Archives for posts with tag: California

My life changed forever the minute my son, Carl, disappeared and my then six year old daughter (Ava) told me she thought she was at fault for his disappearance and began talking of suicide. Fifteen years after his disappearance, my son came to me in a dream which lead me to find him. He had been murdered at the time of his disappearance by a Dispatcher for the Sheriff’s Department who investigated the murder! Ava’s suicidal tendencies became more frequent…especially after we found out what had happened to Carl.

Ava was successful in her final attempt, as promised, after her estranged husband told her he had a girlfriend and, even after her pleas for him to help her through the transition and warnings that she was suicidal, he chose to ignore the warnings from me and others.

The night Ava died, I was with my mother in the emergency room with my mom…she was dying…too. I was always the closest one to her (and her to me) so I was the only one to take care of both of them. Ava was 2500 miles away. Mom was 100 miles away. I was awakened at 6:00 A.M. to my new horrible truth. Ava was dead. Mom was sick. I was alone in it all.

When I spoke with my therapist about how I felt, I was subsequently diagnosed with PTSD. Some of the symptoms were: I felt like I’d had a stroke and couldn’t remember words; I disassociated; I felt as if  my skin had been removed from my body; I couldn’t leave the house for any reason; and when I did, all I wanted to do was scream out, “DON’T YOU PEOPLE KNOW SHE’S DEAD?”

Montana became my lifeline. Literally. She and I are inseparable. She has traveled with me about 90,000 miles over her eight plus years and has been welcomed in hundreds of facilities since her Service Dog status. I’ve only had slight hick-ups but once told of her status, never refused.

I’m on this trip four years after Ava’s death in the hope that I can move another baby step forward with reconnecting with loved ones who live in the West and to see the places Ava and I had visited together as well as find new ones to hold dear with her in my heart. Plus, driving back roads has always been a healing exercise.

Why do I tell you all this? The groundwork for yesterday’s crescendo.

We went to Venice Beach. I hadn’t been there for at least eight years and I wouldn’t have gone had I known how nasty it had gotten. I wouldn’t have put myself, Montana nor my sweet daughter-by-another mother through it.

So many filthy, doped-up homeless people; crowds; confusion; more filth; a thousand bicycles & skateboards aggressively darting to and fro around us tormenting us all but especially Montana; coupled with great re-b0nding, understanding and love.

To end my visit in LA we decided to visit a middle eastern restaurant…Lebanese to be specific. We all walk in…my daugher-by-another mother, her husband, Montana and me. We were told at the door that they would not serve us because of Montana. I quickly corrected their mistake and a learned waiter seated us. The greeter called the owner (I knew that’s what she was doing) and approached us again as she spoke with the owner telling us  we were not welcome in their establishment even though they understood the ramifications of their actions.

When she told us to leave, I refused and said I wanted to speak directly with the owner at which point she handed me the phone. The woman on the other end of the line immediately started shouting in broken English that she did not have to abide by the laws of this country and other things I couldn’t understand. She rattled on incessantly not allowing me to speak and continued to speak.

The owner came to the restaurant and continued in this manner. I finally really lost it when she said, “This is California and I don’t have to let you stay here. I don’t have to abide by this law!”

I replied over her continued rant, “I don’t know what country you’re from but you’re living in the United States and California was made a state in 1850. This is a FEDERAL law you’re violating. I’ll be lodging a complaint which could result in a $10,000 fine against you.”

The owner’s parting words to me were, “You don’t have a disability! Get out!”

I was so shaken that I couldn’t eat. I was nauseous and horribly upset. All I wanted to do is be in my own home…3000 miles away. I knew this could happen because having PTSD is triggered by several very personal things. Could be loud noises, confusion, arguing, and many other triggers. Thank goodness I’d been proactive regarding the possibility of being confronted by this kind of stupidity and booked myself  to stay in a lovely and friendly AirBnB apartment by the PCH or else I wouldn’t have made it back before collapsing in tears for the whole remainder of the night.

It’s only now, over 24 hours after the fact that I can even write about it. I’m not proofing…just writing…puking, actually…the story because, for some reason, I’ve been chosen to TEACH people that just because you don’t SEE the mental imbalance, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist! DO YOU ALWAYS SEE CANCER? NO!


If you want to help support our website  [Ava’s Corner, Inc., a non-profit public charity & 501(c)3] which I stared after Ava’s death to provide one-stop-shopping for education on mental imbalances and creative coping skills, please share this post so others will benefit from this horrific exercise I experienced. I never chose this path. Quite the reverse…I was chosen. But, if it were my choice…I’d chose to have my daughter back.

Email me if you want the name of the restaurant.

TODAY? I shared some of my story with my new friend…the lady who owned the AirBnB apartment where I stayed. Thanks for listening. You and my closest and dearest helped me get okay so I could drive to Vegas Baby today…swollen eyes, headache, broken heart and all.

These pictures are AFTER the LA cluster expressway nightmares and finally got on I-15 North. Temps from 87 all the way up to 113 degrees!


The good news? I’m staying with another wonderful daughter-by-another mother! I’m safe with her. She made sure of it before I left by telling me she had my room all ready for me and Montana.

Now I can look forward to seeing more of Ava’s friends and my other Chirrens.



I couldn’t get out of Fresno fast enough on Monday. The temperature there promised to hit triple digits and I just didn’t like the feel of the place at all. I’m funny that way with energy of people, places and things.

The first pictures are of my journey on back roads from Fresno to LA. I believe I saved myself hours of bumper-to-bumper traffic on the expressways and gained the experience of seeing the part of that journey I’d not seen before.

Strange how dry it is in California.


The house on the hilltop must be the owner of this ranch. There were no neighbors…none. This is a little too isolated even for my taste!


The mountains I’d just come over and the rear-view perspective from the rest stop at the bottom.


YES! The Pacific Ocean…finally! Yippee!


Now get a gander of this one!


These last two days have been so FULL that I thought I’d lost a day. My computer is still on Eastern time so it registered all my photos taken as being dubbed “yesterday” which sent my poor ole brain spinning outta control thinking I’d lost a day! We’ve been doing so much in such a short amount of time I had a hard time sorting it all out. I immediately booked an extra night here in a frantic response to my confusion but that’s not a bad thang…it’s a good thang because I get more time with someone very precious to me.

Today, we went to one of my all-time favorite places to go to here in LA…the Self-Realization Fellowship Lake Shrine on PCH in Pacific Palisades. So amazingly peaceful, fulfilling and wonderful. It’s a must.

Where’s Montana? She’s meditating with the Begonias!

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I didn’t realize until today that banana trees have flowers very similar to the Bird of Paradise plant!

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Lake, pools and waterfalls add to the peaceful ambiance of this magnificent shrine.


And the turtles are trained to come up to the dock when people walk out…obviously someone has been feeding the wildlife.






I have always paraphrased this verse to be, “Be quiet and listen!” It’s still true…be still…




Do you see the flower that appears to be growing out of the hole in the dead stump?



The roses! My goodness…the magnificent roses!


Doesn’t the base of this plant look like a snake? This split leaf philodendron must date back to the shrine’s inception…1920.


My second favorite place AFTER the Shrine is to have lunch at The Moonshadow. It’s the only place I’ve ever seen that serves “tender barbequed octopus!” There ain’t nothing tender about octopus!


The view from our table…


Okay…so not her view but she was happy!


Good night and HAPPY TAILS!

Today was our day to say adieu to good friends of many animal variety types but not goodbye! It was time to hit the back roads again headed south. I chose to take Hwy. 49 by Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks thinking I could go into one of them without spending my whole day.

However, the thoughts of crowds, bumper-to-bumper driving, noise, confusion and getting to Fresno after dark pushed me and my TomTom right past them. I’ll do them another time when I’m not in a hurry…not that I’m in a hurry on the back roads…I’m more in the mode to drive without all those things I mentioned above!

Hwy. 49 was a lovely scenery, curvy, mountainous road taking us in and out of these quaint little towns one could miss with the blink of an eye.

From prairie-lands


to  prairie-lands with mountains


To lush pastures full of livestock


To no pastures at all


To caves of trees covering the road!


And flowering bushes close enough to touch!


Then this!


And back again!



And into Angel Camp with clothes hanging across the road. What’s up with that?



OH! It must be in celebration of the upcoming fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee!



I’ve seen way too many lakes with horribly low water levels. Look for the old water marks on the banks of this one. Way too many in Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana and now California tell the story. The other thing I’ve noticed this time on these back roads are a great deal of strip mining. Way too much of it is going on…way more than you think!


Tom and I had a disagreement about my taking this road…J59 (I think) but I’m sure glad I took it! This looked like silk blowing in the wind…for about 120 miles…in 97 degree heat!


And this just before I got on the 99.


Turns out that Fresno isn’t a safe place to be and that I got lucky when I picked the hotel where I’m staying tonight. The person at the front desk said that most of the hotels in Fresno don’t ask for ID or get your car tag number. Seems like every motel/hotel I’ve stayed in required that info. Glad I’m only here for one night!

I’m headed to LA for another respite and reunion! The good news is that I’ll be staying on the beach and I’m hoping don’t have to deal with the pollution too much. UGH!


We’ve had the distinct pleasure and challenge (we being me and Montana) to stay in the home of a dear friend and true animal whisperer. This New York City born and raised woman never had any pets or room for them. However, as an adult, she’s made up for lost time!

Montana and I have shared this unique environment of cats, dogs, horses, ducks and rabbits for about a week now and they all get along amazingly well. It’s the guests who are challenged! Montana loves kitties and is in a constant cat-atonic state! Her nose twitches just like a bunny’s nose trying to figure out all the smells bombarding all her senses.

As my BFF neighbor will affirm, Montana truly loves her bunny play time. The ones here are quite a bit bigger than the wild ones in my front yard but that doesn’t keep Montana from lusting after them.

This is the best I could do with getting a bunny picture! I’m surprised they let me even get this close because Montana was at my side! I have to keep Montana on a leash all the time because of the openness of the environment. As I carried my salad to my seat with one hand and Montana’s leash in the other, she bolted through the doggie door toward not only the rabbits but a cat! She’d obviously been paying attention to the dogs running in and out of the doggie door after the bunnies have been put to bed and saw her moment. UGH!


A couple of years ago, my friend rescued a duckling. Of course she made it a pet and of course she got it a friend (as she did with all her foundlings). The male duck was supposed to be female but, as is true with many small animals, it’s not until they get older do you actually know exactly what you’ve gotten your hands on. So now there’s three!

The ducks are named Schnoooldz (mom), Dooodlz (dad) and Nooodlz (baby). Montana hasn’t really paid any attention to the ducks until today when Dooodlz flew off the handrail and did a nose dive into the mud. I had a close tether on her not knowing what she was going to do…or him either for that matter. Because he goes around hissing and flapping his wings all the time making sure everyone knows he’s the BOSS, my friend  aptly nicknamed him “rattlesnake!”


Nooodlz is about two weeks old.


My friend  has several names for each of her babies. She calls Schnooodlz  her “eagle” because she actually can fly. My friend has taught her to give “kisses” and to perch on her shoulder like an eagle! Who knew?


Dooodlz…the rattlesnake.


For dogs, she has them in three sizes: LARGE, Medium Large and small. Reno, a Bernese Mountain Dog, is “my” dog and weighs in at about 120 and is who I call Big Baby….because he is. He reminds me of my Newfie/Lab (Doobie) who passed in 2010.

The little scruffy dude next to him is Reign a/k/a The Enforcer.


This is Brody a/k/a Three Legs. He always looks confused! LOL No other name needed as I can remember numbers!


Then there’s the goat killer from the Caribbean she rescued while in medical school, Bella. Bella is the only dog to ever attacked the unsuspecting Montana so we were overly cautious when I first got here. Bella found a way out and charged Montana within seconds. Bella wanted to establish her pecking order to this new female!

Needless to say, I asserted MY pecking order and have continued my pack leader role by carrying around an empty water bottle that makes a very loud crackling sound when squeezed. If Bella even looks funny or if Montana even thinks about a cat or bunny I pull my water bottle from my holster and crackle away!

Bella’s a/k/a is Dingo Dog.


This is the only cat I could catch a photo of. I’m so confused about all the official and unofficial names of her menagerie that I’ve come up with my own. This one reminds me of Ava’s black cat Vinnie. She’s very curious about us and opens the bathroom door in the middle of the night when you think you’re alone.

My friend also rescued a large white fat cat from the Caribbean whose a/k/a is Cab Cat, one I call “Patches” and one I only catch a glimpse of so I have no feel for it’s other name.


The horses are Jessie (red on the right) and Moose. Moose is “my” horse because when I met him years ago, I told her she needed to get him because he was so sad. He’s not any more! He’s no longer confined to a tiny area without any contact. He’s a retired professional barrel racing horse and I found that out a few years back when I goosed him to go faster not knowing he’d run full bore toward the gate! WHOA!

Montana hasn’t been too interested in the horses until Moose got a little too close to me and she stood up and touched his nose establishing his boundary with me.


This is Montana laughing at how easy it was for her to get that big dawg to back off! LOL


My friend is not only a great animal whisperer but an awesome friend. She’s been there for me and Ava many times over the years and I’ve loved having this time with her in her new digs.

Tonight we’re going to eat steak. A big ole juicy one at Ruth’s Chris’s Steak House! I’ll let you know how that works out for me being able to get an early start in the morning!



When I was in Auburn the other day (when I was not taking pictures), I noticed a Thai restaurant and decided then and there that I was going back to see if their coconut milk  soup was as good as the one at my favorite Thai restaurant in Las Vegas or Dunwoody (a northeastern burb of Atlanta). It’s called Royal Thai in downtown Auburn (as opposed to the historic area).

I ordered off the lunch combo menu and was not disappointed! The coconut soup (a separate item) and the Massaman Curry dish with chicken…both items my all time favorites…were better than both my other favorite places! I highly recommend going to check them out the next time you’re in this area.


Then it was time to walk off some of that wonderful food so I drove to the historic area. It’s interesting when you realize that California didn’t become a state until after gold was discovered and that Congress “fast-tracked” it to becoming a state (learned that yesterday).

In perspective of the history of our country, I think of the 1600’s as old…not a pre-Civil War period! My ancestors came over about a hundred years before that which, from a European perspective, is still considered current history! However, it doesn’t take away the cuteness of this area’s western flair and mixture of people from every where.


This is a HUGE concrete sculpture of the person who discovered gold in this area. When driving up/down St. Hwy 49 and you see him, turn toward him and you’ll be in the historic district.


This has to be one of the oldest buildings in town called the Joss House. But, if you read the  Auburn plaque, you’ll see the number of times this town burned to the ground! That any buildings survived is pretty remarkable.



The good news is that it wasn’t as busy as Grass Valley was so finding a parking place wasn’t too difficult.


The weather here is surprisingly dry considering all the abundance of green vegetation and trees. It looks and feels a bit like where I live in the North Georgia mountains but without the humidity…and I’m not sure I’d like living in a green desert for very long! Use lots of lotion and drink plenty of water.

Tomorrow, I’m off to the back roads again headed south and then southwest.



When I decided to come to Auburn, California, little did I know that this is the area where gold was first discovered in California and started the whole gold rush thing in the 1800’s!

When I went to the Auburn Visitor’s Center yesterday, I was given a wonderful history lesson on this very subject by an Auburn historical enthusiast who works at the Center. I highly recommend going there for some great detailed information!

Although I didn’t take any photos of the historic downtown Auburn, it was authentic and well preserved…more so than most…and they have a lovely walking tour of this area. I just wanted to get a feel of the area without the interruption of a camera lens.

However, today when I traveled to Grass Valley, California (a neighboring city) to visit the Empire Mine State Historic Park and the historic district of Grass Valley, I did take the Canon with me!

Empire Mine State Historic Park is beautifully maintained and rich in gold fever and mining history from its earliest California days. It’s also has luxurious gardens of roses, huge indigenous trees such as Douglas Fir, and Ponderosa Pine. The  well-preserved buildings make it seem like the workers have just gone home for the day and the owners are ready to sit down for dinner.

The docent was a retired structural engineer (of Cornish descent) with a pure love of the history of the mining operation and all related to it started by William Bourn. It was hard rock Cornish miners who came in the mid-1850s who provided the major muscle behind this operation. Hence the passion of the docent.

There were nineteen major buildings in this Park and some outstanding gardens and this man was well versed in all aspects of each and every process of this mining operation (closed in 1956). Below are but a few images of the many at this magnificent park.







One of the many mine shafts.




Looks like everyone just went home, doesn’t it?




A taste Historic Grass Valley, California. I couldn’t believe how many gingerbread Victorian houses still remain in this area!


Not sure if traffic is always complicated in this area but it certainly was today!



Also to explore in this area is Summit Canyon at Donner Pass…one of the richest historical areas in this state. Surely you’ve heard of the story of the first wagon train (1844-46) to cross over Donner Pass, right? “They approached the Sierra after a grueling journey across the Nevada desert and along the Truckee River. As they climbed the pass, it was snowing as they came to a rock wall. They disassembled some of their wagons and hoisted the pieces up.”(seq. Donner Summit Historical Society brochure). If I remember correctly, there was a movie made about this infamous crossing.

Not sure what tomorrow will bring at this point, but I highly recommend eating at the Lumberjack Restaurant on the way to Grass Valley!


Pretty much most Nevadans agree that if it weren’t for mining and gambling, Nevada would be an empty state…well that and legal prostitution! Yesterday, I stopped in the middle of nowhere Nevada to get gas and catch the I-80 and was promptly met by a local to tell me that there were two houses of ill repute behind the station. It was a truck stop (duh) and had only one hotel….hmmm. I was tired but decided that one hotel wasn’t for me! LOL I pushed my way on toward Winnemucca.

Who knew that Winnemucca had a great little place for breakfast? It’s called “The Griddle.” It’s a cute 1950’s diner feel with great food. Other than that, there’s just gambling! To be honest, they say there’s some mining done there too but I never could find out what they mined there!

Over the last seven years when I was traveling, I’d traveled most of Nevada but somehow  missed the northwest corner…until today. I’m so glad I had a chance to experience the wonderment of it from prairie lands, to salt flats, to sand flats, to painted rock, and, finally, to an oasis. Enjoy it with me!


You, literally, can drive a hundred miles without seeing more than a handful of vehicles or an exit. However, I found two exits within my first hundred miles this morning that only had a single dilapidated building at the end of that ramp! One such exit was Jesup, NV.

How did I happen to notice these? I took off from Winnemucca without filling up with gas and there wasn’t so much of an “authorized vehicle” median turn out to go back or anything until I saw a glimmer in the distance which looked like it might be a truck stop of some sort. As I got off the I-80, there was a faded fifty year old wooden sign notifying the weary traveler, “Welcome to Puckerbrush!” As I was solely focused on getting gas and getting on up the road, I didn’t go back for that money shot! I’ll have to get a photo of it next time I’m up there!

This is that exit for Jesup. Look at the cloud patterns in the sky! Looks like airplane patterns but there were no airplanes…or trucks or cars, for that matter!



Then there were sand flats on the left side of the highway…



Followed by salt flats on the left side…


Then both…



And, all the while, prairie lands on the right side of the road.



As the left side of the highway evolves into prairie, salt, sand and water!


Ultimately becoming an oasis!


And painted rocks on the right side…


With prairie lands on the left!


Until, it’s only prairie on both sides of the highway with mountains in the distance.




And an oasis with running water on the left.





The contrasts between states has never been more stark in comparison as it was between Nevada and  California when crossing the state line from Reno! BAM! Now it’s all GREEN! And SNOW!




I didn’t see this much snow at 7000 feet in Glacier National Park! Heck, I didn’t see any snow at Glacier much more than a light dusting on the trees for about 50 feet!




Although I prefer the back roads for my travel joy, I gotta say I-80 wasn’t bad at all. I’d so traverse this route again but West to East next time!

I’ll be in the same place for the next few days so I won’t have much to post but keep tuned in as I’ll be headed to LA next!



Today was so full in such a short period of time! It took four hours to drive less than a total of 40 miles! When I found yet another dirt road to explore, it was a “no contest” kinda’ decision and off Montana and I went to see hidden groves of redwoods. We went down Howland Hill Road and found some amazing views. Apparently, parts of Star Wars was filmed in these woods or some close by and I can certainly see why!

I can so see this tree in Star Wars!

Now this is what I call a tunnel of love!


I could have driven my truck through that tree! The tree was quite larger than it looks. Crazy!

Only one in five seeds actually becomes a redwood. They regenerate themselves in so many ways, one of which happens to be through the dead ones on the ground or through burl which provides a whole new eco system for them to sprout up out of the dead logs!

Another whole world inside the base of a fallen tree!

There’s something up in that tree, grandma! I just know it! (Myrtle Grove)

We went hiking up a trail with lots of wild flowers blooming everywhere! Looks like rhododendron to me! Ours don’t get that big at the cabin!

By making a wrong turn, I found the Smith River again! I lost it 15 years ago! LOL

Glacier water…as green as an old Coca Cola bottle held up to the sun!


Then it was off to introduce Montana to the beach! Boy, did she ever have a blast running circles around me. I never saw a dog so happy! We both had been cooped up too long either in the house, the truck or the camper! It just felt so good getting out there. I couldn’t let her off the run but I’d taught her dressage as a pup so she could get enough exercise. I hold up my arm and she literally runs circles around me as I walk. It draws quite a crowd and she gets the exercise she needs. After jumping in and out of the water and laughing like a kid for about a mile or so, she started to calm down a little. It was so cute seeing her be so happy. Dogs are great that way!

One happy puppy!

No wonder they call it “Pebble Beach”!

And the grande finale!

Well, we’re off to Boulder to see Mandy and family! I can’t wait to get big hugs from my oldest daughter! Love her so much!

Happy Trails!

Remember the part in my last post where I talked about this nice guy from Tennessee (now living in Oregon) who stopped to look at the same trees in the redwood forest where God lives who took a picture of me and Montana? Well, if I forgot to tell you then, I’m tell you now! Well, as I was meandering along, stopping hither, thither and yon and missing turns, lo and behold there is a car in front of me that looks a great deal like his with Oregon tags turning down the same trek I’ve been shooting for the last hour! I’m talking to myself saying, “Naw. Can’t be. This is cosmic or something…but what?” So, there’s this really cool place where we both pull off and I’m determined to see if it is him or not. Yep. It’s the same guy. I say “Hello” and “What are the chances of this happening, like a bazillion to one?” and he just smiles and goes on his way as I do as well.






I’m now thinking Celestine Prophecy and start wondering what the message is as I keep driving ahead of him now. Next think I know, he’s passing me from the opposite direction on a road that is a one-lane dirt road. Third time is a charm or just another coincidence? We’ll never know because that’s where it stopped.

But it’s also where I totally came unglued. Still don’t know what charged the eruption other than the horrific loss of my gypsy belly dancing opera singing best friend daughter and how she was supposed to make this trip with me this summer but why at this moment. And maybe the lack of sunlight for the last few days. But why at this place? I’ve held it together so many weeks. Was it because I’d finally made it back after fifteen years of longing to see this beautiful place again and to show her?

Sorry, I digress but it’s what I do best these days.

So, back to the yellow brick road story. This road I was taking this afternoon was called Prairie Trail because it was used by the settlers on their wagons as they settled the west and, when you think about it, most of our major highways and byways are animal trails followed by Native Americans followed by settlers now permanently carved into history with asphalt.

OOPS. Did it again, didn’t I?

I finally screamed and cried enough out to settle back down to driving the redwood forest back toward Crescent City as I’d strayed about 35 miles south to Klamath where Prairie Trail Redwood Forest is located.

I’d been told earlier today that the drive up Pebble Beach Road was pretty awesome in Crescent City so I followed my normally straight nose down a very crooked path but ended up getting where I wanted to be…driving up the coast toward the city’s first lighthouse about six miles off shore. See, the coast is so riddled with huge, hidden boulders that the lighthouse needs to be six miles away to warn sailors of their impending doom! There’s also a smaller, closer version (probably for looks) near where I ate dinner.

BUT, before I even get back to Crescent City, on Hwy. 101, cars are pulling off the road like crazy! Then a pack of motorcyclist pull off like an emergency vehicle is coming from outer space because I can’t see why they’re doing this. People are walking into the right-of-way! Then, I see it!Image

A MOOSE IS CAUSING THIS TRAFFIC JAM? REALLY? These crazy people are just a few feet away from this male moose who is horny and hungry! They obviously didn’t read the precautionary information about wild animals! LOL

Now for the journey down Pebble Beach Road:




And the Crescent City Lighthouse on the Bay (not the one six miles out):



As I drove back toward the heart of Crescent City I realized I hadn’t eaten since those pancakes this morning and all I could think about was finding descent seafood. There, in her front yard, was a woman about my age. I pull over and introduced myself and she directed me to eat at the Chart Room off Anchor Way at Crescent City Harbor. It was a lovely Mom and Pop restaurant with reasonable portions for reasonable prices and well prepared food. For dessert, I had seal. “What,” you say?

This is what I had for dessert!

ImageThe whole time I’m seated at the table either waiting for food or enjoying it, I’m thinking about seeing a sunset not even noticing out in the water is a floating dock full of seals! I overhear one of the waitresses saying they’re quite lazy and wait for the fishermen to come in and throw food overboard. What a life! I just had to take Montana (who had been patiently waiting in the truck while I ate) down to see them! She shivered like she’d just seen that moose again! Poor dog. I’ve tortured her terribly on this trip. She didn’t really like sitting down on that damp ground in front of all those redwoods today either. I’ll have to give her some of my pancakes in the morning to make up for it.

Well, that’s it for today except I won’t be using this method of posting again. It’s queer.

Happy Trails!

Entering His sanctuary

As they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words”, I’ll let this beautifully preserved part of the Jedediah Smith do all the talking for me. It truly is where God lives.

Burl is caused by a fungus which causes abnormal growths to form. They’re amazing as you will see.

Gaining some perspective…

it’s all about perspective, isn’t it?

And your little dog, too!


and more…

Precious – posing…see! she is trained! LOL

I have a picture of my niece, Mandy, standing on this exact same stump from 15 years ago!

Faces in the redwood burl. What do you see?

Faces. Lions, tigers and bears? Oh no! Turtle? Oh yes!

or trolls?

or octopi?

or ME & Montana! Surprise! Nice guy from Tennesse took this!

Burl heaven!

See Ava? She’s up a tree!

Ava – close up

Same path we all took 15 years ago!

more perspective w/ Montana as we walk down the path

more faces in the burl…look closely toward the left

and the grand finale

Right after taking this picture, Montana and I continued down the path as I remembered there being a beautiful meadow just a little further down. But, as we walked on, Montana started getting jittery and wasn’t showing a whole lot of interest in going further. I heard some stomping or heavy walking which gave my heart a start. You’re in complete silence so every noise is magnified. I stopped and waited to hear more. Montana turned to go back toward the truck but quickly looked over her shoulder in a nervous, quick jerk. “Hmmmm, I said. We’re in Sasquatch country…don’t wanna be his woman! What say we get outta’ here post-haste?”

Back safely in the truck, I remembered seeing where an elk had pawed the ground so it probably was notifying me I was getting a little too close to the meadow. If you were raised in the city, don’t go to the forest without someone who knows what to look for and listen to in order to be safe.

Now that my camera is all charged up again, I’ll go check out more of the area as recommended by Rod this morning here at the KOA. So much redwood history…so little time!

I want to give a shout out to the KOA owner Joan Fallon fo Crescent City Redwoods KOA. She booked my stay here the other day and took care of me putting me right next to the restrooms in a pull through site. I was pleasantly surprised to find this KOA site to be very small and homey and not crammed packed with pavement and people. I was also impressed by the video they had playing this morning during breakfast which told about the redwood forest history and eco system. By the way, there is NO pavement in this KOA but there IS a redwood grove where the tent section is! The personnel here are so friendly and helpful plus they make a mean pancake breakfast (all you can eat for $3.50 which includes coffee) which charged me right up for the day! They’re at 4241 Hwy. 101 North, Crescent City, CA.

Now off to see the Crescent City Lighthouse!

Like I say, “It’s Motel 6 or KOA for me!”

Happy Trails!