Friday, May 12, 2017

The Strand

It's been two weeks since we returned home.  We are finally getting caught up with ourselves, our family and the outside world.  I have come to the same conclusion as before, that much as I enjoy traveling about, I am really just a homebody at heart.  It  was so good though, to be able to hang out back in some of the places where I spent my growing up years.

We were able to spend over a month on the California Coast of North San Diego County visiting all the different beaches we used to enjoy years ago. You all know how much I love being near the beach.  It's hard for me to imagine what it would be like to live in a part of the country where one might never see the ocean in person in their entire life!  It's actually a generational thing for me.  My grandparents met on Santa Catalina Island off the coast of  Los Angeles, CA.  They returned there often with my mother. and her siblings.  When my grandfather finally retired they bought a little cottage just two blocks from the beach in Oceanside.  I shared photos of their house on a previous blog here

A couple of miles from their little house was the downtown beach known as The Strand. 


It was here that my mother met my father and where she lived for a while when he was overseas. She always loved this spot. Over the years my parents brought us often to this beach to play in the sand and this is the place where my love and earliest memories of the ocean began.  Needless to say, while The Inspector and I were staying in the area we returned to this beach again and again.



 As always, many things have changed, but the old band shell is still there.  I remember listening to marching bands playing patriotic music here as we would sit and watch  fireworks shooting off into the night from the pier on the 4th of July.


 As a kid the shore was lined with little beach cabins rather than the big condos you see today.  These are some of the few that are still here. 

Much of the old pier I remember was destroyed in a series of storms in the late 70's and eventually a new one was built after we had moved away, but this one was built to reflect the style of past years and so the memories still live on.


One afternoon as I watched this young man leaning over the rail with his fishing pole, it brought back memories of fishing here with my dad.  


 One really neat addition to the scene which wasn't here when I was growing up are the brown pelicans.  I love that they have migrated into the area.  Isn't he beautiful?

 The Inspector was just waiting for this fellow to reach over and take a nip out of my fingers.  It did let me get pretty close.


And so, as this day on The Strand is coming to a close never forget..

is an ocean.

Blessings to you this day.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Lake Havasus

We recently spent two weeks enjoying the sunshine and warm temperatures at Lake Havasu, Arizona, another large reservoir along the Colorado River.  One afternoon we took a boat trip along the shoreline.

The rocky desert shores and stark mountain formations looked so different from the softer landscape of the Northwest. It was hard to believe that, even with all the available water, there are still no trees growing along the shoreline, only the occasional planted palm tree. 

Window Rock

Yet, it wasn't unusual to see small shrubs and wildflowers clinging tenaciously to the coarse sandy soil and rocky outcrops.

In most places the water looks blue, but as we entered an inlet called Copper Canyon the water took on a green cast. Our guide told us that it's caused by the copper in the rocks that leaches into the lake.

A favorite spot inside the canyon is a formation called, Chimney Rock, a popular spot for college students who like to climb up to the top and then jump into the water.  I haven't yet decided it they are brave or just foolhardy!

In addition to the beautiful rock formations there are over two dozen miniature lighthouses along the shore, each one an exact replica of a famous American Lighthouse and built to 1/3 scale.  East Coast lighthouses are place on the east shore, West Coast lights on the western shores and Great Lakes around the island at London Bridge.  But don't let their small size fool you.  They are actually coast guard registered, working lighthouse which help boaters navigate the lake at night.  

Of course, I can't leave Lake Havasus behind without talking about the famous London Bridge which once spanned the Thames River in London, England before making it's way to this little desert city in Arizona.  A short history of the bridge and how it came to Lake Havasus City can be found here

Walking along the waterways and under the bridge was always enjoyable. 

We really enjoyed our stay in Lake Havasus and I hope you enjoyed our little tour of the lake.


Monday, April 10, 2017

Oatman Ghost Town

The Western United States has a rich history in gold and silver mining,   The state of Nevada alone has 600 old ghost towns and mining sites.  There isn't much left in many locations but along the old Route 66 the gold mining town of Oatman, Arizona is one that has found new life as a tourist destination.   It has been at least 15 years or more since we were last in this area, so we were a bit surprised to see how busy it was.  Still we enjoyed walking the streets and looking at the wild burros that wander freely through the town.

I was lucky to get close enough to actually touch a couple of burros.  Unfortunately, when The Investigator tried to pet one he had to move pretty quickly to keep from getting bit!  So, he stood a safe distance away.

These fellows made themselves pretty much at home.

We were treated to an old fashioned gunfight.

After a warm and dusty day we were happy to return to our rv park and enjoy the cool refreshing breeze along the Colorado River.

We continue to have difficulties with our wifi connections but hopefully I will be able to share more of our journey very soon.