The Dragon Wagon

The Dragon Wagon
The landscaping changes often.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Rincon Parkway - April 2018

After finally getting back into travel mode, we spent a couple of days at one of our favorite stops, the Rincon Parkway camping area just north of Ventura.


There are always seabirds at the Rincon.

Seagull



Whimbrels




Long Billed Curlews




Marbled Godwits




Brown Pelicans skimming the waves



Various other flying objects






Also people and pets enjoying the beach





There are always ground squirrels living in the seawall rocks.



One afternoon the wind and waves churned up lots of sea foam.


Sunday, December 31, 2017

California's Thomas Fire and Aftermath

While spending some time back in Southern California, we've been close to the massive Thomas wildfire.  This fire has now become the largest single wildfire in California since records for fire sizes began in the 1930s.  This fire was the result of a "perfect storm" of conditions, including no measurable rain in over 240 days, large amounts of very dry fuels (some of which had not burned in decades), extremely low relative humidity levels (as low as 1%), higher than normal temperatures and strong and gusty off-shore winds.

We were in the Cachuma Lake campground a few days after the fire began and the smoke and ash became fairly heavy.


Smoke covered sun.



Looking towards the Santa Ynez Mountain range



By December 28th, the main fire activity was well away from the populated coastal areas and road closures and evacuation orders had been lifted.  We decided to drive around to look at how close it had come to Santa Barbara County coastal communities and to view the aftermath of the fire.


Palm trees at Faria Beach




Foothills behind Carpinteria



Foothills behind Montecito



A close call...



...and a very grateful homeowner



Some areas had Phos-Chek fire retardant sprayed from trucks.



A Phos-Chek line dropped by aircraft



Overall, an army of firefighting crews did an amazing job of saving structures.  Only a few homes in the Carpinteria/Montecito areas were lost.  Unfortunately, many homes were lost in Ventura in the first day of the fire.



Friday, October 27, 2017

Yellowstone 2017

After heading west from South Dakota, we decided to drop down to visit Yellowstone.  We first spent a few days based in Gardiner, Montana, and then a few days based in West Yellowstone, Montana.


A badger near the Slough Creek Road



The trees in the Lamar Valley had pretty much lost their leaves.



Soda Butte at eastern end of the Lamar Valley



Interesting geology near Gardiner



Elk were still mowing the grass in Mammoth Village.



Bald Eagle near Swan Lake



Dusting of snow at Sheepeater Cliffs



A very empty Hayden Valley



Raven hoping for a handout



We got a couple inches of snow one night in Gardiner.




The snow didn't help our solar panel output.



Steam rising from Lower Geyser Basin



Panorama of the Midway Geyser Basin



Grand Prismatic Spring from the newly opened overlook



A coyote seen near Fountain Flat Drive





We often saw these creatures in the rivers.



A "small" crowd for the eruption of Old Faithful Geyser



Swan in the Firehole River