california

10 articles tagged as california
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Hiking is like life. Sometimes, you take the same walk for the hundredth time, thinking you’ll get the same old path, and find a hillside full of wildflowers instead. After much patience, and way too many emails, walking the same old paths to employment, we finally found a great job beyond the mountains! The big city is calling, so Lola and I were enjoying a few of our last days in the desert before rolling on. Monty and Niko and I hiked high into the hills. It was amazing, not only to see things growing again, but thriving in this desert dust. Everywhere we turned was a new type of flower: asters, poppies, beebalm, cactus, yucca, and …

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Life in a California trailer park is quiet and strange. I won’t say exactly where it is, but know the park where I’ve been living is near LA and in the desert. There are about 50 to 75 trailers here, most of them full-timers, like me. Like the park in Amarillo, you can tell those that don’t move because they’ve got moats of stuff surrounding their rigs. There’s a playground, and an okay-looking pool, hot showers, and internet that works…sometimes. So it suits my needs, and the price is right. The funniest part about this park was that I had to “apply” to be allowed to stay here by sending a picture of Lola, because she’s vintage. …

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  Nothing lasts forever when you’re an unemployed travel blogger, especially not posh places on the beach. I knew that soon my adventures would have to take a hiatus while I looked for work to beef up the coffers. I knew soon that Lola and I would have to find somewhere cheap and decidedly more horrible to live. That’s why I chose to spend three glorious days at the Jalama Beach campground, just south of the air force base in Lompoc, CA. The beach is difficult to get to from the highway. It’s about 14 grueling, hilly miles on a road with no shoulder and many hairpin turns. I’d recommend making this trip either early in the …

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If you’re wondering why there has been a serious hiatus in posts lately, it’s because California is expensive. It would be one thing if everything was equally expensive, and it didn’t matter where I stayed. But no, things in Cali are a strange mix of “OH MY GOD HOW COULD YOU POSSIBLY CHARGE THAT MUCH AND GET AWAY WITH IT?” and “Oh. It’s $5 extra.” What I’m trying to say is that prices are all over the place, and I’ve had a hard time finding a home base with internet. Hell, I’ve had a hard time finding places to stay AT ALL, and even when I do find something reasonable, it takes me a whole day of …

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I spent the holidays in Pismo Beach, a medium sized resort town north of Santa Barbara. The main attraction is, of course, the beach, which is long and pristine and allows dogs. Sign me up. The nice thing about Pismo in particular is that the majority of the beach is public, state park land with beautiful dunes and sweet-smelling eucalyptus. At Oceano State Park you can pay $10 to drive out and camp on the sand. (We did not, because Sacagewea’s 4wd went out back in Amarillo.) Between Pismo and Oceano is a grove of eucalyptus where a huge colony of Monarch butterflies spends the winter. Though my lens was a bit too short to capture them, …

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As we left “the Big Sur,” we entered San Simeon, which is more rolling and brown than the high cliffs north of there. At Piedras Blancas beach you can watch the elephant seals in their rookery. They’re sleeping, okay? I know, not very exciting. Every once in a while one would grunt and toss sand on their back. The males are huge and a little more active than the females. I saw a few playing (fighting?) in the waves. Inexplicably, the seals are guarded by a fence that says “Do not feed the squirrels.” The sunset was gorgeous, like the sky was on fire, one evening. Of course, I didn’t have the camera until the last second, …

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After many hours on Highway 5 amid very dry, dusty conditions and a sense of brownness everywhere, I finally made the turn toward the sea. It is one of the final legs of my journey: California Highway 1. At first, I was a little nervous. There were a LOT of people on the 1 around Santa Cruz, and the drive wasn’t all that pretty. Lola and I can’t drive very quickly around the bends, and traffic was piling up behind us, with no place to turn off. We headed south. Monterrey was much the same. You may ask why I didn’t stay in any of these places. At $50 a night, just for an RV spot, it …

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Barstow California is a FUNNY little town. It is at the crossroads between two highways in the middle of the Mojave. I stayed one night at the Rainbow Basin Campground, which has a long washboard dirt road, no electricity and a lovely view of very DESOLATE desert. It was also 25 degrees at night. Only I can nearly freeze to death in the Mojave, I swear. It was chilly, but I had the dogs to keep me warm. I was a little glad of the cold, just cause, ya know, snakes come out when it’s hot. Eesh. In the morning I heard a huge boom, which I’m assuming was some kind of weapons testing at the nearby …

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