Half the fun of visiting Big Sur is the drive. And the newly opened bridge at Pfeiffer Canyon means the good times are back, at least as far as Gorda. For now, think of Highway 1 southbound from Carmel-by-the-Sea as a curvaceous 65-mile cul-de-sac with a view. It was so nice we drove it twice. Continue reading “Road Repairs Restore Big Sur Thrills South to Gorda; Where is Everybody?”
NOTE: We’re sorry to report that shortly after posting this story we discovered that Z Pie had closed several weeks earlier. But there are still plenty of fruit pie options on the road to Tahoe. Enjoy!
Lots of travelers enjoy stopping for a sweet slice of fruit pie at an Apple Hill orchard on the road to Lake Tahoe. But the most unique pies in the region just may be the savory variety available at a tiny pot pie restaurant not far away in Placerville.
A hillside of shiny obsidian born of liquid rock and thrown by Mother Nature herself atop a fiery geologic potter’s wheel rises from the Newberry Volcano just south of Bend, Oregon. It’s so cool they named a beer after it!
It smells bad. It tastes bad. A sign cautions moderation. Yet the lithia mineral water streaming from eight cheery bubblers in the town square of Ashland, Oregon, has attracted health naïfs and the merely curious for more than 100 years.
Grumpa would have had a big time today. He and Mom-Lady could not have planned our Eclipse Day any better when they purchased a hillside home among Douglas firs in Oregon’s totality zone back in 2001. We’re certain they had Aug. 21, 2017 in mind. Continue reading “Shadow Slacking in Oregon’s Totality Zone; We Wish Grumpa Were Here”
We typically avoid whitewater adventure. Danger, deprivation and discomfort are not on our bucket list. A rollicking 174-mile jet boat ride through Hells Canyon on the Snake River seemed like a good compromise. Continue reading “Speed Thrills Aboard Hells Canyon Jet Boats; Our Fitness Apps Can’t Keep Up”
Part 6 and last in a series:
The Coastside Slackers had an amazing time in the Canadian Rockies: Soaring mountains, roaring waterfalls, exotic wildlife, orange marshes, placid Alpine lakes. We could drop the mic and end it here, but we wanted to share a few tongue-in-cheek thrills that amused us along the way. We hope you’re amused, too … Continue reading “21 Goofy Reasons to Visit Canada: Maxi Bars, Timbits and Pocket Loonies”
Part 5 in a series: For nearly 30 years, Yosemite National Park defined mountain majesty in our world view. And then we traveled slack-jawed through Canada’s Icefields Parkway. OMG. We need to get out more.
Imagine if the Yosemite Valley were 140 miles of soaring mountain peaks. Conjure up hundreds of ribbon waterfalls pouring meltwater from scores of glaciers into dozens of meandering milky blue streams and turquoise lakes. Now add hundreds of thousands of acres of alpine forest and slash the tourist per square mile ratio. Then we might have a competition. Continue reading “Canada’s Icefields Parkway Eclipses Our Beloved Yosemite; Gobsmacked at Parker Ridge”
Part 4 of a series:
Iron-rich mineral springs color the ochre mud of the Paint Pots of Kootenay National Park. The vivid contrast with the park’s green forests and milky blue rivers is visible from space. Continue reading “A Big Orange Smudge Visible from Space in the Canadian Rockies; What the Heck is That?”
Part 3 of a Series:
Water defines the beauty of the Canadian Rockies. It caps mountains, feeds flowers and forests, and rests in placid blue lakes. Oh yeah, it also shreds rock in raging whitewater torrents. Just check out Marble Canyon. Continue reading “The Big Blue Flush at Marble Canyon; Check out the Waterworks at Kootenay”
Part 2 of a series:
Who tromps through the Canadian Rockies hoping to see a grizzly with bear repellent in their pockets? Um. We did. Perhaps to the good fortune of all, the Coastside Slackers didn’t meet up with a bear. But we did enjoy a handful of fun critter encounters. And we nearly saw a moose! Continue reading “Loaded for Bear in Banff, We Settle for a Coyote; the Man Who Cried “Moose””
Part 1 of a series:
Ice blue. Mint green. Cyan. Turquoise. However you describe the hue of the lakes and rivers fed by glacial meltwater in the Canadian Rockies, it is spectacular. But why the unique color palate? A hike to the headwaters of Bow Lake is an amazing way to enjoy and explore the effect. Continue reading “A Turquoise Lake in Banff Without the Hub-Bub; Go Ahead, Skip Lake Louise”
A coast redwood grown from seeds that orbited the moon grows in Monterey, California.
Marine mammals stir the hearts of even the most jaded Coastsiders. Slackers, too. We’ve seen dolphins cruising, whales spouting, harbor seals lolling, and elephant seals … well, um… it was mating season. But sadly, not a single sea otter. Where the heck are the sea otters? Continue reading “Quest for California Sea Otters Ends with Shenanigans and Groupies Downstream from the Power Plant”
The Coastside founding fathers stumbled upon a sweet brand when they came up with “Half Moon Bay.” Who can resist, right? But 100 miles to the south, the bureaucrats who named Garrapata State Park and Beach missed the mark badly if they were trying to evoke seaside romance.
Garrapata — that’s “tick” in Spanish, as in the eight-legged blood-suckers — deserves better. Continue reading “Visit the Beach and Bluffs at Garrapata; With a Name Like “Tick State Park,” it’s Gotta be Good”
The northern nub of Big Sur is open for business despite heavy rain and fire damage to roads and wilderness. But the Coastside Slackers didn’t find much to do on their recent visit. You’d think we had found Slacker Nirvana. But instead we were disappointed. Continue reading “Big Sur is Open for Business – Sorta; We Visited So You Don’t Have To”
“It’s spring. Let’s go to Napa!” we said. “Let’s taste some wine, take a hike, pack a picnic, book a balloon flight! It’ll be great!”
But GeekSlacker caught a nasty cold. And then it began to rain – again. And the deadline for canceling our reservation at the charming El Bonita Motel in St. Helena had passed. What were two Coastside Slackers to do? Particularly with a blog to feed. Continue reading “We Battle Rain and Phlegm to Find Fun in Napa; Would You Like Wine With That?”
Did you ever have a hint of anxiety as a child watching your bath water swirl down the drain at the deep end of the tub? Could the drain capture a toe or perhaps a foot? What might crawl or reach from the from the soapy vortex? Alone in the steamy confines of the bathroom, would anyone hear you scream?
Our spring wildflower sojourn had yielded a brilliant carpet of color at the Poppy Reserve, and dazzling individual blooms interwoven into intricate floral tapestries at Anza-Borrego. We really didn’t know what to expect at Carrizo Plain National Monument – the road less traveled on the super bloom trail. I suppose we expected more of the same.
Wrong again! What we found was was a floral cascade of brilliant yellow California goldfields, accented by purple lupine, yellow-orange fiddlenecks and occasional patches of baby blue eyes, flowing from the mountain tops and pooling into the Carrizo grasslands across miles of the rugged Temblor Range. Continue reading “Super Bloom Part 3 — The Carrizo Plain Blows our Minds; Please Don’t Tell”
Part 2 of 3
We lived 90 minutes from the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve for 21 years and never visited. We thought about it, but we always had an excuse.
“We’re too busy.”
“It’s too crowded.”
“It’s a bad bloom.”
So since we were passing by on our way back from admiring the wildflower super bloom at Anzo-Borrego Desert State Park, we decided it was time to stop and smell the poppies. We even spent the night in nearby Lancaster so we could do it right. Continue reading “Super Bloom Part 2 – We Cope with Urban Anthophiles at the California Poppy Reserve; the Flowers are Quite Orange”