2/22/21

Palomar Mountain

There was no sewing yesterday, although I did start the day by stitching my inchy. This was another devoted to fly stitch.


This morning's is already stitched too. This one is devoted to feather stitch.


But let's just back up to yesterday, shall we? We decided to take a drive out to the Palomar Observatory. You can read more about it at that link, but the most important thing to know about it is that it was, in its day, the largest telescope of its kind. Wikipedia tells us:

The 200-inch telescope is named after astronomer and telescope builder George Ellery Hale. It was built by Caltech with a $6 million grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, using a Pyrex blank manufactured by Corning Glass Works under the direction of George McCauley. Dr. J.A. Anderson was the initial project manager, assigned in the early 1930s. The telescope (the largest in the world at that time) saw first light January 26, 1949 targeting NGC 2261. The American astronomer Edwin Powell Hubble was the first astronomer to use the telescope.

The 200-inch telescope was the largest telescope in the world from 1949 until 1975, when the Russian BTA-6 telescope saw first light. Astronomers using the Hale Telescope have discovered distant objects called quasars (a subset of what was to become known as Active Galactic Nuclei) at cosmological distances. They have studied the chemistry of stellar populations, leading to an understanding of the stellar nucleosynthesis as to origin of elements in the universe in their observed abundances, and have discovered thousands of asteroids. A one-tenth-scale engineering model of the telescope at Corning Community College in Corning, New York, home of the Corning Glass Works (now Corning Incorporated), was used to discover at least one minor planet, 34419 Corning.


And while it's been relegated to a lower class among telescopes of the world because of advances in technology and sky glow from the growing population in the surrounding area, it was a very big deal when it was built. The road leading up to the observatory was built specifically so the mirror could be driven up the hillside.

We used to go up to the top of Palomar Mountain a lot when we were teenagers. It was something to do, a good place to hang out and make out with a boyfriend, and it had a killer view. When skies were clear, the view was commanding. It was also possible to get above cloud cover, where it looked as if one could just take a stroll across the landscape of puffy white clouds.

We first stopped off at a favorite fruit stand in Fallbrook to pick up some delicious California-grown avocados...the best avocados available in our not-so-humble opinions. We stop here every year.


Outside, I took a picture of this one blooming thing...a geranium growing through a cactus unfamiliar to me. It has wicked thorns about two inches long.


After that, we headed up the hillside. I was trying to get a picture of the oranges on the trees. You'll have to look closely to see the little dots of orange. This is one of the few places left in southern California where citrus is grown.


Heading up the hillside, this is one winding mo-fo.


As we got higher...possibly above 5,000 feet, we found snow along the roadside.


As we neared the top, we caught our first glimpse of the observatory at the top.


Sadly, when we reached the top, the road was closed, and we couldn't get all the way to the observatory. Honestly, it never occurred to me that the road leading up would be closed. It was Sunday, after all, and we didn't expect to go inside during the pandemic. There are tours, as well, but those are all canceled for the time being. Still, it was disappointing to drive all that winding way (45 miles) only to just turn around and head back down. No regrets, though. The views from the top were astonishing. Looking east, we saw this:


Looking west, we could see all the way to the Pacific Ocean.


The moon was following us.


Here's a panorama of the area. Remember that you can click to make it larger.


We're realizing the best way to show off these views is with Mike's drone. It has a better capability of capturing the grand scale of things in the way a still shot does not. Here is Mike's drone footage from yesterday. If you can't see the video, then click right here.


We headed home from there. It was a warm day, and we'd left windows open for the kitties in the RV. They were sleeping and spread out like so much tiger butter.


Sadie had the window seat.


If you want to see two cats come back to life, just put out a helping of treats in their bowls.


But let's just talk about those avocados for a moment, shall we? Look at these lovelies. Five bucks and all ripe.


So, there's a little story that goes with the avocados. My dear father-in-law had 7 acres of land where he grew avocados...a hobbyist farmer only, but he did sell them and make a small profit each year. He also sent us boxes of unripe ones, and we enjoyed them at our home in Oregon. They were better than anything we could find locally, and they were cherished. I left them in a dark place to ripen, but the ones I refrigerated could be brought out as needed for ripening when I was ready for them. 

My father-in-law's name was Harold Albert Stanbro. He went by "Al." And here's the thing: our name of "Stanbro" is the easiest thing there is. It's spelled "Stan," like "Stanley, and "bro," like "brother" as I like to say. Still, people always want to add a "w" at the end, or worse, "ough." Okay, so we're used to that. But Mike's mom and dad often got mail addressed weirdly, such as St. Anbro or the funniest one we ever saw was Hastan Bros., borrowing the first two initials of my father-in-law's full name and combining it with the last name to come up with a whole new name. When that piece of mail came through, his avocado grove was forever after referred to as Hastan Bros. Orchards. When we received a shipment from Hastan Bros., we knew we'd hit the jackpot in avocados.

Okay, so here's a believe-it-or-not story: My mother-in-law used to make this salad from canned grapefruit, chunked up avocados, and Catalina salad dressing. Believe it or not, this is a delicious salad. When we had a box of avocados from Hastan Bros., I made this salad for myself almost every day and took it to work. It was, and still is, delicious. The acid in the grapefruit keeps the avocado from turning brown. I hadn't made it for years, but I made it last night.


We stopped off at a grocery store on the way home to pick up some canned grapefruit. I couldn't find it, and so I picked up a couple of fresh grapefruit, also grown locally. I just sectioned the grapefruit and separated out the membrane, and we enjoyed this as a part of our dinner last night. 

Okay, so that's the news from yesterday. Today really is going to be a sewing day. I need to repair the elastic on my mask, and I want to make another from some camper fabric I brought along. We're meeting up with some friends tomorrow for an outdoor lunch. We've been using the ugly N95 masks while we've been traveling. To meet up with friends, I want something a little cuter. 

Mike's sister will be coming for a visit on Wednesday, and we have plans to go to the Oceanside pier. Thursday, we're meeting up with some other friends for another outdoor lunch. Also, next Monday, I have a date set up to visit a quilt shop with Darlene who blogs at Creative Latitude. Darlene and I have been blogging friends for nearly a decade, but this is the first time we'll meet in person. We're meeting up at Rosie's Calico Cupboard. It's a quilt shop I visited some years ago. You can read about it at that link I've given you. That was way back in 2011, and before I got the idea to start making "shop hop" memory quilts. So, at the very least, I'll be on the hunt for some regional fabric. We'll also visit the cemetery where my parents are interred and make a trip out to Point Loma and the Cabrillo Lighthouse. So there's lots on the itinerary in the coming week. But first...masks.

Sadie has been helping me write this post, correcting my grammar and spelling and whatnot. If you enjoyed this little trip to the observatory, you have Sadie to thank.


You're welcome. 

13 comments:

Barbara said...

It’s great to reminisce about good memories of my past. It was enjoyable when it was today. ~ George Foreman

Sher S. said...

OMG!!! I absolutely LOVE Rosie's Calico Cupboard. I always stopped there on our way to San Diego each year until we moved to Florida..They have a HUGE selection of fabrics for just about anything. I'd love to go there again. Florida sucks for quilt shops!

Janarama said...

Beautiful scenery. I love the drone videos -- thanks for including them in your posts. Never realized Sadie was so smart. She must have graduated from Purrrrrdue University. In the picture with the kitty treats, what is that above the treat bowl -- the thing with the blue base and the white top?

Magpie's Mumblings said...

Those avocados look so good - wish I could convince Resident Chef that they're fit to eat. And that fruit stand looks amazing - I would be hard pressed not to buy some of pretty much everything. And once again, amazing views both via your camera and also Mike's drone footage.

Cathy said...

I’m so enjoying your posts from sunny Southern California. Having grown up there at the same time as you (only I was in Los Angeles County), makes so much of what you share familiar. I lived in Covina, surrounded by orange groves. Of course we all remember the Palomar observatory. And Cabrillo Beach ... one of our best school field trips ever! I can almost taste the avocados and grapefruit. *sigh*

SJSM said...

Mmmm..avocados when I moved to San Diego I met a woman who taught me her version of guacamole. It is still my favorite. I’ve loved avocados ever since that time. The Haas ones are the best. Palomar observatory brought backpacks good times. Love the views.

piecefulwendy said...

I'd love to taste fresh avocados, meaning California, right off the tree fresh. We can get them here, but I'll bet the really fresh ones are so much better. That was some pretty views with the drone. I hope you enjoy a lovely day with your friends!

Ramona said...

That used to be a fun weekend drive for us. Is Dudley's Bakery still there? That was a popular stop as we ultimately ended up in Julian for apples and other goodies. I do recall reading about the two trucks that took the lense up to the telescope. They had to syncronize shifting gears to be sure they did not crack the fragile lense. Beautiful area. Your post has me recalling the fresh air scents of that special place.

Kathy said...

I miss the avocados I could buy when we lived in California. They were almost always perfect. The ones I've found here in western Pennsylvania are...not.
Will you be making a stop at the Madonna Inn for pink champagne cake on your way home? A friend and I did a road trip from Half Moon Bay to Los Angeles and the highlights of the drive down were stops at Madonna Inn and Pea Soup Anderson's. On the way back we detoured through Solvang.

Darlene of Creative Latitude said...

Not sure what is up with Palomar Mountain, but it does look like a beautiful day and drive. Funny, as I've never ever taken that drive. And, I didn't know it was a popular place for young lovers (I blew it). Glad you got some yummy avocados. $5 is a super deal and they are so big!

Kate said...

Sorry you weren't able to get all the way to the top, still it looks like a very nice drive. Sounds like you've got a pretty full schedule for the next week or so. Have fun!

QuiltGranma said...

I wonder if any of the younger set will understand the reference to Tiger Butter?

Janet said...

Tell Sadie thanks for the video. I really enjoyed it.