Thursday, November 28, 2013

West coast Shuffle

 The road trip is now complete, and Cheetah is resting in her place in Seattle.  Danny and I are still alive, but we might have damaged our nostrils, and those who have come near us.  Charlie is barely alive, but green slime comes out of both ends and his boredom levels have never been higher.  Still, the stamp of completion remains!  We left Bellingham eastbound on the 11th, went through Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, Montana again, Wyoming again, Utah, Utah some more, Utah again, Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon, and finally back to Washington! 

Since last I left off, I went to my brother Jeremy's house in Fillmore, CA, near Ventura, then down to Carpenteria, near Santa Barbara, to Danny's Mom's house.  We walked the beach a little and basked in the sun there, and reluctantly left the next day.  I am sure I could have spent a few days resting in the golden glory of the sun.  We puttered up the coast to Morro Bay, and jumped off the sand dunes there, something I've done before.  There is a park called Montana Del Oro State Park, a mountain of gold it is.  The park has some large sand dunes and a bunch of great coastline, so everytime I am near, I like to go visit.  I also like the coast there because it is less crowded than further south.  The Central Coast, they call it. 

 We trundled furthermore to Big Sur, the coastline just south of San Francisco and north of Morro Bay.  This area is steep and rugged and the place to have a James Bond scene.  The Cheetah wasn't about to do any of that nonsense, so we purred along at a smooth rate.  Charlie was driving most of the time, and he didn't like us getting out to take pictures all the time, so here is a shot of him barking at us to come back and sit down.  Its a hard life being a dog.

 We stayed the night in a great secret spot that I cannot tell you more about, (secret) and then continued onwards toward Monterey.  While in Monterey, we mused about the steel boat that Danny bought there in December 2009, then wandered the waterfront to look for more boats to lust after.  We eventually made it to the Aquarium and reluctantly paid the $35 entrance fee and went in.  It was fantastic, but I am still a bit begrudging the fee.
They have lots of California fishes, like the Kelp Greenling...

There were a bunch of Jellyfish, and I like how they set the exhibit up for that, with a blue infinity background and lights to attract the jelly and light them up.  The orange and blue contrast was great.  I tried to get pictures that worked, but it is difficult.  At times I felt like the James Bond car chasing we had done on the big sur coast didn't go so well and we had been captured by the world-controlling fiend who had thrown us into his slow-death dungeon with beautiful, but fatal, jellyfish.  There were no jelly beans from the jelly fish.

 They have a giant tank for Tuna, and in it, there are a few Bluefin Tuna that are the size of a motorcycle, and heavy.  HUGE thing they are.  They wander the tank in a circle and even though it is a giant tank, it still isn't very big for them.  They also have Dorado, and hammerhead sharks, and some other pelagic fishes, many of which I've seen before in the wild. 
The aquarium is mostly filled with little ones.  There are tiny fishes and tiny kids watching the fishes. 
They have a bunch of Leopard Sharks that are really pretty, sliding through the tank like a sideways slinky.  I like the kelp, and I want to go back to the Channel Islands to dive some more in kelp.  Or just to dive again.  I miss being under water.  I'll be heading to Hawaii in a week, so I should get some catch-up time in la Profundo then.  

 They had a Pacific Northwest exhibit with a big bulgy frog too.
 After Monterey we went to Marin County to see my sister Rachel, and her little ones.  We tarried the night but slipped out the next day to make time out and north.  As we left California we got a view of the sun setting with the grasses waving their farewell.

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