Monday, August 27, 2012

Do You See What I See?

While hiking along Oak Creek near Sedona, Arizona,  I stumbled upon this tortured and distorted face growing out of a fallen tree limb. Mother Nature not only creates the beautiful, she also creates the absurd. I would have taken the branch with me, but to be honest, Sedona is chock full of strange power spots and I'd prefer to stay on the good side of all that.

Does this thing look freaky to you, or is it just me?


Monday, August 20, 2012

Cow Beach

While recently on the road, we drove by the lovely Lake Henshaw.  It looked to be a good place to do some exploring in our kayak. 

While driving towards the main entrance, we spotted the gate to "cow beach." Check out the turnstile! I guess it's there so people can get in, but the cows can't get out. Our kayak is pretty heavy and it is much too  far and downhill to carry it to the shore. I wonder why they call it cow beach?

Okay, now we know! You can see the edge of the lake in the upper left hand part of the photo.  You can also see cows over there. Sometimes this entire depression is full of water and the lake is much larger. There are actually cows IN the lake!

Once we got to the lake,we were told that no kayaks were allowed in the water. Apparently, this lake is a reservoir for drinking water for the city of San Diego and no body contact with the water is allowed. Okay, so we can't put a toe in the water because people are going to drink it. However, it's no problem that hundreds of cows are pooping and peeing in it on a regular basis.  I wonder if the people in San Diego think their water tastes funny

I thought this was a cool looking sight.

There is an outcropping by the lake, that has a lot of local history to it. Apparently, back in the day, some local Indians were being mistreated by the local government and occupied that little hill in protest.  At that time, the entire valley was full of water and that hill was an island. I found something about the conflict on the Internet, but I don't know what I did with it and don't know where I found it.  It's a pretty place with odd rules.
For reflections by other folks go to Weekend Reflections sponsored by James.


Monday, August 13, 2012


We have four cats. This one is Newman. Newman has a fetish for human clothing. He loves to drag pajamas, socks, underwear, bras,  pants, etc, all around the house.  If none of those things are available, he has no problem dragging rugs around. He's also been known to empty our dirty clothes hampers and drag the contents all over the house. Heck, when he's feeling particularly strong, he'll pull the blanket off you while you're sleeping.  He's strong enough to do it too. 

As if the clothing thing weren't enough, he prefers to drink out of the toilet. One paw full at a time.

I included this one for scale. That is a full size laptop computer he's dwarfing.  He's the biggest (non obese) house cat I've ever seen. He's the size of a medium dog.  If he stands up on his hind legs he can see on top of most of our furniture.

Perverted, but very cute...

I think I embarrassed him. He should be embarrassed!


Monday, August 6, 2012

Kwaaymii Point - Granite Mountain

This group of photos was taken on top of Mt. Granite. It's about 15 miles from the spot where we camp in our RV whenever we have the chance. This particular spot though, is not used for camping.

It's used for hang gliding.

Not always successfully, I'm sorry to say. Yep, the drop off beyond this ledge is VERY steep and over a mile to the bottom.

These plaques are dedicated to some of the hang gliders who have died here.  As evidenced by my wife's hair, there is a crazy updraft here. That's why the spot of so well known (and very radical).

Please enlarge this photo. A little over half way up the photo, a little to the left of center, there is a little white shiny dome. When I say we going up to our favorite mountain ridge, that is where we go. Just a tiny bit past the dome is a green area of pine trees. That is where we camp whenever possible.  The dome is actually part of the California Wolf Center. More on that wonderful place in a later post.

Part of the Pacific Crest Trail. Mexico to Canada...

It's not much more than a rut in the dirt here, but this trail is almost 3000 miles long.  You can see it in the middle of the bottom of the photo and then cutting across the peak towards the top.

I've never done the whole trail (and probably never will), but I always like to do little bits of it whenever I have the chance. I thought this was a cool looking rock formation, along the way.

This is where the trail goes around the top of the peak (two photos ago).

The trail in the upper right of this photo is where the part in the above led to.  Towards the bottom, on the right had edge you can see the trail that led me up the next rise.

Here's a closer look at the part in the upper right in the last photo. The drop off (of several thousand feet) starts about two feet to the left of the trail. Although I'm not that fond of heights, this is serious rattle snake country and I was much more worried about them.

I got a little carried away and didn't want to stop hiking. My wife and daughter were wondering what the heck happened to me and were a little bit worried. When it cools off a bit later in the year, we're probably going to hike from here back to our campground as the PCT passes pretty close to it.