Friday, June 29, 2012

The Skull Cave

 For those interested in volcanoes or caves, Lava Beds National Monument is well worth the trip. During the drive you will enjoy the spacious vistas for which the West is famous. Once in the national park you will have more caves than you can visit in a day. Despite the total absence of built-in lighting, Skull Cave is a beginner's cave. There are hand rails and metal stairs, but you must provide your own flashlight. Without it, a mistep could send you plunging into the dark.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What is a Venus Transit anyway?

Back on June 5 the song King of Pain, by the Police, was running through my mind along with thousands of other Californians. I was fortunate to be near the Auburn Dam Overlook as I wrapped up my business for the day. I joined a crowd of hundreds to enjoy safe viewing of the event organized by Don Maccholz and a band of dedicated amateur astronomers. To see an excellent write up of the event, visit  Venus Transit.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Traveling with Pets in California National Forests

I'm going to break one of my rules and share the names of my traveling companions in this blog. Angus gave me permission to photograph him for this article. I asked him to spread his wings, and this beautiful Macaw graciously obliged.

I was most surprised to meet such a handsome fellow in an unlikely place named Likely, CA. This Mackaw travels in a spacious room in an enormous motor home with a mated pair of humans. He converses with them during their travels and gives his opinion on the DVDs the humans provide for his entertainment. His neighbors in the upstairs flat are much smaller, but equally beautiful representatives of the avian family.

Buddy the Wonder Dog was at the top of his game on the Big Foot search. As the 5 day migration of humans into non-urban territory was wrapping up, he became quite animated as he tried to alert another mated pair of humans that a small, furry hitch hiker had stowed away on the undercarriage of their truck. They graciously accepted his warning, but chose to drive on to their urban territory without verifying Buddy's report.

Bixbie the Wonder Weiner showed the group that it is not the length of your legs, but the size of your spirit that matters in a wilderness hike. He accompanied the mated pair of humans who provide his ecosphere on a mile and a half hike up the Soup Springs trail in the Modoc National Forest. Brave little Bixbie hiked up and down an altitude change of 700 feet during the mile and a half hike.

Sadie the sweetheart accompanied her male human as he motored around the 6900 yard golf course. Thanks to this white German Shepard's expert coaching, her human male was able shoot an 84 on an incredibly windy day.