Wednesday, May 22, 2019

The Road

Historic and scenic Santa Rosa Creek Road

the preamble
    People lived in this area that is now half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles in pre-historic habitation. The native Chumash traveled the mountains, settling in seasonal camps in the highlands or near the Pacific shore. They ranged these mountains to hunt and gather and fed on shell fish and fish when camped by the sea.
    There is evidence some 30 thousand lived here a thousand years before the Spanish arrived. That happened when the Portola expedition camped near what is now Cambria in 1769.
     In the 700's the natives created paths, their version of roads, including a trail that ran along side the stream. Today we call it Santa Rosa Creek and the trail is Santa Rosa Creek Road.

    The settlers began to come in the mid 1800's and it picked  up in 1860 when Cinnabar, the ore of mercury or quicksilver, was discovered and then mined.

     Today's road, in the frame above that mid screen line that winds down on the left, was part of the creekside trail that ran to the Oceanic mine that opened in 1865. Later when the first of several waves of cattle growers came to the area, the Santa Rosa Creek trail was the route for cattle drives.   
   Santa Rosa Creek Road is a favorite for riders, motorcyclists, more adventurous tourists or Sunday drivers who want to see the beauty of the Santa Lucia Mountains. It's a 15 mile winding, climbing, series of cutbacks and turns and magnificent views. The road can be seen winding in the right mid frame above. 

the delight
     Lana and I were enroute home from Los Osos the other day when to our surprise, and that of a hundred other motorists, Highway 1 was closed at Highway 46, the Green Valley Road. Closed because the Tour of California bike race was speeding south from Big Sur. Someone had goofed because there was no advance warning the road would be closed. Certain exits had been marked days in advance and we planned accordingly.
     So we found ourselves in what amounted to a parking lot on Highway 46 and Highway 1. The inspiration flashed...
     We had not driven Santa Rosa Creek for a while. We used to hike there regularly and always took visitors, some of whom turned a bit green or white knuckled, for a drive. 
      On this day, what a delight!

      The road was resplendent with Sweet Peas and Lupine.
     And the sky over the Santa Lucia danced with clouds gathering a rare May rain storm.
         A good detour, this road less taken.

don't play in traffic

   One more road story here. 
    This is the scene that greeted us after dinner in the village the other night. A quiet street and there at about 3:00 is a street walker, out of place to be sure.
     Dawdling, he or she seems to be. First one way and now the other and seemingly unaware a motorist has entered the scene.
      Oblivious is this gull. Are we about to witness his or her journey to oblivion?
      No dispatch today. And the quiet settles in, the sun sinks more deeply toward the sea, and the street walker dawdles on.

      Certainly these stories left you with less anxiety than the news. But of that, it can be sure we are on the road to an historic battle of legislative rights and Presidential prerogative. 
       Cast another way, a battle between constitutional process and contaminated power. Cast yet another way a battle between right and wrong. 

        See you down the trail.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Truth is...

from Shamel Park, Cambria, Ca

    Those zings that whiz by are the buckle bolts of a decent and civil process. Those flying pillars hurtling into the sky are the girders and braces of historic balance of power supports. That vibration you feel, that disequilibrium in your mind is part of a welling force. Time for that in moment. 

the faces of hemingway
     Mr Hemingway, our beloved polydactyl (6 on each of the 4 paws) entertained a recent photo shoot with his "range" of looks.

   His response to our current state of affairs is either a nap in the sun, or a nap in the shade interrupted by a few stretches. 

for the love of spring
 The Cambria shoreline is electric

the dark side of the amateur hour
     As one reads of Alabama's abortion law, and John Bolton's dangerous, ill advised and foolish faux macho saber rattling on Iran, and the administration's lack of respect for American principle, one cannot escape the fact that mouth breathers and nincompoops have entirely too much power. This should and will likely change, but not soon enough.
    We can be sure that investigative talons will clutch the ringmaster. Either as a former president or perhaps an impeached or disgraced fool, justice will come for him.
    If you doubt that, tally the number of federal investigations now open and not restricted as Mueller was. Or ponder the numerous congressional probes. He will be disgraced and perhaps even broken, but the damage he does now is itself a crime of another sort.
   Like many of you, I have quit trying to reason or use logic, or cite historical precedence with those who refuse to acknowledge the rogue president is a sick and evil man motivated only by what's in it for him. 
    It's been unbelievable though that even given the specifics of the Mueller report, and Trump's traitorous, treasonous behavior in full view, his obvious incompetence, his being made a public bitch by Kim and Putin, his ruinous impact on American farmers, his thousands of documented lies, that congressional and Senate Republicans refuse to be Americans first. We can only hope they feel the vengeful sting of betrayed citizens at the ballot box. 
    Those who refused to call out this degenerate administration will be handled by history and they will be seen as the cowards and quislings they are. Their children and grandchildren will be embarrassed. If anything might bring these dead Republicans to life it is the sheer incompetence of Trump as commander in chief with a sneering and once marginalized Bolton at his side.
     There are many congressional and legal challenges ahead. What may be the most pathetic is that a draft dodging, military school flunky, a non reader, a man who knows almost no history, a bloated punk of a daddy boy liar is in a position to commit American troops to warfare. That is such a cosmic injustice the universe itself would be correct to smite the fool.
     Until the Russians rigged the election-and I don't mean merely influenced, this nation had a pact wherein Iran was on a leash, closely monitored, their weapons program was on ice and we were building favor with a growing percentage of Iranians who were growing discontent with the old fundamentalist zealots who controlled them. 
     Now America's biggest money looser and tax fraud, con man and reality TV show star and his failed and rejected advisor are talking war talk. If this doesn't motivate Senate Republicans to admit they are in bed with the devil, then perhaps the universe should smite them as well.
     That, or a few Sons of Liberty legacy patriots could do so.

     See you down the trail. 

Monday, May 6, 2019

Left Coast View

Ragged Point overlook
Big Sur

     A visiting 3 year old got her first look at Big Sur from what she called the "roof deck." She was mesmerized, as I was all those years ago.
     As written here previously, the theater of mountains meeting ocean fired neurons that gave polarity to the navigational tides of my life.
     Years ago one of the smartest people I know, a Harvard Law graduate corrected something I said about people and provincialism. He reminded me a provincial mindset can be authored by wider parameters than I cited. 

a left coastist
      This left coast has pulsed my gyroscopic tendencies. 
Yes, there is the cultural affinity that is comfortable. Creativity seems most compatible with open mindedness. Artistic pursuits seem to breed enthusiasm, joy, and a delighting of the senses. 
      But there is also a primordial resonance and power of pure nature. It massages the soul.
      And here, on this left coast, there is light that provides clarity for the eyes and for the mind. It infuses life with color and dimension. It has shaped me, kneaded me. I've become a provincial, a left coastist!

 A "Bottle Brush" tree dressed in spring finery
 A flirtation with the setting sun

An exquisite composition, this spring lily.

      There is something to observe about being a left coastist, this assumed and self proclaimed provincialism, especially at this time in the struggles of our Republic. Imagine a new program-that follows below, but first.....

    The biennial Petals and Palettes art show has been judged and is hanging at the Cambria Center for the Arts (CCAT) Gallery.
     It is a cooperative venture of the CCAT, supported by the working artists in this historic colony and the Cambria Garden Club. 
      Art and floral arrangements in symphony...

      This Blue Ribbon of floral arrangement with art is the work of Lana, both the artist and floral designer. 
          The painting, Bonnie's Garden is the work of one of Cambria's best, Pat Wilmott. 
        Lana was painter and arranger.
             She also created this floral arrangement for the stunning photography of an extraordinarily talented Judith Skartvedt.
             Tom Gould's masterful photo realistic rendering is matched by the floral work of Donna Hoppe
           Another award winner is the painting by one of Cambria's great, Jeanette Wolff. 
           Kathi Rippe, another popular artist and award winner.
       This award winner, both painting and arrangement by Holly McCain.
          An honorable mention here for Lana and master water colorist Steve Kellogg, also a tennis master. 
                 A mixed media offering by Sheri Parisian.

        A lily painted and paired by mother nature.

        If you have an opportunity to be anywhere near Cambria in the next couple of weeks, the show will be up in the CCAT Gallery, but the floral arrangements are on a shorter time schedule.

        that coastal view
         Our little coastal enclave is half way between LA and San Francisco. We are about an equal distance from the cultural and political landscape of Bakersfield and the central valley. We are about as far from Washington as one can get, our backs are at the Pacific. 
         We are in the waves of energy and thought that come from the Bay area of San Francisco, San Jose and the Silicon Valley and those from the vibes of entertainment, rocket science and diversity of LA and southern California. Over the mountains, past cattle ranches and through wine country and over the high desert is the world of agriculture and culture of the Valley. 
         We see diversity of all sorts. We take our measured view, with the bias that this is not like anywhere else and attitudes here are sometimes the butt of jokes back east. Well, we can joke back. Just pretend that after this season of Game of Thrones brings the series to an end, a programmer begins a new series-
if this were a just world...
(a creative overview)
        The occupant of the White House is bound and gagged and marched to the US Capitol by way of visiting the memorials of WWII, the Korean War and the Viet Nam wall.
        Before he ends up in the well of congress, he is forced to take a full briefing by the CIA including about the intentions of Vladimir Putin's Russia and Kim's North Korea. 
        Before he is tried as a traitor, he must endure the forced reading by Mitch McConnell of the full Mueller Report. 
      Then Speaker Pelosi reads to him, the Constitution of the US. 
      Said McConnell is  then named as a co-conspirator and bound back to back with the president.
      And then children will present causes of indictment--reports-
       --about the national security consequence of denying climate change and of pulling out of the Paris accords, 
       --recitations of each of the thousands of lies he has told,        
       --analysis of the consequence of his undermining of the national security apparatus 
       --replay of his Helsinki appearance with Putin, 
       --the reading of transcripts of his private conversations with Putin, 
       --reports on the nature of his business relationships with Russian mobsters, 
      --replay his grandiose statements about Kim, 
      --video of the most recent missile launches.
    After the children complete their presentations, all US citizens will vote; thumbs up or thumbs down. 

       Talk about must see TV!  And maybe it could be serialized on Twitter. 

        See you down the trail.