Sunday, May 24, 2009

Oh, My Goodness!!

I can't believe it has been this long since I last updated!
We left on our big trip on March 13th and returned in mid May. It has taken me this long to:
do laundry, clean up our little trailer - it's amazing how much mess can be in such a small area - , get the photos ready to post, and, most time consuming of all, clean up the yard!! It is not finished, by any means, but I must get back to regular-ish blogging.
So, as I said, we left on March 13th, heading south, of course, for some better weather. First night stop was unexpectedly East of Weed at the Living Memorial Sculpture Garden. If you have never been there, put it on your list. It is a rather obscure stop on the highway - we originally intended on just taking a break, but ended up spending the night. The art is a labor of love of Vietnam Vet Dennis Smith. Quoting the brochure: "His work is specific yet symbolic, monumental yet intimate, patriotic yet cautionary: 'I don't think the purpose of art is to entertain, but to uplift, edify and educate.' " There are 10 large sculptures and/or groups and a memorial wall. I don't consider myself particularly patriotic, but the place really moved me. Here are photos of only 2 of the sculptures.
The flute player - along with a group of dancers............POW-MIA - outside the cage is an arch draped with bracelets, flags, flowers - remembrances of the many, many victims.

It was cold that night - we had to get out the down comforter. The next morning, after a long walk amongst the sculptures, we headed to Weed and south on I5. Not very exciting, I'm afraid. And the rumor was confirmed - California drivers - eech! Sorry, Lori! Driving a trailer in traffic is not pleasant in the first place, but some people just have to make it even more difficult!

Spent the next evening in the Wal Mart parking lot in Fresno. Hey - it's free!
Then to Kernsville/Keyesville mining district - a lovely spot to camp and for Dean to do his gold panning thing.
I didn't take too many photos there, but here is one of my favorites
Abbey and I hiked down the river a few miles and enjoyed the scenery while Dean did his thing with the gold pan. Mostly, just a relaxing few days in great country.
From there, we headed to Ridgecrest to stock up and get a new battery for the trailer - seems the 2 we had were not doing too well. We checked at the chamber office to see if there was an internet cafe and they directed us to a great, funky coffee shop - Casa Java - where we had a nice lunch and checked emails. Also, Dean talked to a fellow at the chamber about prospecting who suggested going out some road south of town (Garlock Rd), so we did. Camped in a pull off for the night. Dean drove up into the hills and used his detector for a while - no luck. Sat outside in the evening because the weather was perfect. A nice bird was perched in a tree singing to us. How lovely! And so many different songs, too! How sweet. How aggravating! It went on - and on - and on! We are pretty sure it was a Mockingbird. Here is the description: "If you’ve been hearing an endless string of 10 or 15 different birds singing outside your house, you might have a Northern Mockingbird in your yard. These slender-bodied gray birds apparently pour all their color into their personalities. They sing almost endlessly, even sometimes at night, and they flagrantly harass birds that intrude on their territories, flying slowly around them or prancing toward them, legs extended, flaunting their bright white wing patches."
Yep, even at night. I can attest to that. It finally shut up close to midnight - and began again around 3:30 AM! Needless to say, we got up early the next morning and hit the road!
Before we left the area, though, Dean took me to an old cemetery up on the hillside. There were maybe 15 - 20 sites, memorials, mostly, I think. Lots of old mining equipment. I found it interesting that people actually had left things there instead of looting them. Good.On down the road. Stayed the next night at a little out-of-the-way spot we found the last time we were in the area a few years ago. Twin Lakes RV Park - east of Barstow. Small, nice and clean, and quiet. I think the nice little lady who runs it actually remembered us. Did some laundry and dumped and filled and charged up.
The next day, we met Jim and Janet in Parker, Az - just over the border. We parked in a casino lot for the next few days while we explored the area. We found a nice spot to launch the kayaks just north of the Parker Dam on the Colorado River in the Bill Williams Wildlife Refuge. We had just started out, heading under this fishing platform when we spotted a heron sitting on the railing. He/she sat there until Dean and Jim just got to it, then flew off. A pretty big bird!
Jim took this photo of Janet, Dean and I. It was a nice day, but quite "breezy", so we headed back before it got worse in the afternoon. Unfortunately, the next few days were even beyond "breezy" so we weren't able to get the kayaks out again.
To be continued..................

No comments: