morro bay getaway

Morro Bay Morro Rock from the Elfin Forest

Natal bottlebrush (Greyia sutherlandii)

Twisted oak trunks in the Elfin Forest #elfinforest #morrobay #lososos

Azure Bush Germander (Teucrium frutican azureum)

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Just spent a couple of days exploring the back roads of the Central Coast with the Guy + dog. So much green. Wildflowers out early. Horses and bunnies and turkey vultures. We had a beer at Parkfield on the San Andreas Fault. We drove over the Santa Lucia Range from inland to Big Sur, and descended into an ocean of cloud. We visited the Leaning Pine Arboretum and discovered new plants. We earmarked lots of places for future exploration and adventures. I love the way every experience begets more; there is no end to the wonder of this world.

birthday camping trip

With my birthday approaching, I knew how I wanted to celebrate it: getting grubby around a campfire. So the Guy + dog & I headed for the hills inland from Santa Barbara, where we found ourselves a place by a creek in the Los Padres National Forest.

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Due to recent rain, the brook was babbling ….

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… and the wildflowers were out.

Hours were spent hiking …

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… and staring at flames.

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The weather was perfect, and a good time was had by all.

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After two days, we took the high road home, scoping out possibilities for the next camping trip, which will require a 4WD. As I’ve been saying for, oh, six months now, I really do need to get myself one of them.

home

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Travelling is fun. So is coming home.

xoxoxox

pip

Tunnels under the Georges Head battery #military #history #sydney #australia

My last half-day in Sydney was spent with the favourite-family-that-is-not-my-own. As a teenager, I babysat my neighbour Pip in Weetangera. Decades later she moved to Pasadena and we became adult friends. She now has three kids who, for some reason, regard me as a fairy godmother who bestows them with unique handmade gifts.

Snakes and Ladders

Blue thing

Hopscotch

Car caddy

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As always when I spend a night with Pip’s family, I felt very hugged.
It was a wonderful ending to a full-on two weeks.

sisters

#sisters @gromitmagick @tuisted

tuicoreyrhea

My girls live far apart, and I live even further from them both. I’d only seen them together twice in … a decade maybe? The original plan was that Rhea and I would visit the new baby separately, but Tui made it clear that she wanted “three of us” time, and I’m so glad she did.

My girls, they’re amazing :-)

made it

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I made it. My suitcase, sadly, did not. But they tracked it down, and we were reunited later in the day. All is well.

pause

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Half the things in my suitcase are for the babies. That means I’ll have room to bring back a lot of Tim Tams. My flight has been delayed by an hour, so there’s no rush to leave.

agatha

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I want to stay. Yet I want to go.

ok so i’m a bit stubborn

The weather people said, “Heat wave coming. Like, possibly the highest temperatures ever recorded on earth. It’s going to be really hot.”

The Guy said, “Maybe we shouldn’t go camping this weekend. It’s going to be really hot.”

His mother said, “I’m really very worried about you going camping. Not just for your sakes. For Bodie’s too. It’s going to be really hot.”

Middle Lion campground

I said, “But … but … but … I really want to go camping! It’s been two months! If we don’t go this weekend, we won’t be able to go for another month or so!” I didn’t quite stamp my foot, but maybe I did pout a little.

Lion Creek

So we went. And it was, unsurprisingly, really really hot. 108F/42C. Way too hot for a long haired dog, let alone her humans.

Hot hot Bodie

We found a lovely little primitive campground, on the banks of Lion Creek. Unfortunately, 30 cub scouts and their leaders found it too. We could deal with them OK but then a dozen or more teenage party people rocked up … and rocked on, complete with vomitous sound effects till 3 AM.

Reminded me of Jabba the Hutt
Can you see Jabba the Hutt?

I used to be a teenager. I haven’t forgotten. But I’ve always had a huge reluctance to disturb neighbours with loud noises. My muffler would have been especially active in a remote campground where others have come to escape from it all, I would think.

Not so, these yahoos.

And did I mention it was really really hot?

Lion Creek

But yeah, pretty.

I’m not sorry I went. But maybe next time there’s a Heat Emergency Advisory, I’ll postpone.

Or maybe not. Because sometimes I just really need to go camping.

preparing

going camping!

Me + guy + dog are going camping this weekend! We’re off to Death Valley, with loose plans to check out some of the many ghost towns in the vicinity. And cook delicious meals over open fires. And sing a lot of songs.

I can’t wait.

[My close friends (I’m looking at you, Lola & sister) will recognize my scrappy picnic blanket, now getting pretty bedraggled, but still much-loved.]

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