After 34 years in the casino business we are off to enjoy our retirement just going from one place to the next in no particular order. Well, while we were traveling we have found a perfect little spot to call home... Colville, Washington. This does not mean we have quit traveling, just taking a year off.
Exploring a dirt road is like trying to eat one potato chip...just can't stop! I started in Pioneer Town in Yucca Valley, Ca at a dirt road that led from there, 17 miles to Big Bear, Ca. This is a rough road and I thought I'd try to go as far as the car would allow...turns out it allowed me to go all the way due to the lack of snow this year.
Pioneer Town is a tourist town made up to look like a town from, say the 1900's?
Did I mention it was tough country?
How can you stop driving a dirt road that is still passible.
At times and particularly the last mile at the 8000 foot elevation were a little worrisome.
My Nana's cabin in Big Bear was old looking when she bought it in ....1960. 52 years ago today in 2012 and it still looks very much the same as it did in 1960, (OLD)
This is the cabin my father built in 1961 or 62, one block from nana's where we vacationed for the next ten years.
I will say the road and snow from the current storm were of concern.
I promised my wife I would be careful...so I waited for the snow plow to lead the way.
This road block was behind me when I came down the mountain.
There was a stargazing event at Whitewater Preserve tonight but Donna has a cold so I went alone. The preserve is about five or six miles up a canyon towards Mt Gorgonio, which makes the area very dark and excellent for star viewing. Dr. Stephenie Slahor gave an hour long presentation with slides titled "A walk through the Universe" to begin the evening. Afterwards we ventured outside to the many large telescopes set up for the group.
The gentlemen with the telescopes also utilized laser pointers to identify many of the star constellations for us newbies. Within the constellation Orion, we were able to see the Nebula, which looks like swirling clouds, it was so awesome! (sorry you missed it Donna)
Jack, Dayle, Donna, the dogs and I headed up to Idyllwild because it snowed the night before. Didn't get 10 miles down the highway before Jack yells out..."Hey, that's a neat canyon over there, lets go." Well lucky me there was no one in the three lanes to my right so I darted off the freeway without a mishap.
Whitewater Preserve...what a great place to visit. They had nature trails, wildlife, ponds and big trout.
This spotting scope was trained on San Gorgonio mountain that was right up the canyon from us, tallest peak in Southern California.
Benji and Missy at the preserve.
Donna enjoying the clear warm day at the preserve.
Finally made it up to the snow country of Idyllwild with Jack and Dayle although I think the snow will be short lived.
We were surprised that our little "Fu Fu" dogs were tearing up the snow like a couple of kids.
After a brief look at the online instructions of my new camera I decided to just "wing" it and took off early this morning while Donna still slept. I found out very quickly that the extra mega pixels and zoom are helping me, now I just need some fine tuning and practice.
Turkey Vultures riding the desert thermals.
I'll have the breed of next two as soon as I find it.:-)
Joshua Tree National Monument
Cholla Cactus Garden
My Nana's and fathers cabin for more than 50 years until my dad sold it in about
2005. It was in much better condition when dad owned it.
Idyllwild is a small mountain town on the flank of Southern California's second highest peak, San Jacinto Peak....10,834', this is the correct name of the mountain although it has been identified "Mount San Jacinto".
Idyllwild is your typical tourist mountain community with bakery, bars, gift shops and wood carvers. (and a lot of real estate for sale)
Unfortunately I cut off the top of this town center wood carving, oh well...it"s not like I am getting paid to do this.:-)
I'm rock climbing at about 11,000' on a mountain that is only 10,800? At least I have tennis shoes on and not my "Berks"