Prime Time in the Allison House: Manitou Springs, CO – 2022

13 Aug

It has been three long years, but the Orange High group was finally able to get together this year in Manitou Springs, Colorado.  Diana and Shoo found a wonderful house (named the Allison House after the man who restored it) and we really enjoyed its accommodations.

For those of you not familiar with Manitou Springs, here is Google’s short description of this pretty town.  Manitou Springs is a resort city in Colorado, just outside Colorado Springs. It’s known for its mineral springs and mountain landscapes, dominated by soaring Pikes Peak. The Manitou Cliff Dwellings are a group of reassembled ancient cliff structures. Hundreds of steps lead up a steep slope on the Manitou Incline Trail. Manitou Avenue is home to art galleries and specialty boutiques. All of this is true, but I found the charm of the people and area to be most captivating.  “Manitou” is from the Algonquian language meaning “great spirits.”

The Allison House with its entrance bridge over Fountain Creek
Fountain Cree runs through Manitou and ends up being in confluence with the Arkansas River.
The locked mystery door in the retaining wall in back of the house. There is a small mountain directly in back of and above the wall, so the door must lead into a storeroom of some sort. Storage for roots, canned goods, guns, people, loot from robberies??? We had many scenarios.
Our dinner guest
We were within walking distance of the main street where many cool shops are, and these are just a couple of them. So many things to take home.
Lynda discovered this little coffee shop
Elizabeth and I joined her one afternoon and enjoyed the Appalachian music playing in the background
Lynda in front of an old engine on the Cog Railway. Cogs had to be used to help the engine take passengers up to the summit of Pikes Peak (14,115’), the highest of any cog railway in the world. Some of the grades were 25%. The steepest cog railway is the Pilatus in Switzerland at 48%! A regular train’s maximum grade is 2.2%.
The funny looking thing between the tracks is the cog.  (Click on the photo to see them better).  This is at the summit of Pikes Peak (Since 1890 Pikes Peak has officially been spelled without the possessive apostrophe. The U.S. Board of Geographic Names has removed nearly all apostrophes from place names for uniformity and ease of signage.).  The red things at the end are the new cog railway engines/passenger cars.
Elizabeth had never been to the Garden of the Gods and we definitely had to remedy that.
Pikes Peak in the far background. That faint line going diagonally up a nearer mountain is the mile-long Manitou Incline, a series of steps going up a VERY steep incline. People run up this trail. We didn’t. 🙂
Checking out the Balanced Rock along with many other people. Parking was hard to find.
One wonders how it has stayed balanced for so many years.

After Garden of the Gods, we drove to downtown Manitou and walked to The Loop, a nice Mexican food place. We all ate too much but we can’t prove it because none of us took pictures to document this event. We got to talking and somehow everything was gone before it entered our minds.

Wednesday, we had our Zoom call with those who were not able to join us.  That was quite a feat to get the room dark enough for the almost right ambiance.  Thank goodness Alan was there to help.  The ladder was in the background so as to hang a comforter over the window so that we wouldn’t be silhouetted by the sun.
The Zoomers
The Manitou Springs attendees
The afternoon following the Zoom, we went to a tea party…except no tea was served. Our friend, Connie, had prepared an exquisite repast of meatballs, salmon, salad, shrimp cocktail, other tasty treats and last, but certainly not least, wine. Again, we were all having so much fun with many conversations going that we have no photos of said party. Maybe that’s good? No, I’m sorry we have none as it certainly was fun. Adding to the excitement was a nearby thunder storm that not only displayed some vibrant lightning but several sharp claps that were a bit nerve wracking. This photo displays some of Connie’s enthusiasm on a hike a couple of years ago.

Lynda needed to leave the day after the Zoom to return to Denver for a family gathering…a birthday celebration!

Elizabeth, Diana, Shoo and I went to the Broadmoor, a destination resort for lunch and to walk around the grounds. It is fun to walk in the buildings and see a lot of art and some local history. Lunch at Cafè Julie’s.
Founder Spencer Penrose’s wife, Julie, and an early Broadmoor painting.
One of the Broadmoor’s wings beside the lake. We saw some good sized fish in this small lake
That evening, Alan and Jack joined us for our last night’s dinner. Alan helped prepare dinner.
Elizabeth prepared condiments and her daily avocados.
While having hors d’oeuvres on the back deck, it began to rain and poor Jack cooked the burgers while it was pouring. We enjoyed our repast inside and had some wonderful little cakes Jack had picked up at the local bakery.

Our time at the Allison House ended much too quickly and I’m sure we didn’t have enough time to chat about everything we wanted to.  We especially missed those of you who were not able to join us.  We hope it will work out for next year.

Some good advice from a tree in our front yard.

Eagles & Ag – Our Style 1/2022

16 Jan

Eagles & Ag – Our Style


Douglas County Chamber of Commerce holds this event each January to celebrate agriculture and the eagles that return each year to feed on the after birth of the cows, which traditionally bear their calves in this month.  It’s a great event and brings many people to the community to see the eagles and tour ranches.

Jerri and I have been on the tours and thoroughly enjoyed them.  But, now we “know” where the eagles will be and are able to zoom out to do our own tour.  Following, are some of the photos we took while out and about.  We definitely love our area and feel blessed that we can get out to enjoy it.  (Please click on a photo if you wish to enlarge it)

This little one was about a day old when he notified his mom to get ready for lunch
A bald eagle and a moocher crow
Bald eagle having lunch
While on our customized tour, we noticed other critters and pastoral scenes such as these. A hawk watching for any chance to get a meal.
Canada geese by the Carson River
Our beautiful Carson Range just in front of the Sierra. There are two Canada geese in the center of the pasture. They look like bumps in the grass.
Curiosity seekers
Nevada is noted for its wild horses and we found two herds by Washoe Lake (technically in Washoe Valley and the the Carson Valley…although there are herds in the Pine Nuts on the east side of the Carson Valley
Two adolescent horses were playing and chasing each other with one literally kicking up his heels.

While we didn’t get to see as many eagles as we wanted, nor did we get the photos we wanted. We did have a good time and look forward to going out again to try to espy more of the enthralling critters here in our area.  If you’d like to see some professional shots of the critters, please click on the following link and then scroll down to the photog section and you’ll have a treat. 

The Sea Ranch Adventure – Sister Trip 12 – October 2021

9 Nov
The twelfth annual Sister Trip (and second Sister Trip + 1) happened this year at The Sea Ranch, an idyllic location on the Pacific Coast about 2 ½ to 3 hours north of San Francisco.  It’s a super place to kick back, relax, and enjoy the breathtaking beaches, spectacularly rugged coastline, birds, critters and great sunsets.  It is a tiny, environmentally-planned private community stretching for 10 miles along Highway 1 at the northern end of the Sonoma County coast.
Our house was located under tall trees that made it look dark. But it really wasn’t. Please click on a photo if you wish to enlarge it.
  The back side of the house opened up to face the 5th green of the TSR (The Sea Ranch) golf course.
We visited Fort Ross, a Russian settlement established in 1812 by Russian explorers, Alaskan Aleut and traders. The last time Jerri and I visited it was when Hwy. 1 went right through the fort. Today, the highway passes by it, thus making it a more authentic place to visit and learn about this segment of California history.
California’s first windmill that ground wheat and barley into flour. Docents were tuning it up so they could demonstrate its workings.
The little bay at Fort Ross. I think Jerri and Jolee are looking for otters and/or seals.
We did find a Pacific harbor seal in another inlet. He was quite far away and that is why he is a bit blurry.
Our lunch spot after visiting Ft. Ross. Originally part of a ranch in the mid-1800s, the community became an important part of California’s timber industry, shipping ports, railroads, lumber mills, and railroad tie camps operated out of the settlement.
Jolee and Jerri “on the rocks” at TSR Shell Beach
A very unique design for TSR non-denominational chapel. It’s small but very serene inside.
One of several unique stained-glass windows in the chapel.
Of course, TSR has California seagulls. They love to strut on the sand pretending they are just moseying along, when in reality, they’re always on the lookout for a tasty morsel to swipe from another bird or critter.
We had never seen sea palms, a type of kelp, before. Here they are on the TSR coast.
The deer love TSR. They politely pose for you and then go about their business. They don’t seem at all afraid of humans.
A tree tunnel on the Bluff Trail at Sea Ranch. It’s quite fun to walk in.
A pretty sunset in Gualala (pronounced Wa-la-la, but becomes Guadelajara on spellcheck).
Point Arena lighthouse, the nearest place on the west coast to Hawaii. It was a welcome guide for safe navigation along the rugged Mendocino Coast. It was built in 1870 but destroyed in the 1906 earthquake. It was rebuilt two years later.
Pelicans were abundant right next to the lighthouse. I love to watch them fly…especially gliding over wave tops.
Arena Mina, Point Arena lighthouse cat
Jolee and Jerri fooling around after trying to play with the cat.
Buzzards (technically vultures) were everywhere. It seemed like everywhere we looked, we’d see them gliding and soaring in the wind (also sitting on a fence).
Manchester State Beach, a few miles north of the lighthouse. We loved the clouds, but a very strong wind was heralding a rapid change in the weather. It was pouring rain when we visited Fort Bragg, just a few miles up the road. What a difference a day makes in terms of weather and color. This was taken one day later than the lighthouse picture
Queenie at Queenie’s Roadhouse in Elk, CA, a few miles north of the lighthouse
Ice cream at The Cowlick in Ft. Bragg.
Mendocino (aka Cabot Cove, Maine)
Mendocino sports many water towers that I found intriguing. Apparently, some are still in use and others have been turned into tourist spots.
A sea cave at Mendocino.
The Gleesome Threesome with a normal pose.
The weather turned very rainy (picture atmospheric river). But wouldn’t you know it? Two intrepid golfers were playing through the rain. A storm doesn’t daunt dedicated golfers.
We, on the other hand, stayed in our cozy casa and built a fire…which, of course, Jerri hogged because that’s been her M.O. since she was little. LOL


TSR buzzard in flight
The iguana rock
Offshore winds used to be so fun to boogie board in because the spray would blow in your face and sometimes that helped to make the ride better.
Since the storm was going to move eastward toward the Sierra Nevada, we elected to go home a day early because of possible problems getting over the mountains and home safely. We spotted this rainbow about an hour south of TSR. It turned out that we did the right thing as the storm hit the Sierra Nevada just about when we would have been going over the mountains.
on the way home, we stopped by an old school near Bodega Bay that was the house where the movie, “The Birds” was filmed. We checked it out but couldn’t go inside as it is now a person’s residence.
The trip was really fun and we were glad we visited TSR and would like to visit it again some day.

Caldor & Dixie > Apocalypse – Aug. 2021

18 Aug

The scene we woke up to yesterday was smoky but not bad. This meant we could see the mountains and the phone app indicated the air wasn’t hazardous. Jerri and I hemmed and hawed and finally decided to make a run up to our “private” lake that we have enjoyed on my birthday last week. We got in one good kayak ride and were lounging on the beach when we noticed smoke pouring in from the west. This was our first indicator that we probably made an error in judgement. A disclaimer here…I did not take most of these photos. Jerri took some and Facebook had some posted.

The Caldor fire, south of Pollock Pines and US Hwy. 50 exploded overnight and began sending smoke eastward due high gusting winds.
A view of the smoke from just above Kirkwood Lake
Kirkwood Lake as we watched the smoke drift over us. Kirkwood Ski Resort is over and behind the ridge we are looking at.
It’s difficult to put into words how the sky darkened and became eerie and spooky. As we packed up our things and drove out to Hwy. 88, the automatic headlights came on night mode and actually made a difference in visibility. That’s how dark it was.
This is a Facebook picture of Lake Tahoe. I apologize for not writing down the photographer’s name. (We did not drive by Lake Tahoe on the trip home)
Photo near Hope Valley as we descended back into Carson Valley. The Tamarack fire burned thousands of acres on the other side of these mountains last month.
Smoke plume – Facebook photo by Randy Robbins.
Gardnerville, south of Minden in the late afternoon. Photo by Sharyn Dennison

Photos from the Dixie fire equal these if not surpass them as it is now the largest fire burning in the western states. I believe the Dixie fire was begun by lightning but the Caldor fire was begun by someone’s stupidity, an illegal bonfire and wind. I do think of an apocalypse when I see these pictures and having seen the glow, eeriness and sun disappearing on a daily basis.

My family and I are very blessed not to have lost anything due to these devastating fires and we grieve for those who have been injured or killed. We thank all those brave firefighters who put their lives on the line to help stamp out the conflagrations. Jerri’s son, Scott, is one of those firefighters who works long, difficult hours for weeks at a time. We hold our collective breaths when we know he’s out on a fire.

77 Smoky Day

13 Aug

People our age will remember the TV show called “77 Sunset Strip” with Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Kooky with his comb. Well, I’ve just reached 77 and don’t live at the title address but did celebrate and have a very relaxing and pleasurable day.

My sister and I have discovered Kirkwood Lake, a small, out of the way lake that few people know about. We like it that way. The haze in the background is smoke from several forest fires. This haze is much better than in our valley where it’s so thick that we can’t see the mountains that are only about 6 miles away.
Two thirds of the lake has nice cabins near the shore. We’ve only seen a few people staying there in our numerable visits to Kirkwood.
This is the life!
We all laughed at ourselves when we saw this duck, all paddled by it and wondered why it wasn’t scared of us. Then I realized it was a decoy. Oops!
Jolee and Jason and their two dogs, Babe and Bia, joined Jerri and me on this fine day. Babe was very interested in this young mallard in the foreground. But the little duck just wanted people food and didn’t mind Babe at all.
Bia really wanted to catch the duck and play with it. She kept swimming after the duck and would go halfway across the lake before she was called back. The little duck was just playing games with Bia. She tends to shiver after swimming and that is why she is under cover in this photo.
We had a family celebration the next evening when Jerri made my favorite chicken taco salad for dinner and this nice birthday cake. Dalan’s birthday (sitting beside me) was last week and Jerri made her super tacos for the family. We have so much fun when we’re together, laughing and talking and just hanging out. We’re very grateful that we are able to go it once again.

Sunrise Pass Adventure – 5/21

16 May

Jerri and I decided to do a shakedown cruise in our new toy – a Polaris Ranger. Our first adventure was to be on Sunrise Pass over the Pine Nuts Mountains just to the east of us. I need to warn you that the sun was very bright and my phone doesn’t have the best camera, but I hope you’ll get an idea of the terrain even though the photos aren’t of the best quality.

The Johnson Lane area where we live is rural enough that we can just hop into our vehicle and zoom up to the mountains. Our Ranger is not street legal but if we’re not on busy Johnson Lane, we’re fine. Lawn mowers aren’t street legal either, but many folks drive their lawn mowers to the General Store on Johnson Lane for gas. That’s how rural we are.

Getting into the higher country. Don’t forget to click on the image for a larger view.
Desert Peach. It’s so pretty in the spring, but be careful around it. Its thorns are a couple inches long!
Some type of butterfly/moth makes a web in the Desert Peach and its babies are hatching here.
Scenery getting up into the higher country.
Lupine at the side of the road
A large patch of Lupine
I think is the Pale Agorseris, a dandelion-like flower
The trail up to an abandoned mine. There are hundreds of side trails leading to many mines, cabins and places of which I’m not aware. Yes, we were careful and paid attention to where we were going.
The Ranger at the mine. It was just an open pit, no tunnel. We would not have gone into an abandoned mine tunnel anyway. Too dangerous!
Monkey Flowers are VERY tiny. Those twigs beside them were also very small.
Looking toward Dayton from the mine…at least we think we were looking toward Dayton.
Looking west toward Job’s Peak, the high peak on the left.
Still learning how to take good selfies 🙂
Spreading Phlox in the middle of the mine trail
A large Pinon Pine. They are very numerous in this area and aren’t normally this full. I think another tree is in the front. The Washoe Indians would spend the fall months in this area to gather the pinyon nuts, which are very nutritious and would provide them with sustenance during the cold winters. Gathering the nuts and preparing them for storage is very labor intensive, but people still go to these mountains to repeat the ancient gathering ritual.
Scotch Broom in the foreground
Cows on the east side of the Pine Nuts. They seemed very contented.
Artesia Lake, which is dry, is in the central part of the photo. We could have continued on the trail and reached civilization just over the ridge behind the lake. If we had gone far enough, we would have been able to get into Smith and Mason Valleys and the town of Yerington.

This is a poor picture, but those green things are aspens. We were surprised to see this grove in an obviously dry area
The road home. Job’s Peak and Job’s Sister are the two tall peaks in the background. Those mountains are the Sierra Nevada.
Jerri and I really had a lot of fun on our inaugural adventure. But, at much as I enjoy these jaunts, I just as much don’t enjoy the clean up factor. It IS a dusty good time!

Wilson Canyon Trek – 4/21

16 Apr

Jerri and I read an article in the Nevada Appeal describing a cool hike that takes off from State Highway 208 going to Yerrington, about an hour southeast of Minden.  It was a good thing that we left relatively early as the hike was longer and more strenuous than we had anticipated, plus it was hotter than we had anticipated.

After you’re over the first ridge, the trail winds along next to the river for a while, then takes a sharp right up through the canyon. It’s a slow ascent to the summit which provides some great views of the surrounding area and mountains, then it’s a little steep and rocky through the next canyon you return you to the beginning. Description of the hike by a previous hiker.

As we got over the first hill and were in relatively isolated territory, Jerri commented how quiet it was. Just then, we heard a rattle of rocks and we witnessed a small landslide coming off a bluff. We were in no danger as it was a good 150+ yards away. (If you want to enlarge the photo, please click on it)

As we walked on, we noticed the same hill became more vibrant in color.

We walked around said hill and found the west fork of the Walker River. What a pretty riparian place. Critters such as ringtail cats, beaver, and raccoons find shelter and food here. Raptors and other birds are abundant in the area. Alas, we didn’t see any critters except many lizards.

Believe it or not, the highway is not even 30 yards away from the river.

Here is one of the signs explaining geology and/or plant life with some of the melted rocks behind the sign.

This is what the Melted rocks sign described and what the rock looked like from a distance.

We saw many plants such as Mormon Tea and several sage plants. But the Desert Paintbrush was the first colorful plant we saw. I believe this is also called Indian Paintbrush and guess these signs are PC.

Another plant was the Little Leaf Horsebrush. The small white things are not buds or blooms. Jerri and I believe they are egg sacs of some sort of insect or critter. We didn’t take one apart because we didn’t want to disturb what must have been a lot of effort by whoever was the mother.

The Appeal article said there was only an 803’ elevation gain. Apparently, that gain doesn’t happen with just going up a short route. Here is a view looking back on the trail we had just climbed and this was basically just the beginning. The Walker River and the highway are just behind those scraggly trees

We had already learned that our trail went through what was a very large ancient lake, hence trees must have been there. I read somewhere that an oddity occurred here where cottonwoods and pines were growing near each other. That seems weird in today’s climate. We were excited to see petrified wood and even identified it before we saw the sign

As we walked on, I espied what looked like a giant petrified tortoise. Jerri is standing beside it to give some perspective of its size.

By the time we climbed to the view point, we felt like we’d climbed to much higher than the approximate 6000’ level.  The vista is of several mountain ranges and large valleys.  It must be really pretty at sunset, but this is what you get on a very bright mid-day photo. I believe the snowy mountains are part of the Carson or Pine Nut Range.  The Walker River is in the lower center, not far from where we parked the car.

As we trekked downward, our next point of interest was the Slickenside. Yes, you read it correctly. A slickenside is a smoothly polished surface created by frictional movement along two sides of a fault. Its surface is normally striated in the direction of movement. Tremendous heat is sometimes produced causing the minerals to fuse and form a ceramic surface. The ceramic-like surface can be seen in this photo…the shiny part.

We turned around to continue our walk through a dry wash, looked up and this is what we saw. A small short bridge. Note the color of the sky. This is not edited.

At one time, this was a very tall tree. It’s now petrified into the yellowish, reddish, whitish rock in the foreground.

One of the last fun formations we saw were the hoodoos; a tall spire of rock that protrudes from the bottom of an arid drainage basin. Some people feel they are eerie looking and perhaps evil.

Hoodoos consist of relatively soft rock topped by harder, less easily eroded stone that protects each column from the elements. They typically form within sedimentary rock such as those we encountered along our trail or in volcanic rock formations.

This adventure was our first of the year and we surely did enjoy it. The Appeal article said the trail was only 3.5 miles long, but by the time we reached the peak of the last hill, we thought it might have been about 10 miles long. While we had food and water, we didn’t have enough water and that was a big mistake. We were pretty dry by the time we got back to the car. Luckily, we each had another bottle in the car. Lesson learned.

This is also my first go around with the new Word Press format. It’s going to take a few tries to learn the new tricks they have provided, but I hope this issue gets the point across that we enjoyed ourselves and learned some lessons.

2020 Jaunts and Hikes

21 Oct

Yes, 2020 has been the weirdest year ever and all of us have learned to cope in many and different ways. My usual volunteer opportunities became unavailable and I’m too chicken to go back to the NV State Museum as much as I was. Dean, the new cat, is a help with entertainment but I found I wanted to be outside more. So my sister and I began to take drives and hikes. We’ve kayaked and hiked more than ever this year. We were able to make lemonade out of the lemons

The Potholes was one of our first hikes. It looks calm here but it can be a raging torrent that could sweep you off your feet and into the abyss in the background.

Silver Lake became on of our favorite kayaking spots. We had quite a few great days here on this gorgeous body of water.
Wild horses grazing on the lawn of the haunted historic St. Mary’s Infirmary in Virginia City, one of our jaunt destinations.
Autumn is here in Hwy. 88 going west toward Kirkwood Ski Resort
Kirkwood Lake, a small lake in a deep rugged canyon. We hope to kayak here next summer. It’s not big, but we think it will be fun.
Kirkwood Lake is in the bottom of this canyon, somewhere in the trees. How pioneers got their wagons through here, I have no idea. They were a lot sturdier than I am.
We hiked around Woods Lake and Kirkwood Lake in the same day. That tells you how relatively small they are.
Part of Emerald Bay on Lake Tahoe. Such a beautiful day out on Rubicon Point, one of the arms of Emerald Bay.
Solidified sap on a tree stump.
Aspens lining the road to Mt. Tallac Trailhead, a short distance from Lake Tahoe.
Washoe Lake looking toward Slide Mountain, which actually did have a massive slide in 1983. We hiked up Deadman’s Creek to this high point. Another beautiful day!
We saw this herd of 9 wild horses while at Washoe lake. We loved watching the colts romp and play ahead of the adults.
The Bowers Mansion was built in 1863 by Lemuel “Sandy” bowers and his wife, Eilley. It’s a prime example of the homes built in Nevada by the new millionaires of the Comstock Lode mining boom. The mansion and its grounds are now a Washoe County park and are enjoyed by hundreds of people each year. It was a treat to visit the grounds and walk around to look at some of the colors.
Bowers Mansion squirrel
I wonder if these guys are called great gray squirrels because of their tails.

It is going to get very cold this weekend and perhaps our little jaunts and hikes are done for the year. But it’s Nevada! Weather changes quickly and we could be out and about in a week or so…much to the neglect of housework and other chores. I’m so happy that we were able to take advantage of what our area has to offer without breaking social distancing rules. That has been a real plus this summer.

Head Over Heels in Oregon – Sister Trip + 1 – Sept. 2020

20 Sep

A friend at the gym told me about his rental on the Oregon Coast and since we wanted something different this year, we made a fortunate decision to go there.  The house offered privacy, social distancing, a beautiful beach and access to many places to hike/visit.  Jolee joined us this year and she added much to the frivolity.  We were lucky all the way around. (Click on a photo if you wish to see more detail)

An Ashland, OR park.  We didn’t know that Ashland had been hit very hard by a fire just a day or two before, but we learned that as we left town.  Entire neighborhoods had been burned to the ground.  Fire were still burning in the Cascades and other places that caused us to be diverted from our original route.  Jolee and her trusty phone rerouted us and we arrived at our house not much later than originally planned.

This road sign (on the street) is in Port Orford).  It greatly amused us.

Of course, we had to drive over the hill and check the view.  I’m sure the view is generally beautiful but, on this day, it was filled with smoke.

The landmark for our house.

The Tale of the Whale gate to the house.  (These photos were taken at different times and the smoke is more apparent in some than others)

View of the house from the gate.

Berries growing right beside the driveway.  They were tasty!

This house was so nice and comfy.

Our first tourist stop was the bookstore in Gold Beach.  Wow!  It gives Powell’s in Portland a run for its money.

J & elvis

Jerri & Elvis

The Gleesome Threesome in Bandon, OR posing with a sculpture made from ocean trash. We had fun visiting many cute shops.  Pretty smoky that day.

Jolee wondered if this farm actually raised dragonflies and turned off the highway to check it out.

We were met by the next sign shortly after our turn.  This was great cause for hilarity.

Eerie fog creeping over the highway.

Our visit to the Prehistoric Gardens was fun and a bit mysterious.

Jerri and Jolee are quite unaware of danger in the background.

All the little kids we saw were enthralled by these sculptured critters.

2 triceratops hatchlings

Jolee is too close to the mama triceratops!

3 serious folks waiting for a streetcar.

Wouldn’t want to meet this guy on a dark trail.

Our favorite place was Otter Point to see critters; otters, seals, dolphins, seabirds and some we hadn’t expected to see…a colony of giant slugs!

Shades of UC Santa Cruz – a banana slug!

A vulture (but we like to call them buzzards) flew over me but this was best shot available.  (Gracias, RDS)

An osprey having a fish dinner

Otter Point arch – The otters, seals and dolphins were just too far away and weren’t posing for us.

We even found a Jolee peeking out.

Beach view of our house. Sadly, we didn’t think to take one when it was sunny.

Jerri’s driftwood that Jolee hauled up to the house.

Pelicans flying along our beach. I love seeing then skim along the water surface.

Rogue River Bridge

Near the bridge is the Mary D. Hume, a steamer built in Gold Beach in 1881. She was retired in 1977 and then sank in the Rogue River in 1985 where she remains today.

We hiked to see the Thomas Creek Bridge, the highest bridge in all of Oregon…345′ tall. I was disappointed that this is all we could see without going down to the bottom of the canyon. My knees won’t do that any more.

Part of the trail was rough.

Three on the trail.

Jolee took a 4-hour hike on a steep trail on Humbug Mountain.

She said it was pretty along the trail along with obstacles to get around, such as this giant fallen tree.  Jerri and I stayed home, walked on the beach, read our books and worked on a jigsaw puzzle.

Back on our beach – the first sunny morning.

Looking north from the house

A beach plant surviving in the sand

Jolee enjoying a taste of the grape

3 weirdos on the deck

We had to go south to McKinleyville, CA on Hwy 101 in order to avoid the Oregon fires.  We were very excited to see 6 elk along the way.   Here is a grazing elk bull.

We took a detour on the way home to see a cousin we hadn’t seen in many years.  This was in Nubieber, CA.  Most folks don’t know about that town, but it’s east of Redding.  Cousin Lee took great pride in showing us his wood projects.  I must say they are really amazing.  These are working models, by the way.

Lee is holding his model of the metamorphosis of a tomato worm.  This is significant because his dad grew many varieties of tomatoes and, of course, had to deal with these pests.


Yes, this is a long blog with probably too many pictures.  But I’m hoping you have enjoyed reading and seeing photos of our Oregon trip.  It was great fun to see territory we haven’t seen before.  At the same time, I sort of felt guilty having a good time while many Oregonians were/are suffering huge losses from the many fires.  May God bless them and help them to recover from this tragedy.





























  The Potholes & Silver Lake – September, 2020

6 Sep

One of the cool things about living in northern Nevada is that even during a pandemic, we can get outside to work in the yard, hike, kayak and maybe even explore our territory.  (Don’t forget to click on a photo if you want an enlargement)

Jerri and I have been doing this off and on this summer.  Hiking and kayaking, that is.  Last week, on a fairly clear of smoke day, we zoomed out Hwy. 88 into the Sierra Nevada where we hiked to “The Potholes.”   You’ll see why it’s called that name soon.  This is an area of huge boulders along with forested area.

A nice path going through a shady, cool forest

Our path led us by a stream with fallen trees

And by some Dino poop…just kidding.  It’s really a pile of ancient lava.

After trekking about a mile or so, we found the potholes.  Sorry about the exposure.  I was looking pretty much into the sun.

A pothole is a circular or cylindrical hole in the riverbed which is produced by force of water and abrasion. A pothole is formed when a circular current of water carrying small pebbles and sediment begins to wear away a rock surface.

This is a fun place to take a dip. But one must be careful because just past that big rock in the background is a long waterfall and a huge drop to even bigger rocks. No bueno to slip over the edge. We were able to to enjoy all this in solitude for about 20 minutes before people began to join us. Good thing we like to get out early.

“To infinity and beyond!”  This view is just to the right and above where the potholes are.  Another long drop into the abyss just beyond those trees on the rock if one is not careful.

The Potholes trailhead is just across the highway (more or less) from Silver Lake and that is where we kayaked twice last week.  We love this place!  This is Silver Lake about 9 am.  It’s so much fun to get out there with no wind (as we have experienced at Caples Lake many times).

“Our” lagoon.  You can see why we love this place.

Paddling into a little arm of the lake.  A fun place to play and swim.

The water in our little cove is fairly warm and enjoyable on a very hot day like it was in this photo.  We just need to be careful of rocks.

Don’t take my picture!
(Check out the rugged mountain in the background.  Smoke from forest fires to the south of us was creeping in and making it hazy)

I swear the fish was this big!

This varmint visited us and wondered if we had any Grey Poupon or crackers. He was quite close to our chairs.  (I think this is a golden mantle squirrel)

Time to skidaddle.  These little guys are quite brazen.  Another time, Jerri heard rustling in my backpack and it was one of these squirrels trying to find food.

Even though it takes close to an hour to get to Silver Lake, it’s the best place for us right now.  Not many people during the week and plenty of social distancing (a term I’d never heard of until 6 months ago).  We love the peace and quiet and the ability to get out and exercise without the crowds.