28 February 2008


Well, we have been really making the rounds. Just about everyday we have spent some time at the harbor. There are lots of sea lions hanging around and mom has been having a lot of fun photographing those big boys.

We took a drive up 199 toward Grants Pass, along the Smith River. The Smith River is really very pretty. It's big and the water runs emerald green. Our timing wasn't too good for the light so we didn't get any of the really pretty green stuff to show you. We went as far as Patrick Creek. This is a very pretty creek and we hiked up it for a couple of miles. It was a great walk. We could have driven it but mom likes to walk and so do I. You see more that way.

Along the way was a botanical trail that led to our old friend the Darlingtonia. Quite a big patch of them. They were red rather than green like the ones in Oregon. I reckon it must be the winter or something. Probably a lot colder here. They are cool looking plants green or red.

Sunsets around have been pretty good. We've been out almost every evening trying to capture them.

Although Crescent City is kind of a depressed area it is surrounded by really beautiful natural scenery. I'd recommend this place for a visit any time.

Kinsey Barnard

26 February 2008


Well, thank goodness. The tax stuff is done and we are on our way again. Our first stop was at Willits. We were going to spend some time there but it was too wet and rainy so we spent the night and pushed on to Crescent City.

Crescent City is the last town on the California Coast before you get back into Oregon. The town itself is not so much but it is surrounded by some of natures best. There's a harbor, we love those, and there is access to forests. We love those too.

We thought we had a place picked out to stay, Hiouchi, but mom didn't pay enough attention to the location and in route she realized it was going to be a long way from the harbor. We were headed up 199 when she decided to turn around. She picked a road thinking there would be a place to turn around. Well, she picked one and it wasn't a good one.

When you tow a car on the ground you can't back up. So, you need to be careful you've got room to execute your turn. Well, mom picked a loser and she jack knifed little Shadow who ended up sitting in the road. Thank goodness it was a road less traveled. It had rained all the way up here so everything was wet and muddy. She had to unhook Shadow, move Clementine and then hook Shadow up again. But, good old mom, she just got out there and got after it.

We went back to town and found a place to stay. Over the weekend quite a storm went through and we were without power for about 7 hours. We've done a little exploring as you can see from the photos. Last night's sunset was pretty cool.

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

23 February 2008


We have departed from Morro Bay. I was sorry to go. I really liked that place. But, we are headed north again and I like that idea.

Mom said she had to get her tax stuff done so we went up the road to Gilroy. Gilroy is known for two things, being the garlic capital of the world and shopping. I have never seen so many stores in all my life, acres and acres of them. We aren't big on shopping but we did walk around all the shops and stopped in at Pet Smart so I could do a little looking. I chose this thing that looked like a salami. Thank heavens, I actually liked it when I got a chance to eat some. Mom gets annoyed when I beg for something and then turn up my nose when I get it.

We have found one pretty cool place. A Santa Clara County Park called Harvey Bear Ranch. There are lots of trails and dogs are allowed so we walked all over it. The main feature is Coyote Lake. It's not a particularly pretty lake but it is a pretty park. Rolling hills with beautiful old oak trees. California has had more rain this year than in the past several and the hills are already starting to turn green. Very beautiful.

Other than walking in this park there isn't much to tell. I hang around waiting for the next walk and mom sits at the dinette with here nose in her files. I believe I've heard her mumble some words I know I'm not supposed to use. Clementine looks like a hurricane hit her. Papers and stuff strewn from bumper to bumper. I'll be glad when this is over!

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

19 February 2008

Sea Gulls, Sea Otters & Sunken Treasure

Mom gave her talk at Cal Poly. I think it went ok but I can't say for sure as I was stuck in the car in the garage. But, she seemed pretty chipper when she came back.

We ended up back at Morro Bay harbor for the afternoon. Mom really likes this harbor and so do I. There is so much going on and the smells are a doggy's delight! It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon.

First we checked out the sea otters. They seem to hang out over by Morro Rock. I must admit they are fun to watch. We watched a mother and baby for some time. The baby was riding on the mother's tummy and every once in a while it would fall off into the water and squeal like crazy. I thought otters liked the water. This baby certainly didn't. I don't blame it. I don't like it either!

After watching the otter we headed back to the embarcadero. There is always so much activity there along with great aromas. Mom seems to always find things she wants to photograph. While we were down on a private dock we ran into this guy who was about to set sail for El Salvador. It seems he had been to a garage sale and picked up this treasure book, for two dollars, and in it he found the way to a sunken galleon off the coast of El Salvador. According to him there is like a gazillion bazillion dollars worth of gold bullion on it. We wished him a lot of luck. Really, we did. :)

We kept wandering around the docks until the sunset. It was a pretty nice one. Mom got more abstract photos of the boats in the water. As usual it was another great day!

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

12 February 2008

Morro Bay Harbor, Cats, Kayaks & Elephant Seals

This morning we headed over to Morro Bay Harbor to check things out. It was a beautiful, sunny morning. And wouldn't you know it, mom finds a friend in one of my arch enemies, smack dab off the bat. Cats! You gotta wanna chase 'em!

Mom got this really cool picture of a duck swimming, in what looks like paint. But, it's really not. It's the reflection of a bunch of kayaks. Cool huh?

A little farther along we found this really funny window display for a shop called "Shark's Grin". It is so neat the creativity one finds in these coastal villages. I wonder if it's something in the ocean air? :)

After strolling the harbor we headed up the coast. Our first stop was Moonstone Beach. There is a really nice walk above the bluffs and, praise be, dogs can be on it! Mom took pictures. I tried to catch squirrels. There are a million of them living under the boardwalk!

Next we headed back up to the place where you can look at those sea slugs. Oh, I mean elephant seals. I'll let you in on a little secret. Skip the place where buses and the throngs of people go. Just past there is another "viewing" spot that people seem to miss. It has a great path along the bluffs and the seals are in a much more interesting setting. There is also a nice view of Piedras Blancas lighthouse.

On the way home we stopped for a walk at a place called Washburn Park.

Another great day for me! Hope it was good for you!

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

09 February 2008


We've been exploring the area and trying to find trails to hike but it's really hard here. It's not that there aren't trails to hike. There are lots. The problem is dogs are not allowed on most of them. We went down to Montana de Oro but that park didn't have a single trail a dog could use.

We found this place called the Pygmy Forest which did allow dogs and was kind of cool. The pygmy thing was about the oaks. They were little bitty things. There was also a pack of coyotes yipping around but we never actually saw them.

Another place we found was Black Hill. It's over by Morro Park and if you park down the hill it's a good walk up to the top. From here there is an incredible view of Morro Rock and the harbor. It was too hazy for any good pictures but it was still a cool view.

After Black Hill we went back to the harbor for the sunset. It was a fairly nice one. We also talked to a guy who was fishing from the pier for perch. He caught one while we watched. It was a very nice fish but he threw it back cuz he said he wouldn't eat anything that came out of the bay. Now that's just plain spooky. I don't think I want any sushi from around here!

Mom, as usual, took photos of murals on the walls around the harbor. Some nice ones too. It's interesting, all up and down the coast it's been the harbors that have had the neatest murals.

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

07 February 2008


We have left the Monterey Peninsula and are now in Morro Bay. The drive down the Coast Highway was awesome. I don't think mom enjoyed it as much as I did cuz she was doing the driving and that road is kind of hairy.

The weather here is the best yet. Warm and toasty! We spent the morning over at the harbor and Morro Rock. It's a very pretty harbor.

In the afternoon we headed up the coast to the elephant seal viewing place. Those guys give a new meaning to the word ugly. And, they are about as interesting to watch as paint drying! They look like 1,500 lb slugs on the beach. Apparently, they can be pretty quick for short distances!

Mom ran into a game warden that she had quite a conversation with. Mom can be a blabber but sometimes she learns stuff too! ;) Anyway, the warden told her that one time he had caught a family putting their baby on the back of one of these big beasts. Now, I've often held that humans can be pretty stupid but that one really takes the cake!

After the elephant seals we picked a spot to watch the sunset. It was a pretty nice one!

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

03 February 2008


We started the day out at Castroville. Castroville is a small Central Coast town known as the artichoke capital of the world. And, believe it or not, Marilyn Monroe was the first artichoke "queen". Now there was a real honor! Obviously, this was all way before my time but that's what mom told me. That cool sign there was right along the road at a produce stand and depicts workers bringing in the artichoke harvest. Very well done I think.

We wandered up and down PCH between Moss Landing and Watsonville for half the day. Mom has developed, in addition to a wave thing, a bird thing. As you can see from the photos she got some pelicans, mallards and something I've never heard of before, a marbled godwit. I wonder if that's like some kind of a twit? But who cares. I mean, she uses a telephoto lens and I can't get anywhere near them. Boring. Boring Boring!

Hmmm, I wonder if this attitude of mine is the reason I keep seeing all these signs everywhere with a dog in a circle with a big red slash through it! I do seem to be spending a lot of time in the back seat!

More interesting was that big bunch of harbor seals lolly gagging on the beach. Unfortunately, there was no way to get very close to them even for a photo.

After spending half the day hunting for photographs I finally talked my mom into a walk on the beach. I even got her to leave her blasted camera behind. When she's carrying the dumb thing my forward progress is interrupted every two seconds. A guy hardly can get any kind of walk at all! Anyway, we had a really great time.

Check this out: Press Release

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

01 February 2008


I think mom has gone a little slap happy with these waves. But, I have to admit they are beautiful. I think winter must be especially good for waves because we have seen some doozies.

I must tell you. That GPS thingy we bought, it is really neat and it cuts down significantly on mom's stress level which is good for me as well! :)

To give you an idea of what you can do, here's what we did. The other day mom decided we needed to clean up poor little Shadow who has been on the receiving end of a lot of sand. So, she types in "car wash" and the GPS takes us right to one of those do it yourself places. Naturally, the coin changer thing wouldn't work. So, we typed in "bank" and it took us right to the nearest bank where we bought a roll of quarters. After cleaning up Shadow mom typed in Costco and it took us right to Costco.

Anyone who does any car travel has got to have one of these things. Of course, my mom is generally behind the curve on technology so probably everyone already has one. But, if you are a techno slow poke, like my mom, you really need to look into one. We bought the Garmin Nuv i 260 for around $300. There are more expensive ones equipped with Bluetooth. Anyway, check them out. You'll never get lost again! :)

© Kinsey Barnard