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.



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