Bear Creek Regional Park, Colorado Springs

Summer is here and it’s dry.  Clouds pass in the afternoon, but we don’t get much rain.  Still, wildflowers blossom in the foothills of the Rockies.  Hiking in Bear Creek Regional Park, I came across a few.

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Pt. Pinole Regional Park

It will take a lot of work to restore the San Francisco and other bay shores in the Bay Area.  But some restoration work has gone on at Pt. Pinole, a regional park that sits on the south shore of San Pablo Bay, just east of Richmond and the San Rafael Bridge.  The site belonged to Bethlehem Steel, which had bought the land from a firm that manufactured gunpowder and dynamite for many years.  The park was opened to the public in 1973.

Large stands of eucalyptus provided shade on the bright, hot day we visited.

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Pt. Reyes National Seashore

Warm days in California in October, the hillsides still dry, colors fairly drab.  We drove out to McClure’s Beach one day. Part of the tule elk herd rested above the trail to McClure’s; a white-crowned sparrow sang among the chaparral; waves rolled in over the sand where Asian women stood fishing.

I first visited this area in the early 1960s before the National Seashore was established.  Thanks to the creation of this National park, it remains much the same as when I first saw this area.  I love the varied blues of sky and ocean.

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Berkeley in October

I’m afraid these photos are not all that inspired, but I still had fun walking around the old neighborhood one morning last October.  I had gone out to California to do some readings of my poetry (from Doubters and Dreamers, University of Arizona Press).  I had a few days to visit with family, see friends, and do a bit of photography.  Below are the steps at Rose Walk and other sights in the Hillside area.

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Bend to Ontario, Highway 20

It’s not a short drive over Highway 20 to Ontario, Oregon, but the high desert/ Great Basin area is gorgeously austere.  This sagebrush country presents a different mosaic of green than the Cascades.  Farms and ranches dot the valleys cut through by branches of the Malheur River, which enters the Snake near Ontario.

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A Nice Place to Stay

Spent a couple of nights at McKenzie Bridge, at Cedarwood Lodge.  My cabin was one of the oldest on the property, about 80-years-old.  The McKenzie is yards away; you can hear it rushing by.  The couple who own Cedarwood Lodge, Michael and Carolyn Giorgio, have operated this place for several years; they’re wonderful proprietors.  Here are some photos of the area.  St. Benedict’s Lodge and Retreat Center is across the river, about a 20-minute walk from Cedarwood.

Views of the River

I love this river, the Columbia.  When I lived in Mosier, years ago, I would often walk to the bluffs above the river and watch it flowing by.  I could hear the cars and trucks on the freeway below.  Freight trains ran along both the Washington and Oregon sides of the river, hauling goods into or out of the interior of the country, and boats and barges loaded with produce and lumber would chug by.

June is one of those months in Oregon where it may rain for a day or two, then clear up and be sunny.  Then the showers resume.  In Portland (City of Roses), where I stayed a few days, I enjoyed a rain-soaked garden.

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