Pretty Please!

Michael, Callie and I would much rather be here in Encinitas than the desert, but sometimes the RV gets a little small for Callie and she needs several walks and rough and tumble playtime. Michael and I went to go see The King movie about Elvis and the decline of America and the middle class and she was stuck inside the RV all by herself for a couple of hours. When we returned, it was within her rights to demand some fun and I obliged her by getting out the catnip mouse and “the worm,” so that I could wear off some of her pent-up energy. The rug came in handy too for a few swift kicks and bites before it succumbed to her deadly attack. She is now resting comfortably on the front seat and I will walk her when the sun sets so that the asphalt isn’t too hot for her paw pads.

BTW- The King was a very insightful documentary on Elvis and civil rights and how it took a white male singer to introduce the Black Blues to white Americans. It also touches on the pain and difficulties that Elvis had to endure with his quick rise to fame and fortune. I loved the movie and am saddened by the state of affairs in our country. I can’t stand Donald Trump and don’t care if I lose readership because of my position. The movie touches on the conditions that were festering and ripe for this con man to be voted into power.

Someone had her Asthma Medicine

Callie still has asthma attacks periodically and I have to apply the steroid cream to her inner ear flap. When we change environments like we did yesterday; going from 115-degree weather to the balmy marine layer of Encinitas, she will have coughing episodes. She had 5 yesterday, so I applied the cream last night and within an hour or so, she had her vim and vigor back and was ready for rough and tumble playtime.

She adores the cotton rug on the floor because it can’t escape and she can capture the rug in a tight paw, death grip, and can then kick the hell out of it. She looks up at me when she does this with a sweet expression of, “I kill you!” on her face while beating the rug into submission. Once the rug stops resisting, Callie settles down and some of her predatorial energy has been dissipated. For her comfort, she has been provided with the front seat of the RV decked out with a lovely folded, soft, fluffy blanket and a room with a view, but this morning because of the slightest chill in the air, she crawled up under the protective covering on the sofa. What a princess she is! But she is feeling so much better today, and for that, I am relieved.

We are once again staying at the Riviera Mobile Home and RV Park and are very happy with this place. Steve is treating us great

and Callie has her route picked out where she can walk safely on the leash and I can keep an eye out for dogs that are also being walked. She has one particular fence post that must be a marking spot for all the animals around here because she has to stop and roll and rub her face in ecstasy back and forth on the fence. She has a look of absolute bliss on her face while she does this and it takes up to 15 minutes of our time. I can’t pull her away from the fence post until she is good and ready to go. I suppose if that is how she wants to spend her time while out on a walk, she is within her kitty rights to do so!

Riviera Mobile Home and RV Park

When we headed down from Whitney Portal so that I could find a place to park the RV while I waited for my eye surgery and the removal of a Pterigium, we decided to wing it and just hope for the best as we got closer to Encinitas. Well as luck and good fortune would have it, Steve from the Riviera Park returned my call when I left a message, but only to tell me that there was a strict “no” pet law enforced and that I should call Oceanside RV Park. When I tried calling repeatedly, the line was busy, so I called back and told Steve I would jokingly flush Callie down the toilet! He was appalled by that and reassured me that he would work something out and to try and get there before dark because that too was an issue as the office closed at 6 and we were still in Murietta.

Well, it all worked out and Steve found us a place in the Mobile Home section where animals are allowed and we were able to make it to the surgery the day after and the surgery went better than expected and Callie did NOT need to be flushed down the toilet! We used Uber to get back and forth from the Morris Eye Clinic and the surgical center below and everything worked out better than planned. The surgery was a success, Callie had a blast walking around the facility on a leash and taunting all the dogs, and we bonded with Steve and will be going back again on Thursday for follow up care and for Michael to be scheduled for cataract surgery. Getting older is the pits, I also have to have a neurological exam for an old back injury that is causing numbness in my feet. At least we have good medical care, and we now have a super awesome place to park the RV at while we seek treatment.

It was a little more than sad to walk past the bench that I was sitting on when I heard of my good friend, Dolly’s death, but life goes on and I am glad she isn’t suffering anymore. I got to see another good friend, Nancy who goes way, way back and Michael has Fred and Robert that live in the area too! It will also be wonderful to get out of the heat again. It was 120 degrees in the desert today and it puts such a strain on living in Borrego Springs in the summer. We will get laundry done, check on mail and the house and will try to pack up and head out again either tomorrow or Thursday morning.

I was able to get my hair cut and colored and do a little grocery shopping and Michael did most of the laundry while I was gone. I needed to offer Callie ice water and try to keep her cool because only one of the air conditioner’s is working. It was 96 degrees last night in the house, but at least tonight it is only 87. Still really hot though.

Whitney Portal

Michael, Callie and I left Keough’s Hot Springs first thing Sunday morning so that we could try to get into Whitney Portal Campground for one night on our return voyage south to Encinitas so that I could have eye surgery scheduled for Wednesday.

We made the drive to Lone Pine and then headed straight up the road to the magnificent and really, one of a kind campground where hikers seeking to make it to the summit, camp. We met the host, Bill as we pulled into the campground, and he gave us campsite #4 which was literally next to the river that roared down the mountain on it’s rapid descent to the valley floor. It was like camping next to a waterfall, the sound was so loud!

It took some maneuvering and skill on our part to get the Icon leveled, but we eventually managed and ended up having a very relaxing day. Callie was able to take several walks along the river and we BBQed later in the evening. Whitney Portal is absolutely breathtaking and you have to be pretty fit and an experienced hiker before even attempting such a difficult hike. There is quite a bit of vertical and the switchbacks are ruthless. Michael wants to return and attempt it before the summer is out.

I was able to get us into the Riviera Mobile Home Park in Encinitas around 6:30 yesterday evening, and Steve the host who also happens to be one of the owners was helpful and very accommodating. They don’t allow pets in the RV section so I quite jokingly suggested that I flush the cat down the toilet! He laughingly said that it would not be necessary and put is in a spot where a mobile home is due to arrive any day now. You can have pets for some reason in the mobile home section but not the RV Park. We are going to try and stay for a whole week so that we can get a better rate, and because it is just so awesome here and to be close to our old stomping grounds.

I am a little nervous about the surgery tomorrow because my last pterygium was so traumatic for me. The procedure has had 25 years or more to improve upon so I should be in good hands. This one has grown so large that it has affected my vision- maybe I will be a better photographer when all is said and done!

Callie is within a mile of the Holiday Pet Hotel that she used to be boarded at a couple of years ago and in hindsight and in retrospect, staying there was very traumatic for her. She developed asthma from a cough that was improperly diagnosed that went on for 6 months or more and she has never really regained her health since her cough. Such is life though, and now that we have the RV, she gets to go everywhere with us and I will never ever board her again in a public facility. Now she is Callie, the dash cam cat that travels the world in her very own RV!

A Taste for Quail

We are staying at Keough’s Hot Springs right outside Bishop on our return voyage south to Encinitas, and the Quail population is booming here. The RV is parked up against the granite and sage dappled hillside and it is home to dozens upon dozens of quail. The youngsters are old enough to take short distance flights and because it rained a couple of days ago, their food source is plentiful and they are brave enough to click and chirp their way right below Callie’s lookout window in search of a meal. The parents are a little more apprehensive and trying to round up their brood, but the going is just too good and as youngsters tend to do, they are misbehaving and having nothing to do with the usual rules and regulations. Callie can hardly contain her vision of the taste of quail on her tongue and she is making her own sounds of garbled delights and her tail is thwacking loudly against the window as she watches her next meal disappear under the camper directly below her. Too bad the window screen is preventing her from making her dream become a reality.

Lake Sabrina

Lake Sabrina is located above Bishop in the Eastern Sierras of California and has some of the most beautiful lakes that I have ever seen. We stayed at South Lake for almost a week and then moved over to Sabrina which is on the other side of the fork leading up to the campgrounds.

Lake Sabrina Campground was dry camping but the bathrooms were very clean and we had site number 16 that had a view of Bishop Creek and the snow-dusted mountains that cradled the lake. The mosquitos are bad but because we were there when a cold front had moved in and the first rain fell of the season, it wasn’t too bad for us at all. Not being right by the river helped too!

Michael hiked every day and I hung around because of an injured tailbone and I took Callie on walks and did a lot of photography. The rain came down hard several days with thunder and lightning, and the view was spectacular. White-tailed deer sauntered past our RV without a care in the world and Robins and Scrub Jays were everywhere. Callie loved it there because there were very few dogs and the fishermen were quiet and very respectful.

It only cost us $14.00 a night to stay there and it was one of the best places we have ever camped at. We have now moved over to the Keough hot springs right outside Bishop and can spend some time soaking in the mineral pools and relaxing before we have to go to Encinitas for eye surgery on the 18th. I am trying to get as much photography and writing done as possible before I am laid up. I am having a pterygium removed that has grown quite large and has now become a major surgery. I had one removed about 25 years ago and it was so traumatic, that I have held back on having the other eye done until it has now become absolutely necessary.

Nature

500px.com/7sistersjfd

This is a photographic compilation of some of my travels, not all with Callie, but with Michael for sure. He has been quite supportive all these years. He bought me a Polaroid camera when my daughter Lara was born 32 years ago, and I haven’t stopped since!

Creekside RV Park

Creekside RV Park is really next to a creek, a creek that roars like a river and is fed by beautiful, South Lake that has an elevation of 9,800 ft. Driving up from Bishop you make a jog to the left rather than head straight toward Lake Sabrina. When we left Virginia Lake on July 3rd, we were quite concerned about finding another campsite because of 4th of July, but Nick from Creekside, who also happens to be the owner’s son, had only one cancellation which he promptly gave to us, and we have been here ever since.

The campground is clean and spacious and because it is family owned, they make every attempt to accommodate most of your needs. We keep extending our stay due to the heat wave down below and so far they have managed to find a way to allow us to stay. There is a well-stocked store, small fishing pond for children and South Lake and Lake Sabrina are a draw for many fishermen. The wildflowers are also out, but so are the mosquitos, but if you remember to put repellant on, you shouldn’t have any trouble.

Two days ago, we made the intense 5-mile bike ride up to South Lake and it took us 2 hours to get there and a roaring 20 minutes to return. It was steep with a 2,000 ft verticle grade that left us wheezing because of the high altitude and me cursing most of the way because we forgot to bring along mosquito repellent. Whenever we stopped to catch our breath, the mosquitos swarmed us and they were not deterred by simple swats of the hand. They would rather die than be forced to fly away and were incredibly persistent.

Once we made it to the top though, it was well worth it. The lake was surrounded by receding glaciers and evergreens and the fresh, brisk air, a reward after the grueling climb. Hikers come from all over to hook up with the Pacific Crest Trail and the series of lakes are supposed to be spectacular. The wildflowers, such as the apricot mallow, lined the roadside as we huffed and puffed up the hill, and the temperature couldn’t be better. Once we caught our breath, we walked around and I took photographs and we admired the view, and when it was time to head back down, Michael checked our brakes and away we went as fast as 45 mph. We were smoking and it was a thrill, to say the least. We went so fast that I was concerned when a blast of wind almost knocked me off of my bike; that and the ruts in the road were cause for alarm. Once we pulled into Creekside though, we laughed at the thrill of the experience. The rest of the day we spent totally relaxed.

Callie isn’t able to walk around as much at Creekside because of all the dogs; she misses Virginia Lakes. At Virginia Lakes, she had a large forest range to walk around in and one evening, a deer raced right past the front of the RV while she was hanging out on the dash and it made her jump up and stare at the passing creature. She is doing very well though and is happy as can be to be traveling in the RV. It is going to be a sizzling 114 degrees in Borrego Springs tomorrow. Thank goodness we made the great escape.

Working with my Nikon D70s

I have been so comfortable, and for so long now, with my iPhone camera, that it took quite a bit of persuasion and the offer of carrying the equipment around by my husband, for me to make the transition. I am so happy now that I did. The telephoto and macro with the wide angle make for a perfect set of lenses for most occasions. I would never have been able to photograph the Bald Eagles and Blue Heron and the flowers and landscapes have been much improved too! Thanks to my husband, I can now up my game and provide better images to go along with my stories.

The Marmot that I saw at Virginia Lake would have been a brown smudge in the distance. Check out the waterfall with the snow and search out the cheeky little guy and where he calls home. You would never have been able to spot him in the rocks. What a great place for him to live. He has all the fresh water he wants and there were abundant grasses and wildflowers all around. I think Marmots may hibernate in the winter, but I am not sure. I will have to check that out.

The Bald Eagles would have been too dark against the pine trees for anyone to see with the iPhone and the Blue Heron too, was way to wary to walk up close to me. I am very appreciative of Michael for firmly suggesting that I start using the camera again.