Sunday, August 20, 2017

Monterey Bay

I am starting to appreciate RVGolf Clubs.  It is a membership club that runs $99 per year.  I originally hesitated to spend that much on a 'boondocking' club but it is certainly starting to pay off.  

With this program I stayed at several golf  courses in Colorado, one in Utah, several in California and three nights at this one in Monterey.  The Bayonet Black Horse Golf Course sits high on a hill above the peninsula and the view is stunning of the city and the ocean.  The golf course was once part of Fort Ord.  Now that the military base has closed the golf course is open to the public and is a member of the RVGolf Club.  What a find!  I have now chalked up about a dozen nights at golf courses--all free--so I have more than paid for the membership. 


Of course my first order of business in Monterey was to visit Castroville, buy some artichokes,  


...and visit my husband's gravesite.  


I know he would have enjoyed this adventure of mine--especially the golf clubs.  He was an avid golfer. 


Another great spot to park is Laguna Seca Raceway.  It was not overly expensive but proved more costly by the time I was ready to move on.   A small family of mice moved into my cupboard and I had to become a 'cereal killer'.  That's what they ate, my breakfast cereal.  Then, when I wasn't looking, someone came along and pinched my fold-up rocking chair, one that I had carried for 6 years!  I hope the thief gets an invasion of mice.


My dear friend Sharleen, (who manages the BW Victorian Inn near Cannery Row) took me to lunch at this charming restaurant in Carmel.


I love all the courtyard restaurants you find in California.  We even took Daisy along but a few other customers also brought their dogs.  I will be very glad to get Daisy into some training classes and see if I can get her to behave a little better in restaurants.  Other dogs send her into a frenzy of barking. 


A drive along Carmel's waterfront is still picture-postcard perfect  even though we were avoiding many cars, dogs and rubbernecking tourists.


I was surprised to see how many of the same family-owned businesses and restaurants that were here 20 years prior.  It is a clear sign of a healthy economy that these have not become part of the cookie-cutter chains. 


Alas, there was one McDonald's on Ocean Avenue but that was all.  



One of these two houses on the ocean was designed by Frank L. Wright.  Not sure which house.  


It was also in a surfer movie in the 50's with Sandra Dee.  Also, not sure which one but who cares...No one knows who Sandra Dee is any more.


 

"I Love You Carmel"

 

Next stop, Pacific Grove.


One of the most appealing things about the Monterey Peninsula is that there are 5 or 6 distinctly different little towns that butt up against one another, each with its own waterfront.


Take your pick--Pacific Grove with its charming Victorian houses, Carmel with its shops and story-book inns, Monterey with its history so well described by John Steinbeck, Pebble Beach for its wealth of mansions and golf courses,  plus the working man's communities of Seaside, Sand City and Marina. There is someplace for everyone.


Pacific Grove has restored this lovely natural-growth park with an easy walk-way that Sharleen and I explored.


It is just as spectacular as Carmel's beach---


--but with far fewer cars and people.



 And all of the Peninsula cities share the same sunsets.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Jeanie and Charles

It was a short drive from Morro Bay to the home of Charles and Jeanie, two of the loveliest people I know.


Charles is a very spry 96-year-old...


...and his wife, Jeanie is exhausted trying to keep up with him.


This is Charles' workshop where, presently, he is building a contraption to asphyxiate moles (or maybe gophers) in their holes.  


Jeanie is his assistant, handing him tools and scolding him gently for gopher genocide. It's a tough job but someone has to do it.


 Charles credits his lasting youth from a regular soak in the hot tub (Yep, in the nude)....

 

 ...and an occasional nap (fully clothed).


Daisy was thrilled with having an acre of fenced yard and lots of tennis balls to play with.


Jeanie's workshop is for her quilting.... 


...which nicely reflects her love of animals. 


It was a truly enjoyable two days visiting with this forever young couple while parked next to these amazing oleanders; and as always, it was hard to say 'goodbye'.

 

 Jeanie sent me on my way with a homemade quiche, some mushrooms and 6 eggs from her neighbor's chickens.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Morro Bay

Daisy and I liked this spot so much we decided to spend the night here. 


However the next morning the local gendarme informed us that we would have to find somewhere else to sleep.


That was terribly disappointing--the view from Spirit's window was so very interesting. This 581-foot-high mountain of volcanic rock rises from the water and changes dramatically with the ever-shifting light.   


And Daisy loved having all that sand at her paw-tips.

 

She even dipped a paw into the surf. 


So we moved down the coast to a state park.


Morro Bay is recognized as one of the most important wintering grounds for shorebirds and waterfowl that annually migrate along the west coast of North America.


 Heron Rookery Natural Preserve
The nesting area of great blue heron, black-crowned night heron, great egret and double-crested cormorant.


A 'three-fingered salute from Pacific Gas and Electric"

For 50 years Morro Bay has been identified by a second feature that can be seen for 10 miles in either direction.  Long derided by the locals as an eyesore on an otherwise spectacular coast, the 450-foot-high power-plant smokestacks are now abandoned and have been left to deteriorate--further angering the residents. The small town does not have the funds required to remove the towers.  Why are corporations allowed to leave their trash, abandoned buildings and pollutants behind?    

 

If I were to dump my garbage or holding tank I would be tarred and feathered--and rightly so.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Cesar Chavez National Monument

While crossing the California Desert in the most miserable 115-degree heat imaginable I wandered onto a country highway and found this...


The Cesar E Chavez National Monument.

On October 8, 2012, President Obama signed a Presidential Proclamation, creating the Cesar E Chavez National Monument.  


This peaceful "La Paz" site in the Tehachapi Mountains northeast of Los Angeles, commemorates  Chavez and the struggles and accomplishments of the farm worker movement.


 Daisy was not allowed into the museum and the RV was way too hot for her.    So we walked through the gardens while I recalled the famous 'Grape Boycott' of 1975.  It was the boycott that led to the Agricultural Labor Relations Act allowing farm workers to organize.

Widely recognized as the most important Latino leader in the U.S. during the twentieth century, Chavez led farm workers and supporters in the establishment of the country's first permanent agricultural union.


La Paz became the national headquarters of the UFW; the home and workplace of Chavez, his family, union members and supporters from the early 1970s until his death in 1993.


The residential buildings, administrative offices and maintenance shops had formerly served as a tuberculosis sanitarium. Cesar Chavez and his family moved to the grounds along with volunteers, union members and supporters.  Thousands more streamed through La Paz in support of the movement.  


Major field strikes and national boycotts led to the enactment of California's historic 1975 Agricultural Labor Relations Act, still the nation's only law establishing the right of farm workers to organize.


The union was instrumental in getting the short-handled hoe banned.  Being a gardener myself, I can only cringe whenever I look at those implements.  My back would not last a whole day.


The nonviolence ethic lay at the core of the farm worker movement.


Chavez stood for equality, justice and dignity for all Americans.
He asked to be buried at La Paz.  His grave is among the roses.