Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Look at the bar!

Aug. 1st: After I got back to pick up the cute fiancee, we decided to go get a cheap room near Disneyland and spend part of Sunday there. Getting a cheap room via Priceline dot com is pretty easy.
$40 this time for a room a half mile from Disneyland.
On the way down there on Saturday. We were passing through Riverside Ca. and I remembered that cute fiancee had wanted in the past to go to the "Old Spaghetti Factory'' there. I darted off the freeway and headed there with haste to give her a treat. (not that we needed the pasta carbs)
We had a nice meal. I love the decor there. There is this bar to the left of the entrance that is spectacular.

The low light doesn't do this bar justice, it is beautiful. As we were leaving I had to snap a picture of it. I had not been to this place in years, and in my crappy memory I had it that there was a plaque near the bar saying where this thing came from. I could have sworn that I was told by and employee long ago that this thing was taken from an old Victorian hotel in San Francisco.
I once again asked an employee where the bar came from since there was no
She said it came from a John Wayne movie. Now here is where my memory is always fertile, movies. Can I remember things like birth What I promised my cute fiancee I would do for her last Can I remember the Pythagorean theorem to save my life in Algebra class...much to my physicist type father's chagrin, absolutely not. But I can remember at that instant when the word John Wayne came from that bar tenders mouth what movie it was from.
North to Alaska! The Crap that sticks in my memory..sigh

We had a great time at Disneyland here is a picture of the cute fiancee and I there.

She never lets me post her picture here on the blog, so you will have to use your memories of what she looks like to see her next to me....grin

Watering Joggers

August 1st it was my pleasure to help out with the running team for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. A good friend of mine called me, he needed someone to man an aid station for this running group during a training run.
My friend Mike and his very nice wife Dawn called me early in the week for this little bit of fun.
I had to set up a few things first. Number one get cute fiancee into a hotel near her work. A Hotel with a tub. We have no tub here at the cabin as I may have mentioned before, so this can keep her happy with me for not having one. Had a nice Mexican dinner with the cute fiancee, dropped her off at the hotel and headed south.
It is a little bit of a drive from Victorville Ca. to San Diego Ca. I made it to S.D. by 8pm and got gas and headed to the Marina where I was going to spend the night at Mike and Dawn's cabin cruiser.
I had just settled in on the boat when the cute fiancee called me. I stepped out on the back deck to talk to her. We were chatting and she was telling me how nice her bath was and how many hours she had been in the tub when I saw something in the water behind the boat.
Now I didn't get to experience the 60's because I was too young, but there was something small and florescent green swirling in the water. I had to describe it to her and then she asked if I was smoking something.
It was kind of cool. The moon was kind of out but it was getting over cast. The water was black and I could see this green dot swirling up to the surface. I told her it was weird to see it. She suspected I was drinking. I told her not yet and opened a beer on the phone for her...grin
As I was talking to her I looked around the black water behind the boats in the marina.
The little green specs were coming up everywhere. I don't have a low light camera darn it, this would have been a cool thing to shoot on video. It looked like little green constellations popping up in the water around the boat. I got a close look at one that was right at the back of the boat.
It swirled and undulated towards the surface and then swam down disappearing. It only went on for a few minutes then it stopped. I just now looked it up (google and now bing too are our friends.) I found an article after looking up "bioluminescent fish in San Diego Bay".
Looks like this thing may be what the article called a fireworm ( Odontosyllis phosphorea ). It looks like I was in the right place at the right time for this display according to the article.

quote from the article: The precisely timed bioluminescent displays have been tracked like clockwork in Southern California, the Caribbean and Japan, peaking one to two days before each quarter moon phase, 30 to 40 minutes after sunset and lasting approximately 20 to 30 minutes.

Wow what a treat, if I had known I was this lucky I would have bought some lotto tickets.

Ok so back to the the running bit. I got up at 4 am and took a shower and came back to the boat and read for a while. Mike came aboard at about 5 bringing coffee. Coffee one of my few vices.
We gathered our stuff later and headed for Miramar Lake in the hills near the Naval Air Base of the same name.

I was loaded down with water and a gatoraid like substance plus other essencials for the runners. I was sent to the other side of the lake to set up.

I'm a people watcher so this was a real fun gig for me.

The people that were running are part of a group that fund raises through sponsors for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. They were getting in shape for some marathons that were coming up. The group was very appreciative of me doing this for them, trying to thank me on each lap while out of breath. Great group of people.

Mike coming in on his first pass. Then Dawn and running partner. (in white shirts)

I felt like Crocodile Dundee on his first day in New York, saying good morning to all passers by.
People of all types went by. Walkers, some with dogs. Speed walkers. Joggers and the speedy runners. Bikers on every thing from pro racing bikes, beach cruisers and mountain bikes. Even dads and moms riding with there little ones on bikes with training wheels.
Sitting there with the lake cove in front of me was rather peaceful even with all the heavy breathing people going by.

It was funny how many people came by and said how nice it was that I had set up this table with water and stuff and was just giving it A few of the more entrepreneurial types thought I was selling the stuff.
The best part was this one crazy haired lady on roller blades. She was rocking out and skating, kicking her legs out. She was wild eyed skating as she hit the corner where I was set up.
She was even more crazy and rock'in out on her next pass going the opposite way a few minutes later.
I was out there for a few hours, but the time went fast. The people watching and little chats with strangers was fun. Handed out water to those that looked like they needed water, and to those people walking their dogs and made sure their pets got some water too.

After passing out water to all those thirsty people I discovered the post sitting next to my truck, what an name for the location I was passing out water at.

Yep it says starvation

It was really a blast doing it, and would love to do it again.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Highway 2 again.

I picked up my son Tuesday morning from his mom's work. We will be together all week and should have fun doing things. I asked him if he wanted to go up to the Mt. Wilson Observatory.
For those of you not familiar with So Cal, above the city of Pasadena Ca. there is a mountain that is basically at this time an antenna farm. Mt. Wilson has a rather cool history dating back to the time of the local Indian Tribes using the areas for their summer homes to get out of the L.A. area heat. You can even hike an old Indian trail that starts in Sierra Madre Ca. and ends near the Observatory on Mt. Wilson.
So once again I digress. He said He would rather go up over the top on Hwy. 2 instead of going the Freeway route. We headed up the mountain and arrived at the Observatory gates at 9 am.
Naturally the gates open at 10 am. We got out of the car and looked over the edge of the mountain near the gates and looked at the L.A. skyline. Alex then went into the car and started taking the convertible top down so we could drive topless. It was very nice up there so top down was a must anyway. A gate near there that normally says "road closed" was open so we drove down it to see if we could kill some time. Mind you that the car we are driving is a '92 Geo Metro Convertible and not a good off road vehicle. The road was steep and dirt. We went down it for a mile or so and decided it would be better if we turned around before we got into trouble. We got back to the top and we hadn't killed but 15 min. Press on down the road was the better Idea, since we have been there many times we didn't need to wait that long to see it again.
With the top down the drive was awesome.

You can just make out Mt. Wilson in the background, the one with all the antennas on it, to the left of My son Alex in the 45 MPG cruiser car.
I posted over a month ago that we had been up this highway and that the full length of it was open now. The route is kind of delineated by a set of tunnels. At these tunnels there is a sign that says there are Big Horn Sheep in the area. We have yet to see them.
I'm kind of weird in that I like to honk my horn in tunnels. My son rolls his eyes when I do it.
So this time I asked if he would like to honk the horn in the tunnel and I pointed to the button on the steering wheel. He said no of coarse. These tunnels have no lights in them so they get a little dark inside. The echo inside with the top down was kind of cool. We get about 50' inside the tunnel and Alex reaches over and hits the horn. He laughs, so I point my head upward and howl in the tunnel, very cool echo. It is Tuesday so there are very few cars on the road this time of the week. There are two tunnels and they are separated by a gap in the mountain about a hundred feet long. I stopped there commenting that we never see any of these Big Horn Sheep. We are looking up the steep mountain side and out over the edge of the valley side and up over the mouths of the tunnels. The silly teenager in Alex kicks in at this time and he says " HEY LOOK!", I turned my head to look knowing full well he was pulling my leg. Punk teenager...grin
We started through the other tunnel and he had to honk the horn again.

This is the area of the tunnels and where you are suppose to be able to see the sheep.

Highway 2, or the part we were traveling on, the Angeles Crest Highway, was originally constructed in 1929 as a fire road, but really didn't get paved or the tunnels and bridges built until after world war II. Finally fully opening in 1956 from what I have read.
As you drive along you see rock walls and pullout areas that have drinking fountains built of rock.

I like how they paid attention to details back then.

The extra grout work between the rocks is really cool. This drinking fountain was not functional, but it looked like it was part of this whole rock construction in the pictures. The larger wall behind every thing was a dam of sorts and water was held behind it, maybe for the drinking fountain?. Water was still coming out of a pipe sticking out of the dam so this thing was built to last.

We pressed on down the Highway and passed the two small ski areas that hide back there. We also drove through this really cool shaded campground. It would be cool to camp there. It is set beside a stream that would be fun to put my feet in.
The best part was down the road a little bit more. There is a part that was heavily damaged a bunch of years back and they had recently rebuilt a lot of the road out there including the guardrail system. We were driving along when I saw something weird in the turnout ahead.

Look closely at the tops of the guardrail anchor posts. Piles of rocks. I pulled off and Alex and I had to get out of the car and say "what the?".
I'm looking at it as art myself. Cairns I believe is what these are. Some of them look pretty interesting.

We naturally had to try our hand at piling rocks.
Here is mine.

And here is Alex's.

Here are some more that were there.

We spent a half hour playing with the rocks there at this turn out, and as usual rocks ended up in the car. We are rock hounds I tell you.
What a great drive.

I'm so far behind that my own adventures are lapping me

I haven't posted in almost a month. We have had a few adventures since then too. My camera is full of fun stuff and I need to get typing. I'm having a good time doing it and I hope to share with as many people as I can. I'm sure that there are plenty of people out there that can't go places of even leave there homes, but might like to see little parts of the world through other peoples eyes at least. I have been, vicariously, traveling on a few blogs and sites myself over the years. I recommend " Bumfuzzle " dot com to anybody I meet. The site "Set Sail" follows the Dashew's in there travels on there really cool yacht. Those links are on the side bar on this blog. I hope to post today's adventure and get caught up over this week in the evening.