The plan was to leave for California to visit my son, Aaron, on Friday, June 26 and come home on Tuesday, July 7 with lots of trips to see the diversity of the state…
So here’s the flight story: first flight (6 am Friday) cancelled, second flight (6 pm Friday) delayed to the point I missed my connections, third flight (6 am Saturday) is the charm but includes an 8 hour layover and I finally arrive at LAX at around 7:30 PDT Saturday evening. Thank goodness we’d planned Saturday as a “chill” day.
Other than that one little hiccup, the trip was amazing! Aaron and I headed out on Sunday morning, traveling up the Pacific Coast to Big Sur, San Francisco, and Point Reyes then headed east through Oakland and Merced to Yosemite. After traversing the width of Yosemite we turned south to Mammoth Lakes and Devils Postpile National Monument, then home to LA on Wednesday. Thursday was a quiet day with Aaron going in to work for a few hours and me relaxing and sorting through photos. That evening we went to the Hollywood Bowl (nearly missing the shuttle – THANK YOU bus people for making an extra trip for us) to see the L.A. Philharmonic and John Fogerty (Creedence Clearwater Revival). Imagine the “Phil” and Fogerty together…. perhaps a stretch but let me assure you – “Proud Mary” has never sounded better. And the fireworks were a great cap to an unforgettable evening.
Friday included a trip to the Ballona Wetlands including Del Rey Lagoon and Marina Del Rey Harbor Channel where there were lots of wading birds and pelicans. Between that, the birds at Harkins Slough in Watsonville, Joshua Tree National Desert (went there on Saturday) and various other places I must have added close to 50 birds to my life list. Sunday we took a trip to Topanga Canyon State Park for a bird walk and added even more wildlife to the list on a walk around the Culver City neighborhood on Monday evening.
The weather was strange – sunny and gorgeous every day but temperatures fluctuate wildly depending on where you are. On the coast it was generally in the 60s – maybe low 70s – but always very comfortable. East of the mountains it might jump as much as 30 degrees into the 90s-100s, and in the desert even higher. (The day we went to Joshua Tree it was 111 in Palm Springs).
It’s taken me awhile to edit the 2000+ photos from the trip but finally I have a respectable slide show. Quality suffered in places for the sake of getting a close up of wildlife, but that’s life. I will happily accept any input on names of geographical landmarks, locations, wildlife, plants, etc. I’ve tried to identify many of them with little luck. (If you can’t view the slide show in the big window below, or want to view a full-screen version, go to my Picasa photo site, click on the slide show you want to see, when you get to that album’s page choose “slide show”)