Thursday, August 4, 2016

Aftermath Of The Sand Fire In Canyon Country, CA The Last 2 Weeks of July 2016

The last 2 weeks of July 2016, the valley where I live was covered with smoke and falling ash from the huge Sand Fire (the name CalFire gave to the brush fire). For several days, the fire raged in the canyons around the Santa Clarita Valley. It came as close as 7 miles from my home. I could see the flames and watch the aerial attack on the fire from my front porch.

My dog Hiker and I love to hike the Placerita Canyon Trail in the Placerita Canyon State Park when the weather is cooler. It is beautiful there. In the spring it is lush and green with huge old oak trees and when we have rain, there is a babbling creek running along-side the trail.

Below is how the Canyon Trail looked when Hiker and I were there in February 2016.


Here are photos of the fire when it first started a couple of weeks ago.

Day 1:



Day 2:


On Day 3, the fire was only 7 miles from my home. It had grown very large.


Later on Day 3, the fire fighters attack the fire from the air with planes and helicopters.


After the attack, it seemed that they had gotten this part of the fire under control.


The fire burned in the Angeles National Forest for about 2 weeks. Thankfully, they had it 100% contained as of yesterday.

Today, Hiker and I drove along Placerita Canyon Road. The park is closed do to the damage caused by the Sand Fire. I took photos along the way to show the destruction.

This is what the canyon looked like as we drove through.









 It will be a long time before Mother Nature brings this area back to the way it looked not long ago, but one day it will be lush again.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Route 66 Museum - Victorville, CA

My brother Keith and I headed out into the desert today to visit the Route 66 Museum in Victorville, CA. Had a great time. The docent, Lou, was a fun guy and he told us the greatest stories about bootlegger tunnels under Victorville, and about the ghost they have in the back room of the museum that locked them inside one time. He was really funny. Had a great time.



This place had so many cool items to look and and play with. It's only 3 rooms, but the items brought back a lot of great memories.




Stuff that I remembered from my childhood and from road trips we took as a family on old Route 66.





Caught my brother Keith at an awkward moment (LOL). Sorry Keith.


Here's me in my "new" car (LOL).


Here's Keith and I running from the cops back when we were hippies in the 1960's.


Thanks Lou, for such a fun time. You are a great docent.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Trip To The Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens

A few days ago, I had the honor to receive a personal guided tour of the zoo led by my friend Lynn Toler whom I used to work with at Lockheed. After Lynn retired, she became a docent at the zoo and the animals are her passion.

We spent the entire day walking around the zoo and gardens, checking out all of the different species of animals there. It had been about 4 or 5 years since I had been to the zoo and there were several changes and new exhibits.

The Los Angeles Zoo is located in Griffith Park which is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. The zoo was founded in 1966 and is owned by the city of Los Angeles. The zoo originally opened as The Griffith Park Zoo back in 1912 and only had 15 animals.

I took a lot of photos, but I shared just a few to share with you here on my blog. I hope you enjoy them.

The entrance to the zoo is huge and spectacular. I reminds me of the wall that was built to hold back King Kong.


The zoo has animals from all over the world and tries its best to make the animals feel at home by recreating an atmosphere that is close to their original homeland.

Here is a kangaroo mother and her little joey. She actually had twins, but the other one was wandering around when I took this shot.


I love the giraffes. They have several at the zoo as they seem to be very fertile. The giraffes have such beautiful, long eyelashes.


I always enjoy watching the gorillas and the chimps. They are so much like us humans.



I think the big cats are my favorite animals at the zoo. I am a dog-person, but I think that large cats are so cool.

The zoo has one male lion and one female lion. They were both asleep when we came by. Here is the male.


One of the most beautiful animals on earth is the tiger and the one at our zoo is spectacular.


If you are every in Los Angeles, the L.A. Zoo is a must to see.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

History And Murals Of Santa Paula, CA

Today my neighbor Jean and I drove up to Santa Paula, CA to check out the sculptures and murals around the old town district. We parked at the old train depot and started our walk around town. Santa Paula, CA is located in the Heritage Valley in Ventura County. It is a small farming town dating back to the 1890s.


Our first top was to check out the sculptures of 2 motorcycle officers who bravely road all over town the night the St. Francis Dam collapsed up-river in the Santa Clarita Valley. The wall of water was heading straight for Santa Paula and the officers went from house to house warning people of the danger that was heading their way.


We then checked out the Migrant Farm Workers memorial.



We then started to find the murals that are painted on the sides of the old buildings that depict the history of Santa Paula.


On our way back to the car, we came upon a huge fig tree near the train depot and then we looked down the tracks that headed for home.


Friday, February 12, 2016

Friday At Towsley

Today was a beautiful day in SoCal. We've been in the middle of a winter heatwave so I thought I'd take advantage of it and take my dog Hiker on a hike to Towsley Canyon here in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Towsley is across the valley from us and is one of my very favorite spots to hike and take photos. We had not been there for quite a while.

Approaching the burned oak tree just past the Ed Davis Park


As us you can see it was a gorgeous day





Approaching The Narrows


There was actually a little bit of water in the creek. We took a rest in The Narrows.


Heading back down the canyon