outdoors

RTT has ended

Six flags partial

Coming into Atlanta from the west, the interstate passes by a major amusement park just before it descends to cross the Chattahoochee River.

View E ATL

At night, the view of the city is…twinkly.

With this post, I report the end of the Rainbow Triangle Trip. Accomplished all goals, foremost among them seeing loved ones. Fun trip; and, simultaneously happy to be home.

Looking east

Ice antenna

This morning the fog was thick and the temp was such that the moisture attaching to the antenna as we zoomed down the highway froze!

Wind mills

Later, clearing was partial and we saw many wind mills; here’s an early one and many current models….

Llamas lone star

Genuine lone star llamas!

Cinnamon rolls Fresh remote

The oppressiveness I feel from all this packaging tells me it’s time to bring this Rainbow Tour to an end to escape all these cheerful protections….

Desert does not smell like rain

Mtns open

For dozens of miles crossing the desert this morning, the air smelled to me vaguely like burning plastic, an odor backnote I found rather unpleasant. Miles.

Yellow desert shrub flower

The plants, however: unfazed. Unknown grey-green leaved low shrub with yellow fliers…

Yucca top

…and a towering yucca (I think).

Today’s title references one of my favorite books, Gary Paul Nabhan’s The Desert Smells Like Rain: A Naturalist in Papago Indian Country (1987). This desert perhaps should have smelled like rain today, as rain came through this area in the wee hours overnight. In fact, we think we’ve had rain at some point every day beginning on the 26th of December, for a run of 19 days so far. Tomorrow we may well not see rain, however.

Inland in SoCal/AZ

Solar obscured

Once again, we find SoCal murky. More rain systems pushing in from the Pacific. Not good for solar panel action….

Chapel on flattopmd

Wearing my archaeo-hat, I would describe this as civic-ceremonial architecture on a flat-topped mound. You might say it’s a roadside chapel for some reason on a bulldozed hill.

Lettuce imperial valley

Lettuce? Lots left in the field…I assume to be plowed into the ground as green manure….

Irrigation pipes

Considerable irrigation required to make row-crops productive in the Imperial Valley….

Desert encampment

Our Arizona desert encampment for the afternoon and early evening…

Desert rainbow

…even more beautiful with a rainbow, arc en ciel, aka arco iris.

Quick walk

And MJ and I took a power walk while Droney flew…such stupendous light…so wonderful catching up with long-time friends…until next time…. Lucky us….

No rain today

Morning beach

Gulls/Terns and surfers under the marine layer. Here on this SoCal beach, lifeguards use red pickups.

Seal Beach

Police? Surveyors? close one side of a bridge (out of frame, right)…fortunately for us, not our direction. (Yay!)

Rooftop critters

Random rooftop critters. Extra points if you noticed the pigeon before this mention.

Lawn bowling

Note: lawn bowling is not bocce or pétanque.

Redwoods urban

This sample suggests that redwoods are not an urban species, or just a NoCal species that does not like SoCal.

Green church

Dramatic green lighting on this SoCal Episcopal church. So Cali.

Apologies: too fried to do more than extended captions. Luvya.

Change of perspective

Cloudlayer above

I think this morning we drove under the last of the dense cloud layers that we’re likely to see in Cali. I enjoyed seeing the sun on the flanks of the hills…

Drive up into cloud

…and ahead of us as we climbed into the visible humidity.

Derricks

We even found at least two large herds of mechanical dragons.

Dry hills

Then, we crossed a pass, and, zip, no more clouds.

Bird Paradise

And into the city, the giant metro area. This species is the city flower. A showy choice as you’d expect for LA.

LACityHall

Here’s the City Hall tower; you’ve seen it in many movies and TV shows.

Shoeshine

And, in the busy train station, a for-real shoeshine stand.

Under the tracks

Here’s the busy corridor that crosses under the tracks, allowing access to each of the tracks above. Cops arrived in the golf cart; the fine is at least $1500 for going up to the tracks without a valid ticket, the sign said. We just didn’t get caught. Heh.

BTW, this city traffic, wow, exhausting. Sleepy-time for this blahger….

Divided road

Lighthouse lowprofile

Isn’t that the cutest low-profile lighthouse? Cali-cute!

Mar pacifico

And there’s the Mar Pacifico—today not terribly pacifico. You can’t see the wind and blowing rain. Elegant, enduring seastacks….

Pacifico long swells

Love the marching swells cut below by the long shallow sea-edge profile.

Elk herd grazing

NoCal tourism touts the elk herds. Here’s one. Grazing and resting. Classic elk-life, when carnivores are not threatening.

Avenue giants trees

Coastal NoCal also hosts trees—not only the giant redwoods pictured here.

Cloud forest

During the rainy season, the trees and clouds may merge. This shot is from a high-elevation meadow called in these parts a prairie. [Note: this use of “prairie” is not a Boontling term.]

Redwood newbies

We took our walk in a section of the 🎶redwood forest🎶 we had not walked in before. I remember almost always seeing lone trees, or perhaps pairs. Here’s a circle of relative newbie trees. I did not find out if they are clones of the dead stump in the center, or if the rotting stump provided a hospitable microenvironment for whatever seeds were at its base to germinate.

Redwood bark CU

For contrast: lichen growth on twists of redwood bark at a tree base.

Post title refers to a Cali term we kept encountering on road signs…which seemed to have been a pet term by some transportation engineers, rather than a road situation of great distinction for drivers. The first we encountered had a small curb between the two lanes that otherwise seemed like a regular two-lane road; another had merely a marked off paved area about a foot wide between the two directions—no elevation change whatsoever—and two lanes each way. Diversity in them thar divided roads….

Changing landscapes

Geese formationing

We drove up-valley for quite a while—flat agricultural fields, some green, some brown. And in the sky above, many geese formations. This one was the largest.

Upper valley

Finally, we got to the upper valley, and the hills closed in on us. We speculated that on the east side of the pond, some of the shrubs on the slopes would be gorse; not here.

Cloud shroud

Climbing out of the valley, we saw gushing streams and the clouds that fed them. We drove through cloud, even. Lucky us!

Redwood road

Descending the Other Side, we found the tree-giants. Rain makes the trees happy, and low-light makes the camera work hard. Nice effect, however.

Spirit of America

At some point, if you keep going west on this continent, you find the salt water of the Pacific, and perhaps a marina before dark. I heartily support the Spirit of America, with all minuscules or two inserted majuscules.

Shine and rain

Wind downage

In the wee hours we heard serious wind; I was glad I was cozy indoors. When we ventured out on the road we found downed trees and many branches and so on. See the organic matter in our lane?

Missing water tower

Farther along our trail, we found a rooftop water tower structure that lacked its tank. Absence is okay.

Restaurant view

We picked a nearby place to eat, and whatta view! We watched the street become dark.

Best beet salad ever

Best beet salad ever. All beets, no foliage.

Streetcar rainy night

And, as a timely capper, we reached the streetcar enclosure and started to figure out when the trolley would arrive, and presto the rain began. Lucky us, our stop was a mere 100 feet from the door to our hotel.

And now we are ensconced, warm and safe. Happy. Happy.

😀

Out comma about

Mountain skyline

When I walked this morning, I caught a good glimpse of the mountains, all lined up on the skyline beneath the clouds.

Kissing bugs comma yellow

I also found a pair of kissing bugs. Yellow ones.