Hi everyone,

I’m in Davis again, at the home of my brother Larry and his wife Cathy. I never got around to taking a picture of them at the beginning of my travels, so here they are today, in their kitchen:

5_Larry and Cathya


And while I’m focused on the family, here are the three Olsen brothers, from left to right, Tim, Larry and John:

6_the Olsen brothers


I’ve spent this last week among family and friends, most of whom you met at the beginning of my travels last August. Before arriving here in the north, though, I spent a few days in and near the town of Monterey.


October 17th – 19th


From Mission San Antonio I drive to Monterey, a town that for Californians needs no introduction. You can nevertheless read about it here. I spend the following days visiting the town, plus the surrounding area including Carmel and Big Sur, two other sites that, for Californians, need no introduction. I take few pictures, but you can find many on line.

The beach at Carmel:

1_beach at Carmel

The surf is very rough today. Then again, this is northern California.


Speaking of the California missions, this is Mission San Carlos in Monterey, another mission founded by Father Junipero Serra:

2_mission San Carlos

Mission San Carlos probably needs no financial aid to help it meet seismic retrofit goals.


Late one afternoon I take a long walk along the beach on Monterey Bay. Now that the military base at Fort Ord is closing, these beaches are open to the public.

3_beach evening Monterey Bay 4_beach evening facing the sea

It looks like evening light in these photos, but it’s only about five in the afternoon. But as October comes to an end, five o’clock is indeed the evening.

It feels as though my travels are coming to an end.

Santa Barbara and thereabouts

Hi everyone,

After a long drive from Monterey yesterday I’m back in Sonoma County today, at the home of my brother Tim and his wife Anne-Marie. It’s raining this morning, to the great relief of everyone. We hope this is the beginning of the end of a three-year drought. We shall see.

Here’s Tim and Anne-Marie on their front porch:

October 15-19 San Antonio to Rhonert Park 048


Article I’m correcting at the momentSurface dynamics along the shores of Tunis Gulf (North-eastern Mediterranean Sea)


October 12 – 14th

I leave Malibu and drive up the coast stopping here and there to shop and work on my computer in a café. In the afternoon I settle in at Carpinteria State Park, but I take no pictures as my camera is no longer working. I’ll get that taken care of in Santa Barbara tomorrow. Carpinteria, though, is very pretty beach resort town.  You can read about it and see pictures here and here.

In Santa Barbara the next day I get myself a new camera. I take only a few pictures in town, just to try out the camera…

1_Santa Barbar-1_just a few... suffice

…but Santa Barbara needs no publicity.


I make my way north again to El Capitan State Park and find a nice campsite…

3_El Capitan campsite

…and I then rush to the beach to take some more pictures with my new camera.

4_I rush to the beach...


I can’t help but notice the sorry condition of the stairs leading down to the beach…


…which leads me to say that our state parks in California are generally in a sorry condition: underfunded, defunded, unfunded…


But the beach is beautiful, both to the south…

6_the beach to the south

…and to the north:

7_beach to the north


I take a lot of pictures of the beachlife, both terrestrial…

8b_beachlife tree

…and aquatic, though I suspect this specimen no longer qualifies as “life”: try out my new camera...


I like the shadows they produce in the late afternoon light.

8_...on the beach life...

9b_more beachlife 11_beachlife 2

12_beachlife 3 13_beachlife 4


Especially this one:

15_my shadow


That evening I take some pictures from the bluff above the beach:

17_that evening from the bluff


Those specks you can just barely make out in the distance, they’re offshore drilling platforms:

16_due west, the oil rigs


A platform, with the zoom:

17b_platform with zoom

The sky is grey this evening. The forecast for tomorrow is grey and cooler. Autumn is coming.


The next day I take a long walk a few miles along the coast to the next state park, El Refugio:

19_to El Refugio campground

It doesn’t look bad from here, but when I walk around the campground I see that it, too, is rather run down. The palm trees give it a nice appearence from this bluff.


The day is grey but warm…

20_day is grey but warm 20b_beach warm grey day


The Pacific Ocean is a great swimming hole:

20c_beach warm grey 2


I take an interest in the plant life along the way. I’ve seen this one many a time, but I still don’t know what it’s called:

October 13 - 14 Santa Barbara 022 October 13 - 14 Santa Barbara 023

This one is new to me:

18_next day - walk - plants


I’ve been told by Captain that these are called “prickly poppies”, though I called them “datura” in another blogpost. I’ll have to look them up again. It seems to me that I found the name “datura” either online or in a book that I bought about Zion Park. Maybe someone else out there can help me?

22a_prickly poppy 22b_prickly polly


And of course there are the palm trees, starting to be less numerous along this part of the coast:



I haven’t had much success as a wildlife photographer on this trip. I long ago gave up on the ubiquitous deer and squirrels. But his pelican is too good to pass up. I decide to approach step by step, to see just how close I can get. Not too close yet…

23_pelican 1



23_pelican 2


…closer still…

23_pelican 3


…the closest I’ll ever get. The seagull has already taken flight…

23_pelican 4


And then I take one step too many:

24_pelican flies away

These last few days…

I’ve been staying here at the Flying Rock Ranch near Santa Rosa, California:

house, back

barn, facing the yard

My quarters are in the barn, above the garage.

My friends Debbie and Cheryl:

Debbie and Cheryl  at restaurant

And last Sunday my brother Tim and his wife Ann-Marie had a party for their 25th wedding anniversary.  On this occasion they renewed their vows.

My nephew Isaak introduces his parents:

Isaak introduces his parents

The vows:

vows - Tim and Ann-Marie

Tim and Ann-Marie the next day, standing in front of Van as we parted company:

Tim, Ann-Marie and Van

The real road trip is coming soon folks, but for the moment I’m visiting family and friends.  That’s important.