30 January 2008


Surf's up in Monterey!

Mom took this photo at Marina Beach on Monterey Bay. There have been numerous storms through here since we arrived in the area and the waves have been amazing. Well at least to a Montanan! I think these guys are crazy to be out on those big, wild things in that freezing cold water. I like freezing cold but sure as heck not in the water!

I felt like running up to all of them and telling them they should head for Nicaragua! Mom's nephew, Lance Barnard Moss and his wife Kristin, run a first class surf camp there. And, it's warm and toasty! Serious surfers should check it out Surfari Charters. They also do fishing charters.

I would never have thought the waves could get so big in the bay. But, there they are!

© Kinsey Barnard

27 January 2008


We took a drive up the coast to a place called Moss Landing. There is a harbor there and lots of wildlife.

While we were there we saw snowy egrets, great blue heron, pelicans, seals, otters and a bunch of other coastal birds. It was a rainy dreary day and not very good for photography but we had a great time just watching all the fabulous creatures at play!

© Kinsey Barnard

25 January 2008


Wow! We've struck the Mother Lode again!

I thought Marin was beautiful. Monterey may be even more so, if that's possible!

The drive down was pretty uneventful. We crossed over the Richmond Bridge and came down past Oakland. Mom was glad we did cuz it's a lot simpler than going across the Golden Gate Bridge.

The Marina dunes are just fantastic, pristine and colorful. I got my first good romp in them and mom got her first photographs. We were both very happy!

We went over to Pacific Grove with the idea of seeing the Monarch butterflies. We found the sanctuary but found very few butterflies. Pacific Grove is famous for this butterfly migration. I don't know where they were hiding.

More to my liking we took the walk along the bay. It goes quite a long way and is beautiful as well as interesting. There were lots of seals sunning and napping on the rocks below. They are so funny to watch as they perch on tiny rock points and seem to pose. They bark and chase one another around. They seem so very happy. I sure would have liked to join in the fun but I just hate the water. I'll go in as far as my tummy but that's it for me!

In other news. Mom has joined the 21st century and gotten herself a GPS. As much traveling around as we do I can't believe it took her so long. She chose a Garmin and the thing is amazing. It talks to us and tells us exactly when and where to go.

© Kinsey Barnard

23 January 2008


Ok, back to the Pt. Reyes National Seashore one more time. But, truly folks, this is a magnificent park and one could spend months exploring and observing here especially if you don't bring your dog. I don't care for that part of it much but I certainly understand why it has to be. Everywhere we have been there have been leash laws, much to my chagrin. And, everywhere we've been people take their dogs off lead. And, worse yet, they don't pick up after them. Yuck!

Anyway, we headed out to the north point. The Kehoe Beach Trail is a short walk to the beach and it is a really pretty beach with incredible sand cliffs.

After Kehoe we kept on going north until we got into the elk preserve. Thule elk are only found in California. Apparently, their numbers were once up there with the buffalo until we arrived and wiped them out. They were nearly extinct before someone decided to give them a hand. Now the park has a herd of between 300 - 400 and there are around 3,200 statewide. They are elegant beasts.

We almost got to Tamales Point, the northern most point but we'd fiddled around until we lost all the light so we headed home.

Until next time ....

© Kinsey Barnard

22 January 2008


On Thursday we headed back to Pt. Reyes National Seashore. This time to Limantour Beach, which is in the Phillip Burton Wilderness Area. Limantour is a particularly nice beach. Broad and flat and hardly anyone there. Really nice for walking and cavorting. Mom did the walking I did the cavorting.

The biggest excitement of the day was spotting an American Bittern. They are members of the heron family. This bird has the ugliest feet. They are huge, yellow and have what look like claws. Really, the strangest feet on a bird I ever did see!

Friday we drove north with the idea of going to the Russian River. Despite all the storms the river was pretty low. The water was muddy and not very picturesque. We ended up in Guerneville and Armstrong Park. As usual hiking for us was pretty restricted. The dog thing don't you know. But, it is a pretty park in the midst of beautiful big redwoods and certainly worth the visit.

Ooops! I loaded the photos in reverse order! Sorry about that!

© Kinsey Barnard

20 January 2008


Well, I'm getting way behind here. We've been awfully busy.

We did make it back to Blackies Pasture. Blackie was an old cavalry horse that lived his days out in a pasture along 131 on the way to Tiburon. He was without a doubt the most sway backed horse I've ever seen but was clearly beloved by the people. The citizens have made quite a memorial too him as well as a great place to get out for some exercise and fresh air.

You can walk all the way to Tiburon following along the shore of Richardson Bay. There are many kinds of birds to be seen and birders would enjoy the walk it only for that reason. I have included photos of a mallard pair and a snowy egret.

You'll also see funny things. As part of one persons landscaping I saw what looked like the little guy from Travelocity!

We continue to be impressed with what a great job the people of Marin have done integrating themselves with nature. If I had to live in an urban area this sure would be a place where I could live..

© Kinsey Barnard

15 January 2008


We took a drive back over to Tomales Bay and then Valley Ford Road up to Bodega Bay. That section of road is very beautiful. Along the eastern shore of Tomales Bay we saw the coolest Brown Pelicans and mom was able to get some photos of them. Tomales Bay itself is pretty cool.

The countryside is very bucolic. Rolling hills with cattle and sheep dotting them. It's easy to see why California cows are happy cows. Me I love the cold but you should see the poor cows in Montana in the winter. When temperatures goes subzero they have icicles hanging from their noses and mouths. I don't know how they stand it. They don't have comfy coats like mine.

We continued on up the Coast to Bodega Bay. It's a colorful little village and mom says she'd like to come back here and stay sometime. They have a couple of really nice RV parks that we saw.

Just outside of Bodega Bay we stopped to look at the coast at Arched Rock. Boy the ocean was really kicking up. Pretty soon we noticed a Coast Guard helicopter and two Coast Guard boats hanging around the area. They looked like they were searching and I'm pretty sure they were cuz a little farther up the road at Portuguese Beach there were a bunch of sheriffs cars. I doubt there was much chance of anyone getting rescue. The surf was relentless.

We nearly made it to Jenner but missed it by a hair. Mom doesn't like to drive in the dark much so we turned back. Maybe another day.

Oh, that last photo is of some Mute Swans we found over at The Rush Creek Open Space place.

Until next time ....

© Kinsey Barnard

13 January 2008


We are starting to see a little sunshine and none to soon for us! :)

We took off bright and early for Pt. Reyes. Well, ok, that's a bit of a stretch. We left around ten. Out first stop was at The Cheese Factory. Mom never passes up a chance to improve the larder! She says that Rouge et Noir brie is the best domestic brie you can buy and so she did! It's also, a nice place for a picnic. There is a lovely pond and picnic tables. Very clever of them! :)

From the Factory we headed on over to the Pt. Reyes National Seashore. In order to get there you must pass through Inverness, a quaint village that sits right on Tomales Bay. Mom says it hasn't changed much in 20 years except for the real estate prices. Looks like Inverness has now become quite chic.

We continued on to the park and took the road leading to the lighthouse. We never actually made it to the lighthouse because the fog got so thick we couldn't see two feet in front of us and the road is pretty windy and not all that wide. Once we turned aroound we got out of the fog and headed for Drakes Beach. There's a little cafe there and it's a very nice beach except for the fact they wouldn't allow dogs on it. I swear! Oh, no I don't mom doesn't allow it! ;)

On the road to Drakes Beach we spotted a herd of Thule Elk. Naturally, I got to stay in the car for the stop to view them. They aren't as elegant as the Roosevelt Elk but they look just good for chasing! ;)

After Drakes Beach we went to North Beach. The waves were really big from all the stormy weather and I did get a good run on this beach! It was a beautiful day and a beautiful drive.

Until next time .....

© Kinsey Barnard

10 January 2008


Ok, I'm here to tell you, these people in Marin County, they are enlightened. They love their dogs and have really special places for them to romp and play! We found this place in Mill Valley where there is a dog park and a trail that goes all the way to Sausalito.

I should tell you about these cool books that the counties along 101 publish. They are called "101 Things To Do" and they seem to have them for most counties along the route. Anyway, we found the trail in that book. It starts at Bay Front Park and goes along Richardson Bay.

It was drizzling most of the tme and the clouds were so low they looked more like fog. But, what a great walk we had. There were wild birds everywhere. We saw snowy egrets, great blue heron, pin tail ducks, mallards, gulls, coots and a ton of birds we couldn't identify.

It's amazing how man and wildlife have adapted to each other and live in relative harmony. Unfortunately, mom wasn't carrying her long lense and most all the shots she tried had unattractive background. I've got a couple here to show you and the mailbox which was where people kinda recycle plactic bags for poopie pick up. I tell you, these people have got it together!

© Kinsey Barnard

08 January 2008


We finally found a hole in the clouds and made our escape from Eureka. The drive was pretty nice actually but there was a surprising amount of snow in the passes. As usual we stopped for nothing except a potty break. As it was, the trip took us five hours.

So, now we are in Marin County my mom's old stomping grounds. Wow, the people and traffic. I've not seen anything like it.

We haven't escaped the rain yet. It's been raining really hard today but they say it should clear up in a day or so. We waited for a little break and headed for Tiburon. Mom lived there, twenty years ago and wanted to see if it had changed much. It really hadn't she said. A few new condominiums down by the water and some new businesses but it was pretty much the place she remembered. She told me how she had taken the ferry to work in the city and what a lovely lifestyle it had been.

Our walk at Tiburon was all too short for my taste. But, we ran into an NBC news crew that said they were just waiting to report a big storm that was coming and would drop 2 to 4 inches. So, we decided to call it a day and wait for some sunshine. Blackies Pasture looked like a swell place for a walk. Hope we go back!

On the way home mom did a little shopping and I even got to shop at Petco. I love that store! It's "nose candy" for for dogs! :) This one had fish tanks at ground level and boy I think I nearly caught a fish! Well, I bit the glass anyway before mom realized what I was up to!

We are now back with Clementine and it is really raining. Sure looking forward to some sunshine!

© Kinsey Barnard

05 January 2008


We are still hiding out from the big storms here in Northern California. I think mom now has us scheduled for departure on Monday. I guess we'll just have to see how the weather holds.

Meantime, I can tell you about another adventure that we had. Mom decided to try heading south to see what we could see. Not too far south of Eureka we found The Avenue of the Giants. This is a drive that takes you through the oldest, virgin stand of redwoods in the world! That sounds like a wowser to me! Unfortunately, it was dark and dreary and mom didn't get any interesting pictures for me to show you.

Looking at the map it looked like there might be a cool loop you could make that took you through the Rockefeller Forest and eventually to a place known as the Lost Coast and then back to Ferndale and 101. Well, let me tell you. We got a lot more than we bargained for. On the little map we had picked up at the information place this loop looked like a easy little trip. What we ended up with was Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. At least that what mom called it.

Me, I'm just glad I don't get car sick cuz I've never been on such a steep and windy road in all my live long days! I mean there were so hairpin turns my fur almost curled! And some place were so steep I wondered how little Shadow was going to be able to haul us up them.

After about 2.5 hours we made it to the Lost Coast. No wonder they call it "lost". I sure thought we were! It was beautiful but I'm not sure it was worth the drive getting there. Except, if you start in Ferndale it's a lot shorter drive.

© Kinsey Barnard

PS: Read what interior designer Kristi Linauer has to say about my mom's photography! Kristi Linauer Review

03 January 2008


Hope you all had a great holiday season. We are still in Eureka, California. We were supposed to be headed out by now. But just as we got ready to go, along came a lot more storms. You know how mom loves to drive the RV in the wind and rain! So, we will wait a few more days before departing. Hoping for better weather.

I thought I might catch you up on some of the stuff we've been up to since I last wrote. One day we took a ride north up 101. The idea was to go to Gold Bluffs and Fern Canyon. We had heard that Fern Canyon was very beautiful. This was where I got my first taste of the California welcome mat for dogs. NOT! Turns out California doesn't let dogs in any of their state parks. Since everything around here is either a National Park (which don't allow dogs either) or State Park we soon found out I wasn't welcome anywhere.

Lotsa driving for not much this day but we did see a bunch of elk. I always like that cuz it gets my juices flowing. :)

And, on the way back we stopped at some wood carving places in a little town called Orick. They had some pretty good stuff. I almost got in trouble though cuz I almost lifted my leg on Sasquatch. Whew! that one was a close call!

We stopped at a few more places but didn't see anything interesting. We had been told by the parks' person dogs could go on the beaches. Naturally, the beach we tried was closed to dogs because of some endangered species type bird. Good grief. What's a fellow like me supposed to do?

© Kinsey Barnard