A Walk in the Rain (Rocky Canyon)

Rain is so infrequent here, that it's a special event. Sometimes I like to lie in bed and listen to the drops on the roof, sometimes I claim a seat at the window of a restaurant looking onto Morro Bay to watch the otters play, and sometimes I sit on the porch and breathe in the moist air.

Today I decided to walk in it.

The Rocky Canyon trail is near Atascadero. It might be the best hike I've had so far in this area. It had everything except the beach. It had woods:

and fields

and hills

and cows

And in the middle of all this, there was even an operating quarry. The path winds through the operation, where you can see the machinery of rock harvesting

and piles of gravel.

Presumably, the chosen route is safe.

(Or possibly not!) I look forward to coming back on a sunny day. That was about 5 miles in the rain, where I learned that water resistant is no the same as waterproof. My jeans were still wet three hours later. Luckily, I had a sweatshirt in the car so I could dump my drenched tshirt and overshirt.

California Poppy #1

So I started a painting 28 days ago. Generally speaking, it takes me a few months to finish a painting.

And if I'm honest with myself, I think it's because I overwork them. So this time, I'm stopping as soon as I can.

Today, in fact.

The lighting isn't all that great because the lighting in my little shed is just one bare bulb. I think the painting's lighting, at least as far as the background is concerned, is better than the picture shows. I'll see tomorrow after the sun comes up.

As I stare at the picture, I'm seeing soooo many flaws, but I'm going to ignore them as best I can.

This Year's Painting

Well, I've started this year's painting a little later than in the past. And so I've had to deal with the early darkness! I paint out in a little shed behind my house. It has a light from which I can run an extension cord to the house. So this is my evening tonight:

I actually started last week. This time I'm roughing out everything in shades first. Then I'll add color.

Sadly, I used too much slow-drying medium. It was so slow-drying that I had some of the paint run during the week:

So tonight was about cleaning that up and starting on the background (you can see the glass I had for a Godfather to help me tonight):

So far so good. Let's see how long it takes to finish this one. Wish me luck in my little shed.


I looked up this recipe because I read a character eating it in a book. It came across as a good comfort food.

I made this with Pennsylvania Dutch egg noodles because the local grocery doesn't carry the appropriate square cut noodles. I used purple cabbage for the visual effect, and it turned out fine. The sausage is cut from Louisiana hot links, so this is likely a spicier version of the meal!

Though it's an Austrian recipe, the cabbage and sausage spoke to my Polish soul. This was good stuff.

I just wish I could remember which book had this meal mentioned.

First Rain

It doesn't rain here often, but when it does, it's generally between October and February. It's been so very dry, and the fires have been bad this year.

So it was exciting to wake up to the sound of rain this morning. It wasn't heavy, but it did a good soaking. And even later tonight it's still coming down.

I just feel bad for the for the figures outside for Cambria's Scarecrow Festival. Some have been given a little bit of protection.

Goodnight Moon

Reservoir Canyon

In what has become a recurring theme, I'm trying to make myself get off my butt more often. Except for the last two weeks, I've been hitting 15 miles of hiking/walking a week since the fourth of July. But you'll notice I mentioned two weeks there. Work has been horrendous; now it's time to get back on track.

This is truly the hike of arches. For the most part, the hikes around here are treeless, but this hike had a nice mix of trees and bushes and open land. There were a lot of plants that seemed to decide to grow around the people who hike through. This tree looks like a frozen picture of how I walk:

There was water on this one. Something I don't get to see a lot of (unless it's salty). And this bridge was a little wobbly:

There was also a good hike upward. And the view was fantastic.

There was a bit of "art" along the way. A few stacks of rocks that echoed Goldsworthy. And I'm not sure if these used to be something or are truly art made from found metal or what.

The path continued up for a bit after I turned around, so I'll have to go back again.

Fog no Fog

The fog pic from the other day:

The view a few days later:

Foggy Bottom

One thing I wasn't really prepared for when I moved to the beach is the fog. It really does come up the street on little cats' feet. 

And then it takes over. Here's a view from the hill overlooking Cayucos. I promise there's a town of 2500 or so people down there. 

There are times when the fog stays over at Morro Bay and Cayucos is sunny. And there are times when it's the other way round. But the fog doesn't get very far inland. Here is today's view of Whale Rock Reservoir above Cayucos. Often you can see the ocean beyond the dam. Today the dam was fighting to hold back the fog. 

I drove up to Paso Robles and back today. When I filled my tank at a gas station in Paso, my car was reporting 89F. Forty minutes later it was 59F in Cayucos. 

As a biker the only positive thing I can say about the fog is that it's an indicator that we are getting a very rare respite from the winds. 

And it makes the streetlights look spooky. 

Johnson Ranch Open Space

This was a good walk to whip up an appetite before heading down to Avila. (I saw a baby whale from the San Luis Harbor Pier, but I couldn't get a good picture.)

The path is a mostly through fields of gold. (The green season is pretty much over.) 

But there are a few nice shady spots. 

There was even water in a creek, though I didn't get a picture. And I never did see the pond that was supposed to be in the old quarry. I don't know if that's the drought or my lack of observation skills!


My grandfather used to say that Upstate New York was God's country. 

I don't know about that. I do know that since I've moved out here to San Luis Obispo County, I've found this county has a whole lot of beauty. There's ocean, farmland, mountains, deserts and even a salt lake. 

These are from Rocky's Trail at Santa Margarita Lake. 

Maybe God moved out to California, too. 

Dry Days

I know that they got some rain up north. We hear that Shasta is doing well. But, folks, California is still in a drought. 

This is a sign at Lake Santa Margarita that is impossible to disobey:

The guy at the camp store told me the lake is at 13%.  All I can say is that the boat ramps don't even make it to the water. 

I think that's a 15 foot drop. 

Between the Sisters

I went for a hike today along Morro Bay's Quarry  Trail. After a sharp left at the gate to what I assume used to be a quarry, a quick little climb took me to an overlook above Chorro Creek. 

In one direction, the inland hills are lovely. 

and in the other clouds hovered over the estuary:

A lovely little two mile hike. A shame I walked away with a tick. 

Antique, Junk or Junque

It was a smorgasbord of antiques this weekend with the Paso Robles Fairground and Cayucos' Ocean Abenue hosting gobs of vendors. 

Here's a sampling:

I'm not sure if this is a game or Art, but it'll cost you $60 (or a reasonable offer). 

Continuing the theme of dealing with the dead, this dresser is sure to freak your daughter out. The "goodbye" is particularly distressing to me, not sure why. 

This guy was making brooms and doing a brisk business. 

I like the look but I don't want furniture that gives me bad dreams about tetanus. 

Which also rules out random pieces of school bus. I think those days are not high on my list for needing enshrinement. 

But if I could have flown in this as a kid I would have.