July 4, 2007

Jellies, Hawgs and Trees

A short morning drive up Highway 101 finds us tucked in on a tree line pad at the friendly and very quiet Betabel RV Park...quite the change from the recent highly active weekends at San Simeon Campground. The nice pool was supposed to provide us an opportunity to "activate" those hidden pigmentation cells and elimate any hint of our albino ancestry...but the weather was Cambrian...a cool 55-60 degrees, overcast and a persistent breeze.

Complimentary tickets from a generous soul to the Monterey Bay Aquarium provided us an opportunity to spend a wonderful afternoon on the Monterey Peninsula. The Aquarium offered us a reminder to be playful, carefree and thankful of our life experience...like the otters... and to sometimes just float around like the jellies. A recommendation to dine at the Fishwife Restaurant in Asilomar proved to be a perfect way to exit this beautiful sanctuary. We also highly recommend this eatery.

We visited the town of San Juan Bautista which again made us realize how much we love small communities founded by courageous pioneering families. On this 4th of July weekend over a hundred thousand (yes, 100,000) bikers rode their "hawgs" through this the town on their way to Hollister as part of a two day rally...one could almost picture horses instead of "Harleys" lined up outside the saloon. Many of these motorcycles are being towed in enclosed trailers behind motorhomes which are also being parked at Betabel.

Our state docent/volunteer experiences continue to provide rewards and enrichment...a tour of San Juan Batista State Historic Park was offered by the park rangers on staff as a thank you for our services. Upon reflection of our docent experience, volunteering has fueled our love and passion toward our state and national parks and motivated us to continue to be strong stewards of these beautiful parks, caretakers of the natural resourses they provide and guardians of the flora and fauna they provide homes for. At the mission, you can visualize in one compact area, the several "successive phases of California history", the Native Ameriancs, the Spanish Missionaries, the Mexican Californios and the early American settlers...all leaving a rich, colorful culture filled with many stories.

A yearning to walk among the "big trees" led us to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park nestled in the Santa Cruz mountains. Strolling through the trees quiets our mind "chatter", while the power of the old growth groves humbles our existence. It is magical how our senses become heightened in this realm of living giants...the scent of pine, the sponginess of the earth beneath your feet, distant sounds of a stream as it flows over a bed of stones and the strands of sunlight filtering through the tree tops. We wonder how individuals CANNOT find the time to experience this soul charging. As we wandered off the main trail and explored the "less advertised" paths, we found ourselves enjoying this beautiful sanctuary with peace, quietness and harmony....a mirror of what can happen everyday when you choose to live life "out of the box".

We filled out our week here with a visit from our dear friend Joan, catching up on stuff and enjoyed an early grill with a nice bottle of wine. We also became acquainted with a few new friends, fellow travelers on the road to anywhere.
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