Winter Journey – Beautiful Cloud Day at Joshua Tree NP – February 2017

Saturday February 11th – I am up in time for a pretty sunrise and find great delight in walking about catching silhouettes of yucca and creosote bushes with the sunrise colors as the backdrop.

Most wide-angle view of desert at sunrise
Most close-up view to draw attention of silhouettes against the colorful backdrop of sunrise

Behind me to the west, as the sunrise fades, the moon is just setting.

Sunrise begins to fade…
while the moon sets in the west

I sit outside and write in my journal until Clifford is up. Then we drive down the road to the Bajada Nature Trail to check email before heading to the nearby village of Chiriaco for a late lunch, part of the extended birthday celebration. Clifford buys me a pretty pair of earrings and a pint of local honey, which was very sweet! Sometime, either coming or going, I post another blog and get a couple of texts sent off.

Great cumulus clouds have built up during the day

Cumulus clouds form in the afternoon
Interesting cloud formations form
More cumulus clouds over the hills to the east

and by evening, the sunrise is especially spectacular.

The light begins to change, bringing a warmth to the hillside
Last moments of sunset causes the hill to glow orange and the clouds to take on more reflected color
And finally, the deepest color in the clouds before darkness descends .

After sunset as the evening coolness comes on, I make a campfire, which I haven’t done often on this journey because of the wind. After the fire dies down, we go inside for dinner – a cup of soup – since we had a big late lunch. Into the later evening, I edit photos, losing track of time and going to bed at midnight, which is way late for me.

It was a very pretty day with good fun activities.

Road Trip – Heading North – May 2015

Sunday May 17: Noises and light wake me up about 7:00, which is a bit early after going to bed so late last night. But it is okay, as we need to pack and get ready to head out. We have enjoyed our stay with friends in Sebastopol, but it is time to move on.

G12 145 - LR
It has been a lovely visit

After a leisurely breakfast, lots of packing and tidying up, we say good-bye to our friends and are on the road by early afternoon. We had planned to go to Yosemite from here, but after considering the time and money involved, not to mention the bear issues there (not so good for a small pop-up), we have decided to head north and make a big loop back to home in Wallace, Idaho.

Our destination for tonight is with a friend of the family on a farm north of Sacramento. We arrive there in the early evening and are shown to our rooms in the guest house, an older-style farm house with comfortable beds, good showers, and a very modern refrigerator. Having lived most of the last six weeks without a fridge or a shower, these are quite special to me.

Dup New Home G1x 674
A peaceful setting

Monday May 18: Slept in and feel quite rested this morning; Clifford, also. Breakfast is a bit sketchy, as we are about out of food in our cooler and there is not a lot in the fridge. The morning is chilly, but once it warms up a bit, we go sit out at the picnic table in the front yard to do our work – catching up on email, journal writing for me, and studying for Clifford. The yard is pretty with trees, shrubs, and flower beds all around. The sturdy wooden picnic table under a large tree is of a variety that I have never seen before. The large leaves make a dense shade over the picnic table, which I’m sure is much appreciated in the hot days of summer in this part of California. Later in the day, our hostess brings us fresh eggs from her chickens and a couple grocery bags of food. We are set now.

We have a wonderfully peaceful day, not having to go anywhere, plenty of food for meals, and good internet to get caught up with things. In the evening our hostess comes by to talk to Clifford about his research. She is very aware of the issues and has much to share from her own research. As they talk, I take advantage of the down time to work on an afghan I am knitting for my first great-grandbaby on the way. That seems amazing to me – that I have lived long enough to have a great-grandchild and my mom will be a great-great-grandma!

Tuesday May 19: Another leisurely morning and lots to choose from for breakfast today. It is cool and windy, so we find an unused outdoor table that we can place in the sunshine on the sunny side of the house, and here is where we continue with email, blogs, studying, and journal writing. To our surprise, our hostess comes by with several more bags of groceries! Wow, lots and lots of food now. There is a plan to go out for dinner to meet with an activist interested in Clifford’s work, but as it turns out, the dinner is canceled because this woman is not feeling well. We are disappointed not to see her, but I am also grateful for another day of non-travel with no obligations.

In the evening, as the sun nears the horizon, I am happy to see a lovely sunset.

Dup New Home G1x 681
A lovely sunset

I begin packing tonight, as we want to get an earlier start tomorrow. Our hostess comes by to chat later and we stay up late eating chocolates and sipping hot tea. She has brought essential oils for Clifford’s research, but I snag the lavender for myself. The oils are reputed to have many healing benefits and it will be interesting to look into that at some point – probably more for personal use than anything else. The conversation is lively and I continue with my knitting.

Dup New Home G1x 682
Oak trees in eastern California

Our hostess has been kind, gracious, and very generous, and we do so appreciate the time we have spent with her. This place has been a very restful interlude for us, but we are also looking forward to seeing new vistas as we travel north through eastern California.