That Big Open Sky

One of the distinct differences of Santa Fe, NM (besides the totally normal fossil hunting and petroglyphs sitings) is the big open (blue) sky. Plus the adobe-style architecture and ridiculous sunsets. Blue, rust and red dominate the color palette. It’s a change in landscape I embrace and look forward to seeing again.

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New Mexico Adventures – Fossil Hunting

It was my first time searching for fossils in New Mexico and it was surprisingly rewarding. I had always thought of fossils as being dug up and difficult to come across. Our hunt required no digging. We followed the advice of fossil enthusiasts towards high concentrations of limestone. We did not find dinosaur fossils but we did find a plethora of shell fossils in material that once was a part of the ocean floor millions of years ago. Pretty magical it was.

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New Mexico Adventures – Petroglyphs

I’ve returned from another enchanting trip to the Land of Enchantment. As soon as we stepped off of the plane we went straight to the Petroglyph National Monument to check out some early volcanic rock art. Just another typical day.

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Japanese Tea Garden

I finally perused the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park after all these years in San Francisco. I imagine it’s best to visit on a week day morn while tourists are away. It’s free admission Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9-10am. Despite the crowds, it still made me yearn to someday go to Japan.

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Bolinas Ridge Trail Bike Ride

I’m starting to learn the differences between riding on dirt trails and paved roads in traffic (besides the obvious). Both have their advantages and disadvantages of course. The 15 mile loop along the Bolinas Ridge Trail was a little bit of everything: an intense dirt trail climb, downhill through a wooded area, to the nicely paved highway 1 back through Olema, CA. There were times I felt like I was riding a bucking bronco of a bike, traversing through not-so-tightly-packed dirt but it was a ride I learned a lot from.

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Pioneertown

Many of my favorite musicians have rolled through Pioneertown to play at the infamous Pappy & Harriets. The Pioneertown Motel (right behind it) was a great place to lay our heads after a day in Joshua Tree and a night listening to local musicians at P&H. The old western downtown, complete with a livery, is just a short walk back to the wild west.

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Listening to: Songs From Woody Allen Films

I stumbled upon this mix of Woody Allen film soundtracks while packing up a crate of records from our record sale. I’ve always appreciated his love of old-timey music like ragtime jazz. It makes me feel like I’m strolling through central park or sitting on a lower Manhattan bench marveling at the Brooklyn bridge in the moonlight. Must find some of these tunes on record!

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Lands End Hike

Lands End is just a hop, skip and a jump away from the Legion of Honor. After seeing the Matisse exhibit, I went for hike along the coastal trail. There is a hidden labyrinth at the edge of Eagle Point that over looks the Pacific Ocean, Mile Rock Beach, and the mouth of the much sailed Golden Gate. The bridge disappears and reappears through the foliage throughout the trail, saying hello and goodbye again. Once I reached Eagle Point, I could have perched myself on a rock bird-like and sat for hours. Instead, I continued along the coast, past Baker Beach, through Seacliff to a coffee shop whose table very much reminded me of the labyrinth. What an adventure day!

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Round Valley Preserve Bike Ride

Round Valley Regional Preserve is just outside of Antioch, CA. The land had been used for farming and ranching for 100 years until it was sold to the East Bay Regional Parks District in 1988. The old dirt roads are now used for horseback riding, cycling, and hiking. It is a picturesque old California farmland experience. The preserve is also home to the California ground squirrel, the San Joaquin pocket mouse, desert cottontails, and the endangered San Joaquin kit fox.

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Persimmon Picking

In an attempt to go apple picking, we ended up picking persimmons instead. All of the apples at Gabriel’s Farm were already off of the trees since it was late in the season. I happen to love persimmons so we picked away and also bought 12 lbs of “cosmetically off” apples for $1/lb. Unlike our experience in Oregon, u-pick farms in California are not necessarily less expensive than buying the fruit already picked. In this case, it was actually more expensive since they make you buy a year membership for $35 if you want to pick your own fruit.  It was still nice to roam the farm, inspiring future food projects. Persimmon and apple everything for the days to come.

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