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Showing posts with the label outdoor adventure

Four-O-Clock Flowers

Pink four-o-clock flowers have been growing crazily and happily around the front and back yards this summer. These are among the late bloomers. The flowers open up in the afternoon, hence the name. Supposedly they stay open through the night. Four-o-clock flowers are annuals. They're also called the Marvel of Peru, where the lovely flowers originated in the Andes Mountains. Four-o-clock flower and Marvel of Peru are both very pretty names. So is it's technical name— Mirabilis jalapa . They showed up a couple of years ago in the front yard, near the sidewalk, just on our side of the property line. Mama saved the seeds from last year's blooms and threw them along the fence in the back and north side of the house.  I tossed them in the lawn, but nothing came up. Weeds did, so maybe I threw some other seeds. I won't get it wrong for next year.  The Mama has a large bucket full of seeds already, and I collected my own small bucket of seeds to toss around. We shall

Pinnacles National Park

My Alphabe Thursday theme: Places I've Been 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 milli

Pacific Ocean

My Alphabe Thursday theme: Places I've Been 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&

Niles Canyon Railway

My Alphabe Thursday theme: Places I've Been 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

Between Lovers Point and Cannery Row

My Alphabe Thursday theme—Places I've Been 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. L

Hiking Under the Redwoods

Another Friday, another black & white photo. Which also means participating at The Weekend in Black and White , hosted by Dragonstar.  Click here to see works by other participants.

Day 27 with Tilda-Hilda

Tilda-Hilda and I pedaled to and from Tres Pinos again. We rode about 13 miles in 74 minutes. She's posing in front of the Immaculate Conception Church at the southern edge of Tres Pinos. That's where the parents had me baptized when I was a baby. It's a pretty little wooden church that was built in 1892. I'm not a religious person, but I do like the feeling of spirit and community that I get whenever I step inside. I also like looking at the gorgeous stained glass windows. To see photos of the windows and a few of the statues on the grounds, head over to this post at my other blog, Take 25 to Hollister . Tilda-Hilda and I passed by an assortment of roadkill this morning—a very tiny skunk, a ground squirrel, a snake, and a jack rabbit. Poor fellows. May they rest in peace.

Day 23 with Tilda-Hilda

The butterflies cheered Tilda-Hilda and me on as we slooooooowly pedaled up the long inclines. They flitted alongside us, weaving among the wild mustard flowers on the side of the road. A couple of the crazy butterflies played chicken with us, flying at us and swerving away at the last second. At one point, two ground squirrels popped in front of Tilda-Hilda and me, and ran, ran, ran. "Hurry up, hurry up," I called, nearly catching up with them. A vehicle passed Tilda-Hilda and me. The squirrels dived into the brush. An old guy (probably a bit younger than me) was taking photos of birds in a faraway tree with a camera with a humongous lens. I stopped to talk to him, thinking he was one of the photographers who posted their amazing photos at a Facebook group I pop in now and then. As we chatted, a woman in a red SUV pulled up beside us. "There's a wonderful picture around the curve to take. A deer is sitting beneath a bush. It's so cute." "Tha

It's Good to Be Outside

It's the Weekend in Black and White , hosted by the lovely Dragonstar. Come along with me to check out B&W photos by participants from around the world.

Here We Go Again

This morning, I put on my orange tee-shirt, grey yoga pants, mismatched socks, orange Converse shoes, and red fingerless gloves, which I topped with my old don't-mess-with-me (in my mind) orange jacket. Tilda-Hilda was happy to see me again. Today made two days in a row for Tilda-Hilda and me. Twenty-minute rides, more or less. I puffed and gasped as I went up slopes and whoo-hoo 'd with glee as I coasted down them. My knee twinged a couple of times, but not enough for me to turn back home. And, when I pedaled across an open field, I recalled again what I like about riding bicycles and was ready to take on another hill. I haven't pedaled Tidla-Hilda since the beginning of the year. A friend asked me why not? Simple. I got lazy, which meant I lost all my muscle tone and gained back nearly all the weight I lost. Five months of laziness is enough. Tomorrow morning Tilda-Hilda and I will go out for a bit longer of a ride. Slowly and surely, we'll get back to taking t

The Dude, The Husband -- A Walker

My  Alphabe Thursday  theme -- The Dude, The Husband The Husband enjoys walking, whether it's in the wilds or a park, down the street, or through the neighborhood. The kind of walking that's tough for him is slow walking like when we're browsing through a museum or a shop. That tires him out. He has an easy gait with a long stride. I have a slower place than him, so I tell him to go stretch his legs. Until recently, I was usually half a block behind him. These days, I can keep up with him or just be a few steps behind him, some of the time. I love walking with the Husband. I also like taking photos of him on our walks and hikes. It's Alphabe Thursday , hosted by the sweet Jenny Matlock. Today is the letter W. To check other participants, please click here .  By the way, if you're coming from the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge , my T post is over here .