Jan 122012
 

Another one from Santa Barbara last May. On our third day, the sun finally came out and we, like many others, enjoyed a morning at the beach Here a woman is walking her dog… which there is a lot of on this beach. In the background you can see a surfer swimming with his board.

Processed in Topaz Simplify – Buzz Sim

Jan 112012
 

 

I often take photos from the moving car as seen by reflection in the passenger side mirror and how the image is partially framed from the Prius roof.

Although much of this photo is as taken, I did make a few enhancements… I worked with the contrast to make my image in the mirror more visible.  In Photoshop Elements I added the birds from another photo. After I ran it through Topaz Clean, Crisp Edge.

We were driving along the top of the mountain ridge outside Santa Barbara last May when I took this photo.

Jan 082012
 

(click on the image to see the whole)

WALK – taken in Santa Barbara, CA May 2011; processed with Topaz Adjust HDR Pop; further adjusted with Aperture dodge and burn tools.

What I like about this photo is that everyone is walking, including the walk sign except the one girl in red pants. Why isn’t she?  And there is a lot of interesting detail, like why is the man wearing blue gloves?

 

Jun 182011
 

Waterfront dining made for a good opportunity to catch a silhouette of this couple enjoying each other’s company so much that they didn’t notice me taking pictures, nor did they take time to look at their menus.

I applied the “Chesney” setting that I created last year in Aperture, moved the black point all the way to really bring out the silhouette  and then ran it through Topaz Simplify Oil Painting.

Oct 282008
 

 

Carl at coffee shop, once again after 15 plus years.

Carl at coffee shop, once again after 15 plus years.

October 28, 2008 — So first thing this morning we went looking for Carl’s old coffee haunt on State St, which is the main street in Santa Barbara.  He actually had low expectations that it would still be there or if it was that it would not be the same.  He figured that by now it would have been turned into a Starbucks.

 

 

Mall in Santa Barbara - prettiest Macy I

Prettiest Macy's that I've ever seen!

 

Santa Barbara Mall

Mall on State St. in Santa Barbara

Guess what?  It was there — despite Starbucks on two or three nearby corners! So we sat outside and had a nice cup of Capachino in a large ceramic coffee cup.  Yum!

 

Hula Hoops in the park

Hula Hoops in the park

 

Is that Santa with balloons?

Is that Santa with balloons?

Meanwhile, I was in awe of the shopping “mall.”  Not so much with the stores — they were the usual, nothing too high end, really — but the notion of “mall.”  I’m not even sure I can describe it.  The stores are all on a block and have entrances from the streets, but also to a open air corridor.  So the downtown looks very nice, but the shopper has access from inside the block as well.  If we didn’t have so much sight seeing to do, I could have really spent some time shopping in this place.

 

 

After coffee, we drove the rest of the way down State Street to the ocean.  We parked and took a walk in the park on top of a cliff looking over the ocean.  It was a nice park — lots of people out and enjoying the morning.  BTW — temperature here is a bit cooler than the desert. We wore jeans today. 

 

Looking over cliff at park

Looking over cliff from park

After this, we drove along the ridge line of the mountains that border Santa Barbara — Paradise Road, which is off the San Marcos Pass Road and goes through the Los Padros Forest. We tried to anyway. After a couple of hair raising moments of meeting big trucks on this curving, narrow ridge road, we came to a point where the road was closed. Obviously they were working on the road.  So we turned around and when we reached the bottom, we drove north along the San Marcos Pass Road.  Since Solvang was only 14 miles away, we decided to go there next.

View from Mountain Top Drive

View from Mountain Top Drive

 

 

 

 

Lake Cachuna -- when Carl lived here it was a dry bed

Lake Cachuma -- when Carl lived here it was a dry bed

But first we stopped to check out Lake Cachuma.  When Carl lived here, this lake was dry, there had been a five year draught. In fact, Santa Barbara had invested in a salination plant, which never went online because it rained just as the plant was finished and read to be of use.  So they moth balled it. There was a fee to get into Lake Cachuma, so Carl drove up to the Lake Cachuma Dam.  

 

 

Clock Tower in Solvang

Clock Tower in Solvang

After that we drove to Solvang, a Danish community.  As you know, Carl and his family are from Denmark — in fact there is a Petersen Inn right in town — so I have heard about this town for as long as I’ve known Carl.  This town smells so good, we bought treats at three different bakeries that we will have as snacks for the next few days.  There is more to Solvang than bakeries — there are several places to buy quilts, dolls, and embroidered handcrafts.  There were also several inviting restaurants — too bad we ate so much at the complimentary breakfast this morning.

 

Solvang Danish architechure

Solvang Danish architechure

 

 

After walking around Solvang for an hour or so, we drove back to Santa Barbara.  I’m not sure where it was, be we walked along a pier in which lots of people were fishing.  We sat on a bench and ate one of Danish treats here.  We were overlooking the University of California, Santa Barbara branch in the distance.

Windmill in Solvang

Windmill in Solvang

 

 

 

Chumash Indian carving of Mountain Lion - oldest known carving

Chumash Indian carving of Mountain Lion - oldest known carving

After that, we drove to the Old Mission Santa Barbara and walked around there a bit.  Most interesting part of this place was the Chumash washing trowel in which the oldest known American carving still exists.

 

 

Judi and Carl on the beach

Judi and Carl on the beach

We ended the day by going back to Hendry’s Beach and having dinner at the restaurant that Carl used to eat at all the time.  It may have changed but it was still appropriate to eat there.  It turned out to be delicious — and not even that expensive.  After, we walked a good way up the beach.  And then we came back here — worn out from a great day.

Danish treats in Solvang

Danish treats in Solvang

Oct 272008
 

 

Morning sun on mountains as we leave Death Valley

Morning sun on mountains as we leave Death Valley

October 27, 2008 — We got up a little earlier this morning to give ourselves plenty of time to reach Santa Barbara.  The GPS originally thought it would take us 8 hours, but once we got underway, it adjusted and it took closer to 7 hours.  

 

 

At the top, looking down the next valley.  This, like Death Valley, was once filled with water.

At the top, looking down the next valley. This, like Death Valley, was once filled with water. See the straight road that we will be on soon?

One of the things that I’m realizing is that when you see a a bunch of mountain ranges in the distance, that between each range is a valley.  So, to leave the valley, means to climb up a mountain range and to descend down.  As logical as this all is, I must admit that living on the east coast all my life, I hadn’t really thought about this.  Anyway, the best part about this driving to the top of the mountains is the surprises that we discover when we get to the top. Looking down is always rewarding.  This morning’s first ascent/descent was no less rewarding. 

 

Panamint City's interesting fate

Panamint City - click image to read plaque

Today’s ride took us through a lot of different places.  We passed the Ballarat Ghost Town — which is really just a marker on the road, well two markers on the road — and one for Panamint City.  Since all three markers are in one place, they must have been near each other.

Ballarat was established in 1897 and had 3 hotels and 7 saloons and a Wells Fargo Station.  It had a population of 500 people.  It declined after the Rackcliff Mine closed in 1905 and became a ghost town in 1917 when the post office closed.

 

 

 

Passing Red Rock Canyon on 14

Passing Red Rock Canyon on 14

A bit later, still going down 178, the air got really, really smelly.  We discovered Trona — a very poor looking town that starts off as just a large junkyard, and then as it does get more populated it seems that half the houses are abandoned and those that aren’t, are not well kept. Then you come to the reason for the town’s existance — and smell — a mineral processor.  I looked up Trona in Wikipedia and turns out the town is named after the mineral that is mined a the Searles Lake. As I suspected from the very large white piles near the the West End plant, they produce borax as well as  boric acid, soda ash, salt cake and salt. I suspect the smell was from a chemical needed in the production.

 

 

First glance of the Pacific Ocean!

First glance of the Pacific Ocean!

We passed through Red Rock Canyon, which was red, but after seeing the red rocks earlier in our trip — it wasn’t all that “red.”   We then went down 14, into Mohave.  This was of interest to us since we learned yesterday that the 20 Mule Team brought the Borax to two places: Mohave and Daggett.  It took 10 days.  

 

 

Carl lived here for about 4 years, until February 1993. His condo is the one in the back.

Carl lived here for about 4 years, until February 1993. His condo is the one in the back.

We continued down 14 for some time going through lots of little towns.  I hate to say it — we’ve had so much stimulation visually, that I was a little bored during this stretch! Then, suddenly the traffic picked up speed as we got closer to the L.A.  A little much after all our scenic driving for the past few weeks! But that was brief because the GPS took us through a short cut over to Santa Clarita to get to I-5N.  We were on I-5 for basically one exit and then we picked up 126.  This was a road that Carl knew well from when he lived in Santa Barbara — but the road had changed a lot.  Whereas it had been a slow road with lots of farms and farm stands, it has since been expanded to more lanes and the farms now grow trees and sell “plant pot” trees.  We did see some orange trees, but not many. I guess landscaping is more profitable than growing food.

 

 

Judi steps into the Pacific Ocean -- after all those weeks in the desert!

Judi steps into the Pacific Ocean -- after all those weeks in the desert!

 

Carl on bench at beach in front of his old restaurant!

Carl on bench at beach in front of his old restaurant!

We arrived in Santa Barbara around 4:00 in the afternoon. We were too tired to really explore.  Actually, it is not officially exploring. Carl lived here for about 4 years before moving east (so that we could meet :).  So really this is an opportunity for Carl to show me about his life here until he moved east fifteen and half years ago.  So when we arrived, we went to the condo that he had lived in and then we went to his favorite beach spot with his favorite beach front restaurant.  He was dismayed to see that his favorite restaurant has been “fancified,”  not that he didn’t expect change… Anyway we drove around a bit and ended up taking a Best Western in Goleta, which is just outside Santa Barbara. Carl worked in Goleta, so this is actually part of the official tour.

 

 

 

 

 

View of Pacific Ocean from Hope Ranch

View of Pacific Ocean from scenic drive through Hope Ranch

I think it was a bit overwhelming for Carl — he really hadn’t ever thought he’d be here again. And he was also “fuzzy” tired from driving all day. And amazed at how much he didn’t remember about getting around. Though it had been over 15 years since he was here. As for me, it was great to finally put a real image to all the places that Carl has told me about for the past 15 years! I look forward to tomorrow’s explorations.