A Day of Driving

There isn't a whole lot to say about yesterday's activities. We drove a long distance over some terrible roads and some better roads, and moved from the dry foothills of California into some lush farmlands and wine country. There are lots of nut trees growing in the area south of us. As we drove along, we started noticing trees with clusters of what appeared to be red blossoms. We mused about whether they might be cherries (seemed a bit too dry and hot in the region). Peaches? Plums? Crabapples? When we started seeing signs advertising pistachios, I asked my friend Siri to show me some images of pistachio trees, and she came up with this one:

It's a little grainy, being an internet image, but there you have it. And I'll bet you though pistachios lived their whole lives being green.

There were a few interesting barns along the way. Somehow I lost my pictures-out-the-window mojo yesterday...or maybe I only dreamed I ever had it. Sorry for these crappy pictures, but they're the only ones I have.

Eventually, we passed into mile after mile of vineyards. It almost felt like home.

What my pictures lack in blur, they make up for with their reflections off the windows. 

We're staying in a very nice RV park for three nights this time around. It's beautifully landscaped with wide level spaces. Although the wind was howling, we took a walk around the grounds to get the lay of the land. Along the way we saw agapanthus (not sure why I chose that weird angle)...

pretty red daylilies,

and some pretty yellow ones.

Also, some of my favorites, not seen in years...African daisies.

These were planted at the freeway overpasses near where I lived with my family in Oceanside, California, when I was growing up. I'm not sure I've seen them since we left the area.

The kitties are seasoned travelers now. While their cubbies were important in the beginning, they've determined that they are much to sophisticated for kid stuff like that, and so now they've commandeered one of the comfy chairs.

Go ahead and take a bath break, Smitty. I'll stand woofie post.

We stopped off at a Petco a while back and got some new kitty toys...the old ones were a bit stale. Also, new scratching posts and some double-sided sticky tape. Prior to the new scratching posts, they were using the couch, and this was unacceptable. They are not happy about the double-sided sticky tape, but the couch will take less of a beating.

Today we'll visit Pinnacles National Park. Neither of us have ever been. It's a small park about half an hour away. Just now I checked the website and discovered two alerts. The first was that the "Bear Gulch Cave" was closed until mid-July to protect a maternity colony of Townsend's big-eared bats. That's kind of cool, but now I really want to see the bats. You can see a picture at the link I gave you there.

The other alert had to do with the parking situation. They warn that the parking lots are full between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., which can be a serious problem with our pig of a truck. We're going to get going early and try to get there before the madding crowds arrive. You might remember that we were prevented from doing any hiking or even seeing the visitor's center at Zion National Park a few years ago because of the parking situation. Obviously, we need to plan our visits to the national parks better. For now, Memorial Day Weekend it is.

Tomorrow we'll make a day trip into Monterey (about an hour away), where there is a quilt shop. I've called ahead to make sure they're open, and they are! Can't wait to pick up a regional print from the area. It's a very scenic portion of the California coast, and we've visited many times before (but never the quilt shop). This time we'll take in a few lighthouses.

So, off we go exploring. Hopefully, I'll have some better pictures for you in my next post.

14 comments from clever and witty friends:

Sher S. said...

I thought the purple flowers were Lily of the Nile, that's what my Mom always called them and so did my daughter how to a horticulture class. You will enjoy the quilt shop. Have fun.

CJ Smith said...

Sher, you and Barbara are both correct on the blue flowers. Agapanthus Africanus is the botanical name, Lily of the Nile the common name. Have always loved them. Unfortunately can't grow them where I live in the desert. Bummer!

Teresa aka MarieSews said...

Pinnacles is a wonder! Rock formations as so different from the surrounding rolling hills and farmland. I live about one hour north of the park and find that it is ALWAYS busy.

Enjoy the quilt shop, Pinnacles, and the lighthouses! I love this part of California as there is such a variety from the ocean to the hills.


Lyndsey said...

Love the flower pictures and the kitties look very well settled. You're doing better than me at taking pictures out of the window. Mine are usually just one big blur.

gpc said...

I had no idea pistachios started out red -- I wonder if that is why they used to always dye them before sale? Or maybe they weren't dyed at all. The mysteries of nut life. And oh yes, I want to see those big eared bats! I suppose you need to try to be there at the very beginning or very end of day since you can't get int into the cave, but it would be worth it! What is it with big ears in the west? Seems like lots of critters have them, mule deer and jack rabbits and big eared bats . . . Maybe the predators there are more stealthy than here in the mid-west. Tell the kitties to be aware!

Judy H said...

While you are traveling around and making runs into quilt shops, the Row by Row Experience starts in June. http://www.rowbyrowexperience.com That would be a great addition to your travels.

SJSM said...

Barbara, you are in my neck of the woods! Enjoy Back Porch Fabrics and while in Pacific Grove (PG) check out the White House. It's not open every weekend but it is a nice little cafe in downtown PG. it is located in what used to be a doctor's home. Friends of ours run it as a secondary business. If it is closed, they may be acting as docents at the closest lighthouse in PG. regardless, enjoy Pinnacles NP and the cool ocean breezes in Monterey. We live up the road in Silicon Valley. Put some loving on your cats for me.

quiltzyx said...

Beautiful Agapanthus! I have some at home, part of the Tortured Flower Garden.

Hope you found a parking spot at Pinnacles, it looks like a very interesting place. Plenty of photo ops....

Glad the kitties have really settled in now. I'm done cat sitting for now, and Possum the Unsocial actually allowed me some petting time AND took a treat right from my hand! I am so honored!!

Looking forward to the quilt shop posting.

WoolenSails said...

Looks like a nice park and nice when they are level so you can just pull in without too much trouble.
The bat cave sounds fun, looking forward to seeing photos.


Kate said...

Looks like a very pretty place. The kitties look like they are adapting to life on the road really well. Enjoy your hiking tomorrow.

Brown Family said...

I tried the double sided tape on a place on the wall where Wizard like to scratch. He took the tape off!

I hope You had a place to park so you could visit Pinnacles!

piecefulwendy said...

Well, I don't think your pictures were that bad. I'm not too great at taking pictures out of the window either, so I'm cool with it. It's great to see the kitties settling in. I have to admit I would like to see the big ear bats too. Hope you can find a spot to park! Looking forward to your quilt shop visit. Enjoy!

Dots said...

I am so enjoying the tour of your travels, seeing it is unlikely I will travel in those areas. I live in Ohio. So it is really a treat for me to see the pictures of flowers and trees and places I have never seen before. You are excellent telling about the places and things you see. Pictures are great, too. Why, I feel like I'm riding along! Love the kitties too. I am a cat lover also. Not brave to have two though, I have thought about it.

Dar said...

Those purple/blue flowers are beautiful. Have never seen there here in the Midwest. Will have to see if they will live here during the summers.
I am curious how you are using the double-sided tape. In connection with the kitty scratching post?? Was interesting about the red pistachios.