Friday, January 29, 2016

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Tucker Time at Dog Beach!

With at the National Parks we've been to off limits to dogs Tucker really hasn't had as much time off-leash as he is used to.

Palm Springs and several other places did have nice dog parks.

But no dog park even holds a candle to Dog Beach!

The area of beach open to dogs is probably the biggest I've ever seen
Tucker has a plan here to steal that dogs ball. The dog just watched!
 One problem with this is Tucker is kind of a moron and likes to drink salt water even if it has a very un-happy effect on him.

Tucker had so much fun and played with so many dogs.

Because of said effects anytime we hit the ocean we have to leash Tucker up and walk him around until the situation takes care of itself.

Not a problem there is a Starbucks a couple miles away and plenty to see along the way.

Like Yoga Van guy!
 And this Art-Van!

And of course we also watch some surfers.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

On to the west coast

The weather here in San Diego is really amazing.  We parked at Old Town and checked it out.

There were lots of flowers everywhere.
Old Town is actually nice, and not too cheesey. There are bunch of school groups touring around learning stuff.

We just goofed around and checked out the old buildings.
 After checking it out we walked from there to Rubio's to get some fish Tacos.

Later we drove up to Mt Soledad to checkout the view.
 It is a pretty sweeping view.
This is actually back at Old Town but it is funny that they came come up with Mexican version of just about every major logo you can think of.
Seals at La Jolla Cove!

San Diego is also a lot of fun because we get to hangout with our friend Shawn who move here many years ago from Boston.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

More Palm Springs

With another very clear day we decided it was a good idea to take the tram up the mountain.

We've both take the tram before but now the new tram is much nicer.

The entire tram rotates a couple times as you ascend so you get a view in all directrions.
 I agree!
 A view down to Palm Springs.
Being it is the winter there is too much snow to really hike to Mt San Jacinto.

People from Palm Springs who act like they have never seen snow are sleeding and having snowball fights at the top of the tram.

 You can see the windmills and the square of green in the middle is actually the campground we are staying it.

Until you are right there it is very hard to see the tram wires.
After the tram ride we checked out a winter league baseball game.

The league here seems to be a little less skilled than the Cape Code summer league.

It may be more of a developmental league for hopeful players.

It was a good way to spend the afternoon either way.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

A hike outside Palm Springs

Sadly many of the hiking areas around Palm Springs don't allow dogs.

We managed to find a Website for The Wildlife Convervancy which owns a lot of land and allows dogs.

We went to Whitewater Preserve and took a pretty nice loop hike.
Part of the trail intersected the PCT a really long distance hiking trail.

Monday, January 18, 2016

A fews days on BLM Land in Quartzsite AZ

Here we are in Quartzsite, it is our first experience camping on Federal Land. Usually this is free but at Quartzsite you can stay for longer periods of time (months instead of 2 weeks) and there is a dump and water onsite.

So it costs $40 for up to a 2 week stay or a little more for a long stay. But out in the desert where you camp there is no hookups. Most people are here for the winter and have big setups with Solar and 4x4 toys and compounds.
At the moment in the nearby "town" there is a big RV show so there are even more people hanging out than normal. It is really kind of strange seeing so many RVers just hanging out for basically free for miles and miles across the desert.

The town is also full of flea markets which we checked out. There was some interesting stuff and even more interesting people watching.
Excellent sunsets too!

Eventually we checked out the RV show too and "Solar Bill's" a place many people swear is the best place to get solar installed on your RV.

The best part of the show was "Adult Day Care" which was a beer garden with live music and BBQ.
At the rally we are attending people are using Smudge pots which are not illegal in orchards to keep warm. They run on diesel fuel and sound and look pretty cool. They do kick off a lot of heat and you barely smell the diesel once they get going.

Nearby there is some good hiking in the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge. In the panorama is a hike we did up to a Palm Canyon.

We also saw mountain sheep way up on a cliff as we were hiking and hungout for a while pointing them out to other hikers.

We also did a hike around some small hills where you can find Quartz crystals.

You can bring home what you find within certain limits. And we did find a bunch of good ones, nothing too big but nice clear ones.

Tools are supposed to be forbidden but you can tell people have been digging and breaking with tools.

I brough a hammer but it wasn't really that much help.

Tucker had a good time running around the mountain for the most part but did have a few run-ins with various cactus spines

This was one of the hills with cystals viewed from the other, you can see how the layers of earth have just been shoved up revealing the crystals from layers normally deep underground.
We had a nice fire one night, we haven't had too many fires this trip but we really needed this one to keep warm.

Overall the free-isn BLM camping is pretty cool, surprisingly we didn't see any signs of people being jerks which is a surprise.

We was kind of a surprise, we stayed 4 nights longer than we had expected.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

BioSphere 2 and Sonora Desert Museum

A short drive from Tucson is Bisosphere 2. An experiment where they tried to put 8people into a closed system where they would grow all their own food and plants would generate all their Oxygen.

Generally the experiments was considered a failure.
For one thing they ran out of Oxygen, the claim was not that they calculated the number of plants wrong but that the concrete used to build a lot of the facility absorbed a lot of oxygen as it cured.

Anyway it was still pretty amazing science even if they could only grow enough coffee so everyone could have a cup ever few weeks!

Interestingly it was as much a social experiment as it was science experiment. I plan to read this book about how the 8 people locked in for 2 years ended up breaking down into 2 groups of 4 that hated each other. I think two of them ended up getting married.

Had this been done 10 years later it all would have been on TV but this was done before there really even was an Internet.
We also drove out to the Sonora Desert Museum.

It was a pretty cool Museum / Zoo.
Sleeping wolf!
Praire Dog like animals!

Ground Squirrel