Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A dirt road to Big Bear...

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.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday morning birds

            Quite a few birds out this morning on my drive to return some shorts to a store. Nice Red-tail here.

Amazed at how many Kestrels there are in the Valley.

Saturday, February 25, 2012


              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)

Just a sliver of moon and and Venus below.

Still practicing with the new camera.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Palm Springs VillageFest

                                 On Thursday night in Palm Springs they block off a few streets and  have a street fair with food, trinkets and artwork.

                                    But first a beautiful sunset as we leave for the fair.

            What a crowd! Donna and I were last at the VillageFest about 15 years ago so we didn't know if it was still a popular event...it was!!!!!!!!!!!

This is a first VillageFest for Dave and Wendie.

Donna and the rest of us loved all the food that offered.

Desert drive and golf

                                  Took a jeep road, courtesy of  Dave and Wendie, towards Joshua Tree National Monument. Didn't last too long because it was a very rough road.

Dave says, "lets play a few holes of desert golf". We played 11 holes and Dave won 6 to 5 and it was fun but hot. 
Dave has very good style.

But  how do you lose a ball on a 60 yard "tee shot"? ha ha

Definitely "old man" style golf!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Desert Hot Springs

               My brother Jack and wife Dayle came up for a few days to visit from San Diego.

                                                                  Brothers rig.

Brother giving his "older brother financial advice"...go back to work!

My brother Jack caught me relaxing and reading a book. A bit of my winter weight still hanging on.

                                       A beautiful pair of "Cactus Wren's"  hung around taking a dust bath and sitting on the ladder bar at the top of the coach.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

National Audubon Society "backyard bird count"

This weekend is the Audubon backyard bird count. Just type it into your PC to get the details of on how you can be involved in the count.

This is America's littlest falcon, the American Kestrel just yards from our motorhome.

This Green Heron was hiding in the trees out back of the property.

On the way to Hemet.

                       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.

Finally our lunch in Hemet.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Palm Springs Air Museum.

                                                 Although to some, the Palm Springs Air Museum may be a bit small, I found that the examples they had were of superb quality.

                         I enjoyed the time with my brother because of his knowledge of airplanes and having been a pilot.

The Navy planes were ready to take off as soon as they unfold the wings .

This beautiful P-51 was flown by the famous Tuskegee airmen.

Caught the reflection of the B-24 outside with the snow on mountains behind it.

Snowy mountains in the back ground when we woke up this morning.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Joshua Tree National Monument

             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.

Friday, February 10, 2012

A day in Idyllwild

                                       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"

Beautiful Fulmar Lake right outside Idyllwild.

Lake Hemet off in the distance.