Sunday, January 31, 2016


they relit the 2 mile stretch of the Bay Bridge with thousands of LED lights that made unique patterns. It was first lit about 4 years ago. I had wanted to see it but never got a chance. Funding soon ran out and the lights burnt out. More money and better lights so it will be lit for a while

At the beginning of my run

tidepools around the bend

This probably was the lowest tide. In the past, this was considered to be one of the top 5 tidepools in California but alas, El Nino has screwed things up. Note to self, don't come here on El Nino years and come during a full moon though there was a full moon when we were in Cannon Beach. Didn't make up for the storm surges.
sign of the times. I assume they disturb the birds as there are some sensitive nesting areas off shore. To encourage the birds to return to a given area, they set up bird decoys. Birds love to flock.
Love these aloe

Montara shale comes up across granite. At one point, these layers were horizontal so a whole lot of earth movement went on and still does. Not a good place to be in an earthquake
very steep
back at the Seafood Festival though seafood is scarce this year no thanks to Red Tide
pretty gift shop I meant to revisit on the last day but instead spent in a hospital
bottlebrush plant and berries
This yard had several 6 foot jade plants growing out of the yard full of blossoms.
My iphone photo. Steve took better with a real camera

We packed in a lot this day .  First stop coffee in El Granada. I went for a long run as the sun was coming up. Yes the sun! On to the tide pools. Low tide was supposed to happen at 9:17 am.  I am perched on a promising rock that a nearby crevas would hopefully reveal sea life as the water receded at 9:10.  However the water did not recede, it was rushing in. I soon found myself out in the ocean.  I had to quickly jump into knee deep water. It has taken two days to dry out my shoes. Was the water cold? I was too panicky to notice.  And no sea life!  All these storms have wrecked the tide pools.  Everything covered with sand! And El NiƱo has destroyed the local crabbing industry. The too warm waters caused the poisonous red tide to grow making crabs dangerous to eat. Seals are dying off after ingesting red tide contaminated sea food.  
My niece came from San Francisco to spend the day with us. She has a twin who she does not get along with but I get parts of their life stories confused. Who went where? etc. But I was very happy to spend time with her, a very bright beautiful person.
In the past, to get from my brother's to San Francisco, one would have to drive through this twisty steep pass known as the Devil's slide. We went through it in the fog at 3am going to the airport the first time we came here. Scary.  Very unstable ground with two land masses clashing. Now a tunnel bypasses this area but they have opened up the area for walkers and bicyclists though good luck with the 9%grade. We walked it. Interesting geology and pretty views unappreciated when we used to drive it.
Back to town to walk through a local fair and then to dinner at an Indian restaurant . We opted to sit in an area full of pillows. I had thought there would be some sort of pit to put our feet but no, our legs were every which way uncomfortably. But the food was good.  We drove as close as we can to a BART station as driving now in San Francisco is especially impossible with the SuperBowl celebrations. We got there just as the fireworks started over the Embarcadero. They were very impressive. They can now make heart shaped fireworks.  It was warm, clear and calm. Even though there were thousands of people milling about, we managed to find a deserted pier along the Embarcadero to view the now lit Bay bridge. It has a zillion programmed light creating all sorts of patterns presumably never repeating. Near by Chris Isaac sang Wicked Ways. All sorts of light installations throughout the city.  The Ferry Building was especially lit up. Very beautiful and special. Our best day.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Itchy and Scratchy

although the largest lesions are shrinking and aren't so weepy, New hives keep popping up all over.  Reactions to all the junk I've been putting on?  Anyway I wish it would all go away. Lesson learned: a thorough shower immediately after being in a dicey hot tub. better yet: don't go in  Extra stupid points: I was to avoid all immersive experiences for 6 weeks due to the surgery. 7 weeks out and I still have visible stitches
The forecast for today was rain all day. Still there was a small window of no rain very early  Down to the beach but keen disappointment when we found our favorite coffee house closed Worse: Blue Sky is gone forever. We went to the town 4 miles away and found a good place but it is not near the beach. 
After back to the beach: a run through the fog for me and then a walk together. Lots of recent damage due to all the storms and rain. When the rain started we went back to the house.  Later a trip to town for bento boxes and shopping.  I got some cool Mexican tiles. so so foggy.
We can't see beyond the edge of the deck much less see the ocean below
Sunny forecast coming. Low tide tomorrow at a reasonable hour: to the tide pools!

Steve and Charlotte
A funeral home but a cool building
Yarn shop display
Bathroom of the sushi place
Lots of green
Foggy beach
My favorite beach house
This one is cue too

Friday, January 29, 2016


After our breakfast  see pancake machine below, in our 70s styled resort, we were on our way through 100 miles of steep and wild mountains in fog and rain.  It would have been more beautiful the day before but at least we didn't need chains.  It was 58 when we began but 5 miles later. On the very steep climb on Siskiyou pass, it had dropped to 38. I had worried about the wisdom of taking the inland route in the middle of winter especially when on the way up we see a large flashing sign Warning! Chains required, on the route inland to Grants Pass even though it was 65 on the coast
We had a stop at the state line inspection, a first for Steve who never entered California by car. they were checking for fruit and plants. steve wanted to see Mt Shasta, a volcanic peak over 14000 ft right next to our route but the fog made that impossible though we could see the lower half. See graphic of it on Redding poster. We drove through the town of Mt Shasta, I had stayed there as a kid, in hopes of seeing some clearing. no luck  
The rain had stopped briefly for our visit to Turtle Bay in Redding. we had come to see the Sundial bridge designed by Santiago Calatrava. it's supposed to cast interesting shadows on the Sacramento River. at night, it's glass block base is all lit and supposedly looks spectacular though very slippery to walk on while wet. Still it was interesting even though we weren't there at the best times. Lots of birds and paths to follow. A first: a feral cat feeding station. They scattered when I closed in for a better picture. the road flattened completely to miles of farm land and small towns.  olive capital of the US? Corning    Never would have guessed it would be in Northern California  We stopped for lunch at Patty's Airport Cafe in Willows.  Alas no planes took off on the runways next to us. They are famous for pies. the fruit pies were still baking but lemon meringue was available. the land became brown and hilly as we turned toward the bay. no trees. I was to meet a high school friend on the East Bay. when was I to get there? hard to guess 24 hours ahead but we made it within 15 minutes of my guess. We couldn't stay long as rush hour in San Francisco would make the mess in Seattle a walk in the park plus they have all their Super Bowl activities going on like finally relighting the Bay Bridge we took. except for 3 miles of  traffic along the bay before the bridge and a mile in the city, we made it through way quicker than I imagined and soon found ourselves on the beautiful coastal road to my brothers
It is the middle of the night. The fog horns go off every 10 seconds and it is raining. I don't know what to do. My condition, tentatively hot tub dermatitis, is getting worse. perhaps my immune system couldn't fight a cold, which is better except for the Steve removing cough, and this thing too Sitting 2 days on open lesions made them worse. hopefully not sitting on them today will improve things

Thursday, January 28, 2016


Lithia Park designed by the same guy who designed Golden Gate Park. This rushing stream goes through the length of the park

Sunset from our balcony
Kids skating with walkers

Shakespearean outfit
Rosenberg train station
Train outside. Our window

We are in Ashland Oregon home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and lithia which is lithium enriched water in one of their springs. I was able to find a great deal on a suite with separate bedrooms as my coughing makes it impossible for Steve to sleep though my great deals might have their downside like hot tub dermatitis which may be the source of this hideous rash.

We didn't want to stop for breakfast until we could clear the rush hours of Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia forgetting our cache of heathy snacks we bought before Seattle. We cleared the area in one hour versus the 2.5 hours it took on the way up. Too cloudy to see Mt Hood but the weather became clear and sunny.  We passed through the grass seed capital of the world.  We've passed through several capitals in Oregon: cranberry, Easter lily, lily bulb growing. We did but a souvenir of the Oregonian filbert industry: hazelnut liquor. Tt is illegal in Oregon to pump your own gas though it is cheaper than Washington and California. In Mendocino county gas was $4 a gallon in parts. Back in Michigan, the gas is $1.50 a gallon.

We stopped in Roseburg in Central Oregon  for lunch in a restored train station where I had ginger pear cider and West African peanut soup. Almost 70 degrees! we walked through Lithia Park designed by the same dude who designed The Golden Gate Park. I tasted their spring water Yuck! Very carbonated and salty. Reminded me of dead fish

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Green Lake

Making this blog readable will have to wait until I return. Usually when I am in Seattle, I run around Green Lake which is 3 miles around.  when I was here in August, I would go with my sister-in -law at 6 am and run for an hour as the sun came up.  See bottom photo. today I finally felt healthy enough to at least walk and was going to go there with her at 6 but then remembered that would be well before the sun came up. turns out there are plenty of runners there and dogs with head lamps.  Once it got light (and the rain started!!) I walked up the steep hill to the reservoir  and walked there in the foggy rain. If it were clear, I would be able to see the city and Mt Rainier but nothing today. 
Today is both Oliver's and Steve's birthday.  above in Great grandma face timing Oliver. after Steve's birthday lunch at the cool restaurant above, they all went to play ball and ping pong at the rec center while I walked around the lake. lots of waterfowl!  woodducks, coots, buffleheads and wigeons.  had to look that last one up.  So 2 workouts but none tomorrow as we make the very long drive south 


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