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Friday, April 23, 2010

Driving Up-Coast

Took a quicky 3 day mini-break, leaving a HUMONGOUS carbon footprint in my wake - sorry Earth Mother. Drove up to Crescent City to visit my friend Inez. I decided to get there by way of Redding, i.e., north on Highway 5.

Since I was passing by anyway, I stopped off for a short drive at Black Butte Lake, where I worked back in the iron-age (i.e., when I ceased ironing my clothing), circa 1979/80. I was there as a wheezie Park Ranger Assistant - my allergies all but killed me in the pollen saturated Central Valley but it was fun anyway. The first thing I saw there was an Osprey on a man-made nesting platform.


No clue if there were babies/eggs or just a little nursery planning

There were loads of Bullock's Orioles which were terribly skittish so no photos of them this time. There were far more cooperative photographic subjects though.

Discovered an interesting wildflower that you will find kinda funky but I think it's cool and will be more cool if I can research where it got it's funky name from.


Strange little flowers: Windmill Pinks, but also called Common Catchfly


Another flower with a weird name: Roundtooth Snake Lily

Further north on Highway 5 I passed some beautiful pockets of vernal pools stoked with gold wildflowers - very pretty for a normally boring stretch of highway.


Vernal Pools edge alongside HWY 50

There were also plenty of snow capped mountains and such to gawk at on.


Snow Capped Mountain on the drive up Hwy 50


Mountain view in Weaverville

I found myself on Hwy 101 mid afternoon. I swear, I'd forgotten driving north on HWY 50 instead of just cutting over to HWY 101 puts a driver north of both Arcata, Eureka and the fabulous Avenue of the Giants. That meant after hitting Hwy 101 it was just another hour north along the coast to Crescent City.

Was, needless to say, after my long day's drive, I was a bit wrung out by the time I got to Inez. She is looking good and happy in her retirment with Smokey her faithful companion kitty. Inez recently treated herself to something I can relate to: a kitchen makeover. She's tickled with her new fridge, microwave, wallpaper and such. We compared notes, on how remodels don't just feel like you got a new room, they feel like you got a while new house! Now that's some genuine non-caloric kitchen magic for you.

This is the first visit to Crescent City in which I stayed, not at the Crescent City Beach Motel, but instead stayed entirely at Inez's place. I am grateful she extended the invitation because though I love staying at the beach motel, after the drastic pay cuts all State workers got, I likely wouldn't have attempted the visit if I had to stay at the beach motel. Thanks Inez!

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