Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Sunday drive and mini rant to Oprah Winfrey...

This past Sunday, mr. a-go-go & I joined a new friend for a photo day. It being Superbowl Sunday and all we thought we'd take advantage of the empty roads and hightail it out of town.
The central coast seems to have forgotten about winter. The skies were a crazy, crystal blue and everything looked lushy lush. We left early, coffee and chai in hand (Thank You Adrianna!) and drove, drove, drove north to Hwy 46. Our first stop was the James Dean Memorial in Cholame. The scenery was epic; green rolling hills that looked like velvet, gangly old oak trees waving their branches about...even the meadow larks and woodpeckers were out partying in the sun. Our only other company was the odd speeding motorcycle or tiny-tinny sport scar. I think I know what attracted the young James to drive all willy-nilly. Though I think the 41 offers more of a roller coaster atmosphere with it's curvy curves and close together up and down hills.
The Memorial was created in 1977 by Seita Ohnishi. It is minimal and all metal shiny with quotes from famous author's that were purported to be favorites of the young James Dean. The memorial itself resides next to the Jack Ranch Cafe, a tiny diner known for it's burgers and baked goods. We were there a bit too early for baked goods however it was not at all too early for pie. While the apple pie was a tiny bit too sweet for me, though still tasty, the coffee was fabulous. As we were leaving I noticed they had homemade cinnamon rolls. I should have tried one of those instead.
It was not even 9am so we continued on our way keeping eyes a-peeled for nifty photo ops. From rolling hills, rusty gates and abandoned buildings in salmon pink we were not disappointed.
If you ever find yourself on the central coast, take a drive and arm yourself with water, snacks and a camera. You never know what you might find, it's a lovely place to be even if Oprah had to go and ruin it all for us.**
**No offense Ms. Winfrey, we a-go-gos admire and support your efforts in service but we are hard-working, honest folks trying to remain near family and SLO is already too expensive not to mention there are very little jobs out there here. All we wish for is a chance to be near family and live our own little lives in a place we can call home where we can putter about and grow our own food to our heart's content. Unfortunately we're finding we're too "over qualified" for all the low paying jobs and too old for the not-so low paying jobs. The chamber of commerce has been inundated with requests for information on our fair city and we fear that by the time we find work and save what we can real estate will be even more stupid than it is. There has been a jump in rentals of $50 to $100 more per rental than there was before the show aired. Coincidence? Perhaps, but we'd really like a chance. Just a little chance? Sigh.

Monday, February 7, 2011

don't lose yer underpants!

2/5 Salmon Creek Falls

Jeepers, I haven't bee keeping up with the posts. Looking for work has kept me away from the keyboard but not away from the hikes. This weekend we made a visit to Salmon Creek Falls at the southern end of Big Sur. It's a pretty place but a very popular stop for a short hike on the Highway One drive. The quantity of traffic has taken its toll since the last time any of us visited. The drawing above was spotted on a guard rail post at the turnout for the trail head. It made us laugh but it sums up how I felt about all litter and tree carving graffiti. I like graffiti with a sense of humor and creativity placed on man made objects like this cartoon, but the tree carving makes me all frowny.
Here I am with hat hair, blood shot eyes, and some sour feelings about all the trash. I hauled out pounds of plastic water bottles, cigarette packages, cans, broken glass, broken sun glasses, and juice bags. C'mon folks, we don't have to be this lame. Take your crap with you or don't bring it in the first place. The falls clearly have become a favorite place to get busy too. There were torn condom packages and, yes, a grubby weenie wrapper from some one's tryst... classy. Do use a condom, but don't leave the nasty thing behind when you drive away. The lost item that took the cake was a lacy blue dainty hung on a fence post along the trail. My nephew gleefully took the opportunity to holler, "Who's panties are those? Who lost their panties?!" happy to have the chance to yell a word that makes him giggle. I still call 'em underpants regardless of how little they cover.

Even with the detritus of too many jerks, the falls and the creek are really pretty and worth visiting. A week day will have less traffic if you have one free. We spotted this Iris growing in the brambles along the trail.
Beware of the many tracks that have been worn into the canyon leading up toward the head of the falls. They are not maintained trails and they lead every which way into heaps of Poison Oak and crumbling slopes of wet leaves and scree. The walk to the falls from the turn out is quite short but there are many muddy slippery parts, not the easiest for those who are not sure of foot. The turn out and trail head is 3.7 miles north of Ragged Point on the Pacific Coast Highway.
If you go, please don't leave anything behind, and if you have a little gumption, take a garbage bag with you and help me haul out some of the junk that all the knuckleheads have dropped.


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