Took a break from the heat by heading to the coast. Island Packers has a combo trip that goes to Prisoners harbor on Santa Cruz Island and then on around to Painted cave. We had a great trip out as the ocean was particularly calm so we were able to see even more dolphins then I spotted on previous trips.
The cave is big enough (approx. 1225′ long) they can drive the whole boat inside it! Dad spotted some interesting Dudlyea growing near the entrance.
Back at the Harbor, we got a little confused since I was used to landing at Scorpion bay and prisoners harbor is a completely different end of the island! We went for a short walk then ate lunch and watched an island fox sneak around looking for leftovers.
All too soon it was time for the trip home. We had a delicious sea food dinner in Ventura before heading back to the heat.
Little did we know what the year had in store for us in February. We hadn’t seen social distancing and the pandemic was still just a mysterious illness that was affecting a few people. In our blissful ignorance we made our way to what would prove to be one of the last large events we would attend for quite some time.
The drive down to LA was uneventful and we even arrived early enough to get a great parking spot near the center of all the days events.
Since we were early we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast at a small bakery in the square and I read up about how Dr Sun had gone to school in Honolulu and had been financially supported by many supporters of the revolution in Los Angeles.
With breakfast out of the way we walked along the shops checking out the things for sale and tried to scope out a good place to watch the parade.
Bruce with Bruce, and Lora in the background
We even got to watch some dragon dancers perform while we waited.
Eventually we picked a spot on the sidewalk and prepared to wait for the parade. LAPD kept the crowd entertained while we waited.
Eventually it was time for the parade!
My favorite part is the dragons.
Afterwards we were pretty hungry so we made our way over to Hong Kong BBQ which served up a delicious meal. It was a great trip and we decided to head home afterwards since we were all pretty tired.
Following the Apricot Festival we loaded up two trucks with pyrotechnic supplies and this time headed east to Silver lake, Baker and the grand finale was the large show at Edwards AFB. Here’s the video of silver lakes.
After Silver lakes we set up at Baker which was a pain in the 115 degree heat and I didn’t get any pictures because then we were off to Edwards to start setting up for the big show.
It was an impressive show. The 8″ mortars launched from steel casings went 1000′ into the air and we could feel the blast from their concussion. Here’s another video:
I was lucky enough to get hired to help out with the Pyrotechnics for this years Apricot Fiesta in Patterson. It was a good sized show which took a little work to set up but since it was electronically fired I was able to take a few pictures while the show was going on.
Assembling and then wiring all this up in the hot sun was the hard part!
Then came the fun part…
Luckily the firemen helped load everything back into the truck so we weren’t there all night.
During the International Congress of Speleology last summer I managed to fit in some site-seeing in Sydney. The congress was held in Penrith which was about an hour away from Sydney. Fortunately there were several different options for getting there that all proved to be quite practical, especially since the opal card I purchased originally to get to my hotel was accepted on the trains, buses and ferries that I took whilst traveling back and forth.
I particularly enjoyed the route I took from Parramatta since it involved taking a ferry downriver. This not only got me directly to the waterfront pretty quickly, it also allowed me to see another town.
In Sydney itself my two favorite destinations were the waterfront and the tower which afforded a fantastic view of the city.
I was a little worried when we first reached the top of the tower as the view was obscured by smoke from nearby fires but it wasn’t too long before the breeze blew it away to reveal the magnificent view. We also got to see the highest mailbox in the southern hemisphere:)
The waterfront is of course home to Sydneys world famous opera house. and so the opportunity for some great pictures exist there. The views are especially great from one of the harbor ferries. We also had a good view of the people participating in the trek across the bridge.
There’s so much to see and do in Sydney I wish I had more time there. For now though here’s a shot of a koala and a kangaroo I took, since you know, Australia 🙂