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Monday, March 18, 2013

Wedding, Walks,

We are staying at the Alameda County Fairgrounds RV North Park.  They have both a North and South RV park here plus at least three RV storage areas.  We arrived on Saturday after a short 70 mile jaunt through San Jose to Pleasanton and the fairgrounds.  We took a long walk out through a business park under sunny skies.

Sunday was the day for Laura and Will’s wedding which was outdoors under sunny skies and nice temps in the low 70’s  It was held out at a vineyard in a beautiful setting.  Carol has the pictures I took and those will probably be showing up on a blog any day now.

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Laura and Will exchange the rings

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The first dance

After the wedding we came back to the RV and went for a late afternoon walk.  We discovered a path that goes around the business complex.  It is paved the whole way and it took us an hour to go all the way around and back to the RV.  Part of the walk was just outside a golf driving range where we came across many golf balls that were hit over the fence.  Three were worth keeping to use on future water hazards and the rest we tossed back over the fence!

This morning we had brunch with Laura and Will before they leave for Hawaii tomorrow.  We had a good time and enjoyed talking with Will’s dad.

Later in the day we went for a nice hour long walk through downtown Pleasanton.  There are many places to eat here and it is a very walkable downtown.

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Main street looking south

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Main street looking north

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Further up Main street to the north

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More scenes from downtown

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A view towards the south

The weather is clouding over this afternoon and we will have rain showers the whole way home.  We leave tomorrow on a 180 mile leg to Corning and the Rolling Hills Casino RV park.  This park is simple yet has all the needed amenities at a very reasonable price.  Plus the adjacent casino has a senior two-for-one buffet on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Guess we will have to eat a light breakfast and lunch for sure!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Where oh where, is San Juan Bautista

We arrived here yesterday after a 3 and a half hour drive from Pismo Beach.  In case you are wondering just where “here” is, we are on highway 101 just about 3 miles north of San Juan Bautista.  Now, “where is that?” you say?  About 50 miles south of San Jose.  And if you don’t know the way to San Jose, check in with Dionne Warwick and she can help you find the way….

Anyway, the weather here is in the 70s both yesterday and today.  We did some exploring and first went to Hollister, about 15 miles away.  There is not much notable we found there, except a bit of scientific trivia that I saw on a Science Channel show about how the Earth was made.  In this case, the show was talking about the San Andreas fault, an 800 mile long fault near the coast of California.

Hollister lies on the fault which sounds risky.  But scientists noticed that there are never any earthquakes in Hollister!  Why?  Take a guess……answer at the end of the post.

After Hollister, we went to the town of San Juan Bautista and the state park at the mission site.  We walked around the mission which is also right along the San Andreas fault.  Then we went and walked the main street of town.

Along the way we saw some real pretty purple and white flowers on a tree.  No idea what they are.

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If you know what those are, be sure to comment below and let us know.

We had lunch at different places!  I am not a fan of Mexican food, so I ate at a burger place and afterwards, Carol ate at a Mexican place where we could sit outdoors and see their cactus garden

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Tomorrow we head about 70 miles or so to Pleasanton to camp for three nights at the Alameda County Fairgrounds.  While there, we will go to our niece Laura’s wedding.  Then head for home.

So why no earthquakes in Hollister????  The answer is Rocks….specifically rocks with lots of talc in them.  When the plates grind at the fault, they build up stress trying to slide by each other and when that stress releases, you get a quake.  With the talc though, it acts as a lubricant allowing the plates to move gradually and keep the stress down.

As a result you can see places all over Hollister where the streets, curbs, walls, etc. have shifted if they have been there for any length of time.  We drove on several streets with a 2-3 foot shift in them.  It moves about an inch or so a year, so things can get interesting.

Another piece of trivia….in the 1906 San Francisco quake, the northern half of the fault suddenly shifted 8 feet!  No wonder it was such a large quake.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Last night…..

Tonight is our last night here in Pismo until next year.  We like to say we “winter here at Pismo Beach” and avoid the very cold weather at home.  But it is starting to warm up at home so, like the Monarch butterflies who “winter” next door, it is time for us to migrate north tomorrow. 

We will go 159 miles tomorrow to San Juan Bautista just north of Salinas.  Carol is looking forward to visiting the mission there on Friday.  On Saturday we will go another 70+ miles to Pleasanton and to our niece’s wedding on Sunday.  Then Tuesday we will continue north and arrive home on Thursday.

I already have a bunch of football activities lined up for when I get home.  I’m coordinating officials for two leagues – one is a youth flag football league and the other is a semi-pro league with teams in Portland, Albuquerque, Salt Lake City, Boise, Seattle, and 5 locations on the east coast.  This league uses full NFL rules and is made up of ex-collegiate and NFL players so it should be interesting.  Also I have a state committee meeting to go to plus kick off the spring training for our normal football association.  It will be a busy few weeks for sure.

Today we went for a bike ride around the local area and while we were out, the artist was repainting the large clamshell at the entrance to the park.  These clamshells are scattered all over the area and are painted with seasonal themes…..

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The clam as a reindeer at Christmas

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The clam as a Monarch butterfly in January and February

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The clam as the Easter Bunny

And while we are sad to leave the sunshine (though it was foggy today) we have already begun thinking of all the things to do during our next visit in January 2013.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

On Comet……

COMET UPDATE:  3/12/13  9:00pm

We saw the comet Pan-STARRS tonight right where it was supposed to be to the left of the moon and slightly lower. It was barley visible to the naked eye but came in pretty clear in my binoculars.

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The above image was not taken by me, but it is an actual image of Pan-STARRS taken earlier this year.  In the binoculars, it looked just like the picture above though I did not see all the background stars.

The first comet I ever saw was in the summer of 1956 or 1957 (I forget which).  I do remember it was called Mrkos which I always thought was a funny name – sort of like Mr. Kos.  I was only 7 or 8 then and I didn’t know much about foreign names.  That comet was exceptionally bright and easily visible for many summer nights as us kids played outside.  It is what first got me interested in astronomy.  So seeing Pan-STARRS brought back memories.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Running on all cylinders

I have had a slight cold on the weekend and it made me tired most of the time.  Saturday we drove out to Santa Maria for some errands and while there, we parked at the library for our walk.  We only walked about 40 minutes or so as my cold really slowed me down.  In fact, I was so slow, Carol was going faster than I was which almost never happens.  We did go through a nice residential neighborhood and perhaps we will come back and walk more in this area next year.

Sunday, we went for a walk in Cayucos which is just a few miles up Highway 1 past Morro Bay.  It is a small area and the had a Sea Glass Festival going on.  Carol took pictures of the area and you can see them on her blog at CarolKsJourney.  We only walked there for 30 minutes as there isn’t a lot of area to walk and I was still not at 100%.  However we did come back to the RV park after eating lunch there at the beach.   I did feel better and we walked around the park for another 30 minutes to get a full hour in.

Today it was clear and temp in the mid 60s.  We decided to drive over to Shell Beach and walk back towards Pismo Beach.  We went 60 minutes and had some great views along the way.

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Sunshine really brings out the flowers!

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Looking down the cliff from the road.

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Another view out over the cliff to the ocean and beyond!

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All the flowers are blooming along our walks now and it really makes it enjoyable. 

There is a comet visible in the western sky about 30 minutes after sunset.  We drove down onto the beach tonight to try to see it, but there were too many low hanging clouds.  May try again tomorrow night!

The Monarch butterflies have all left to migrate north (Some going to the Rocky Mountains!).  All too soon, we will be joining them on the road north.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

When he reigns, he shines

We have had overcast weather the past two days with some short periods of rain.  Never enough to mount to much, but enough to say we had rain! Certainly not up to the Northwest standards!

For exercise we have been taking walks only of late.  Sometimes it has been a bit windy and Carol hasn’t gotten over her cold yet.  So while we continue to exercise, bike riding in the colder (mid 50s to mid 60s) air is probably not a good idea.

Earlier this week, we went up to Atascadero (about 35 miles up highway 101) and walked around a lake for exercise.  After that, we drove into San Luis Obispo and went to Firestone, our favorite burger place in town.  They have outdoor seating and it was great to soak up rays while eating.

Yesterday we walked through town again.  We have taken that walk so many times, or variants of it, that I think we could do it on auto-pilot.  We didn’t even take pictures because we have already shot all there is to see.

Today we walked over in Arroyo Grande around a park and sports complex.  The walk was either by the park or in residential areas.  We did come across this sign which I just had to capture….

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Sorts fits both the weather and life in general.

We have only one more week here at Pismofest 2013.  Time is already getting short and we are recognizing that there are some things we may not get done this trip.  On the other hand, it gives us some things to look forward to for Pismofest 2014!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

A Random Walk….

This morning our friends Russ & Donna left and headed north.  Donna is feeling better today and that will make their trip much easier.

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The hooked up their car behind their rig and headed out about 10:30 or so.

After they left, we drove over to Arroyo Grande and walked around the city.  We started going on main street past all the shops.  Some were, shall we say, a bit strange….

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Please leave your pet hippo home!

Then we headed south across a cable suspension walking bridge into the residential area.  Here is a condo development that is literally “for the birds.”

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The day started out cloudy but by the end of the walk, it cleared up and was sunny.  The blossoms are out on the trees already.

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Some of the houses were a bit, shall we say, strange.  The one below had a 30 foot high post with two crossbars each filled with all different models of electric insulators from years past.  At the top was a windsock, I guess for stray airplanes.

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On the way back to the car, we walked over the Arroyo Grande Bridge.

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This bridge is decorated with flowers both on top and hanging down.  All are on a drip watering system too.

We had never walked here before and weren’t sure if it would be too hilly.  But as it turns out, the residential areas to the south are totally flat and traffic there is very light on Sunday mornings.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

A Walk Under the Weather

Today has been a relatively quiet day.  Yesterday we drove our blogger friend Russ Krecklow around town.  His wife, Donna, is “under the weather.”

OK, gotta stop here and go off on a tangent….we are all under the weather!  The weather starts at sea level and goes to the fringe of the atmosphere at about 50 miles up.  So, the only way to not be under the weather is to either be an astronaut or have an out of body experience!  So be glad you are “under the weather!”

Someday I will have to find the origin of that saying.

Anyway, we drove on the beach with Russ.  You can read all about that on their blog at their blog - Travels in Therapy.  We also drove him around town and over to Shell Beach.  We also went with him to Splash CafĂ©, our favorite place here for clam chowder.

Later in the afternoon, Donna was feeling slightly better so they went out and revisited some of the sites from our tour earlier.

Today we (Carol & I) went for a walk through town (under the weather, of course!).  We have walked the route several times before and the hills seem easier and easier.

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While walking past one of the city offices, we spied the vehicle above.  It is a specially modified vehicle to patrol the beach.  I sure hope it has 4 wheel drive!

Later in the afternoon, we caught up with Russ and Donna again.  She is feeling better, but not yet perfect.  We sat around conversing and about 5pm or so, the fog rolled in and blanketed the area.  The temperature really dropped at the same time.

The Krecklows are leaving here tomorrow and heading north to visit friends in Santa Cruz.  We wish them and their dog, Poppy, a safe and carefree journey.