Bike Riding in Morro Bay

Bike riding in Morro Bay is one of my favorite things to do. Even Lara joined us on a ride to Caucus to look out over the RV Park that we stayed in at the beginning of our road trip a month ago. It is rather fitting that we end our trip precisely where we began. The trail starts out at Morro Bay Rock and extends all the way to Caucus by going through the local high school and along the neighborhood above Morro Strand State Beach. You then follow the west side of Highway 101 and through an upscale row of about 14 houses to get to another look-out where benches are waiting for you to sit on and admire the view.

When we headed back to Morro Rock, I watched an osprey eating a fish on a lamppost and listened to its piercing cry as it looked down over all of us below. He was a magnificent raptor and seemed totally relaxed around urban sprawl. When I lived in Encinitas, I watched a pair of osprey’s raise young successfully and they too had learned to eat their fish on telephone poles. That will be the future for some of these birds if they are going to succeed and raise young. Humans have made it their desired destination to live by the water and fish hunting birds will have to adapt if they are going to survive as a species.

We also watched the otters nursing their pups in the bay and I marvel at what good mother’s they are. As soon as a pup falls asleep and lets go, the mother jostles it awake and demands that it hold on tighter. Last summer while I watched the otters, one pup floated away and when the mother realized how far her pup had separated from her, she swam over and angrily shook it and bit it gently. The pup woke up startled and disoriented because it was half asleep and the poor thing wasn’t sure what was going on. She dragged it back to the safety of the group and then nursed it lovingly while making soft reassuring purrs. Fortunately, otters too seem to be making a comeback.

I love Morro Bay for the balance it seems to have achieved and for the cooperation it maintains for both wildlife and for people so that they can live together, side by side, and for the most part, harmoniously. Because of this, Morro Bay is one of my favorite places to hang out in, and I hope to come back again soon.

We are staying here until tomorrow so that Callie can recover from her bronchitis and we are convinced that recovery is on the way. Her cough was terrible last night but seems much better today. I am keeping my fingers crossed. I also bought Callie a pair of biking sunglasses at the humane society thrift store and am going to laugh if she accepts wearing them the next time I put her in the bike basket for a bike ride!

A Rest Stop in Morro Bay

It feels wonderful to be parked at Cypress RV Park in Morro Bay after a month of being on the road with our grown up daughter and darling cat- Callie. We can look west to the rock and smoke stakes and can see a peak of the sunset if you dodge the buildings across the street. I saw the gentleman who fed the seagull and raven over the summer and we stopped by at Coast Veterinary to pick up an antibiotic and steroid for Callie.

Callie developed bronchitis last summer and it took 4 months for her to be properly diagnosed and treated and Dr Stephens in Morro Bay was the one to finally get her well. Callie made it up to BC Canada and sailed on my brother’s catamaran called: El Fresca, while enjoying a 7 week trip featuring one fantastic adventure after another. She has managed to stay well up until the fires in Santa Rosa, and the smoke became too much for her and she relapsed. We started her on the meds this evening, so I am hoping she will feel better by tomorrow. She is coughing and wheezing and feeling quite crummy, poor little thing.

We will stay here until we see that her health is improving and feel that it is safe to continue south to Anza Borrego Desert State Park where we live. If she doesn’t show improvement, we will take her back in to see the doctor.

But for now, it will be so nice to relax and bike, walk and rest in this idyllic beach town near San Luis Obispo, California.

*Callie is showing signs of improvement this morning.

Callie’s Awesome Catwalks!

When I first started Callie out on the leash and halter, she would always stop, drop and refuse to go forward. It took a little getting use to, but once she realized she would be able to explore new places and have me around to protect her, she picked it up with ease. Callie now goes on a minimum of 2 walks a day, at 30 minutes per walk. My daughter is helping me out too and taking her for a walk every once in awhile. When Michael walks her, she pulls out of the harness and makes a run for it.*She treats Michael with just a touch of disrespect. When he is resting on the sofa, she runs right over him. We are working on that little habit of hers. She also shouts at Michael as if he is hard of hearing. Such a funny little cat she is.

*Cats can pull out of the harness by going backwards and tucking their elbows and shoulders in. If they start to pull backwards, let go of the leash and don’t create resistance. Speak calmly and try to relax your cat enough to continue moving forward.

Fisherman’s Wharf

My daughter and I walked to Fisherman’s Wharf this afternoon from the fairgrounds- which is around 2.5 miles one way and meandered around the silly, touristy, trinket shops before deciding that we were in need of sustenance and decided that The Old Fisherman’s Grotto fit the bill.

We were seated right away, on a Sunday afternoon, and had a window seat over looking the west side of the bay. We watched kayakers taking lessons on how to roll completely under water and back up again, with pelicans, seals and jellyfish bobbing in the calm, blue, water. It was a lovely, cloudless day, and the temperature was only 67 degrees. I am still appreciative of the cooler days after having lived in the desert this past year and a half. Green is now my favorite color and I prefer anything to 110 degrees.

After we sat down, the waiter brought us delicious sourdough bread and water and we ordered lemon, chicken piccata, a poached pear salad and we shared a bowl of clam chowder. The food and ambience were delightful and we had a fabulous time.

I decided to take home more clam chowder soup for Michael, my husband, because it was so delicious. They stuffed half a loaf of bread in a bag for me too and I lugged it all the back to the RV and to the fairgrounds. I was pretty tired when I finally made it home! Nothing like working off a good lunch with a long, walk afterwards.

When we headed out this early afternoon, one of the F-14 Fighter Jets took off and 3 car alarms on the street started wailing simultaneously and on the return trip, a jet roared past us and then headed straight up vertically into the sky while twisting round and round like a rocket ship! What a show of technology and power! They are also really, really loud. It has scared Callie every time they have taken off. I won’t miss all of the noise!

Callie spent a lovely day resting in the RV after watching the sunrise from the sofa and taking a nice, long walk with me. Her walks on the leash have improved daily and the fairgrounds have been a perfect place for her to explore all the horse stables and climb the oak trees. We are leaving tomorrow for Mariposa and will head to Mammoth Lakes next. Monterey has been a great place to park for one whole week.

Willapa Bay

Willapa Bay is fairly shallow and the second largest estuary in the United States. It has 260 square miles of water surface in the intertidal range. In fact, half of the water enters and leaves the bay every day. Michael and I walked along the shore line several times and two days ago we watched the tide creep back in at a very slow pace. The water glitters with reflective light and gently fills the bay back in, like molten mercury, one small puddle at a time.

We are staying at the Bay Center KOA until tomorrow morning and then we are going to drive to Port Angeles and take the ferry over to Vancouver Island. Callie is going to Canada! We have her paperwork in order and her health has returned and her cough is gone. My brother and sister in law live on a house boat, so I am not sure what the living arrangements will be when we get to their place outside Duncan Bay. It will certainly be an adventure though! Maybe Callie will even go sailing on my brother's catamaran. We shall see!

Callie had a lovely day of practicing her hunting skills chasing after bugs. The temperature is a fabulous 75 and the sun is out and there isn't a cloud in the sky….





Tillamook, OR

Yesterday was a rather long and tiresome day trying to find a campsite. Our luck held out until Friday. Friday's are not a good day for searching for a campsite at the state parks. There are too many people enjoying the awesome Oregon weather and the road weary must either go inland or find a private RV Park.

We finally found one in Tillamook, OR and I won't name the place because of an interesting thing that happened when checking in. Our host burst into tears when she saw Callie happily sitting on the dash and came up to the RV, and while stroking Callie's ear, confided in us that she had just come back from visiting her sick and aging cat at a sanctuary. She couldn't afford the vet bills that had piled up because of a diagnosis of glaucoma and was forced to give her up in order for her cat to receive medical care. It reminds me of the AFFORDABLE CARE ACT or as the Republican Party would like to disparagingly call it- OBAMA CARE! I believe that health care is a right and society would benefit with people staying well and thriving with good health. It should not be a profit motivating system!

Well, Callie helped her feel better because she loves to be petted and we shared stories and photographs and told her that she was doing the right thing. The host has two other cats, one of which greeted Michael and that surprised the host because the cat is usually super shy.

So, here we are in Tillamook and will leave this morning. Callie received one more dose of antibiotic with dignity and has two more days to go. The chicken flavored compound is the way to go. I have also learned to keep her wrapped up really tight, with her head back, and I tickle her chin and open her mouth up for about 10 minutes afterwards so she doesn't froth and drool on everything. It has been traumatic to say the least to be administering antibiotics for 4 months. She is definitely on the mend though! We had a nice long walk and she managed to walk out to a boat launching dock as if she owned the place!

Excited about today and can't wait to get on the road. I am also going to track down some ice cream while I am here!


Shore Acres at Coos Bay, OR

It is another typical coastal Oregon morning, cool with a heavy drizzle. Yesterday we visited Shore Acres, about a half-mile up the road from our campsite at Sunset Bay.

The first home at Shore Acres was designed as a summer retreat, which Louie Simpson had built as a Christmas present for his first wife, Cassie. Built on a rocky headland, the gamble-roofed house sat seventy-five feet about the waves below. It was built in 1906, but the gardens that grew and thrived to this day are what bring visitors from all over the world.

There is a beautiful Japanese garden with a lily pond and 2 stately crane statues standing knee deep in the reflective water. The rocks that border the pond were hauled up from the beach below by horses. That must have been really difficult for the horses. They are very rough, ragged rocks and are very heavy. The rose gardens are spectacular though and one particular rose called: hot chocolate was as breathtaking in color and form as well as having a deep, rich, rose scent. You can walk down to the beach along a paved pathway and can then ascend back up into a forest dense with Monterey Cypress and pines.

The shoreline is rugged with finely ground sand and seals, sea lions and elephant seals bask among the jagged rocks. The fog had rolled in densely as we explored, so you could barely see the marine animals, but you could sure hear them barking away in the mist.

Back in the gardens, I of course took many photographs of the flowers and the lighting was perfect for photography- bright diffused light with little shadow. The garden was designed in the English style by David Masterton and visitors of the neighboring households of the time, were given cuttings and plants to beautify their gardens too!

Today we are heading back over to have the RV windshield either replaced or repaired and when finished, we will possibly meander toward Newport.

Callie is doing very well and her health is on the mend. The three of us are enjoying our travels with Callie adventure and looking forward to many more to come. I have to admit that I was becoming very concerned with Callie's health after 4 months of coughing and am so relieved that she is feeling better…..

Sunset Bay State Campground, Oregon

Sunset Bay State Campground is green and lush, the bathrooms are clean and spacious, and the camp sites are private. We checked into one of only two remaining sites, and after we checked in, the "Campground full" sign went up. We are in A25 and it is raining this morning as I write with Callie and Michael sleeping. Callie had her morning walk in the rain, which surprised me, and is now back in bed after breakfast. She hasn't coughed in 5 days and her appetite has returned with a vengeance. I am feeding her fresh salmon and she thinks she has died and gone to heaven. Callie is usually a finicky and dainty eater, and has been sick for 4 months, so it is reassuring to watch her wolf her food down again.

Yesterday late afternoon, Michael and I walked over to the bay and followed the shoreline from one end to the other. It is tsunami territory and warning signs are posted and geological forces are obvious if you know what to look for! The Juan de Fuca fault line is right off shore and this plate is pushing up the North American plate. Evidence of this happening is everywhere with rocks being pushed up vertically in what was once horizontal topsoil.

We watched an osprey fishing and it caught a fish on the second attempt. It circled and pivoted, changed direction and circled for quite some time before diving into the shallow water. It was low tide and a beautiful, calm, late afternoon. A seagull chased after the osprey as it flew away with a fish dangling in its talons. The speed of the osprey left the seagull short of breath and it had to give up after a feeble attempt at harassing the osprey to let go of its catch. It was warm enough for brave souls to dip in the water briefly, but mostly it was just children splashing about in the cold water.

We returned to Callie and our wonderful 24 ft. Icon RV and I made a dinner of salmon, baked potato, corn on the cob and fresh green beans. I had my glass of Chardonnay and Michael loves his one bottle of Corona beer. It is so festive to prepare meals and camp in a luxurious RV with children playing, dogs barking and adults sitting around campfires. Michael is teaching me a card game called: Rook, and I am improving every day. I am not exactly partial to games but making the effort. The better I become, the more fun it should be for me! Because it is raining this morning as I write this blog, I am even more grateful to being inside an RV….

Osprey is entering the water after a dive straight down.

Look for osprey coming out of water in middle of photograph!

Callie is enjoying watching the rain this morning!

Big Lagoon

When we woke up this morning, we decided to head north up the coast to check out Clam Beach and Big Lagoon at the suggestion of our friend, Fred.

When we managed to drive back over the pot hole filled road to Highway 101 and the Avenue of the Giants, we were dismayed to discover all the damage that was done to the RV by taking it over the horrible road to Albee Creek. Our windshield has separated in the far right corner, the cabinets have come loose from their anchor in the kitchen and the drawers are opening up whenever we turn a corner. We are beginning to think we made a mistake by taking the RV over such a rough road. The hubcap was never found and now we have a few more problems to contend with. It was beautiful in Albee Creek, but putting so much stress on the RV was not worth it. Carrying your house around is a whole different story than driving an off road vehicle across crappy roads.

Clam Beach was an absolute dive and it didn't take long for us to decide to head further north up the coast. We took a chance with Big Lagoon and got the last site available and it is a beautiful location. We walked along the spit in the afternoon and have a private spot #15 in the interior side. The beach front camp sites are more for tent camping.

Callie had another fine walk with birds chasing us down as we went along our merry way. 2 ravens cawed and watched our every move and some kind of tiny wren clicked and chirped and announced to all within hearing distance that their was a cat below walking among the trees.

We may try and stay through the weekend because it gets more stressful trying to find a campground over the weekend, and then again we may not.







An Evening at Albee Creek Campground

After a lovely day of exploring the redwood forest, we settled down for a dinner of leftovers and a walk over to the apple orchard. Callie and I watched a young black tailed doe with her adorable, playful fawn and a buck showing off his antlers. He was rubbing them on the branches of the apple tree and wasn't at all shy about it. As he grazed, he would swing his magnificent head back and forth in a large graceful arch and the doe would stop to let the fawn nurse. It was an idyllic setting with the sun setting slowly in the west and the pale blond grasses catching the last of the golden light before darkness descended. Callie and I sat on a picnic table and listening to the sounds of jays squawking and people preparing their dinner over campfires. She has become very good at walking on the leash and usually can last about 20 minutes before wanting to head back to the safety of the RV. Once she is in the RV, she can watch all the activities unfurl through the front window while safely sitting on the dash. Real time big screen TV in action. Not a bad place for a cat to be!