The house is working out reasonably well - although it's a bit small, we've got ourselves set up and comfortable. Zach came out to visit for a week over spring break, and he liked it a lot. We went to Disneyland, a Clippers game, and Deanie and Zach went to one of the "World Baseball Classic" games at Angel Stadium in Anaheim.
It only took them 4 hours to drive down there from Tehachapi - Zach was appalled at the traffic, and amazed that anyone would want to live in L.A. and deal with it. I agree with him. He came down to see where I work, and hung out and relaxed. They also took a day to drive up to Morro Bay, where Deanie lived in the dim, dark past before we met.
We've decided not to build a house on the property that we bought, and will probably be selling it soon. We should make a bit of money on it, but that will get eaten by the fact that all the land that we think we WOULD want to build on costs a lot more. We'll just have to see what happens.
We went exploring in the airplane a couple of times - first, up to Death Valley, landing at Furnace Creek Airport. We wandered around a bit on foot, and vowed to come back sometime with a car so that we could get around and see more of it. I did NOT remember anything much from my quick visit there with my friend Joe back in 1980 on our motorcycles, when we drove through and I blew a head gasket.
Next, we flew up the Owens Valley to Bishop, CA, along the east side of the Sierra Nevadas, past Mt. Whitney. We had lunch in the restaurant there, and then flew home. The Sierras are unbelievably huge and beautiful. We took another short flight, over the coast to Santa Barbara (didn't land - just flew around to sightsee), and one up to Lake Isabella, in the southern foothills of the Sierras.
We flew down to John Wayne Airport south of L.A., rented a car and drove to the mission at San Juan Capistrano - it's an interesting day of history and art. One of Deanie's art teachers was having a showing there, but he spent more time talking to us about the COZY airplane than about the art on the walls :-). You never know what folks will be interested in.
We took another hike up the Tehachapi Mountain Trail, this time in late spring, and bushwhacked our way through some snow with some friends and their kids.
We also took another hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, on a different section near the windmills in Tehachapi - closer to Route 58, this time. Only 2-3 miles, so at this rate, we'll finish the whole trail in about 500 years.
Joshua Tree National Park
For the Thanksgiving Weekend, Deanie and I drove out to JTNP (about a 3.5 hour drive). We had heard that it was interesting and beautiful, and it was. Lots of different plants (cacti, Joshua Trees, etc.) to look at - nice hikes, interesting geology. Well worth going, and we might go again.
Death Valley National Park
In February, for a long weekend, we drove up to DVNP (about a 3 hour drive) and camped out for two nights. We went to many of the standard spots, and also went back into the boonies to see the "Racetrack". is an exceptionally interesting place, and the Racetrack is about the strangest geological/natural site I've ever seen. I could have spent all day there looking at rocks.
Lots of Nothing
Panamint Valley Overlook
Panamint Valley and the Sierras
Deanie at Badwater
Badwater below Sea Level
Moon Over the Salt Flats
Campsite at Furnace Creek
Ubehebe Volcanic Crater
Deanie and Racetrack Rock on Playa
Dante's View of Valley Looking North
Harmony Borax Works
Keane Wonder Mill
Arizona (Petrified Forest National Park, Sedona, Grand Canyon National Park)
For another long weekend in April, a friend from work and I planned on flying our aircraft (our COZY, and he in the Scaled "Dutchess" twin engine plane) out to Flagstaff, AZ for three nights. Deanie came with me, and my friend's wife and two kids went with him. For a full account of the trip, see my trip reports.
Big Petrified Log in Petrified Forest National Park
Deanie with Friend at PFNP
Friend's kid at PFNP
Painted Desert - north PFNP
Friend at Restaurant in Sedona
Devil's Bridge - Hike in Sedona Area
Cool looking Cactus on Hike in Sedona
What Sedona's known for - the Red Rocks
Deanie near top of South Kaibab Trail
Looking over Cedar Ridge rest area
Looking back up South Kaibab Trail
So Netflix, works out pretty well for us - we watch about one to one and a half movies per week, and my queue is about 90 movies long. That'll keep us busy for a while. We've made a few friends, mostly in the left-wing, granola-crunchy side of Tehachapi (not the right-wing Christian religious bunch, strangely enough), and have been invited to a couple of parties, which have mostly been fun. We can walk to the Hitching Post movie theater in town, so we see a movie every week or two, and get some exercise at the same time.
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