Thursday, 8 February 2018

Seals and Pelicans...No Dead Horses or Bears

* THANK YOU to all of our supporters on this trip!!  I am blown away by our readership, Facebook and Instagram support for our blog and travels.  We have even gotten fan mail!!  I told Abby that I have a new person to write an email almost every day!*

Well, let me just start off by saying, I am still recovering from our journey.  As mentioned, I came home a little under the weather, but it wasn’t long before it was business as usual on the ranch.  There is ALWAYS work to be doing...a project in place, or two...three, is not unheard of.  Abby had to recoup pretty quickly as she was expected in Houston for a couple of days opening the window for me to get back to my pond clearing project.  Around here, you treat any nice day like spring cleaning, because spring will come fast and the objective is to stay one step ahead at all times.  A little daunting!!  Besides, we have more trips on the horizon and that will mean nature gets the upper hand and will try to use it for her advantage.  We usually get along with nature, but this will be my first “official” spring season here and while everything is perfect right now, soon will come the Texas bugs and their nuances and then the animals with their, so far, idle threats.  Amazingly, I look forward to every second of it.

But for now… A recap of our trip to bring some closure for me.  Here is how it goes:
So far.....

On this trip to California and back, I got to....

Abby's salmon with bagel
...Visit Georgetown on the way out and see some people and have an impromptu beer and share a slice of pizza with Abby at 600 degrees and another meal of yummy fajita nachos shared at Dos Salsas because the weather was so freaking cold before we left, that the Eggcellence became a somewhat bunker when we were not working or feeding elsewhere.  I got to visit briefly with my father and catch up on the way to west Texas.  Then I got to hike some of the west Texas hills, go star gazing at an observatory, eat a hamburger at a soda counter in Ft. Davis, have delicious beer in Alpine, an amazing bar dinner in Marfa and in between delight in Abby’s amazing bagel, salmon and cream cheese breakfasts’, egg drop soup and many other concoctions designed from what we picked up at the store for our fridge in west Texas.
Patagonia Lake

Then I got to go to Patagonia Lake where I had not been since college, do some bird watching, visit the small town where we snacked at an old saloon, ate ice cream in a local shop, scale a tall bridge at the park (not really), see where many of the fruits and vegetables come into the United States via MEXICO (amazingly, no wall required) and California, visit U of Az., as well as have lunch with my beloved uncle, have a beer at the pub I fell in love with Abby that night a year ago, grill some delightful foods picked up at a local market and watched the Arizona sun set and rise.  Incredibly, I got to ride shotgun, sans actual shotgun, to California and look at the sand dunes (I want a dune buggy for my birthday please for anyone noting), see San Diego seemingly grow out of the mountains, cross myself in gratitude that I was not driving on more than one occasion, try several San Diego breweries for their wares, get a private tour of the surrounding areas (be a Californian for a day), see and smell seals and pelicans on the beach, look over cliffs at surfers in 10+ foot waves....
Abby walking on the beach

....visit with my cousin and have her and her husband’s well prepared food as well as dine out with them for some memorable experiences, watch the Eggcellence NOT roll down a San Diego street while moored, do some writing and keep up with clients via email in a Starbucks every morning a block away, meet a sweet dog named Wilma, eat fish n' chips ON the beach...
Mmmmm n' chips
...leave San Diego at 5am and watch the sun come up on the way back to Arizona, this time the northern route.  Back in Arizona I got to know a new town, have super good tacos, do a bit more hiking, drink some “stately” local brews, drive to neighboring towns like Sedona and Jerome, have the best breakfast in a beautiful, calm environment, take a luxurious train ride, grill some more good foods and sit outside and eat by the fire before running out of wood or it becoming too cold while watching another Arizona sun set.  I got to thank the universe for not sliding us over the mountain pass and into the abyss of tall pines while leaving northern Arizona in a snowstorm...much fun had there...and watch my dog pee in the snow and then learn that snow is water within a few minutes of putting it in her bowl in the truck (no, not the pee snow, but rather fresh snow).  I got to visit with Abby’s more than gracious parents, see their newest projects, EAT and plan new adventures, about which you will find out soon enough!

NOW, on this is only fair to say what I did NOT get to do, because those things are going back on the to-do list.

On this trip to California and back I did not get to....

....See several people I wanted to in Georgetown, visit Rentsch brewery, go to the library, spend a little more time with my father in the hill country, visit all of the breweries in west Texas, sit inside the Holland House Hotel in Alpine (one of my favorites), go to Big Bend (totally separate trip!), go to Juarez and eat questionable tacos, set the parrots free in Mesilla at that restaurant I can’t think of right now...oh yeah, La Posta, finally see ‘the Thing’ on the way through AZ, zip over to Tombstone and play old west, fish Patagonia lake, see my uncle for a little bit longer, hang out on Mt. Lemmon, hike a few extra trails in southern Arizona, camp the north rim of the Grand Canyon (again, a totally separate trip with a nod to Robert P.) or visit with a friend Melisa B. whilst in the great cactus state.  Nor did I drive in California (oops, that isn’t on the next list), hmmm...not much I didn’t get to do in California, oh...go to Baja and beyond, hit a ton more breweries there (wineries reserved for the northern trip), surf the killer waves dude, spend more time at the SD parks, stay longer and drive my cousin more crazy.  I did not get to dune buggy the OTHER sand dunes leaving the northern route (even mo’ bettah), hike Sedona,
Good news...NOT a dead horse!
see any ghosts or spend the night in Jerome in the attempt, visit even more breweries, bring home a little more surplus from THAT brewery in Cottonwood, fish the lagoons at Dead Horse State Park, see a dead horse (okay, also not on the next list), kayak the only river in that part of Arizona, feel better or stay and help Abby’s parents with their fun projects, or see ANY bears on this trip AT ALL.
Does this need a caption?

So, in a nutshell...this trip was exploratory as in to say, we will be incorporating specific and private trips into the next years of travel, but I am already learning that while PACKED full of constant doing, there is not enough time to do the big stuff on this year’s tripping, but we can now easily gauge what is involved for return visits to some of the areas, otherwise not explored and dubious.

So, THANKS again, to all of the sponsorship we received on this, our first venture out, as well as all of the input, kudos, thumbs up, emails, and support and interest.  It is received with MUCH gratitude!!     

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