Archive for the ‘Artsy Little Towns- ALTs’ Category

Road trip- Days 8-14

Thursday, April 15th, 2010
Ojai, CA

Ojai, CA

Wow, I have a lot of catching up to do!

Went to Fresno to see my Dad & stepmom & be coddled for a while. Even gypsies need to rest now & then. The orange groves were in their glory. We went up to Shaver Lake to get a taste of the mountain air; there was actually snow up there. California is an amazing place, isn’t it? I wish I could bottle the smell of sun on the pines, with just a little woodsmoke for spice.

Then it was off (on Monday) over the Grapevine. If you’ve not heard of it, imagine a freeway over the mtn passes, with semis laboring up and then making up time on the downhill. I got to Ojai safely, but with a nasty headache.

So I tucked myself into the most wonderful bed in the world (I actually took a picture! I want a bed just like this if I ever settle down!) And woke up the next morning ready to explore Ojai, CA.

So Tuesday, I went rambling around town. OMG! I will definitely be back. There are the trees… lots of big gnarly oaks, palms, you name it. And mountains in the backdrop. And Spanish architecture. Not to mention, lots of good fresh food, thrift shops, galleries, boutiques… Kind of like heaven.

Did I mention that I’ve found my favorite bookstore in the world? (So far, I’m still checking.) Bart’s Books is mostly open air… There is a courtyard full of bookshelves, with tables to sit and read. Inside the house- more books! And the staff is helpful but unobtrusive. Oh yes, I will be coming back to Ojai. And I managed to get out with only one book- a history of Mexico by Mayo.

So Wednesday I took off reluctantly, but ready to head up the coast. What a gorgeous drive. I just kept drinking in the scenery. Just imagine- cows & eucalyptus trees on one side, and the ocean on the other. About mid-afternoon, I ended up in Morro Bay, and decided that was plenty.

So found a hotel & headed down for the Rock. It was really windy (and I mean really!) Saw some paragliders, had fresh oysters for dinner. (And garlic fries- there are benefits to solo travel!) and searched for sea otters from the restaurant window.

That catches us up… I’m heading north again today. Will probably see Cambria, Big Sur & Monterey.

Hasta luego!

Road Trip- April 5-7

Thursday, April 8th, 2010
Sedona Pink Jeep Tours

Sedona Pink Jeep Tours- Since 1959!

I ended up staying 3 nights in Sedona. Could easily have stayed longer; I really liked it there. There are lots of photos on flickr.

Most of what I was doing was plain old resting up. But I also got the car’s oil changed, did laundry, took a Pink Jeep tour, explored the town and ate at the Barking Frog. (Cactus Fries are terrific! Think nopales salad, but breaded & fried. OMG…)

The Jeep tour was great! It wasn’t too strenuous, but I got to walk around & inspect a cliff dwelling. It was so amazing to see the fingerprints in the mortar. And there were LOTS of pictographs & some petroglyphs as well. The weather was absolutely perfect, and what was amazing is that I called @ 7AM & was able to get in on a tour @ 8:30. They really have a very streamlined operation.

Let’s see, the first day was windy, so I mostly explored the town via the Trolley. It was fun, but I’m still not in a shopping mood. I think I bought a latte 😉 And an oil change.

I didn’t really get into the vortex thing… I did go in a very nice New Age shop & chatted w/the owner a bit. And later on, went into a bookstore where I bought “Chakra Tonics” which actually has a very good description of chakras, and some good recipes.

Basically, I was just resting & letting my soul catch up w/my body again. Tonight I’m in Bakersfield, and then I’ll be in Fresno for Thurs- Sun.

Coming down into the Valley from AZ made me realize all over again that California is still “home” to me, whatever home means. The Mojave is blooming, but seeing those green-furred hills with live oaks… well, it’s one of my homeplaces.

Road Trip Apr 3 & 4

Monday, April 5th, 2010
Los Colores- Orlando's in Taos

Los Colores- Orlando's in Taos

Ok, when I last left you, I had arrived in Taos, NM- barely. I’d really been looking forward to Taos, and a lot of friends whose opinions I trust love it.

Maybe it was the weather (really nasty cold windy) or me (really cold exhausted road-weary- possibly nasty), but it was kind of a let down. The first morning, when I was almost human again, I jumped (ok levered myself) into the car & took a tour around town @ about 7, before the traffic got heavy. Kind of marked a few places to visit when things opened.

I hadn’t had anything to eat for way too long, so I had brunch @ Orlando’s, which I can highly recommend if you like New Mexican food. Which is quite different from Mexican food. Their posole had a lot more hominy, and everything was muy picante (HOT!) which is how I like it.

Anyway, I went to a few little shops but one, I was tired and two, it’s kind of stupid to buy things when you’re living out of suitcases & will be for quite a while. So really the only impact I made in Taos was 2 nights in a hotel, a meal and a car wash. Sorry, guys.

Easter Sunday, I drove to Sedona. It was mainly me and the semis. And as I drove down the Oak Creek Canyon road (this is after 8 hrs of driving or so), I really did feel all the strain just leave me. I felt as if I’d just gotten out of bed. So I stopped the car & took a little walk.

You know how I feel about red rock. (If you don’t, go back & read about Moab.) Today I’m going to poke around. Take care of some business (laundry, oil change.) But mainly poke around. Take a look at the Chamber of Commerce site. Where else does Metaphysical & Spiritual Services have its own listing?

Just added a few quick pictures. The light was weird, so this doesn’t do Sedona justice @ all.

Road Trip- April 1&2

Saturday, April 3rd, 2010
Road to Taos

Road to Taos

Well, I’ve made it to Taos.

After Austin, I took a windy road tour of the TX hill country. Totally loved it, esp the stone ranch houses. There were a lot in Stephenville, TX & also what looked like an excellent bbq place. On my list for a return visit! I think I’m visiting this area in the prime season, though. There’s lots of greenery & it’s warm (80’s) but not too hot. I’m told that both of those will change soon.

So… I stayed in Plainview & headed for Taos. Didn’t care much for that country… very flat & really looked like a tornado waiting to happen (to me.) And then somehow the day got very weird. I’m sure this will make a funny story- maybe in 10 yrs.

But it seemed that I was never going to get here. There was a storm (we’re talking wind that picks up gravel & pelts the car, snow flurries, even a whiteout for a few minutes.) And then I rolled into Santa Fe, exhausted (when the wind is gusting like that, it’s both hands on the steering wheel. No sips of water, lip gloss application, nothing.) And the sky cleared, and it was all over.

So I decided to head on toward Taos. Met with MORE adversity (of the traffic slow-down kind)… and finally rolled in about 6:30 to collapse.

After a good night’s sleep I explored a little by car in the early morning (it was 28 degrees, for crying out loud!) and saw some places to visit. My “special” leg is being extra-special, so I’ll probably not do a whole lot before leaving tomorrow am (for Sedona, AZ). But I plan to get some green chile & some posole, and maybe try an oxygen bar? And Max desperately needs a wash, as you can imagine.

Hasta luego!