Archive for March, 2011

Hiking in Marin and Sonoma

Marin County is scenic.  You can take many hikes around the bay with views of the Pacific Ocean, San Francisco, and all the lovely hills and valleys surrounding the bay.

We started at the Marin Headlands Visitor Center and intended to walk the Miwok Trail loop.  How we ended up on the Bobcat Trail…… couldn’t guess, between me and my sister we could get lost in a round room, with a map, and a guide.

The Federal Forest Ranger pulled us over for walking our dogs on no dogs allowed paths, he gave us a map, pointed us in the right direction and sent us back down the hill.  We saw turkey vultures, red tail hawks and some wild iris.  Edgar picked up a California tick.

Today we drove to Sonoma and had lunch with Janet’s friend Pat.  Pat came to Portland last year to meet with Arnica Publishing about “Animals Everywhere”.  I took her and Janet for a hike in Forest Park and got us lost coming back from the Pittock Mansion.  Luckily, I flagged down a nice lady in a BMW who gave all three of us and Edgar a ride back to our car – we were on the wrong side of the hill.

Pat did not get us lost in Sonoma and I had the pleasure of walking in the 80 degree sunshine around some beautiful old vineyards.

We stopped on the way home at the Field of  Greens for some free range, just laid eggs, and at the Jacuzzi Winery for a few nice bottles of wine.


Trying to unwind in Sausalito, CA

You would think of all places Sausalito would be perfect to unwind.  Especially living on a sailboat in a marina next to a beach and 10 minute walk from town.

There are Kingfishers, Forster’s Tern, American Coot, Great Blue Heron, and too many other birds to count, just outside my door.  3 parks along the waterfront in walking distance.  Still I have trouble stopping to watch the birds and smell the flowers.

The sailboat needs spring cleaning and I have been putting in a few hours everyday making it spic and span – what is the origin of that phrase?  Spic and Span.  Still not enough to do.

I walked the trail from Sausalito to Mill Valley this afternoon with my sister – about 3 miles through beautiful wetlands.  Then tonight I walked Edgar another 3 miles.  Still restless.

I have been off work for 24 days.  Stopping to appreciate life is more difficult than I had imagined.


Customer Service, Product Quality and Pricing

It finally quit raining and my sister brought her dog, Jack, over to the boat.  We walked to Caldonia Street in Sausalito and I went into Caffe DiVino for two cappuccino’s.  While waiting for my coffee, I overheard a conversation.

“I couldn’t believe it” he said “after all I paid my chicken was dried out, they did a crappy job wrapping it, I am sick of that place.”  I turned around and said “Could you be talking about Mollie Stone’s?”

Wednesday night I stopped in Mollie Stone’s and bought a forbidden piece of $4.00 cake.  I expect a $4.00 slice of cake to be worth the calories.  When I put my plastic fork into it, ahhhhhh, blue, disgusting, fuzzy mold inside the icing.

Thursday afternoon my sister was putting away some groceries she bought at Mollie Stone’s and the  Aidelle’s Sausage, which we both love, was – you guessed it – slimy and moldy.

Mollie Stone’s pricing places them in the “boutique” category of grocery stores.  They are convenient to the docks.    Most people will pay a little more for cleanliness, convenience and great customer service, but the quality of the product is the foundation and Mollie Stone’s is crumbling and moldy.


p.s. The cappuccino at Caffe DiVino was scrumptious.

Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, Downtown San Francisco

If it ever stops raining I am looking forward to exploring San Francisco.  Don’t give me that look, I don’t mind a little rain, but it is pouring buckets and add to that thunder and lightening.  Edgar doesn’t even want to take a walk.

My sister has lived here for years and I have enjoyed visiting.  This is the first time I will have my own car and not be pushed for time.  I hope to see all the tourist attractions plus add in a few out of the way places and some hikes in the hills and along the coast.

Meanwhile in the rain…….

Living on a boat is an interesting experience.  There is no shower, but there are really nice accommodations on shore.  It takes planning and practice to move myself, all my stuff and Edgar on and off the boat.  Each time Edgar needs his life vest so I can lift him, kind of worried about dropping him in the bay!

There is a small galley and when it stops raining,  nice, white cushions for outside seating.  Spotted a rail BBQ that will get some use in the weeks to come.

When the comorants, harbor seals, Forster’s terns and other fowl join in the shad hunt you can hear and see all the different fishing techniques.  There were about 12 harbor seals and too many birds to count fishing right in front of the boat.  It is a display worth standing in the rain to watch.




Hillsboro, OR to Sausalito, CA

I really wanted to take my time driving from Hillsboro to Sausalito.  The rain and cold weather pushed me, which makes having no set schedule quite nice.

I arrived in Sausalito Monday afternoon. The sun was shining!

I am lucky enough to be able to stay aboard my brother-in-law’s sloop for a couple weeks.  Edgar walked happily down the dock and I lifted him, by his convenient life vest handle, on board.

Mid April, the boat is being dry docked for a couple days and I am going camping.  Where is your favorite place to camp and hike near Sausalito/SanFrancisco?


Burgers and Mushrooms

We left the Emerald Forest in the rain, it rained most of Sunday and set up wet on Sunday night in a little town called Willits.

It was horrible, now I will quit complaining.  I did luck out finding Buster’s and had a really great burger, the bun was perfect, some fries and a Guiness.

Now the mushrooms.  I met a guy named Jack on Monday morning at a small place. Jack bought me a coffee and croissant.  He had a sign that said he bought mushrooms which is how we met – I asked him about mushrooms.

He is currently buying Black Trumpet, Hedge Hog, and Yellow Feet mushrooms.  Pickers can earn $2,000 – 3,000 a month.  I had no idea.  Jack also owns the little Thai restaurant near 49th and Powell.  Small world.

Avenue of the Giants

Humboldt Redwoods State Park encompasses 53,000 acres of forests, meadows, and watersheds and about 100 miles of hiking, biking, and riding trails.  17,000 acres consists of old-growth coast redwood forests.
The 32-mile Avenue of the Giants parallels 101 and winds its way through the Park.  This road was originally build as a stagecoach and wagon road in the 1880’s.
I was actually brought to tears driving through this majestic place.  Did I get out and hug a tree?  You  betcha!  Some of these old redwoods were alive when the Magna Carta was signed.
About  3/4 through the 32 miles we stopped in Myers Flat at the Daily Grind for a Chai Latte.  Civilization is never too far away in America.


Trees of Mystery and the Emerald Forest

We left Harris Beach around 1:00 today after it finally quit raining long enough to take down the tent.  I made some blueberry pancakes before we left with fresh blueberries.

The drive down 101 is breathtaking.  We crossed over into California and smack dab between Portland and San Francisco are the Trees of Mystery.  I just had to stop.  The walk through old growth redwoods was beautiful and we took the Sky Trail to the top with views of surrounding mountains and the Pacific.

We left the park and it started raining again.  I drove through the National Redwood Park and it stopped raining as we neared Trinidad, CA.

We pulled into The Emerald Forest of Trinidad Cabins and Campground and Brandon Meyers, the park manager, gave us a spot even though they usually don’t allow dogs unless you are in a RV, thanks Brandon.    This place is really nice nestled among the redwoods with cute little cabins, RV and tent sites, a game arcade to keep the kids busy and wi-fi to keep the adults happy.




Edgar had a seizure last night at Harris Beach State Park in the tent.

Edgar is epileptic and takes phenobarbitol and potassium bromide twice a day.  Vets treat epilepsy in dogs with the same medications they use on humans.

When he has a seizure I add chlorazepate for 3 days – seizures trigger the pleasure center in the brain and the brain enjoys them, the trick is to stop multiple seizures.

He seemed to be ok and ate tons of food today.


Bandon to Harris Beach State Park

A few miles south of Bandon is the West Coast Game Park Safari. I got to pet a Caracal which is an African Desert Lynx.   The park is totally self-supporting and is dedicated to propagation, preservation and education, while reminding all that extinction lasts forever.  Well worth the $16.00 adult admission.
It took several hours to drive from Bandon to Harris Beach State Park because I stopped at each viewpoint, one more beautiful than the next.  Arch Rock, Rainbow Rock and House Rock to name a few.
We pulled into Harris Beach around 3:00 and it actually stopped raining long enough to set up the tent and make a hot dinner.
There is a chipmunk visiting me he decided to come into the tent and steal Edgar’s food.   Edgar is looking at him like “what the hell” he is not quite sure what to do and is reluctant to get out of bed to chase it.  Edgar believes in sharing.
I need to get the camera ready, missed the chipmunk, raccoon and 3 deer who came into camp.