Thursday, May 19, 2011

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Road Trip. (I should be travel blogging, but I'm not.) Until now.

I am sitting in Indio, California in a quaint little cheap motel. We have found some very interesting cheap motels, but this one is interesting in a nice way. It is a cute little room with some real ambiance and nice furnishings, not at all like our other cheap motels. It has a drawback if you are not comfortable with trains rumbling by every so often, but I enjoy the trains and I know the noise will not keep me awake, so I am good with it.
The winds outside are very strong and are blowing things about a bit. Every so often something flies off and hits the roof. I imagine it must be the branches from the high palm trees that are around. I am resisting the urge to go outside and stand in the wind with my arms spread out and my eyes closed. I love the wind and it's too warm in here.
I am enjoying my first little glimpse of the desert and I am very excited about going into Arizona tomorrow. Winds or no winds, the landscape is marvelous. Along the I-10 highway around Thousand Palms there is a spot with hundreds upon hundreds of wind mills. (Not the pretty little dutch kind, but those skinny poles with blades atop that I have grown to love when I see them on the landscape.)
We stopped to take some pictures of them from an undeveloped spot off the freeway. There was an exit which led to a gas station and not much else. They are obviously planning a much bigger community around here because they have roads that go no where and freeway exits that lead to nothing.
A little further up we found an exit which led us to a place with beautiful wide boulevards. One of those wide boulevards led to a very fancy Casino/resort and most of the rest led to absolutely nothing. They are beautiful and wide, like this place must be expecting a lot of traffic someday. The one boulevard ran in front of the casino with an intersection at the casino. Three of the connecting roads were completed and one of those was the road into the Casino complex. The fourth road (across from the casino) was not completed and stopped about twenty five feet from the intersection. We pulled in there to take some pictures and when we went to leave there was actually a magnetic strip already in place for those turning left and those going straight across to the casino. This cracked us up since the "road" we were on was not even a road yet, but it was nice to have a green arrow with which to return to the boulevard.

Here are some pics of the windmills:

I also loved the way these clouds hugged the tops of these mountains behind the windmills.

Today was an especially long day. We drove all day, coming from Dublin (near Pleasanton) all the way to Indio. It was rainy near Dublin, but the rest of the trip was fairly nice with high clouds until we came to the mountains before Los Angeles. It poured rain all the way through the pass and until we were almost to Six Flags. Then it was pretty nice again until we were almost through Los Angeles. We had two rolling slow downs due to an accident in L.A. and something unknown near West Covina. The rest of the trip was fairly nice and easy. Tomorrow we head towards Arizona and up to the Grand Canyon. I am hoping we have nice weather but not too hot. It would be nice to enjoy getting out and looking around and taking more pictures.

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Look what I've got.

I've wanted this for a long time.

It belonged to my neighbor, Frank Kobe. He died last year. I miss seeing him sitting out in his chair trimming his juniper. I personally hate juniper, but Frank had it planted around his windmills. Frank built windmills and whirligigs and weather vanes of all sorts. I can't remember just how long this chicken whirligig has been around, but I think it was built already when we moved here. He and his wife lived in this neighborhood when we first moved here in 1965. I was fifteen. They were very nice people. Frank used to give my little brother rides around his yard on this contraption he built. It was pulled by his dog using a harness. The dog was a German Shepherd named Mike. I can still remember how my brother used to love riding that crazy flat contraption!
Frank and Phyllis are both gone now, but his nephew bought the house "as is" so that he could be the one to go through stuff and decide what to do with it. I stopped by the other day and asked if he would be interested in selling me the chicken whirligig. He agreed to sell it to me for 20 dollars. SCORE!

Frank was a handy guy. Click here to see his windmills. He also built that fence, which included wagon wheels. I wish I had taken a better picture of that to include the wheels, because the wheels are gone now. Another neighbor bought those from the nephew. That neighbor told the nephew that he had wanted them for a long time, too.

I am so happy to have this whirligig! I can't wait to repaint it and freshen it up and find a permanent place for it to reside!