Thursday, March 20, 2014

Vernal Equinox . . . 2014 . . . Back in California, Where I Started From . . .

March 20, 2014
First day of Spring
Vernal Equinox



New life

The word equinox is derived from the Latin words meaning “equal night.” Days and nights are approximately equal everywhere and the Sun rises and sets due east and west.

Here I am in Desert Hot Springs getting ready for the final few days of this adventure that began last July, when I moved out of my house in Roseville and into Floribunda Flair with Lacy, Eleanor and Lincoln, who, sadly, we lost in Amarillo, TX.
This photo was taken in early August as I was preparing to venture out from my girlfriend Judy's ranch.  I spoke with Judy and her husband Bob yesterday; I'll be camping there again in a few days - such great friends they are.

I'm in process of deciding how I want to handle the trip from here to I-5N, as I seriously choose to avoid as much Los Angeles traffic aggravation as possible.  I can go only as far as San Bernardino, only about 60 miles, spend the night and take on 210 to I-5 tomorrow.  Or, if I feel lucky, I may go as far as Glendale today; then leave tomorrow, after commute traffic (is there ever a non-commute traffic time there?), to start heading north to and on I-5.  The answer remains to be seen.

Although I've traditionally found I-5 long and boring, but fast, I'm looking forward to it this time.  I appreciate my home state all the more for having visited so many new places.  California is a beautiful part of the world.  Mountains lush with greenery and snow in Winter, touching the sky.  Mountains dry and sculpted by winds and rain surrounding deserts of sand and dust, tumbleweed, cactus, jack rabbits and snakes. Oases in those deserts of verdant growth by irrigation, like Palm Springs.  Valleys of agriculture that feed and clothe the nation.  National and State parks abound - some actually being wonders of the world.  And all along its western boundary, the Pacific Ocean and the glorious beaches and landscape for hundreds of miles. 

Sierra Nevada Mountain Range

California desert in Spring

Carved mountains and desert

Enough fruits, vegetables, nuts and cotton 
to almost feed and  clothe a nation


And grapes for eating and drinking

Big Sur coastline highway

Sandy beaches all along the coast

I look forward to spending good times with my family and friends.  I look forward to regaining much of my ability to hike, walk, bike, swim and generally enjoy daily life without a bum knee.  I look forward to cooking and baking with the use of a kitchen counter that's big enough to accommodate, not only me, but maybe 3 or 4 grandchildren at one time - cooking some newly thought-up creations or baking old standard grandmother / grandkids cookies and cakes.
Then, there will also be the 8th grade graduation of five (5) grandkids!  Yes, Avery, Tate, Spencer, Malia and Samantha will be out of what we used to call grammar school in early June. 
Yes, I'm looking forward to all the excitement of a fairly large family and friend network; but, that's not to say that I won't be anxious to move back in to Floribunda, hook Petunia behind, and return to this nomadic life I've come to love.  There's so much to see, so many people to meet, so many experiences to encounter.

Aaahh, but here is the picture I take with me regardless of where I wander:

I've driven across twice a day - for years - to and from work.  I've sailed under it.  I've flown over it. I've run across it.  I've swum under it.  I think of it often - as I travel, near and far.


  1. There's no place like California!!

  2. We're former Californians, too, and indeed . . . there is just no other state to compare. We live in Arizona now, and haven't been to our former home neighborhood (Sunnyvale) since 1998, when we left. Sad, but true. But when we lived there, we vacationed in NorCal, and have been back there in recent years. There is just so much to love about California !!!

    Virtual hugs,


    1. Well, you just need to come back and see us!

  3. We were introduced to California about ten years ago, but really had our first living in our motorhome in the beautiful CA countryside 4 years ago. It is a state that can steal one's heart. Especially when a daughter lives there. Now, we just float around the U.S. between family in Indiana and California. Love this nomad style of living.

    1. There is so much to see and experience in this state. I've been rethinking my need to spend quality time in many parts of this great state. In a busy life with husband, kids, career I've been all over this state; but I'd love to plot down in lots of places I've visited or passed through and really get to know them.

  4. Hey lady, you made my morning. I devoted almost half a chapter of 'Long Way Home' to a fellow's trepidation about driving his motorhome, pulling his toad, across the northern side of the LA basin in the morning commuter traffic. Of course I'm just an old Oregon guy, so I had to imagine that. Reading your concerns has me thinking I wasn't too far off.

    Anyway, enjoy your family and the rest break, and get ready to see the rest of the world.

    1. My next post is going to be about my trip from Desert Hot Springs to Bakersfield . . . just exactly what you're talking about. BTW, hi Gil; haven't heard from you in a while and I still owe you that critique!

    2. I'd appreciate the critique. (I think.) But I'd rather hear what you think about Best Friends and Promises. And as died-in-the-wool Oregonian I caution you against believing everything people say about California. Take care.

  5. Agree with you about California. Stunning.

    1. If you're ever out here when I'm here, I'd love to give you some suggestions of things to do, places to see, people to meet and food to eat!

  6. Happy Spring ... and I love that ol Bridge too ... lived in San Francisco four four years and have driven Highway 1 ... I don't know... lots of times. The last time was in 2012 ... if you followed my ol blog. Going back to Big Sur was the culmination of my wanting to head West again.

    California is a wonderful State. I agree. BUT I love the coastlines on both coasts as well as the Gulf... the mountains in Arkansas, Colorado, Tennesee, Pennslvania and well, all over...

    Not much of a desert kid ... but I'm glad I saw what I saw ..... but you're description of coming back and being with the g'babies is what brought me back.

    But that ol gypsy spirit is deeeeep and I love it ... ;) enjoyed traveling along with you!

    1. ought to proofread... haha... don't mind typos but the grammar? ... but your description not you are description ... sigh

    2. Oh, poof on grammar! You know Carolyn, I think you've probably done more in most of this country than almost anybody I 'know.' You've been around, girl! And, you're so right, all those less advertised places - Arkansas, Tennesse, etc. all have their charms and beauty. And, for me, most of the time it's the people. I look forward to visiting Arkansas and every other big and little state in this Union.
      My "g'babies' aren't so babyish anymore; but oh how I love them.

  7. California is awesome, love the state. However, do come visit "Super Natural British Columbia" sometime.

  8. I've been to BC on several occasions - like I've said before - only short visits each time. I'm very anxious to move around in your beautiful Province and get a real feeling for life, nature and culture in your western Canada. Is it best to go in summer?

  9. Wishing you the happiest of times with family and friends in CA! Also, good luck with your knee surgery.