Wednesday, December 30, 2009

We Have Photographic evidence of Bigfoot

Finally an Adventure that everyone will see and talk about for ages.
We had a big day Monday. Cute fiancee had to do some quick work at another store she had been Looking after for the past few weeks. The work was early in the morning so we had time to go do something, and we decided to go to a place call Borrego Springs. It is out near Salton Sea here in So Cal.
To get there we had to travel some back roads. We stopped at a place called Ranchita.
We stopped at a country store there to get some drinks. As I pulled out to get back on the road, we saw it. It was Huge and Ugly. Luckily I had my camera ready and shot this picture.

The Big Guy was in a festive mood at least.
Ranchita is a small community in this quaint little valley that borders the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. We passed through here earlier this year and stopped there for drinks as we did this time. I asked the elderly gentleman at the store what was up with Bigfoot there and he said something like "good money, bad Idea". It is an odd place for this Yeti/Bigfoot statue, if we had been in Oregon or something I might have understood.
A memory just popped up here. When I was 15 I saw a wood carved statue of Bigfoot in Oregon.
I remember this pretty vividly. We had gone up to Tacoma to take care of my Grand Mother's estate at her passing and we packed her belongings into our Airstream trailer and dragged that heavy load back to California. She had a car that needed to be taken down with us. 1964 Corvair, I think was the year. I was 15 and had been taking driving lessons and driving my dad everywhere so I was the candidate to drive this old Corvair down. I learned how to drive this old 3 speed on the floor rear engine car on the fly as it were. Anyways, The going was slow because the load my dad had in the trailer. We drove until almost 2 in the morning and ended up in some town in Oregon. I didn't sleep well due to all the coffee my dad had put in my hyperactive adolecent system. He got us up before 6am and we pulled out of the driveway of this hotel. This is what I remember. I'm bleary eyed and pull down this sloped driveway of this hotel.
At the bottom I stop, and in front of me is a huge statue of Bigfoot. My younger brother is sitting next to me and I turn to him and ask him to tell me I'm really seeing this. I don't remember his answer, but the look on his face must have been what mine looked like. Being groggy and seeing this thing that early in the dawn was a very large wake up. I digress.
Back to Ranchita. It is a nice little rural valley at about 3500' elevation. The road that passes through the valley goes up to a point where you go over the hill and desert is below you by about 3500'. Great view.

This area is full of Big Horn Sheep, not that we ever get to see any, but there is a turn out to view them.

It is a steep hill going down. You drop well over 3000' in 10 miles. The cute fiancee did pretty good with her fear of heights.
We pulled into Borrego Springs, and they were having some sort of biking event. Less Harleys and leather, more people on thin tired bikes and lycra riding suits.
Borrego is really out in the middle of nowhere but it does have several Golf Courses and what look like week end desert homes. The last time we had been out there it was hot as hell, this time it was cool and nice.
Recently one of the land owners in the area had started commissioning sculptures. This land owner has some huge tracts of land all over the valley. I took tons of pictures. Click on the sculptures link to find out more.
Metal Sculptures, of animals that once roamed the Earth.

We drove through these trails to the sculptures and had to wait while other people took pictures.
It was fun for the most part but some people just walked up into your picture oblivious to the fact that you are even
All of the Sculptures were cool.

The next one I couldn't decide if it was a mother with little ones or a pack of smaller predators stocking a larger predator.

It was interesting how the sculptures were staged behind bushes (ocotillo and cactus).

On the ground is what looks like a nest of eggs.

Creatures doing battle, and hunting.

This next set was my favorite. Cute fiancee liked this next picture the most.

This Prehistoric horse display was cool.

The Horses were doing fine until the Big Cats got there.

It was pretty bright out that day so putting the settings into the camera's view finder was hard.

Seeing as these things were kind of life size, it humbled me to think I would have lasted 30 sec. in this environment.

Cute fiancee was amazed at this next one.

There is a snake in the nest, big snake.

The place was crawling with all sorts of large metal beasties.

The last time we were here in Borrego, we drove around and looked the place over.
We had headed down a road and out of the corner of my eye I had seen some weird looking large animal. We drove over to it and this is what we saw. Above.
We had a good time driving around looking for these sculptures. Not shown in this post, There were large Tortoises, large cat looking animal and Camels like these.

I looked these next one up on the internet. I suspected they were Giant Sloths.

I'm not sure what these next ones are yet....grin

Pre-historic Llamas.

The Sculptures are amazing, and I had wondered who the artist was. I didn't put two and two together until I read on the land owners website that I had seen the artist work a lot over the years. This Artist has his shop on the old Hwy 395 in Perris Ca. The 215 Fwy. is now on the path of the old 395. Cute fiancee worked in Perris for many months and we drove by it everyday. Here is the artists website. Ricardo Breceda.
After my camera finger was worn out. I was hoping to drive up a canyon in hopes of seeing some Big Horn Sheep. I was figuring the sheep had moved down to the valley for the winter. We couldn't find a trail up to a canyon, but we can go again to search.
We did find a State Park Museum/Visitor's Center. Cute fiancee saw the sign with an arrow pointing us to it, but we could see no building. I pointed to a mound with desert shrubbery all over it suspecting it was kind of under ground. It was. There was lots of cool displays about the climate and the geological history that a science geek like myself would like. Cute fiancee enjoyed it and we chatted about the displays as we viewed them.
It was time to head out and start making our way back home. We thought we could go to a buffet at one of the larger Casinos that dot the landscape along the route home. We went to the Rincon Casino and found a small buffet, but at $20 a head we decided that was not a good idea.
I'm not sure why, but the Indian Casinos are the smokiest places I have ever been to. In Vegas the casinos hardly smell like smoke at all.
I understand that smoking and drinking go with gambling but does it have to hang in the air like a pall. We were in the place for maybe 5 minutes tops and when we walked out we could smell the smoke in our cloths. It stayed with us for quite a while. We hit the road again.
We drove through the Old Town section of Temecula and enjoyed the Christmas look they had done it up in. Ended up eating at Sizzler and headed towards home.
It was a great adventure and a wonderful day. We are so busy sometimes we don't get to enjoy days like this too often.
I hope everyone enjoys the sculpture pictures

My Christmas Lights

My Mom asked me to take some pictures of the Christmas lights I have on the house. My camera is not even close to a low light camera and the lights of course have to be on in the dark. The camera in question does shoot some OK video in the dark so I took vid instead.
Mom the deer you sent home with us is the first one on the right...grin

There it is.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Day after Turkey Day Adventure

Went up to my parents house again this year for Thanksgiving. They live near the town of Placerville east of Sacramento. The drive up was done after work the night before Thanksgiving.
We got to listen to Christmas music on the way up. We all sang to most of them.
The Friday after Turkey Day we like to have an adventure around the area.
The hills above Sacramento are or full of gold, so there are lots of old towns and some Ghost Towns hidden in the trees around My folks home.
I had read on the Ghost Town website about a place up there called Volcano, so I Google Earthed it and we set out to find it. I'm usually pretty good with getting around once I have seen a map of the location. Up there though a lot of the roads run up along ridges or down river valleys and you end up way off track. It took us a while but I got us there the long way. Looks like the early miners thought that the bowl shaped valley and the sometimes fog that rose out of it was a volcano. So the town was named. A good name compared to some of the other town names in the area. Like Pokertown, Fiddletown, or Hangtown.
It was rainy that day and we pretty much got to view the town by ourselves.

When you pull into town there is this rather nice looking old 3 story Hotel. It is still in business and looked like someplace we would love to stay.

Some of the old buildings have gone but the rock faced fronts are still there.

We walked around the town with the rain falling on us. It was quiet as we walked. It was nice to see some of the old building still in use even if they were homes.
The old School was now someones home.
An old Brewery was now someones home.

There was even this old cannon there that according to the literature was smuggled into the town during the Civil War to Intimidate any Rebel sympathizers. The gold there was used for the Union it looks like. Click on the blue link above there is some interesting things about Volcano.
More pics of the town.

I recommend this place as a stop.
We left Volcano, or so we thought, and headed up a road that in my head took us to a place called Fiddletown. Wrong. This road took us up a hill and up in altitude until we found snow starting to fall. I'm actually glad we happened that way. The snow falling in the forest was gorgeous. We had Christmas Music playing in the truck and it made it perfect for the season.
This road ramble around for a while and spun us around back onto a Highway we had already come down. We headed back down towards Volcano again. Before we got back in to the town we thought we would go to a place called "Black Chasm Caverns"
We didn't have the money for the tour but we did buy some, of all things, rocks.
My son Alex was with us and cute fiancee wanted me to get him this bag of sand and rocks that you could sift semi precious stones out of, in this sluice they had outside there store. It was fun.
We were standing in the rain and had our hands in cold water but we had a good time picking out the little colorful chips that were left in the sifting screens.
We left Black Chasm an rolled through Volcano again and took the other road up and out of the town. At this time I was thinking I should have grabbed the map my dad offered me, but then we never would have gotten to see the snow falling or gone to the place we ended up next.
I was intending to get back to Placerville to walk the old streets there and watch their town lighting of the Christmas Tree.
We came to a place that the road forked and there was a Highway Patrol cruiser there. I stepped out of man character and asked directions. The officer was trying to call on his cell phone and was not very informative., but we went the direction he pointed and we wound up in the town of Sutter Creek.
Sutter Creek is a very cool old town. A real Victorian look to it. Getting lost is much better than a map any day in my book. We ate a late lunch at a Mexican food joint in this old building. Walked the Antique shops. Cute fiancee found an old book in one of the shops and a nice Craftsman style lamp shade in another. Serendipidy.
After a while we left so we could make it to Placeville in time.
I guess on The day after Thanksgiving some of the people in the Sacramento area come up to the many Christmas Tree farms and get a tree and head back down the hill with it strapped to the roof of the car. We started counting trees on top of cars. ( this counting has started a tradition now, I just know it, when a Christmas Tree is on top of a car someone says "one"
We walked the shops of Placerville and were still counting trees on top of cars parked in town.
Placerville closes off the street on this night and you can walk in the middle of the street.
There was little kids choirs singing carols, small band playing Christmas music, Santa's, Elves, cool Christmas hats and some people in Victorian costumes.
Unfortunately we had to leave the next day to get the cute fiancee back to work.
Maybe next year I can stay one more day.
Thanks Mom and Dad for having us.
Kris aka