Wednesday, February 26, 2014

another place and time


friday, soon as work was done, the truck already packed and waiting, we left for california's central valley,
and the carrizo plain. maybe that sounds familiar? visiting the carrizo plain national monument is a favorite here, i've written about this place many times. do you remember the kit foxes we saw last month?! we thought we would try and find them again...




arriving after dark, to an empty campground, we fell asleep under a cloudless star filled sky. 

next day brought sunshine and many things to see... raptors of all kinds, red tailed, ferruginous and prairie hawks, kestrels...



western bluebirds


color amid the endless brown, california is suffering it's worst drought in hundreds of years




a western fence lizard enjoying the warmth of the sun


we are at a native american heritage site, these are chumash indian bedrock mortars (grinding holes)




more grinding holes



we found wild melons, dried in the sun


painted rock is in the distance, to enter the area a permit must be obtained. after paying a small fee online, an email is sent containing the code for a locked gate. it's a short hike, approximately a half mile to reach the site


inside the rock, it's so quiet and still, the only movement an occasional raven soaring above and the whoosh whoosh whoosh of it's wings


my totem, the white owl, was not home today. i found these feathers that were left behind. wishing i could keep them, but only photos are allowed, nothing may be removed from this sacred site


we looked at the ancient rock art, we sat in contemplation, then eventually noticed there were people arriving on the trail, we should leave, let others experience the serene spiritual essence of painted rock too


on to the visitors center where we checked in with our friend, jackie. she tells us of the most recent happenings in carrizo, we add our sightings to the wildlife board (so far no foxes, but we have seen: pronghorn antelope, western bluebirds and a ferruginous hawk, prairie hawk). something else catches my interest, there is a notice, a guided hike was being offered to the ranch i wrote about here. and there was a new to us book, which included information on the ranch, a book about the carrizo's history, the people who immigrated  and settled here. the author would be part of the tour too. we learned our friend jackie had contributed to the book, and we listened in fascination as she shared some of her memories of living on the plains. including learning why the historic name of carrizo was originally carrisa.


we bought the book, 'another place & time' and booked the tour, which is in april, and headed out again. on the perimeter of the national monument, it's possible to buy property. curiosity then led to this...


the very tiny white speck in the center of the photo is the cabin (and land) we are dreaming of...



nearby is a small store and motel, neither are ever open when we pass by, but we always have to look. let's go see! we said. this time the store was open, but unfortunately not for long, it's closing for good soon. the shelves were nearly bare, but i didn't really notice anyway. what i saw were several large framed pieces hanging on the wall. dozens of carefully arranged native american indian artifacts. OH!


an elderly gentleman rancher came inside to offer assistance, 'store is closing, i'll make you a good deal'.  can you tell me about these?! i pointed to the frames on the wall. our new friend was pleased to share his collection and his memories with us. we spent over an hour learning about how r had been searching for arrowheads, knifes and tangs on the plains for almost sixty years. he said this was a very small part of his collection. i asked if it would be okay if i photographed them (with my phone), when he said, here! and he took one of the frames off the wall. gently peeling off three of the pieces, two tangs and one arrowhead, he placed them in my hand. he wanted me to have them. 


we thanked r and shook his hand (we took photos together, such a sweet man!) and then r asked for our phone number. he invited us to his ranch in the valley, where he said he had a collection of artifacts numbering in the 100's maybe thousands. he wanted to give me more. we have plans to return soon


a horned lark

we couldn't stop thinking of how different this trip had been. we'd come for solitude and wildlife, and were deeply moved by our encounters with people, jackie, and r, our camp neighbors who we really enjoyed meeting and talking with, the cabin dream...




now we are standing in the middle of a lake. a lake completely dry. all that is left is salt, in various forms, dusty, powdery, and really really crunchy



there is chuck, taking photos, getting the good light, enjoying the view


we were no longer alone in the campground, but we were alone with our thoughts of a good great day


up early with the sun, peaceful, quiet


wide open views and hot coffee made by chuck   :) :) :)


time to head home...

bye foxes, we'll be back...



these dusty dirt roads

 remind of travel through namibia


hee hee, bye san joaquin antelope ground squirrel


one last look...



and since this trip had been a lot of firsts, a stop at 'the place' in ventucopa, was in order too, we always pass it and this time we stopped. elk burgers!


i hope you enjoyed this visit to california's plains,  thank you so much for coming along!
xxx lori

49 comments:

  1. Amazing! Your photos are always so lovely. What a great encounter with R, and such treasures he shared with you.

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    1. thank you so much kim. it was a wonderful to have such interesting people experiances this time, r was really lovely, and i LOVE the artifacts!

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  2. Thank you! It was a lovely visit - I'm so grateful you took us along on your trip. What a magical place!

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    1. thank you irene, it's really such a pleasure to share, i'm so glad you enjoyed, it must be very different views from where you live!

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  3. Thank you for inviting me to this amazing trip!

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  4. beautiful and speechless…..
    thank you, xxxxx Ale

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  5. Slowly I'm coming back now, back from this other place you took us. Amazing. Dream on!

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    1. ah that's wonderful, this is the effect carrizo has, so glad it worked it's magic on you!

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  6. thank you very much for letting me "visit"such a beautiful place I will never visit
    wonderful photo's...

    Yvonne

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    1. thank you yvonne, with great pleasure, many places one will never get to, but to see and appreiciate in pictures is the next best thing i think. :)

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  7. Dear Lori,

    I love your pictures as I can almost imagine being there myself! You certainly live in an awesome region and it's so good that you share it with us!

    Hugs,

    Stephanie

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    1. thank you so much stephanie! california is so wonderfully diverse. we love that in two hours we can go from the ocean to mountains, deserts and grass plains...and more. we love to share, because when people learn about the wild outdoor world they fall in love with it, and then want to protect and preserve it. we hope!

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  8. Oh my word Lori! I loved this excursion... and what treasures you've returned with! I love going to wild deserted places that are steeped in ancient history - last year we went to see ancient rock art in a valley in northern Italy.
    Even though the parched colours have a beauty, I hope the rains come soon xx

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    1. thank you celia! we have RAIN! it finally started to fall last night, the forecast says it should continue through the weekend. huge relief here. we were checking the carrizo to see they were getting some too, hopefully it will continue.

      your trip to italy sounds amazing, i didn't know there was ancient rock art there. so much to learn!

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  9. I always love your adventure photos. You have a knack for making us feel like we were with you. Love that there is always a knitting moment too. Beautiful.

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    1. aw thank you leanne. yes to knitting always. it's part of me, all of us who do. but what i love is that it draws in people who are just curious (big plan: create more knitters! the whole world will knit!) hee hee. there were inquiring campers... :)

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  10. Whenever I see one of you travel post I'm always amazed by the huge open spaces, all the wildlife you see (and can identify) and that there never seems to be other people anywhere! How funny that this time you met not one but two interesting characters.
    Is that lake always dry now or is it just because of this years drought?

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    1. thank you emma, the thing most appealing, along with the wildlife, is the getting far away, alone. we even separate from each other at times out on the plains, to be completely alone. a necessity for both of us. i think the lake is dry now because of the drought, but it may dry up in summer too because of the intense heat, but since we don't visit then, i'm not sure.

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  11. I love your get-aways and the time you take to "refuel" your spirit. I felt so peaceful seeing this area, remembering the Chumash, the wildflowers, and the wildlife when we lived in California. And, I love you always have a project in your hands to soothe the soul, XOXO

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    1. dear susan, yes, yes, yes. thank you so much.

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  12. what a fabulous weekend!!! ( I wish we could send you some of the moisture we've been experiencing…flooding is always on everyone's minds. Those crunchy salt photos were startling. )
    Were the roads in namibia really that good??! In Kenya that would have been a superhighway!! As always, thanks for taking us along for the ride!!

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    1. thanks steph! we have rain! you would be pleased at how excellent the roads are in many places in africa. i've been to kenya, and there are good roads there too, but the not so good ones, they are memorable! namibia's were incredible, yes, just like the one in the photo here. one of the reasons we love carrizo so much, it feels like we are on safari (it's been called california's serengeti).

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  13. Sumptuous!

    Lori, once again, you have given us so much to consider via your photography and words. How interesting that your time away evolved in some new and unplanned ways. You and Chuck truly have very special energy. How kind of you to share it with us.

    Thank you also for your recent comments and messages. I am so glad that a bit of rain is headed your way.

    (I think that this weekend might be the time that I actually get to take that postponed long look at your African post. I have definitely not forgotten.)

    xo

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    1. aw thank you frances, i hope these photos warmed you up a bit. more africa is on the way, so you'll have more to read, or take a glance at :)

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  14. i always enjoy photo's from here.

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  15. Beautiful, but so so so dry! We got a bit of rain in L.A. last night with more scheduled for tonight. Hoping the Central Valley gets a bit soon as well, its strange seeing everything so yellow and dusty. Love all of your people encounters. Surprise friends are the best kind of friends!

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    1. SO dry, shockingly so. could you feel the earth breathe a sigh of relief last night? oh please let this rain continue for a little while longer. we usually fall asleep to the sound of waves crashing, but to hear the rain instead was golden. we so enjoyed our surprise friend encounters! thank you kristina!

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  16. Thank you for the possibility to come along at your trip!
    We dream about a visit California and drive up the coast to Oregon/ Washington some time soon, I am so curious about what we will be able to see:) your post always make me more and more curious!!

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    1. what a trip you will have karin-ida, that stretch of coast is spectacular, all along the california oregon hwy 1, and north of santa barbara (you must start here so we can meet) and you will want to see morro bay, cambria, BIG SUR!, carmel, monterey...and on...every turn is a photo opportunity. or if you begin in san francisco , there is just so much to see along the coast, you will only be limited by how much time you have!

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  17. Remote and wonderful. This is just wonderful. I am so sorry about the drought, but there is something grand and austere in that parched landscape. As for that cabin.... wow.... what a place to live..... you've got me thinking.

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  18. How very wonderful! I admit to never having heard of this place. Thank you for the exposure and the experience!

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  19. A wonderful, entrancing post.......I felt as if I was there too. Such an amazing place.....and having a cabin there would be wonderful. Love how you capture the atmosphere of a place with your words and pictures, and lots of lovely details too.
    Happy weekend, Lori.
    Helen xox

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  20. Oh I enjoyed it so much! I love the little cabin. Your travels are always so magical.

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  21. The wonderfully various scenery in our amazing world never ceases to delight, and you are blessed to be able to get so close to it. And that cabin ... something to dream of indeed :)

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  22. Oh, how I needed that this morning! A heavenly trip. Thank you dear friend for taking us along.

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  23. Beautiful, beautiful photos as always. I have to say though elk burgers do not entice me, but the wild life does.
    xoxo

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  24. oh Lori - somehow that was a trip away from snow and cold for me - delightful. and those indian items you got, wow wow wow!!!

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  25. Dear Lori,

    One of the advantages of blogging is that you see places like your Californian plains. What an impressive area it is! For me those wide open stretches of land, look like a dream! We don't really have that in The Netherlands. Hope you will be able to buy your cabin there one day!

    Love,

    Madelief x

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  26. beautiful my dear.
    love the cabin.
    been thinking of you.
    xo

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  27. I can see you there; with summers by the sea.
    glorious post
    xx
    julie

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  28. Hello!
    You have such reverence. I have no doubt the animals and birds and even the crusted lake knows

    I don't think I could live in that little White House without shade. And the sea and gardens. But I love so much how it is 'home' for you and chuck. I'll bet it will happen!

    Love
    kj

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  29. Always such a joy to follow along with you Lori on your wonderful travels and adventures. Amazing how all that salt was left behind. And love the dried up melon. Reminds me of the gourds friends and I would hollow out and dry so that we could secretly store stuff in the woods. :) Being able to enjoy the beauty of the land and its wildlife and meeting lovely friends along the way is always a great experience. Best wishes, Tammy

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  30. Wow, that was an amazing journey, I'm so glad you shared that with us. California looks like such a beautiful place, I feel lucky to see it here through your eyes. I especially loved seeing the bluebirds today, I've never seen one in "real life", what a treat! Have a lovely day.

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  31. Too bad with the draught- I wish it would just rain and replenish. Such a beautiful place.
    You guys look like you have so much fun together- great adventures Lori.

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  32. Thanks for taking us along with you, Lori.
    I feel I really was there with you!

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xoxo lori