Saturday, February 28, 2015

Although I wasn't able to capture all that I saw, 
there were still plenty of unexpected

"Moments that bring a smile to your face".
(last installment)

Break area outside a medical supply company.
(click to enlarge)

Friday, February 27, 2015

By the time I get back on the road again, it's dark.  I've traveled this route so many times though that it's second nature to me.  I pass flatbed, after flatbed carrying stacks of beehives, no doubt brought in to pollinate the large number of almond orchards we have here.

California has 800,000 acres of almonds and it's our #1 valued nut crop with cash receipts nearing $4 billion.  Typically in February, over 1.5 million hives are trucked in to pollinate the almond blossoms.  The majority of these hives travel long distances as only 1/3 are from California. 

Image result for bee hives almond orchard picPerhaps you have heard that bee colonies have been under tremendous stress as of late with some estimates citing 10 million hives having been wiped out.  I've seen it publicized that it now takes 60% of the country's supply of bees to pollinate just California's almond crop.  I'm uncertain as to the validity of those numbers, but coming from a bee hobbyist family, it is an absolute certainty that the bees require more intervention than they ever did before.

Image result for almond flower with bee pic
A number of issues are at play. The drought has plagued many areas of the country decreasing wildflower populations.  Pollen supplies are thus reduced leading to bee malnutrition and starvation.   The second reason for bee shortages is the varroa mite.   The mite is a reddish brown parasite which feeds on immature as well as adult bees.  It bores in, sucking the circulatory system fluid from the bee's body causing death.  There are many other reasons but bee keepers site these as the top two.

Buellton, CA

Atascadero, CA

Boy am I getting tired.  It's tempting to make camp right here at the supercharger but I'm not that far from home, so I unplug and keep plugging along...

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Santa Barbara holds a special place in my heart, as it is home to my alma mater, U.C.S.B.  Several years ago, when my boys were choosing their college, I toured the campus and hardly recognized where I spent so much of my time when I was their age.  The college of engineering has completely changed with the buildings I called my second home, having been replaced.  Come on hadn't been that long.  

Studying was my priority back then.  I didn't spend much time on the beach, so every chance I get now, I'm there making up for it.

What time I did spend with the sand, was always shared with the tar, presumably generated from the off shore oil derricks.  This was common to see on the beach and we would involuntarily takes it with us (bare feet, flip flops, and tennies) back to the dorms.  Today, I see none of it around.  Huh... the mussels do seem larger too.
On days like today, I remember why it is I pay almost 10% in local sales tax, assume the risk from imminent earthquakes, drive miles around high population densities, and have to/can't water my lawn.  It's drop dead gorgeous. 

It's easy to let time piddle away here in the Golden State,  named not only for the discovery of gold, but also for these golden coastal sunsets.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

California has 27 superchargers with 4 more on the next page in the book.  Gone are the days of calculating routes, setting the cruise control to 55, and spending the bulk of an afternoon waiting for a charge.  It feels down right luxurious to have this many choices!  I can't complain though, as I honestly consider it better to have made my trip during this early adoption period, rather than waiting for the build out.

From here on home, the supercharger countdown can't help but pick up speed.  Unfortunately I can't say the same for Los Angeles traffic, which is why I either detour completely around it, or travel through it late at night as I've done here in Culver City.

Culver City, CA

Oxnard, CA

One of the most beautiful sections of scenic Highway 101 begins here at Oxnard and extends north beyond Santa Barbara.  Majestic mountains,  citrus scented orchards and views of the Pacific ocean all line up to be seen.

It's the most perfect day, 82 degrees and plenty of unoccupied beach front begging to be explored.

That next supercharger might have to wait just a little bit longer...

Monday, February 23, 2015

Family is everything.  Although not all thought it a good idea for me to take this trip, there are those who have offered support and encouragement from the get-go.   I have one more stop to make before heading back up the coast towards home and will spend the afternoon with a trusted backer.  

One of my most staunch supporters, a sage, and someone who has cheered me on all the way along, has extended an invitation for lunch.  Lunch will be served from her garden, but more of the nourishment will come from her company.

Aunt Judy and I instantly hit it off more than 30 years ago when we initially met.  I felt a kindredship, a sisterhood, and an organic ease to being with her.  Make no mistake, I have nothing to do with this as I believe she has this effect on everyone.  

Thank you for everything you are,
 for all that you do, and  for the good
 you bring into this world.
  Love you!
Her optimism and positive outlook are contagious and her garden responds accordingly.

During our lunch together, I learn about her involvement with the RAK (Random Acts of Kindness) group and believe her to be the inspiration behind it.  Giving of herself, her time, and her oranges, this lady is the real deal.  

San Juan Capistrano

With the sun in my hair and wind to my back, I leave San Diego for stop #6, San Juan Capistrano.  

The guys continue their conversation after
leaving the donut shop
While charging, I walk across the street to the Donut Hut for a cup of Joe with my computer.  While sitting there, I witness a scene straight out of Cheers.  Each guy that walks in, knows the others there.  Hellos are exchanged, jokes are levied against each other, laughter fills the air and although I know no one, I am happy to be the fly on the wall, listening to it all, including their departing words, "See you tomorrow".

Whatever's in those donuts must be darn good.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Image result for exercise quotes

Image result for exercise I never regret it when

Ahhh, exercise.  The word that makes some people cringe. 

Image result for cartoon cringe pictures
Single, married, with kids, without kids, professionally working, retired, travelling on business, travelling for pleasure, at home or on a multi-month cross country trip, I exercise.  It's part of how I live. 

When considering my choice of exercise "programs" for this trip, I knew my pick had to rely just on my body's own weight for resistance as I didn't want to pack any additional equipment.  I settled on Shaun T's Insanity; a set of 10 DVD's by Beachbody.

Insanity is a 60 day transformational program that I completed in the Fall of 2013.  Working out 6 days a week, I was in the best shape of my life.  For better or worse, I now use this as my yardstick and motivational incentive. 

Shortly after completion, I mixed it up and took a series of "silk classes". I now have the ultimate respect and admiration for Cirque performers as they make it look effortless (which it's not).

I know from previous experience that I can retain muscle tone with clean eating and 3 "resistance/cardio" workouts per week.  

Looking back at my trip pics, I chuckle at the various places I've worked out.  The grass, the dirt, the gravel, the pavement, the laundry room, the YMCA, rec rooms, hotel rooms,  little cabins and various gyms around the country have been my parcourse. 

I'm sure I've provided entertainment for many a passerby, but I've only had respect and appropriate comments delivered to me.  

Sufficed to say, when I work's all about the workout.  There is no point to any make-up or foo-foo as it would only end up in the towel.
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Although my clothes seemingly fit the same, I can tell that I've lost some muscle tone, as part of my higher intensity workouts have been replaced by long walks or hikes, lacking resistance training.  Ugh..  I'm planning on getting that muscle back when I return home and begin Tony Horton's P90X3 which I received for Christmas. 

Image result for don't beat yourself upI love motivational sayings!  No doubt I'm going to need them all when I start this program.