Friday, October 15, 2010

Heading home- the long way.

While waitin for the brakes on my RV to be serviced, the Martins and I explored the town of Centralia, Washinton. we discovered a 1940's frame house on a corner lot enclosed by a primitive art fence. The owner invited us to explore the crammed artistic contents of his yard. He'd devoted 20 + years of collecting "junk" and creating fanciful sculptures. These styrofoam, milk crate figures with sunglasses were my favorities.

With brakes repaired, I left my friends and traveled to the southwestern coast of Washington.
Here I made my way to the Pacific Ocean at the spot where William Clark and others first discovered the ocean on Nov. 19, 1805.
This bronze sculpture represents the discovery of a huge fish (sturgen?) by one of Clark's party.
The Pacific was cold although the strong breeze was quite warm.

Traveling down the Oregon coast I made many stops to photograph the cliffs and surf. The weather was overcast, so contrast was difficult to achieve.

At this overlook, I overlooked an artist's shoulder. He was painting the rocks and surf beyound.
What a "story starter" this could be.

This section of coast was called the Devil's churn.
The surf pounded into the canyon below with fury and force.

I'm glad I wasn't using film because I took so many pictures trying to capture the pounding surf.

Early one morning I was able to photograph a peacful Pacific as the sunrise reflected from the surface.

Note the full moon.
Leaving Oregon for California, I traveled the Redwood Highway through the Redwood National Forest. To my disappointment, there were few places where I could pull out with the RV and take photos.
Camping was very expensive. The trees are so emense that they did not photograph well.

On to California where I visited with my cousin Diane and her son Toby. Then on to Fresno to visit Chris and Maggie and their expected son (My great-grand son).

Maggie is due in Dec. but is already huge.

We attended Bella's soccor practice. Bella is Maggie's daughter.
The sunset remeinded me that the cool temps I'd been enjoying were over.
My first day in Cal. it was 103 degrees.

This is Bella before her game.

On Chris's day off we went to the Fresno zoo.
I couldn't resist taking a picture in front of a lifesized painting of the gorilla.

Gorilla, look out when Chris is around!

Diane and Toby joined me in Fresno to caravan to Texas.

Our plan to visit the Grand Canyon was almost twarted by rain, but we camped anyway.

We donned rain gear and took the shuttle from the campground to the village. Fog and heavy clouds obscured the canyon.
Another shuttle to Hermit's rest gave us an opportunity to check out the view from several overlooks.
At last the clouds began to lift and we could see the fantastic layers of rock into the depths of the canyon.

I was glad to see that this sign had been repaired or replaced at Hermit's Rest. Several years ago when I first saw it, the sign was hard to read. I don't know who was responsible for it, perhaps the architect, Mary Colter, who designed and oversaw construction of the many stone building that date from the late 1800s.

At last the sun began to break up the clouds.

We could see some of the colors.

Looks like I have an almost duplicate picture.

That night it rained. The morning was a chilly 45 degrees.
We took the park road along the south rim to the East or Desert View entrance. As we traveled, I began to see white stuff on the ground. On coming traffic was sparce, There were no tracks.
Was it snow?

Hail began to pound the roof. I pulled into the parking area at the visitors center at the Watchtower. Diane and Toby parked and ran to the RV for consultation. By now the sleet was about four inches thick with pock marks from the hail. We sat it out. I got out my Alaska jackets for all to share. When the wind subsided we made a dash for the visitor's center.

Park rangers told us that we were under a severe weather advisory for the next several hours. Not daunted we rushed to visit the Watchtower, getting pelted by hail and wind driven sleet.
The watchtower is made of hand picked stone and was sweating from the storm. Notice how white the sky is. That's blowing sleet.

This is one of many Native paintings that line the interior of the four storied watch tower. We were able to climb to the top floor but the observation deck was closed for obvious reasons.

The frame door to the watchtower blew open.

Sleet was now about 6 inches deep. Those footprints are from other brave souls (soles?) who visited in the storm.

We faught the wind and hail to return to the visitor's center where we were told that the desert highway to Flagstaff was under flash flood warnings and that we should go back to the village and proceed south to Williams on I-40, then East to Flagstaff. Stripping cold wet clothes to chanage into dry outfits, we
returned the way we had come.
We praised the Lord for this delay for as we approached Flagstaff on the interstate, we came on the remains of two tornados that had overturned two 18 wheelers and wrecked a Camping World's
dealership. Later we learned that it had taken several bull dozers to get the wreckage off the highway.

Within a day, we were visiting the Pertified Forest and the Painted Desert. What a contrast!
And now I'm back picking up the peices and trying to settle back in.
I will be starting a series of blogs on Writing/travel/taxes.
Stay tuned.