BIGFOOT JAMBOREE IN HAPPY CAMP

WHEN YOU PASS SHASTA YOU KNOW HAPPY CAMP ISN’T FAR OFF. BRILLIANT AUGUST SKY! WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO THE BIGFOOT PARADE AND JAMBOREE AND THE GARRETT SIBLING REUNION!

THAT IS WHAT I LIKE. WE PULL INTO THE RANCH AND DINNER IS SERVED.

A JAUNT INTO TOWN TO VISIT BIGFOOT. NEXT, THE BIGFOOT PARADE AND JAMBOREE. THIS LITTLE TOWN IS HERE TO PARTICIPATE AND TO CHEER ON THE PARADERS. STARTED OFF THE MORNING ON THE PARADE ROUTE WITH BLOODY MARYS COURTESY OF MY SISTER KAREN.




A SIB REUNION NIGHT AT BROTHER CHRIS’S CABIN WITH THREE OF MY FOUR BROTHERS ENTERTAINING. ALWAYS A FAVORITE: DEAD SKUNK BY CHRIS, KIMBALL AND KIRBY. COUSIN JEFF KENNEDY JOINED US. THANKS TO CASEY AND GEORGE FOR ALL THEIR HOSPITALITY AT THEIR RANCH.

COUSIN JEFF

THE ADVENTURESOME MEN HAD AN ADVENTURE AT DILLON CREEK

I PREFERRED THE POOL

LEAVING HAPPY CAMP WE TOOK THE RIVER ROAD AND HIT A FEW CASINOS THEN ENDED IN TRINIDAD BUYING FISH AT KATY’S.

STOPPED AT THE SAMOA COOKHOUSE IN EUREKA. Samoa Island is a scenic 5-minute drive from town across the Samoa Bridge. Before the bridge was built in 1972, people traveled here by ferry.

A FAVORITE: LUNCH AT THE BENBOW. MMM BEET SALAD

IN UKIAH WE VISITED THE HISTORIC VICHY HOTSPRINGS, established in 1854. It is a unique 160-year old historic hot springs resort only two hours north of downtown San Francisco. Naturally warm and carbonated.

A LOVELY DRIVE THROUGH THE REDWOODS – AVENUE OF THE GIANTS – BIGFOOT FOLLOWED US

LOVED THE STEINBECK CENTER IN SALINAS AND HAD LUNCH AT HIS BOYHOOD QUEEN ANNE STYLE HOME

OUR LAST NIGHT A PEACEFUL STAY AT PISMO’S SPYGLASS INN. LOVELY ROOM AND RESTAURANT. GREAT WEATHER.

WIGWAM PARTY SEPTEMBER 21,2019

GET READY TO GET YOUR KICKS???
SEPTEMBER 21, 2019
Check in time at the Wigwam: 2 p.m.
Cool off around the pool or in your air-conditioned teepee
Each teepee has a/c and a refrigerator!

 

 

Update:
We will show The Long Long Trailer movie.
As of 8/3 – there are 3 teepees left
We stopped there recently and the firepit is
Awaiting our arrival! Pool looks great.

What to bring?
Appetizer to share
BYOB
Beach chairs – Small table (optional)
Umbrella or easy-up (optional)
Musical instruments
$20 cash per person (covers dinner, morning donuts, firewood)
Motel provides coffee


Pool time
Pre-cocktail hour at 4:30
Cocktail hours at 5 p.m.
Dinner at 6:30 P.M. (catered)

RSVP TO CLAUDIA (So I can order dinners)

(626) 893-3266 or (626) 253-5573 (famheller@msn.com)

RESERVE YOUR ROOM ASAP: WIGWAM (909) 875-3005

CALIFORNIA PARADISE: THE EASTERN SIERRA NEVADA – 2019


Headed toward the Inyo Kern Area, the landscape remains harsh, but the wild west is all around us. First stop is the historic living ghost town of Randsburg established in 1896 in the gold and silver mining belt of Kern County. The main street is lined with antique stores, lively bars, friendly locals, and a General Store featuring a lunch menu served at a counter lined with old fashioned milkshake machines. On the road back to 395 we passed the old town jail.

as always, we check into Boulder Creek Campground a few miles south of Bishop. The temp is 103 so we opt for the pool. As the afternoon goes on finally it is down to 100. A visit to the Movie Museum is called for. The next morning we drive up to Whitney Portals to partake of a world’s largest pancake then fish in the pond. There are fish but they aren’t biting. Alan catches one. The waterfall is roaring. The temp is perfect.

Next stop the portals. Through the Alabama Hills and up the switchbacks. Can you believe this pancake? I like fishing on the board walk but no bites. Alan makes a catch which we have promised to Mayra.

MANZANAR – a somber stop visiting America’s dark time when thousands of Japanese, two thirds of whom were U.S. Citizens, were kidnapped and incarcerated in internment camps. Some returned to their belongings, proected by their friends. Others returned to nothing, their belongings stolen by low lifes.

Jim rented a pontoon on Convict Lake. Again, no fish but it was lovely cruising the lake with Cherese manning the helm.

Hamburgers at our campsite at McGee Creek RV park. No fish.

SET UP CAMP AT BENTON CROSSING ON THE OWENS RIVER. OUR CREW ARRIVED – HOLIDAY, JORGE (exch. student from Spain), HAILEY & NAHUEL. Perfect weather, blue skies, and good food.

AND DON’T FORGET THE BRUSSEL SPROUTS

A NIGHT AT KEOUGH HOT SPRINGS. A TRIBUTE TO OUR FRIEND HEATHER .R.I.P.

A NIGHT ON THE MEADOW AT BIG MEADOW CAMP GROUND – ROCK CREEK. THE WILDFLOWERS WERE AMAZING. ALAN CAUGHT FISH NO. 2.

DAGGETT DAYS PARADE AND CALICO

THE MELTING TOWN OF DAGGETT, SOME 30 MILES EAST OF BARSTOW ON ROUTE 66, IS HOME TO ABOUT 200 RESIDENTS. IT WAS THE SITE OF THE DAGGETT DAYS PARADE ON APRIL 6. THE TOWN WAS ENTHUSIASTIC SHOWING UP IN THE EARLY MORNING HOURS. GUITAR PLAYERS ENTERTAINED PRE PARADE AND DURING THE PROCESSION.

 

ALONG THE PARADE ROUTE WAS THE  STONE HOTEL.(BELOW).  THE DAGGETT BROCHURE SAYS IT WAS BUILT AROUND 1875 BUT “SOME UNVERIFIED SOURCES CLAIM AS EARLY AS THE 1880s.” ITS PAST VISITORS REPORTEDLY INCLUDE DEATH VALLEY SCOTTY, LT. GOV. JOHN DAGGETT, BORAX SMITH AND AMAZINGLY JOHN MUIR WHO VISITED OFTEN TO SEE HIS DAUGHTER WHO LIVED THERE.

THERE ARE MANY HISTORIC DWELLINGS IN TOWN, SOME BARELY STANDING. THE SKI LODGE ROOF HOUSE IS ONE. IT DATES BACK TO 1926, THE YEAR ROUTE 66 WAS BUILT.


THE DESERT MARKET (ABOVE) WAS ON THE PARADE ROUTE. THE ORIGINAL BUILDING WAS DESTROYED BY FIRE IN 1908.

WE VISITED THE DAGGETT CEMETERY. A VOLUNTEER AT THE DAGGETT MUSEUM, GAYLE GILPIN, HAS TAKEN ON THE TASK OF MAPPING THE GRAVES. SHE KNOWS WHO IS BURIED THERE BUT NOT IN WHICH GRAVE. QUITE AN UNDERTAKING.

headed home we visited the ghost town of CALICO, enjoyed a fried chicken lunch, perused the many shops and witnessed a shoot out.

THESE OLD MINING TOWNS MADE ME THINK ABOUT THE HARD LIFE THE MINERS LIVED WORKING ENDLESS HOURS WITH LITTLE OR NO SAFETY EQUIPMENT.

Anza Borrego Super Bloom , bugs, caves, margaritas

HEADING SOUTH ON 10 OUR FIRST STOP IS ALWAYS THE FARM’S HOUSE IN BANNING (above).

WOW. THE USUAL FLOWERS AND THEN SOME RARE ONES ARE BURSTING FROM THE GROUND. CATTERPILLARS LUMBER OVER PLANTS, BEES ARE IN HEAVEN, AND THE PAINTED LADIES STOP FOR A REST IN THEIR MIGRATION. HENDERSON CANYON IS ABLAZE. SOME OF THE BEST SHOWS WERE BEHIND OUR CAMPSITE AT THE PALM CANYON RV PARK AND AROUND THE VISITOR CENTER.

It isn’t a trip to Anza Borrego without visiting the beautiful sculptures of Ricardo Breceda. The dragon is always a favorite as it undulates under the road and then emerges with a rattlesnake tail. Thanks Ricardo for the joy you bring us.

THE DESERT TOWN OF BORREGO SPRINGS IS ALSO KNOWN FOR ART, SHOPPING AND RESTAURANTS. THE PATIO AT POBLITOS IS A PERFECT SPOT TO TRY CACTUS MARGARITAS AND FINE MEXICAN FOOD.

 

 

CAMP IS THE PERFECT SPOT FOR HAPPY HOUR AND THEN FOR GREAT FOOD AND ATMOSPHERE WE HIT THE CRAZY COYOTE STEAK HOUSE AT THE PALMS.

NEGOTIATING THE SANDY ROAD INTO THE SOUTHERN END OF ANZA BORREGO, WE FOUND TAPIADO ARROYO AND CONTINUED ON TO EXPLORE THE TAPIADO MUD CAVES. THIS AREA IS BETTER KNOWN THAN THE PARK SERVICE WOULD LIKE. THE CAVES ARE A FUN SPELUNKING EXPERIENCE AND CAN OFFER A SHORT JAUNT INTO THE DARKNESS OR MILES OF EXPLORATION.

ZOE AND CARIE WERE GAME AND FLASHLIGHTS IN HAND EXPLORED SEVERAL CAVES.

AND WHAT IS THIS? HOLLYWOOD AND VINE IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE. A GEOCACHE?

IT HAS BEEN FUN, BUT SOMETIMES YOU NEED ALONE TIME, NOT SURROUNDED BY TOURISTS AND CROWDS. WE ESCAPED TO THE BADLANDS AND PERCHED ON A CLIFF WITH AN AWESOME VIEW OF THE BADLANDS AND IN THE DISTANCE: THE SALTON SEA.

HUNDREDS OF PAINTED LADIES FLEW THROUGH OUR CAMPSITE AND BLISTER BEETLES LUMBERED OVER THE ROCKS AS IF ON A MISSION.

RESISTING THE URGE TO STOP AND MAKE A DONATION TO THE NATIVE AMERICANS AT THE RED EARTH CASINO, WE HEADED FOR THE SALTON SEA. THE RECREATION AREA IS ALWAYS A FAVORITE AND THIS TIME WAS EVEN BETTER AS WE SET OUT TO EXPLORE THE DESERT X ART WORKS RIGHT IN THE CAMPGROUND.

FROM OUR CAMPSPOT WE ENJOYED THE SPARKLING SEA -NO DEAD FISH, NO FLIES, NO CROWDS. ALSO, NO PELICANS OR EGRETS, ONLY BLACK NECKED STILTS. HEY, WHAT IS GOING ON OUT THERE? A LONE FLOATER ON THE SEA. LOOKS LIKE ALAN. HE LIVED TO TELL THE STORY.

Wildflowers, dramatic views, snow and Desert X!

The View from our 11th floor room at the Aqua Caliente in Rancho Mirage was spectacular and changed every few minutes. The storm brought wind, rain and even snow to the desert.

ABOVE FLOWER PHOTOS WERE TAKEN JUST OFF I-10 AT THE COTTONWOOD EXIT.  WE STOPPED JUST OUTSIDE THE PARK BOUNDARY TO SNIP A FEW FLOWERS TO PRESS. DRIVING THROUGH THE PARK WE WERE AWED AT THE PATCHES OF SNOW AND THE BEAUTY OF THE DESERT UNDER THE BLUEST OF SKIES AND PUFFY WHITE CLOUDS.  PASSING THE CHOLLA GARDEN, OCOTILLO PATCHES, JOSHUA TREE FORESTS AND BOULDER STREWN CAMPGROUNDS, PATCHY SNOW WAS LIKE FROSTING.

A LITTLE SNOW IN YUCCA VALLEY, BUT PIONEER TOWN WAS IMPASSABLE FOR A WHILE AND APPEARED AS A WONDERLAND.

DINNER WITH WENDY & MARK AT BABE’S BBQ AT RIVER MALL IN RANCHO MIRAGE. ALAN TRIES TO PICK UP A PIG.

__________________________________________________________________

FABULOUS DESERT X!

It has been an unusually wet winter in the Coachella Valley. Nearly a year’s worth of rain fell in the first six weeks of 2019, while a mega-storm crashed through on Valentine’s Day — the wettest desert day recorded in 76 years.
Apocalyptic flooding closed roads, blocked freeway exit ramps, shut down the aerial tram, clogged the washes with mud and shuttered businesses. The desert and foothills are now startlingly green, the mountain tops blanketed in lovely white snow.

Near the Palm Springs Visitors Center at the city’s entrance, a massive digital screen erected in the desert melds fossil fuels with state and national emblems as part of the second installment of Desert X, a valley-wide biennial exhibition of preexisting and commissioned public art.  WE VISITED TWO DESERT X SITES IN DESERT HOT SPRINGS:

 

 

WHEN IT IS WINTER —- GO TO ARIZONA!

FIRST STOP GOING OUT AND LAST STOP COMING HOME – THE RED BARN IN BANNING! ALWAYS A GOOD WAY TO START AND END A TRIP.

TOP NEWS IS RAIN RAIN RAIN. RECORD RAIN. SNOW. SO WE HEAD OUT ANYWAY AND SPEND NIGHT ONE IN A FAVORITE SPOT – THE SALTON SEA. IT HAS ITS PROBLEMS, BUT WE LOVE CAMPING AT THE STATE RECREATION AREA. ALWAYS TREATED TO A PLETHORA OF BIRDS, COLORFUL SUNSETS AND PEACE.

NEXT STOP BEAUTIFUL BLYTHE. DON’T BELIEVE ME? OK, ITS PRETTY BAD BUT WE LIKE THE COVE CAMPGROUND ON THE RIVER.
AND IT PUTS IN GOOD PROXIMITY OF A STOP IN QUARTZSITE. AND BLYTHE HAS ONE OF THE PRETTIEST TREES EVER.

HEADED TOWARD PHOENIX THE NEWS WARNS OF RECORD RAINS, FLASH FLOODS, STRONG WINDS. WE DON’T SEE A DROP. WE ARRIVE IN CHANDLER TO VISIT A FRIEND WHO RECENTLY MOVED THERE. LESLIE AND NED AND THEIR DOGS WERE MOST HOSPITABLE.

OFF TO THE WILD WEST. WE TOURED SUPERSTITION MOUNTAIN AND CAMPED AT THE LOST DUTCHMAN MINE CAMPGROUND. SNOW BIRDS EVERYWHERE AND THE CAMPGROUNDS AROUND HERE ARE ALL FULL.

WE LOVED OUR STOP AT CASA GRANDE. IT WOULD BE GONE BUT FOR THOSE WHO HAD THE ROOF BUILT TO SAVE THIS ANCIENT STRUCTURE:

NO CAMPGROUNDS WITH ROOM FOR US IN GILA BEND BUT WE SPY A DIRT ROAD OFF HIGHWAY 8 AND FOLLOW A SIGN TO PETROPGLYPH PARK. IT WAS VERY PRIMITIVE AND WE LOVED IT. A SHORT LITTLE HIKE TO THE PETROGLYPHS WAS WELL WORTH OUR TIME.
STILL, NO DOWNPOURS.

HEADED TOWARD YUMA WE STOPPED OFF AT FELICITY – REPORTEDLY THE “CENTER OF THE WORLD.” STRANGE PLACE AND WORTH A LOOK AROUND. THEY ARE STILL EXPANDING.

HEADED NORTH THE SKIES DARKEN AND FINALLY, JUST AS WE ENTER ANZA BORREGO STATE PARK, THEY OPEN UP AND WE GET OUR FIRST RAIN THIS TRIP. THROUGH OCOTILLO SPRINGS, DOWN TO CHRISTMAS CIRCLE, WE ARE HAPPY TO GET A SPOT AT PALM CANYON RV PARK IN TIME FOR A PRIME RIB DINNER. BORREGO SPRINGS IS A FUN TOWN, NICE SHOPS, ART GALLERY AND RESTAURANTS. WE ENJOYED SUN AND CLOUDS AND THE JACUZZI. SPRING FLOWERS ARE STARTING TO SPROUT.



HAPPY 70TH ANNIVERSARY MC DONALDS.

Miss Route 66 with Albert Okura, owner of Juan Pollo and also owner of the Route 66 town of Amboy.

This is the place where it all started. Richard and Maurice McDonald built their first hamburger stand in this location. Inside the museum you won’t find a happy meal but you will find McDonalds memorabilia from around the world. It was cool to browse through all the items. Worth about an hour of your time and it’s FREE.

A highlight is the mural decorating the Museum exterior wall. Creatively done it depicts sights on and near Route 66. The artists: Rory & Phil, were on hand to explain the mural. You can study it for hours!

So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MC DONALDS

AHHHH THE DESERT LIFE. WE LOVE PIONEERTOWN.

Actor Dick Curtis started up the town in 1946 as an 1880s themed live-in Old West living breathing motion-picture set. The town was designed to provide a place for production companies to enjoy while also using their businesses and homes in movies. Hundreds of Westerns and early television shows were filmed in Pioneertown, including The Cisco Kid and Edgar Buchanan’s Judge Roy Bean.

Dick Curtis, Roy Rogers and Russell Hayden were some of the original developers and investors, and Gene Autry filmed every episode of his show at the six-lane Pioneer Bowl bowling alley. The Pioneer Bowl’s construction was credited to Tommy Thompson in 1947 and Rogers himself rolled out the first ball in 1949. School-age children were hired as pinsetters until the installation of automatic pinsetting equipment in the 1950s. According to the Morongo Basin Historical Society, the bowling alley was one of the oldest in continuous use in California until they closed their doors for good in 2010 (Wikipedia)

You can walk through the main dusty street. The buildings are not facades but actual homes and shops. We were there on a Sunday morning and guitars were strumming and singers singing at a church service in a barn

Living in this town has its obstacles but also has many advantages like desert scenery, birds, quiet, dark. Sitting on the porch is a major pastime.

In July 2006, parts of Pioneertown were burned in the Sawtooth Complex fire, which also burned into Yucca Valley and Morongo Valley.[3] Firefighters managed to save the historic movie-set buildings, but much of the surrounding desert habitat was damaged.

Among the buildings saved was Pappy & Harriet’s Pioneertown Palace, a longtime local club and landmark built within the town’s original and only gas station, which counts among its regular patrons notable musicians, including Eric Burdon and Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin fame.
And one of the best parts – you can visit Pappy & Harriets.

Early this year Paul McCartney played there – a well-kept secret until the night of the show.

From Cerro Gordo, Lone Pine to the 49er Encampment DV


Cerro Gordo is a privately owned Mining Town located in the Owens Valley near Lone Pine, California. The town was the silver thread to Los Angeles, being partially responsible for its growth and economic development. It features original buildings and artifacts relevant to the town and is open for guided tours, photography groups, mineral and rock groups, schools and historical groups.

The ride up from the Valley Floor to the Cerro Gordo ridge is breathtaking – which means I couldn’t breathe! Steep drop offs, windy, steep. It takes you by the cable and buckets used to lower ore from the mine to the valley floor.


Once at the town, a groundskeeper will offer a tour complete with the history of the area and a look at the hotel and outbuildings. Many years ago we stayed in the bunk house and partied in the hotel. This was suspended with the death of the owner, Jody, but there are plans the new owners will offer overnight stays again. The town is picturesque.

FROM CERRO GORDO YOU CAN SEE THE TOWN OF KEELER AT THE VALLEY FLOOR ON THE SHORE OF OWENS LAKE (what is left of it), TO THE SIERRAS LOOMING ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE VALLEY.

THE TOWN OF KEELER IS FUN TO EXPLORE. IT SEEMS LIKE A GHOST TOWN BUT IF YOU WANDER THROUGH YOU WILL NOTICE CURTAINS PARTING AND EYES WATCHING YOU.

Keeler was a terminal for the steamer ships that traversed Owens Lake from Keeler to Cartago. The town was bustling at one time, and even had a plunge for recreation. It is a short ride from Lone Pine and fun to explore. From there you can catch the road up the mountain to Cerro Gordo.

From Highway 395 in Lone Pine it is about 125 mile scenic route through Panamint Springs and Stove Pipe Wells to Furnace Creek where for the past some 69 years the DEATH VALLEY 49ER ENCAMPMENT celebrates gathers. There are many strange sights to see, miles of lovely desert and if you are lucky a burro or two..

THE 49er PARADE IS SMALL BUT MIGHTY AND MOSTLY FEATURES THE FEARSOME E CLAMPUS VITUS CONTINGENT SUCKING ON THEIR FLASKS AND SINGING OFF KEY. AND WHO IS THAT LADY AMONG THEM? NONE OTHER THAN MISS KITTY.


THE WAGON TRAIN ARRIVES TO AN APPRECIATIVE CROWD. THE HORSE PATROL ARRIVED EARLIER.

AND THEN CAME ALONG THIS ASS.

One of our favorite things about camping is meeting new friends. At Texas Spring campground we noticed a young woman camped alone with practically no camping gear. We invited her to join our campfire. Her name is Marielle Bouma and she is traveling solo from her home in Amsterdam. A 43 year old professional in the medical field, she got tired of working so hard and having no time to enjoy life so she packed up her backpack and came to the US. Marielle rented a car and is seeing the country. When she returns the car in San Diego she will walk through Mexico so she only has what fits into her pack. We became good friends and I look forward to following her on Facebook.

Leaving Furnace Creek we stayed a night in Shoshone and as always enjoyed their spring fed pool. Of course we paid a visit to the Amargosa Opera House and paid our respect at the memorial for Marta Becket.