us back to the meadow to drive the Plymouth. That’s where I learned to use a manual transmission.

One time, my friend and I decided to go camping way back on the property. The brother drove us part of the way and we located a suitable campsite. We built a fire and put our can of chili in it to heat up, not knowing that you are supposed to poke a hole in the can. Then we took a short hike to explore the immediate area. While we were walking around in the woods, we heard a loud bang. When we got back to the campsite, there was chili everywhere.

All of those memories are part of my growing up, and I have fond feelings about those woods. So after my friend got permission from the owner, I climbed over the fence and headed for the woods, camera and barbie in hand.

I stopped to fill my pockets with acorns and admire an old barn on the next property. I climbed over a bar gate and stopped to take pictures of barbie in a pretty green part of the woods. I frowned at the excessive number of fences. I found the meadow where I learned to shift the Plymouth. I crossed the creek and walked up the old road to a clearing where I saw a flock of wild turkeys. I then cut back through another section of woods, stopping to admire and pick a few mushrooms before continuing to the creek and ending up back in the old meadow. I stopped to take more barbie pictures and stuff a few more acorns in my pocket before heading back to my friend’s house. I was happy that I got to walk in my memory woods, but sad again that it wasn’t still in the family.

Starting out.

Looking back at the house.

The pretty green woods.

Barbie stops to rest on an oak tree. Oops, it might have been a madrone. I wasn’t paying attention.

Then she moves to a madrone.

We spot a nice old barn.

Leafy autumn woods.

Look up.

We spot a group of wild turkeys in the clearing.

Funny birds.

The camera-shy flock bolts for the woods.

Barbie finds a big mushroom in the woods.

Russula Claroflava.

Barbie wants to take the big one but I convince her to take a couple of younger ones instead.

We find another dumb fence in the woods.

A big log has conveniently squished it so we can climb over.

I hear something squawking in the trees but can’t see what it is.

The creek in autumn.

Autumn leaves.

We get back to Plymouth meadow.

We walk along the old road at the edge of the meadow.

We stop to rest under a sunny oak.

I spot some scat while looking for acorns. Looks like a carnivore. Maybe a fox.

The acorns won’t fit in barbie’s pocket.

We head down the road.

Detour into the meadow.

Barbie finds a use for the stupid gates and fences.

A good place to admire the meadow.


I tell her it is time to go.

My friend’s house in the distance as we reach the edge of the woods.

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