"Of all the paths you take in life make sure a few of them are dirt" US Forest Sevice

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Heading to Cloverdale

It is good to be leaving southern California after living on the Coast Hwy for two months. We seem to always have that itch. As we were walking in the surf a bee stung me in the foot. I seem to get stung far too often.

Cloverdale is a small town in the north of Sonoma County bordering Mendocino County. When we arrived and stopped at the visitor's center, they happened to have a farmer's market just a block away. 

After getting some items at the farmer's market, we realized it was 3 pm and we hadn't had lunch and found this cute hamburger place.

The gal at the visitor's center gave us a map with suggestions of bike routes. She suggested that we ride up to Sonoma Lake since we were from Colorado and used to hills. Forget that we haven't seen Colorado in a year on our bikes.

It was a pretty good climb up to the dam with nice views of the vineyards. The riding here is much more pleasant than Napa with less people and traffic.

We went back to the lake's visitor center and met a couple of guys leading the Road Scholars on a bike tour. They gave us some tips on wineries to visit and things to see. Cycling tours are not cheap. $1500 for 4 days of riding with meals and hotel per person for this tour. There was another tour group just up the rode as we were heading back home.

There were plenty of hills and the wind made us work a bit. Mike was a good guy being the lead so I wouldn't have to work as hard against the wind.

We are here for a week and looks like it is a gem even if another bee stung me in the back of my leg this morning.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Bay Shore Bikeway and Silver Strand

The traffic in So California can make anyone think twice about going anywhere in an auto but I had one more bike ride I wanted to do before leaving.  We got out the door by 7am to catch the 7:16 Coaster to San Diego which is 2 miles from our home. Once there, we caught the ferry to Coronado Island (actually a peninsula) before starting that ride. By the end of the day, it ended up being 33 miles when we arrived home.

After a wrong turn, we made it to the Embarcadero ferry ticket office and paid our $4.75 each as the ferry was returning from Coronado Island for the 9am departure.

There were only 5 of us on the quiet trip over.

We appreciated the marine layer at the start on our ride since we were supposed to get record temps once the sun came out.

The Coronado Bridge

That was a quick 15 minute ride across the bay.

The 15-minute ride across the San Diego Bay to the Coronado Ferry Landing, a waterfront marketplace full of over 25 unique shops and restaurants. The coffee smelled great but we had a mission to get on.
A quick ride by the Hotel Del Coronado which was the influence for the "Emerald City" in "The Wizard of Oz". We were finally on our way.

What a great smooth and newly paved bike path that leads to Chula Vista, 7.5 miles north of the Mexico border.  

Silver Strand, or simply The Strand, is a low, narrow, sandy isthmus 7 miles long  that connects Coronado Island with Imperial Beach.

Silver Strand State Beach, which encompasses both the San Diego Bay and Pacific Ocean sides of the strand, is a little farther off the beaten path of the highly popular beaches offering more solitude for those who wish to avoid beach crowds. The ocean side of the strand features 2.5 miles of coastline trimmed with silver shells (thus named Silver Strand).

Coronado is the "birthplace of Naval Aviation" and headquarters of the Navy Seals. As we rode along the Bayshore Bike Path, several Seals candidates were seen carrying their fins to the beach.

On the south end of the Silver Strand is the South Bay Refuge. Through a grant from the California Coastal Conservancy, neighbors, birdwatchers, and wildlife enthusiasts have a new walking trail to enjoy the beautiful views of the San Diego Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
 One of the oldest businesses is the salt mines in the south bay in Chula Vista  At one time there were 32 salt ponds. The plant is a neighbor to the South San Diego Bay Wildlife National Refuge. The wildlife refuge is home to several endangered birds which live and feed in the salt pond.

 The refuge trail runs parallel with the Bayshore Bikeway has six interpretive panels with information related to migratory birds, salt marsh restoration, and history of South Bay Salt Works. With assistance from volunteers, Refuge staff have already installed over 1,000 salt marsh plants between the new trail and San Diego Bay

Le Tour de Bayshore Bikeway sculpture in Chula Vista 
The "Wall" between Imperial Beach and Tijuana.

We passed Petco Field, home of the Padres as we were attempting to avoid the traffic. The ride counterclockwise was on pleasant bikeways until we reached National City and our final 5 miles. Then I felt it was every man for himself in the traffic.

If we rode this again, it would be an out and back from Coronado Island to Chula Vista or the border and avoid the crazy city traffic.

My next to last shift as a critical care nurse I hear someone crying as a family member is not going to see another sunrise. A few minutes later, another person is rolled into our unit in very critical condition. Several staff hurry over to help the assigned nurse to move him over to the bed from the cart and hook him up to monitors. After people start to shuffle out of the room to return to their patients, I go in to give a hand as she continues to stabilize him. I act as a runner so she can focus on what she needs to do. She works quickly with a lot of knowledge and what to do next while giving support to the family who feel confused and anxious.  I give shift report to the nightshift RN that just finished orientation to ICU. That stretches the shift to almost 13 hours. I return home and sit by the fire listening to the waves and wonder how I ended up here. I am glad I had this life but really ready to move on as someone else takes over.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Calavera Preserve

Lauren Marquardt (who is quite witty) wrote "Who decided what the “American Dream” is? The preconceived belief that one way of living fits all is no longer the case for many of us. Once you start living in the mindset that there is no right way of doing something, you become capable of doing anything and can create your version of the American Dream." I guess that is what we and many other people are trying live in many different ways.

Lake Calavera Preserve has wetlands, a lake, coastal sage-scrub, and extinct volcanic Mt. Calavera with an easy 3.5 mile hiking trail. One of the guys at the hospital told me about the mountain biking here and we had to check it out. It turns out that there are many miles of trails throughout the preserve.


The lake is pretty low but improved with the moisture this spring.

You can see where the volcano was above.
I was a bit leery about some of the trail that narrowed and was covered with dried brush. There have been several people bitten by rattle snakes in the foothills. We stayed on the trails with wider paths. 

Mike has been "getting things ready to go" with new brakes and windshield on the truck. The Ford garage in Colorado Springs had changed the brakes because they would vibrate sometimes but didn't improve with the change. It felt unsafe. Rather have a problem going over mountain passes, he took it into Gary's brake service in Oceanside. They were cut too much and overheating. He replaced them for $360 and now they work great.
Every person we meet and every place we experience holds a lesson that changes us.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Leo Carrillo Ranch

We had been reading a book about the movie industry of the 1930s when Greg Welch, a friend of Mike's from Vermont suggested that we visit the Leo Carrillo Ranch in Carlsbad. Leo was the actor that play Pancho in Cisco Kid movies in the 1930s.  He purchased the ranch and entertained his Hollywood friends there. The next day was the Wild West Fest and we headed over to check it out.

Leo loved peacocks and many are still around the grounds.

It was fun to imagine the parties with Will Rodgers, Clark Gable and Carole Lombarde. Leo would bring in trailers for his guests. I guess he could move them when he was ready for the people to leave.

 Blue Agave

Counting down with 2 weeks left before we head down the road. The traffic, scary drivers and gloomy weather will not be missed. We had a little more skin cancer taken care of with a little nip and tuck. After getting hit with the ugly stick, I got a lopsided haircut. Maybe she was thrown off by the swollen face. Once the sutures are out, we can hit the road.
People at work have been more than glad to point out to me that Morley Safer died a few days after retiring. He was 84 years old is my response. Better not take any chances and wait that long.

Deedee's, Leo's wife, house for her art projects.

Fancy sunken tile tub

When we got home, I watched an episode of the Cisco Kid on line. It was pretty hokey.

Caretaker's home for the 4500 acre cattle ranch. 
The Flying LC Ranch brand.
We always appreciate a tip of places to see or things to do.