On the Move

IMG_3342Last Tuesday I started driving Miss Elsie and myself northward. I did not get far. I received an invitation from other Roadtrekers to visit them in their beautiful home in Camarillo, west of Los Angeles. I could not have had nicer hosts and now friends.

I did not stay in my RT. Miss El and I had a very nice suite within their home. Elsie really liked the door than opened to the back yard. She thought that was pretty cool and was always ready to get hooked up to her leash so she could explore. Of course, she could only do that when I was around as coyotes and hawks live in the neighborhood.

IMG_3359In the three days I was there I had an opportunity to explore, on my bike and with Jeff and MJ. Since I have lived in southern CA, it has never ceased to amaze me that I can find wild open spaces in a land lived by so many people. I biked one morning into Hill Canyon, a beautiful reserve between Camarillo and Thousand Oaks. What a delightful way to spend a morning.

Jeff and MJ also took me to the beach one evening. We sat in their Roadtrek and enjoyed a delightful dinner while watching the sunset and the birds play in the surf.

Life is certainly changing for me. It takes some getting used to and that will take time. It is OK for me to give myself the time to adjust. In the meantime it is good to explore what is out there in the world.

Here is a list of things I need to remember in my new chose lifestyle.

  • I do not need to be a tourist 100% of the time.
  • Remember to pay the bills.
  • Remember to check my e-mail.
  • It is OK to stay in one place for more than a day, in fact it may be preferable, especially on a summer weekend.
  • Do not think you can just drive to the Big Sur Coast and get a campsite on a weekend in the summer. It is not going to happen!
  • Pay attention to the news, at least a little. There is still a wildfire burning in the rugged hills east of the drive up the coast. There had been talk of closing Route 1. It might be good to know this information.
  • Always make sure Elsie is taken care of first. After all, she is the princess. On a more serious note, I want her to be comfortable so she doesn’t overheat.
  • It is OK to sit down with a good book and relax.

IMG_1476I feel so honored each time I am invited into someone’s home and life. I have discover delightful people with many varied stories to tell. I find it so interesting to share our life stories. Sometime I find I have more in common than I know and other times, I find I am just fascinated by the stories they have to tell. Life is an adventure.

I am in Monterey now. I finally found a campsite at Laguna Seca. And I am staying here until Sunday when everyone heads back into the city. It is an interesting place. Down the hill to one side is a gun shooting range. Over the hill on the other side is Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. This morning I hear gun shots on one side and cars racing on the other. I am definitely going to take a walk over to the raceway and check it out. This area sits in the hills east of Monterey. It is so nice a quiet at night and busy during the day.

After a few more posts I may be dropping the link to Facebook and LinkedIn. If you want to continue to follow my blog there is an easy way to do that. If you go to my blog https://journeysofthankfulness.com and click on “Follow my Blog” it will ask you for your e-mail address. Each time I post, you will receive an e-mail. I am considering this option for several reasons. One of the major factors is security. I will alert you before I take this step.

There are some interesting things on the left side of the page.

  • Check out the Go Fund Me link. This shares information about The James Fenningham Scholarship.
  • There is a Book Recommendations link. I added that after so people came up with their favorite book suggestions. Some of the books are my recommendation and others are from people, like you, who submitted them in one post.
  • The Favorite Website link, with one click on the website and it will take you to the appropriate web site. keep an eye on these as I will be updating this at intervals.
  • Click on Photos and it will take you to my Shutterfly and you can see the latest photos.

Well it is time to adventure on. I need to check out the car noises. Off to explore.

 

 

Camping the Big Sur Coast & Friendship.

along the Big Sur Coast

along the Big Sur Coast

Sometimes I get caught up in my day to day events and feel they are so important and I don’t take the time to be thankful or grateful for this moment in time. Then I find out a friend of mine is fighting for her life and it throws everything back into perspective again. I thought I would take some time out of my morning chores and business and be thankful for this day, my health and remember those who struggle. I decided to write on the blog. After all, it is called “Journeys of Thankfulness”.  Although my trip last summer is over, my journey into gratefulness is not.

Janet & Diane at Point Loma

Janet & Diane at Point Loma

Two weeks ago my friend Diane, from Vermont (remember her helping me to drive across the covered bridges of VT and NH?), decided to escape the cold and the snow and head west to visit me in sunny southern CA. Funny how friends show up at the right times in my life. I have been mostly content with life now, although still missing Jim so much at times. I have been stressed a bit about life and then Diane shows up. People seem to arrived just when I need the company and a boost. I love friends. It is so good to have them in my life.

Beach Kind of Morning

Beach Kind of Morning

Right after Presidents Day we decided to pack up the RV and drive north to the Big Sur Coast of CA. I have done a lot of traveling alone and I really enjoy it yet it is so much fun to have a good travel companion. Diane and I have had our adventures over the years, backpacking the Rockies is one, and now we continue to find more to do together. The weather was perfect, the scenery grand and the company magnificent. And through all of the activity it also was relaxing. I think I might have sold Diane on RV camping as well.

I had to throw in a photo of a  Sea Otter, They are so cute.

I had to throw in a photo of a Sea Otter, They are so cute.

One of the best things about long time friends, no matter how far apart we are, we pick up right where we left off the last time we talked or saw each other. And so we did. It was a marvelous 5 day trip of remembered times and creating some new moments along the way. We hiked into the hills, slept among the redwoods, and wandered the beaches and it was so much fun. I don’ think I have laughed so much since before Jim died. I guess I had forgotten how serious I have become sometimes. I need to stop this, really. It is good to have friends who can help you remember to lighten up (and the elephant seals mating on the beach helped too).

I want to thank Diane for coming to visit. It is good to get out of my normal routine and remember how special the world is. I am an adventurer and I love to explore the natural world, books, knowledge, my internal growth and the wisdom of others. It is good to take time to remember and value what I have. I am glad I stopped this morning to remember all of person-kind and value what I have in this day. Today I am thankful.

Today I will call a friend and let them know I remember them and thank them for loving me. Here is to good friends.

Diane & Janet Toasting Friendship & a Perfect Holiday on the Big Sur Coast.

Diane & Janet Toasting Friendship & a Perfect Holiday on the Big Sur Coast.

 

If you would like to see all the photos from this trip here is the link.

Journeys of Thankfulness

Hanging Ten

Me at the Mavericks festival

Me at the Mavericks festival

OK I’m hooked. I love big wave surfing. Friday was such a great day. I loved camping where I did. I could walk everywhere and I love that. The first thing I saw when I got up in the morning were the different San Francisco news vans getting set up. Well that was kind of cool and exciting. Then I walked over to the Mavericks Festival. There were big screens set up so that those who were not lucky enough to go out on the boat could watch the contest. There were all kinds of food and beer, of course. People just showed up with their beach chairs and positioned themselves for the day. Everyone I met was so nice.

At 10:30 a.m. I stepped onto the boat. Now here is something to remember. When the waves are big out at the break, they are also big when you are going out into them in a small fishing boat. It was a great roller coaster ride. Thank goodness for bonine.

big wave

big wave

Mavericks, the break, is about 2 miles out in very rough seas. When we arrived I was so amazed at the number of people and boating equipment that was there. There were kayakers, a sculler, people on surf boards, private yachts, small fishing boats, rafts, paddle boarders and more. The most important boats there, were the coast guard that kept everything in as much order as they could. The coast guard created a loose circle that all the boats had to go in so that everyone had a chance to see the surfers.

catching a wave

catching a wave

I soon realized that taking photos was going to be really tough. I took a few but then befriended Ben who had a cool looking camera and when he downloads them, will share his photos with me. I was pleased with this arrangement as I could then do what I came to do and that was watch. And watch I did. Even though we were close to the break the surfers still looked so small on those big waves. It was cool.

The waves were 30-40 feet high. I have decided as exciting and fascinating that I find this sport, I personally think these guys are a bit nuts. By the time those surfers are surfing down the face of a wave that big they are going up to 35 mph. Whoa.

IMG_6002The immediate kinship everyone on my boat felt with each other was very heartwarming to me. We were all in this together. Everyone shared talk of cameras, even the professionals. There was always room for one more at the rail. If you were trying to walk and were weaving too much someone gave a hand to help that person out. I enjoyed the company as much as I did the event, if not more. I like meeting nice people and giving them the chance to be nice is good too.

After 3 hours and the final was complete the boat surfed us back into harbor. It amazes me that the kayakers and scullers came out through this break. The day was done. I got in my RT and headed south.

My campsite for the night before the competition

My campsite for the night before the competition

Main judges boat & surfers boat for the competition

Main judges boat & surfers boat for the competition

IMG_6004

 

Driving RT 1 south of Half Moon Bay

Driving RT 1 south of Half Moon Bay

I spent 2 days traveling down Rt 1. What an amazing road. The road between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz was gorgeous. It looked a lot like Big Sur. I had never been on that stretch of RT 1. I have now decided that I need to travel the northern part of that RT. I like the feel of independence the people who live in these spaces exhibit. There is a part of me that feels that independence within me as well. And for my friend Zoe, you should see the vistas.

 

Sunset at Cosanoa.

Sunset at Cosanoa.

Hiking at Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Hiking at Big Basin Redwoods State Park

IMG_6103

The last day of this trip was spent meandering down the Big Sur Coast, one more time. I have not been on this coast for several years and in the past year I have traveled this stretch of the Pacific Coast at least 5 times that I can count. I love this coastline. It never ceases to amaze me. Each time I have traveled here it has been different, I have been different. I really like the fact that I feel that even though it is a long ways from home, I can casually meander the coast in the morning and still get to San Diego not too late in the evening.

Big Sur Coast

Big Sur Coast

Each trip I take is different. Every time I venture out I feel different. This trip was so much fun yet I found that the leaving and the driving north was hard for me emotionally. I felt alone and concerned about that state. What if no one spoke to me? What if I didn’t know what to say to strangers? What if I didn’t have a good time? What if, what if, what if.  I find that since Jim is no longer with me I have been having to find a new balance in my life. Sometimes it is spot on and I am good. Then there are times like this trip that I struggle to figure out my place as a single woman in my world and in the broader world. It is OK to be this way, I know this, still it can be a struggle. I am glad to be home. 

Every time I've traveled the Big Sur Coast I think this bird is waiting for me. I see him in the same spot each time.

Every time I’ve traveled the Big Sur Coast I think this bird is waiting for me. I see him in the same spot each time.

sea gulls taking their morning bath

sea gulls taking their morning bath

   Still slowly moving forward and finding strength.