John & Anne Wiley

2015/09/17

Silent Roar

Old airports are fascinating to me, because they evoke the presence of the past. SBA has a spiffy new airline terminal and many recent upgrades, yet here and there are remnants of the past. Like these two hangars left over from WWII when top gun pilots prepared to fight with the Corsair, one of our best aircraft of that conflict. Looking at these derelict hangars you can almost smell oily exhaust, and in the silence hear the distant echo of a giant radial engine’s defiant roar.

9980 Fading Memories

DSC_9980-b29980 Fading Memories

2015/09/03

Special Day

In recent years every day has been charmed. Today somehow we dialed the enchantment up a notch. This afternoon we flew to the sweet little community around Oceano Airport (aka L52).

8842 L52 Community

8842 L52 Community

This is the sweetest little town! Once we flew there just to pick up a video at that branch of our regional library (we turned it in here at our branch). We did very much want to watch it (whatever it was), but mostly it was an excuse to fly there. As you can see, we can walk from where we park Tripp by the white square building near top-center, left across the bridge over the lovely slough where migrating birds hang out, and in another block we’re on the beach at the bottom-left. This is where people can drive their vast assortment of RVs, ATVs, dirt bikes, bicycles and assorted other vehicles right on the beach and up into the large sand dunes. Straight up off the top of the pic a block is Old Juan’s Cantina.

155523 Old Juan

155523 Old Juan

That gray beard is a reminder that I’m an old Juan, but what we love about this place is their delicious $105 mini-tostadas.

160852 Mini Tostada

160852 Mini Tostada

That’s one in front of Anne in this fuzzy pic. As you can see by the fine crystal water glass, it’s a humble place. As you’ve probably also guessed, these tasty dishes are small $5 treats (plus $100 to fly there). The library’s free, but these meals are an even bigger draw. Another is the sweet shop down by the beach and a couple of other eateries, but even more fun is walking around and taking in things like this that caught Anne’s fancy.

163041 Mini Dune Colors

163041 Mini Dune Colors

There’s sand just beneath the surface everywhere, accented here by the colors and shapes of this ice plant. Back in the air I spotted somewhat similar colors in this pond, apparently polluted from back in the old field days and now fenced off with warning signs.

8766 Christmas Color Pond

8766 Christmas Color Pond

As we approached Vandenberg Air Force Base and turned to leave the coast this jagged point with sea caves captivated us yet again with a garnish of puffy low clouds.

8873 Air, Sand, Rock, Water

8873 Air, Sand, Rock, Water

After myriad other enchantments we joined the coast again at Gaviota where gathering mist in the distance softened our turn along the shore toward home.

8891 Gaviota Into Mist

8891 Gaviota Into Mist

As we rolled into the driveway of our modest home, these “eyelashes” in the clouds provided yet another fleeting delight.

8944 Eyelash Clouds

8944 Eyelash Clouds

To finish the day and greet the night, I made a couple of small margaritas and we went up onto the roof to sit and welcome the fading of colors into shapes in the shades of darkness with mysterious sounds and twinkling lights of the lives around us. May every day be made more special by an Angel near you.

2015/08/07

Passing Pescadero

Passing Pescadero State Beach we turn East toward San Jose, but first a few more pix of this enchanted stretch of CA coast from Oceano to here. Though these homes are conveniently next to the highway with great oceanfront lots you’d want to either live and work nearby, have lots of time and patience, or commute via helicopter.

4915 Home Away From

4915 Home Away From

It’s only 5 minutes’ drive from the store in Pescadero, but the population of 650 or so might limit options. Half Moon Bay with 20,000 or so people is only a bit over 20 minutes if there’s no traffic, fog, or storm. Santa Cruz has plenty to offer after a 45 minute drive or so. But on a good day (and time) you can be in San Fransisco in about an hour, so living here is a great choice for some. On the other hand, if you don’t often need to go anywhere, what a fabulous place to Be!

4914 Being There

4914 Being There

My guess is the beautiful moss on those rocks means there’s plenty of ground water available, maybe even without digging a well if you have a spring to tap. I wake to surf song and laughing gulls, stroll sleepily out to my stairway and down onto the sand, and let the sea soothe me into the rhythm of another day. Just beyond this little dream is our last bridge on this tour, at Pescadero State Beach.

4907 Pescadero State Beach

4907 Pescadero State Beach

Turning inland to climb over the mountains we glimpse the little secret gMaps calls Dairy Gulch.

4900 Dairy Gulch

4900 Dairy Gulch

That trail from the beach leads to a narrow foot bridge across the shallow slot canyon.

4900 Slot Bridge

4900 Slot Bridge

Breathing deeply, we take in the expansive view back along the path of a leisurely flight taking less than two hours to deliver two million magical moments. This is one of the countless reasons people love to fly.

4899 Into The Hills

4899 Into The Hills

2015/08/06

Nursery, Bean, Tidepools

Though beautiful, this nursery next to the beach was somewhat surprising. I guess some flowers do especially well in this particular climate because the blooms are radiant.

4927 Surprise Nursery

4927 Surprise Nursery

The little cove at Bean Hollow offers many delights for motorists who need merely pull over into the parking area to check it out.

4923 Bean Hollow

4923 Bean Hollow

It doesn’t look like motorists will get a glimpse of the nursery, but there are trails along the rocks for strolling surf sounds.

4921 Shore Paths

4921 Shore Paths

The tidepools in this area are many and varied, and this mansion just above the waves sits next to a haven for tidepool watchers at Pescadero Point.

4920 Tidepool Mansion

4920 Tidepool Mansion

Looking to the South, you can see we aren’t very far from Pigeon Point. That’s the lighthouse at the top center of this pic. Does this give you some sense of how rich in diverse scenic beauty (often hidden from other perspectives) a two minute slow flight can be?

4918 Pescadero to Pigeon

4918 Pescadero to Pigeon

2015/08/05

Pigeon Point

If you thought Pigeon Point was named due to a past pigeon proliferation there, read the wiki to learn otherwise and also get details about this magnificent 1871 lighthouse that’s tallest on the West Coast.

4940 Pigeon Point Light

4940 Pigeon Point Light

You’ll also get some info about that row of buildings in the foreground. If you visit, you can get views somewhat similar to this and walk trails along the low beach bluff.

4935 Pigeon Point

4935 Pigeon Point

At this point in our flight the wind was fairly strong (check out the foam streamers on the water in this next pic), yet the flight was quite smooth.

4938 Wind On Water

4938 Wind On Water

Because the terrain here is flat, there’s nothing to stir up the fast moving air so it’s fun to fly in. Going with the wind you get a free ride in the sense that you only need enough power to maintain altitude and let the wind provide the speed over ground. Going against the wind is great too, if like us you’re in no hurry, because with a similar low power setting you have more time to take in the spectacular views. All along this coast though, are indications of why a lighthouse was built at the point.

4934 Boat Bashers

4934 Boat Bashers

The rocky beaches would make short work of any boat that chanced ashore here even in relatively calm seas like this. Scary to imagine big waves and a wind blowing directly onto these rocks, especially before there were roads and homes here (and GPS). Speaking of homes, there’s probably full-time work for window washers and tempting sea caves for a lunch break.

4931 Windows On The Sea

4931 Windows On The Sea

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