Monday, June 20, 2016

6/20/19-Jawbone Canyon, Bishop and Mammoth Lakes

We left Santa Barbara and headed up 101 then 26. We stopped for breakfast in Fillmore and ate at a car dealership. Yes, you read it correctly. We had breakfast in a car dealership at the Bel Air Café. The food and service were great!

Our destination was Jawbone Canyon, BLM land, on Hwy 14. We stayed there 2 nights (4/18-4/19).

It was very sunny and getting warm so Colvin set up a nice canopy for shade.

It was great! Until the winds came. Out of nowhere. Colvin had gone for a walk and I was sitting in the shade enjoying a good book when a gust came and tore it all down. I tried to hang on to the tarp, but ended up having to let it go. This next pic is Colvin walking back with it. He said I did the right thing, but I still felt bad. We retrieved almost everything except a bowl that had held some snacks. It was never to be seen again. We didn’t have any wind for the rest of our visit – just that one gust. Wow, proving once again, Mother Nature always wins and she has a mind of her own.

This very tall wall that lined the road beyond our camp has a ton of names carved into it – modern day hieroglyphics, kind of, I suppose.

We took a drive and saw a magnificent sunset! Beyond the hill is a giant wind farm. Can you see some of the windmills on the hilltop?

This building has a sign that reads Jawbone Canyon Store and “Restaurant.”

So we went in there one morning and they had a list of tacos they could make, but when I asked about prices, etc., the owner said, “Well, I guess I could make some for you.” Then she added, “If you want me to.”

With that kind of enthusiasm, uh, no thanks. We’ll pass.

You also don’t want to get gas there.

She ended up being very helpful and talkative about places down the road where we could drive to get breakfast, but I’m thinking they may want to put up different signs. Ya think?

After Jawbone Canyon we headed to Bishop, CA. The first part of the drive is on Hwy 14 which takes you through Red Rock State Park. That was a lovely drive. At Big Pine, I stopped for a break and let the dogs run around the Edith M. Mendenhall Park. We had just left a rocky, sandy desert, and now I found myself staring at mountains with snow on them! I love this life!

We only stayed in Bishop one night, in the Von’s/Kmart parking lot (4/20).

The curb next to where Colvin parked gave us a chuckle.

Kmart had banners hanging from the ceiling. This one reminded me of Bentley when he used to ride with me on my Harley and wear his Doggles …. many, many moons ago. He loves to ride with his head out the window. But now, since he’s 14, he doesn’t get to do it anymore unless I’m holding him. He is definitely still the King of “wind in the hair” though. And, as the banner says, #lifeisridiculouslyawesome.

After our overnight stay in Bishop, we headed up 395 and camped near the Sherwin Creek Campground in the Inyo National Forest at Mammoth Lakes, CA. It was lovely weather the day we were there, but snow was expected so we only stayed one night (4/21).

Bentley and Nonni were so happy to be in grass and not sand. They just rolled and rolled and played and played.

Here are a few more pics from our campsite at Sherwin Creek.

In this next pic, when you first look at it, you probably can’t see the 2 deer looking at me. They are in the stream of sunlight between the 2 trees. I placed a magnification of them in the lower right hand corner of the pic. They stood there a very long time; so adorable.

Lastly, look at the pic again. Do you see where the sunshine is creating a purple reflection from a shard of glass on the forest floor? If it gets hot enough, that tiny piece of glass can start a forest fire. Please pick up glass and trash when you camp – even if it’s not yours.

So that was a whirlwind of changing campsites, but while we were in Bishop we worked with the Ford Dealership to order parts so that I could get my lock and latch mechanism on my back door fixed. Woohoo! We made arrangements to bring the van back the following Tuesday (4/26), and then we headed out to an amazing place! I’ll share that in my next post.


Before we headed to our next destination, I did some shopping to pick up a few supplies. I was stressed and skipping, but I thought I was doing well enough to at least get a few things. As it turns out though, while I was in the store I couldn’t process. It took me a couple of hours just to try and get 5 or 6 items. It finally dawned on me that I needed to call it quits and head to the van.

I went to the register.

With the wrong cart.

I have no idea whose cart I had or how long I had been pushing it around. AND, that meant that my purse was somewhere in the store in my cart! Hopefully! But I had no idea where. I told the cashier that those weren’t my items and I could tell she was confused, but I just left all of that stuff there and quickly started going through the store trying my best to remember how to retrace my steps and find my purse. I finally found my cart in the pet section. My purse was still in it. I was so relieved!

After that I was too rattled to buy anything and left the store empty-handed.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

6/14/16-Santa Barbara (4/15/16-4/18/16)

Dawn Patrol Bistro

We finally made it to see my long-time friend, Tracy. It is not an exaggeration for me to say that this was one of the best weekends of my life. Can you tell by the smile on my face in that first pic?

Here’s my beautiful friend, Tracy, at her front gate. She is holding Johnny’s dog, Buster, and you can see her dog, Annabelle, behind the gate as well as my Nonni and Bentley.

Colvin and Johnny, Tracy’s boyfriend, got along famously. Tracy and I joked that they were brothers of a different mother.

Tracy and I talked and talked and talked – even at the Farmer’s Market. We had a lot of years to catch up on, and just couldn’t get enough.

I had my first wheat grass shooter with an orange chaser.

And everywhere you look there is something interesting to see in Santa Barbara.

You really need to zoom in to appreciate the art work on this next house. Wow. Can you find the mailbox?

I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk when I saw the house in this next pic because the cat in the window looks just like Miss Hope!

Even the dogs had fun!

Here’s Annabelle trying to prove she’s just your normal, typical lap dog. Love, love, love!

Tracy took us for a drive on Saturday after we went to the Farmers Market. It was a great day.

We toured Coast Village Road and the lower village of Montecito which is sophisticated and charming. We took a beautiful road that passed an entrance to Miss Winfrey’s place, and we barely missed the hours for LotusLand, a non-profit botanical garden on the historic estate of Madame Ganna Walska.

We drove more beautiful roads that led to an amazing view of the Channel Islands which are known as the Galapagos Islands of North America with some of the best whale-watching in the world. In the pic I took (3rd in the next trio) I think you can see 2 of the 8 islands, Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa.

We ate at one of Tracy’s favorite taco stands, La Super Rica Taqueria. It is a fav of many, including the late, great Julia Child.

Food - handmade and organic. Check - shorthand.

We went out on the town that night and had a GREAT time. We went to The Palms in Carpenteria. I can practically taste the steak just writing about it! It was fun because you get to cook the steak yourself. Johnny and Colvin did a great job. Here’s a pic of them at the spice bar waiting in line for the grill. I think Tracy added a pinch or two of her own spice. ;))

The next day Colvin and I chilled at the beach for awhile.

In the pic above we’re standing below Stearns Wharf. According to, “it was completed in 1872 and was the longest deep-water Wharf between San Pedro and San Francisco. It was named for its builder and local lumberman, John P. Stearns. It served the passenger and freight shipping needs of California’s South Coast for over a quarter century.” You can click (here) to read more history. Today the pier is SB’s main tourist attraction with many shops and restaurants. We walked it one evening. That was quite an experience – the moon, the docked boats, the ocean breeze and waves, the people, the stores and the aromas made for a very memorable and wonderful time. I was mesmerized. And I was amazed at all the cars driving and parking on this pier! Kudos Mr. Stearns!

Johnny, chef extraordinaire, cooked dinner for us one night at his house. According to the next pic, we wore him, Buster and Bella out! LOL.

Our time in SB ended much too quickly. Here’s Colvin planning the next leg of our trip. Tracy, always the perfect hostess, served him cold coconut water in a fresh coconut.

We love you Tracy and Johnny!! I miss you more than words can say.


I was embarrassed that on our last night there, at Johnny’s, in the middle of his exquisite dinner, I had a seizure. There was nothing I could do about it. Try as I may, when I do too much, or subject myself to too much noise for too long, I seem to always have symptoms.  And, evidently, it doesn’t matter how great of a time I’m having because I couldn’t have been happier or have had more fun. Yet, I still found myself on Johnny’s couch writhing in pain. I was blessed to be with loving, wonderful friends that were so patient and caring with me. I remember it felt good when Colvin held my head and Tracy tended to me and covered me up, but that’s all I remember after leaving the table. I don’t remember how long I was on the couch, or leaving the couch, or them taking me back to my van. But I woke up in the wee hours of the morning and I felt better, and Colvin was holding me. I looked up and saw the batch of fresh lavender that Tracy had hung over my bed and I was wearing a fabulous necklace that Colvin told me she had given me. I wear it pretty much all the time now. Thank you, Tracy. I love you guys. Thank you – for everything. XOXO

I’ve been told before by people that mean well that I don’t look like I have a brain injury. I suppose, in many ways, I have what is known as an “invisible disability.” So, with some insecurity, I share the following pic. I share it because I’ve met several people out here on the road with brain injuries and I’ve noticed that we tend to hide when we’re not doing well. You might recall that I’m trying to be authentic – all of me, not just the shiny pieces. So, I share. I think it shows in this picture, better than I can explain with words, just how hard the seizures are on me. This one was taken the morning after a seizure. Evidently, after that seizure, I have now lost vision in the lower left quadrant of my left eye.

Within hours or sometimes a few days, all apparent evidence is gone of my struggles. That may change some day, and my faculties may not fully return, but today, as is always true - all my needs are met. KOKO!


Also attending Johnny’s dinner party that night was our friend, Jennifer Vasilakos. I share her story here to raise awareness. Jenny had complete kidney failure 5 years ago and undergoes dialysis EVERY day, 11-12 hours a day. She needs a kidney! Now!

If you are reading this, please look at her website and share it on your social media pages. Or, if you can't do that - give her a kidney - whichever you prefer. Thank you.

Jen’s website: “Share theSearch

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