Monday, March 24, 2014

From Palm Trees to Moose Noses

We watched the sun come up over Santa Monica Blvd. (thank you Sheryl Crow)
I love to see palm trees along the beaches in SoCal. These were 50 feet tall and limber.
We strolled the boardwalk from Santa Monica Pier to Venice Pier. These sand fences made me think of Wyoming's snow fences.
The seagull's bid us farewell.
I'm an early riser and I was so happy to find this little coffeehouse, right next door to our hotel, open at sun up. Their coffee was delicious and I liked the sign they had posted at the coffee bar. Can you believe an idea like this still exists? And in trendy Santa Monica, no less. Brilliant! I thanked them for the excellent coffee and the sign.
Santa Monica Public Library. Look at how historic and sweet this library is. I like to visit local libraries wherever I go.
Ater a day walking in the sun and sand, I had an appetite for good Mexican grub. I enjoyed some enchiladas while admiring the Frida Kahlo mural on the wall of this restaurant. And I thought of Kelly, my dear friend, the Umber Dove.
I always, always, take the winding road up Topanga Canyon. We passed the bohemian shops and went to the top to the trailhead at Topanga State Park. It is the world’s largest wildland within the boundaries of a major city. As I looked out at the canyon I breathed in all the beauty of the live oaks and the pacific ocean in the distance. I had just said goodbye to my parents four hours earlier and I was already missing them. I was thinking about my dad and how eager I had been to wake up each morning to see his face. At the crack of dawn I'd find him sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee, deep in thought. In my flannel reindeer pajamas, I'd quietly enter the kitchen, we'd exchange smiles without saying a word, in the early morning light. If I could have one wish, it would be to see the sun rise and my father's smile at the same time, forever and a day. You see, our one on one talks are brief, but I find myself regretting still, of things left unsaid. My dad will be 93 in less than two months. He's awe inspiring.
Walking along the grasslands of that mountain, my thoughts turned to my mother. Of our daily heart to heart talks, solving the world's problems together and laughing out loud. I treasure her and our times together.
We flew over the familiar Rocky Mountains and landed in Denver in the late afternoon. Naturally, the sun was shining and the sky was cloudless. We drove north to Red Feather to check on the Silver Moonbeam and to see if any critters had wintered in there. The snow had drifted and was deep around the trailer, but we went inside and sat down for a few minutes and heard nothing. It wasn't springtime yet. No birdsong, no Prairie Phlox or alpine flowers. Only signs of bobcat tracks in the snow and the always present rabbit.
On our drive out of the village of Red Feather, through the pines and aspen, we exchanged greetings with a mama moose and her youngster. And that's when my heart exploded with joy.
That's when I knew we were home.


Monday, March 17, 2014

Surf Series

Hang loose. Stoked. Rip. Shred. Yo. Swell. Mavericks. SurfBetty. Gnarly. Diva. Curl. Mahalo.

A surfer's lifestyle is alluring. For one thing, they like to get up early to watch the sun come up. Most likely they're enjoying a good cup of coffee, barefoot on the shore. They're observant and patient and laid back, but serious in judging a set of waves. Contemplative and free. The still of the morning, the golden sand, the sea foam froth, waves curling for the surfer and her board.

Paddle out, catch a wave, fly.

In Morro Bay with my parents, taking our time walking the boardwalk, we found the sea otters lounging around on their backs, long legged egrets and herons tiptoeing around and sea lions soaking up the sun on the dock.

Cayucos offered up colorful pieces of beach glass and some tumbled wood and moss 'sponges'. Gifts from the salty sea.

What an amazing place the central coast is.

I didn't wear socks the whole time I was in California. One morning I saw that it was snowing in Wyoming, and I just laughed. But, what do you suppose I did when we got back yesterday? We went skiing, of course!

I learned the same thing as I always do when coming down from my high after traveling. And that is this:

There is nowhere else I'd rather live than right here, on my sage dotted prairie, in one of the last wild places.

Wyoming. Like no place on earth.





Monday, March 10, 2014

Central Coasting

Sunny. Warm. 75 degrees. Ocean air. No wind. Hanging with my folks.