Friday, July 31, 2020

New Blogger Format is FRUSTRATING!

I tried to work on a new post several times in the last two days and have been totally frustrated! I write something, add a picture, and think it is saved. When I click back to it after checking on a fact or spelling elsewhere, what I wrote and the picture is gone.

I don't need this kind of aggravation.  I will try to get it to work, or find another format, or quit blogging and be less stressed.

Check back!

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Count Down to a New Travel Adventure

Although we took a quick "shakedown" trip to Morro Bay at the end of June, we have been staying safely settled on our Jojoba Hills site while the world is fighting COVID-19.

Ricardo Breceda sculpture at his studio in Aguanga CA

The summer temperatures here have been quite hot, hitting the 100°+ range several times. The Alfa AC has just kept up. The evenings have been very nice and we have been able to turn off the AC and open the windows almost every evening.

With the quite pleasant evening temperatures, we have taken to sitting outside and enjoying the sunsets and watching our local wildlife.  We see a lot of quail, bunnies, birds, and even saw a bobcat walk right across our site on his way for an evening hunt.

Part of our after-dinner routine has become feeding the local bunnies. We noticed they were eating the dried leaves that had fallen from our two grapefruit trees. So one evening I scattered a few fresh leaves to see if they would eat them. They did. Now we put some down each evening. 

Bunny video

There are four bunnies that we see most evenings. One is far less shy than the others. He often sits under the tree waiting for us to come out and put down some leaves. Even though he has been waiting, he doesn't rush over to eat when I drop the leaves. The other three, if they are around, will run away when we come out and only return after we have been sitting quietly for some time. The less-shy bunny will either freeze when he first sees us, or hop just a short distance away, then slowly make his way to the new leaves and eat.  Although one is a bit smaller than the others, we think they may be siblings. We have noticed that they do not "share", and will chase each other away, or drag "their" leaves away from the others. It can be a bit of a circus.

Since most other possible park activities are closed, bunny watching gives us an hour respite from politics and COVID concerns.

Although our patio area of our site faces the Southeast, we get very delicate, pretty sunset colors. On this evening the northeastern sky was intensely colored with fuschia and purple clouds.

Many of the people here at Jojoba have planted a lot of things and developed their landscapes. They don't appreciate the rabbit population, and protect their flowers with wire and fencing. We have kept things simple with mostly gravel, cactus, and "rabbit proof" honeysuckle plants. Although they like the grapefruit leaves, they cannot reach them and cannot climb the two trees!

Unless something unpredicted happens, this is our last week at Jojoba this summer. On July 29th we will be taking off for at least two months on the coast of Oregon. 

Traveling around 300 miles per day, it will take us four driving days to get there. I have made reservations so we know where we are stopping each night.

We will spend the month of August in Bandon, and September in Port Orford. 
Our October homebound drive will include stops in the big tree country of northern coastal California. Where and how long we stop will depend on the virus.

Although we have felt quite safe here at Jojoba, Riverside county California has had some very high case numbers. Neither of the Oregon counties we are going to have had any deaths, and their case numbers are quite low, so we don't think we will be at greater risk. We will continue to take all of the precautions, masks, hand washing, avoiding crowds, and keeping shopping trips short and infrequent, that we have been doing for months. We are looking forward to walks on the beautiful cool beaches and parks of the Oregon coast!

I am trying to get back into the blogging habit, and my next post will be after we have arrived in Oregon. 

I will be posting a link to each blog on my Facebook page.  I usually do not accept friend requests from people I don't recognize, so if I don't respond to your request, leave a comment on my blog and I will be sure to accept your request.

How have you dealt with hitch-itch or the desire to wander this summer?

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

Shakedown Cruise to Morro Bay, CA

We hope no one is startled or alarmed by our first post in 8 months.  Mostly this has been because we haven't been doing anything interesting.  

Virus lockdown is hard to blog about.

Because of the virus, our plans to visit the Calgary Stampede, Canada's Banff National Park, and the Canadian Rockies were completely abandoned / cancelled.  Merikay cleverly waited for our Canadian hosts to cancel each reservation, so that we did not pay penalties.  

Craig had several medical appointments in San Diego in February.  First these were delayed by Scripps Clinics into March, but as they approached, he was spooked by fear of Coronavirus in hospitals, and postponed them into July which was the latest that the Scripps software would allow.  As these have gotten close, Scripps has postponed one again, and Craig has postponed another to next fall.

As the pandemic started to look less scary, Merikay developed "hitch itch" and has planned trips to the Oregon coastline in calendar August and September.  Because our Alfa hasn't gone anywhere for 8 months, she also planned a 2-day "shakedown cruise" to Morro Bay CA, which is the subject of this blog.

Tuesday we drove from our Jojoba Hills "winter home" to Morro Dunes RV Park in Morro Bay.  Nothing went wrong!  

Today we went for a good-sized hike past Morro Rock, the biggest thing in town, and down the tourist-oriented Embarcadero.  Here's Morro Rock, the last in a chain of long-extinct volcanoes know as the Morros:

The rock was used as a source of breakwater material up and down the California coast, which has forever changed its shape.

The other big thing in town includes three beautiful chimneys!  It's probably a generating plant.

Our next encounter was with sea otters sleeping in the ocean.

Further out in the water was what Merikay said were two other otters who were working on creating new otters.  

Craig thinks it may have been one otter who was having some kind of problem.  If you have an opinion which of us is right, share it in the comments at the end...

Later, on our way back past the observation area, they had joined the first pair for a post-coital nap.

Morro Bay has a Coast Guard station that provides rescue, customs, and law-enforcement services.  For some reason, we have noticed that Coast Guard station buildings seem to be designed by committees that don't favor symmetry:

Here are two of their boats, which for historical reasons are called "cutters":

Morro Bay also includes a modest marina.  The rear Coast Guard cutter above also snuck into the background of this image:

We saw lots of shops and services along the Morro Bay Embarcadero, including fisheries, seafood restaurants and markets, diving and surfing places, gift shops, boat and kayak rentals, and harbor cruise tours.  Unfortunately none of them inspired our photographer to record them.  But one of them may have provided this very long canoe, which is shown against a small island or long sand bar, off-shore from the Embarcadero:

On our way back, we noticed these scenic dwellings on the shore side of the Embarcadero:

We won't post another blog for a month or so, while Craig goes through his medical matters.  Hopefully we'll have stories from the Oregon coast in August and Septermber.  Reservations have been made!