Discovering Ft. Ord

A disused Army base, Ft. Ord National Monument, now is managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and is open to the public. From Ft. Ord Dunes along Monterey Bay (see banner photo for this post) to hilly inland scrub, it’s a huge park, more than 14,000 acres. We’ve explored the long stretch ofContinue reading “Discovering Ft. Ord”

Leaving the Emerald Triangle

Three northern counties of California produce more cannabis than anywhere else in the US, gaining the region the name “the Emerald Triangle”. The Wall Street Journal has been covering the cannabis industry here since the 1970s, long before it was legal. We’ve spent the month of October in this gorgeous area. We head south thisContinue reading “Leaving the Emerald Triangle”

Leaves crunch, and I smell Autumn

Californians don’t pay much attention to fall as a season of the year. In the south, it’s the time when the heat abates–the palm trees don’t change color. In the Bay Area, a bit more fog comes in, but there’s not a seasonal shift to speak of. As in many things, northern California is different.Continue reading “Leaves crunch, and I smell Autumn”

The Devil’s Churn, Spouting Horn, Thor’s Well: Splashing our way south

About halfway down the Oregon coast, the beaches become fewer in number, the headlands become higher, and the offshore rocks more frequent. The highway clings to the headlands and crosses inlets and rivers on a series of bridges built in the 1920s and 30s. Driving along, we’re barely aware of how difficult it was toContinue reading “The Devil’s Churn, Spouting Horn, Thor’s Well: Splashing our way south”

Oregon’s Coastal Forests

We arrived in Oregon in the dry season (summer solstice to fall equinox) and are here for the change to the wet season (the rest of the year). Already, walking in the forest after a few downpours reveals a different kind of forest, full of huge trees, moss-covered branches, sprouting mushrooms, ferns, and vines. TheContinue reading “Oregon’s Coastal Forests”

A smoke-shortened month

Wednesday Sept. 9, I first noted smoke as part of our day. We continued to spend time outdoors as we learned about the AQI (air quality index) and began following it as closely as we do Covid-19 stats. We tried to go out at first, but the air was yellowish with smoke. Oregon’s terribly destructiveContinue reading “A smoke-shortened month”

Glacier National Park

Postcard views. Need I say more? Before our visit, I didn’t know that Glacier is one of the most popular, most heavily visited US National Parks, despite its remote location in northwest Montana. The peak season is barely three months, and some years less. Visitors are down 58% this year. BUT, visitor levels in AugustContinue reading “Glacier National Park”

A Window Into Montana

“You couldn’t take a bad picture here,” Jonathan said, looking out the car window. He was right. Everywhere you look driving into the mountains around us are stands of lodgepole pine, narrow avalanche chutes blanketed in grass, and bare faces of stone bordered by undulating piles of scree. The day was overcast and cool, quiteContinue reading “A Window Into Montana”

Curiosities of the OH/PA border.

What makes Ohio different from other places we’ve visited? There are a few things that have impressed and surprised us. One is grass–there are huge lawns around many houses, and tracts of open land covered by grass without a house nearby. These are often lovely, but who mows all that acreage? True, there are lotsContinue reading “Curiosities of the OH/PA border.”