.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

A hike up Tahquitz Canyon, Palm Springs

California, Spring 2009  026.  Tahquitz Canyon Waterfall and Oasis

It’s a great time of year to be visiting the desert regions of the Southwestern USA.  The weather is warm and pleasant, the wildflowers are in bloom, and the oppressive heat of summer is a distant memory.  This is the time of year to go on a hike in the Mojave and that’s what we’re going to look at today: a walk up tranquil Tahquitz Canyon just outside of Palm Springs, California.  This is one of several canyons in the area, each with its own character, each awaiting exploration!

Centuries ago, ancestors of the Agua Caliente Indians settled in the Palm Springs area.  They adapted well to life in the desert and developed a complex network of communities …

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.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

California’s 17 Mile Drive: Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach

076 Seventeen Mile Drive, Pacific Grove 5-2014. Monterey Cypress

There are a lot of famous road trips in the USA, like California’s Pacific Coast Highway and Montana’s Going to the Sun Highway.  One of the best known drives in America is scenic 17-Mile Drive (actually distance depends on how you enter and leave) which extends from Pacific Grove to Pebble Beach.  17 Mile Drive leads you through a quiet neighborhood, into a forested area (including some rare stands of monterey cypress), along a rugged stretch of the Pacific Ocean and past the notable “Lone Cypress” tree.  The drive takes you by some of the best golf courses in the country, including world-renowned Pebble Beach, and some of the views you’ll enjoy on this …

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.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

John Steinbeck Country: 3) Cannery Row, Monterey, California

006 Cannery Row 05-2014

“Cannery Row…is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream.”
 John Steinbeck, from his novel Cannery Row’
 

Wow!  With a beautifully written introduction like that, who wouldn’t want to visit this place?  Cannery Row is my favorite novel by American author John Steinbeck.  It may not be his best book, but it’s the first of his I’d read and the one that made me a fan.  Published in 1945,  Cannery Row is set in Monterey, California during the Great Depression, near a waterfront street lined by sardine canneries.  The book’s setting is secondary to the narrative and the many colorful characters Steinbeck develops.  Steinbeck wrote a sequel to Cannery Row, called Sweet Thursday, some 10 years later, a much less interesting novel in my opinion (as …

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“Pic of the Week”, October 31, 2014: Disneyland, California

Fall 2009 075.  Disneyland at Halloween

Happy Halloween!

No one does it with more class than Disneyland.  The park is extensively and cleverly decorated during October, culminating with a big celebration Halloween.  Check it out sometime…see you at the Haunted Mansion.

 

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.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

The Getty Villa, Malibu, California. Classical Art and Architecture

Getty Museum 03-2014 012

I’ve previously discussed J.P. Getty and his great museums on this blog and today would like to focus on the first of his museums, the Getty Villa in Malibu.

While he was despised by many during his lifetime, J.P. Getty has left the world a wonderful legacy.  Getty was one of the world’s first billionaires who, like Bill Gates, was the richest man in the world during his time.  Getty, an unpleasant but highly successful businessman, was a passionate collector of antiquities and art.  Collecting art became the center of his life.  His view towards his hobby is summarized by his quote, “The beauty one can find in art is one of the pitifully few real and lasting products of …

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“Pic of the Week”, September 12, 2014: Sunset, Pismo Beach, California

0691060-026

One of my favorite stretches of the California coast is that around San Luis Obispo.  Thirty years ago this was relatively undeveloped, but that’s much less true today.

This week’s photo is of a sunset in Pismo Beach.   It was a lovely fall evening.  We were just checking in to our hotel when I stepped out on the balcony and took in this beautiful view.  Fortunately I had my camera at hand and got a decent photo of it.

Karl on | Comments Off on “Pic of the Week”, September 12, 2014: Sunset, Pismo Beach, California
.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

John Steinbeck Country: 2) Salinas. The National Steinbeck Center

001a Steinbeck Museum, Salinas 5-2014 intro

John Steinbeck is one of the greatest writers in American history and certainly a favorite of mine.  This is the second installment in a series describing my visit to John Steinbeck country.  In part one we looked at John Steinbeck’s boyhood home in Salinas.  This post discusses the other significant Steinbeck attraction in Salinas, the National Steinbeck Center, a museum focusing on the life, times and writings of its most famous citizen.

The Steinbeck Center Foundation was established in 1983 and fifteen years later (June 27, 1998) the center itself was finished and opened to the public.  The center is the most significant archives of Steinbeck’s work anywhere, and presents Steinbeck’s life, its formative processes and significant events, and of course …

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.All Trips / California / North America / Southwestern USA

John Steinbeck Country: 1) Salinas. The Steinbeck House

001 Steinbeck House 05-2014

I greatly admire and enjoy the writing of American novelist, John Steinbeck — in fact, you’ll see a quote from one of Steinbeck’s books underneath my blog’s banner.  Steinbeck was born and grew up in the small farming town of Salinas, California, in 1902.  His formative experiences in and around this community were extremely influential on his life view and future writing, including his Nobel prize winning novel, “The Grapes of Wrath” .

It had been decades since I’d last stopped in Salinas and I knew that a new Steinbeck museum had opened in town which I very much wanted to see.  So while doing an (all too short) California road trip with two of my Arthur C. Clarke buddies, electronics engineer Wayne …

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