I managed to have a free afternoon while visiting Washington D.C. so I decided to walk over to see Arlington cemetery. A couple of points, One- it’s a fairly long walk from downtown to Arlington, Two- it’s a huge place when you get there and a long way up to the top of the hill. I probably would have been well served to ride the metro to the Arlington station and take advantage of the shuttles the drive around the cemetery. My feet were pretty sore the next day. It felt right somehow to walk slowly and quietly without the throng of people that were bustling about most places I went, though so I persevered.
One advantage of walking quietly was that Arlington is a surprisingly good place to do some bird watching.
Since it was spring time there were plenty of things in bloom as well.
The rest of the pictures are here https://captnemo.smugmug.com/Places/DCVirginia/Arlington/
When visiting Washington D.C. one thing that was on my to do list was to see the Air and Space Museum. Turns out there are two locations, one near downtown D.C and one out by Dulles airport. The one out by the airport is the larger more impressive collection so I headed out there. On the way I spotted signs for the Sully plantation so I stopped to check it out. Turned out it was a nice place to walk around and see some of the local wildlife as well as a few historical buildings. Then it was on to the Areo planes!
As advertised the place was huge and one could spend an enormous amount of time checking out all the displays. I spent the afternoon taking pictures and really had a good time. You can check out the rest of the pictures https://captnemo.smugmug.com/Places/DCVirginia/Sully-plantation-and-Air-and-Space-Museum/
I joined my parents for another trip to Huntington. My Dad was attending the Succulent symposium, while my Mom and I would just browse the gardens. We did return to the conference to meet one of the Guest speakers and his wife as they were visiting from Lesotho! Dad wore his Basotho hat for the occasion.
The drive down was uneventful though google’s directions did manage to take us on a route we hadn’t tried before. It was a lovely day to stroll around and check out the gardens.
Mom and I had lunch at the Chinese garden where the food was excellent as always and the ambiance is hard to beat.
Check out the rest of the pictures at: https://captnemo.smugmug.com/Places/California/Los-Angeles-/Huntington-Gardens-2018/
Earlier this year my parents invited me to go along with them on a trip to visit my Aunt and Uncle in Joshua tree. We stopped in Boron on the way and checked out the 20 Mule team Museum which was bigger then I expected. It really was a nice break in the drive and worth a visit.
It was pretty warm out and as we continued on our way, you could tellwe were in the desert, even the coyote looked hot and thirsty.
The next day we headed out to the park to do some sight seeing. There were quite a few climbers taking advantage of the cooler morning to try out their climbing skills.
There was plenty of interesting plants and critters to check out as I hiked along some of the trails that wove in between the rock outcrops.
We also stopped off at the ever popular skull rock
We continued on through the park and stopped at the Observatory and nature center. They had an interesting display showing relative scales of the solar system and a nice collection of cactus and other desert plants.
Our final stop before heading into town was the Mara Oasis https://www.nps.gov/jotr/learn/historyculture/mara.htm
Back at my Aunt and Uncles house we went out back in the evening to take a couple pictures of the Joshua trees in their yard.
It was a great trip and a nice time catching up with family. The time to head home came all to soon.
When looking for a way to escape the weather in the central valley we have two choices the mountains or the coast since the mountains have a tendency to be covered in white stuff in winter my parents and I opted for a drive to the coast. The two main routes towards the coast from Bakersfield are the I5 (referred to as the grapevine) which goes South to L.A or hwy58 which goes west towards Morro bay. Since we weren’t in a hurry though we chose another rout and took the 166 through Cuyama. This is a slow route but is scenic and avoids some of the more extreme elevation changes the other routes go through. We’d picked a beautiful day and the sun was out while plenty of people enjoyed the ocean. There were plenty of flowers in bloom and the birds were singing.
We passed by the Monarch Butterfly grove but since it was crowded and we’d been their previously we didn’t stop though we did admire the clouds of butterflies as we went by. We stopped at Dinosaur park so I could capture a few Ingress portals while we enjoyed the scenery.
The park has an interesting history of being the location of one of the largest sea caves in California, as well as the site where someone attempted to build a life size brontosaurus. Unfortunately the cave collapsed and the brontosaur was never completed. There is a very nice park there now and we enjoyed walking through it.
Eventually we moved on had some lunch then found access to a nice cove to do a little tide pooling.
It was a pleasant day and while the drive home was long it was worth it.