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Showing posts with the label California Road Trip

Pinnacles National Park

The Pinnacles National Park is a comfortable drive away—about 30 to 40 minutes—through gorgeous rural landscape. I sometimes think that I can pedal Tilda-Hilda there one day. Yes, we're still going out nearly every day, but only around the neighborhood. I'll do an update about us tomorrow. Maybe. Back to the Pinnacles.


The Pinnacles is truly odd topography in Central Coast California. It's a lone mountain, straddling San Benito and Monterey counties. On the western side (Monterey County), the Pinnacles seems to pop up from no where above Salinas Valley. From the distance, you think it's simply a low, nondescript mountain. Nope. It's when you go into the park that you see the amazing, inspiring rocky spires for which the park got its name.


Once upon a time, millions upon millions of years ago, the rock formations that make up the park was part of the Neenach Volcano in Southern California.  Over the millions upon millions of years, the Pinnacles crept nearly 200 mi…

Pacific Ocean

It's  hot right now—99 degrees. Yes, I know, it's hotter somewhere else. But, I'm a baby. Once, I finish this post, I'm going outside to stand in the shade and let the warm breeze cool me down, if that's possible. It being hot, I shall think about being by the ocean. And, in my world, that's the Pacific Ocean. Except for seeing the Atlantic Ocean for two weeks in 1975, the Pacific Ocean is the only ocean I know.


Fortunately, the Pacific Ocean is a 40-minute trip away. When I was a kid, the parents would pack us up and head for the beach in Pacific Grove. Sometimes every weekend. I was told that our family would often meet up with a bunch of Filipino families at the same beach. This was when I was a very young child before I started remembering things. Although I do recall a scene at the ocean of an uncle saying in a very worried voice, "Whose bleeding?" Then someone saying, "Look at Susie's foot."








It's Alphabe Thursday time, which …

Niles Canyon Railway

Toot! Toot! Allllll Abooooarrrrrrrrd!

Last year, the Husband and I took a ride on the Niles Canyon Railway, a living museum that runs through the gorgeous Niles Canyon in the San Francisco Bay Area. We rode in historic train cars pulled by a vintage diesel engine. It was about a 90-minute round trip between two small historic towns, Niles (which is now part of Fremont) and Sunol (which is off of Highway 680).


The Niles Canyon Railway is operated by volunteer conductors and engineers. They're part of the Pacific Locomotive Association, a non-profit organization. The volunteers in this group rebuilt the line that was once part of the transcontinental railroad. The volunteers continue to obtain and rebuild train cars. Near the Sunol depot is the train yard where the cars are stored and worked.  One of the association's objectives is to provide the public with a sense of what riding trains was like in small communities throughout the United States once upon a time.


You can sit eit…

Moss Landing

Moss Landing, California is a fishing village with over 200 residents. From the photo, it doesn't look like a quaint fishing village, but believe me it is. It has a few great antique shops and restaurants. This photo is of the harbor and the more commercial part of Moss Landing.

Moss Landing is located on Highway 1, about 15 miles to the north of Monterey. It stands at the mouth of Elkhorn Slough, which is a fun place for hiking, birding, and kayaking.

I have three wonderful memories of Moss Landing.
Eight years ago, the Husband and I did a kayaking tour with friends on Elkhorn Slough. That was the first time we went kayaking. At one point, we paddled by a wall of pelicans. They were not fazed at all. They did not seem to move a muscle. "Yup, there go more humans."In the early 1990s, the First, Late Husband and I floated down the slough on a wildlife viewing tour. That was my introduction to Elkhorn Slough and the beauty of wetlands. It was also the beginning of the fin…

Between Lovers Point and Cannery Row

Lovers Point in Pacific Grove is about 1.25 miles to the west from Cannery Row in Monterey via the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail. It's a fun, lovely trail to take however way you choose to travel it—walking, jogging, or pedaling a two-wheeler or a four-wheel surrey bike.


Lovers Point is a popular city park and beach to both locals and tourists. It's a great place to picnic, stroll, swim, or simply sit and enjoy the amazing Monterey Bay views. When you're there, don't be surprised if you happen upon a wedding ceremony.

The Husband and I walked the trail between Lovers Point and Cannery Row with friends on New Year's Day 2014. We started from Lovers Point, where we had a picnic and remembered our friend Charlie who had passed away the previous year.

The walk back from Cannery Row was tough. My knee protested every step back. Thank goodness for the camera, which distracted me as I clicked away.








It's Alphabe Thursday with the lovely Jenny Matlock. Today…

St. Joseph Cathedral Basilica

I've driven and walked by St. Joseph Cathedral Basilica in San Jose, California countless of times over the last 40 years or so. But, it was only last October when the Husband and I were walking back to our car from the nearby San Jose Museum of Art that we popped into the cathedral on a whim.


It was not all what I expected. The interior was large, airy, and light.  The ceilings and dome were  adorned with amazing art murals.  And, the sanctuary was surrounded by spectacular stained glass windows.


The cathedral began as a small adobe church in 1803. It was the first parish in California. (San Jose was established as the first Spanish settlement about 26 years earlier.) Earthquakes and fires destroyed four churches. The fifth, and current, building was completed in the 1880s.


Major restoration was done on the church in the late 1980s. In 1990, it formally became St. Joseph Cathedral.  Seven years later, the Vatican granted it status as a Basilica.

Here are a few more photos of th…