The Dragon Wagon

The Dragon Wagon
The landscaping changes often.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pinnacles National Park and Jackson, California

On a recent trip, we decided to visit Pinnacles National Park on our way to meet a few of our motorhome friends for a small gathering near Jackson, California.

The campground was mostly empty except for several of the locals.

There were several deer wandering through the campground.

Some vicious looking wabbits

Acorn Woodpeckers

That evening were saw a large number of vultures soaring over the campground.

Some of them landed in a large pine tree nearby.

The next morning, I found where several of the vultures were roosting.

While we were staying in Jackson, I went to visit the Kennedy Mine Tailing Wheels.  These are a relic of the mining history of Jackson from the early 1900s.  Early environmental laws required the Kennedy Mine to impound the tailing waste from their ore processing mill.  The site of their impound dam was on the other side of some low hills from the mill.  So a series of flumes and four electrically driven wheels was built to lift the tailing slurry up over the hills.

Two of the still standing wheels that are out in the open.

The wheel in the best condition was enclosed to help preserve it.

St. Sava Church is the first Serbian Orthodox church founded in the western hemisphere. The church was consecrated in 1894 and still serves the local Orthodox congregation to this day.  Many of today's church goers are descended from the original immigrants from the old county who came to Amador County and the West to work as laborers in the gold and silver mines.

Produce at a small farmer's market in Plymouth, California

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Aspen Campground and Mammoth Bluegrass Festival

After visiting Elkhorn Slough, we headed towards Mammoth Lakes in the Eastern Sierras.  Originally, we had planned to attend the Strawberry Music Festival just west of Yosemite, but the Rim Fire killed that event.  We decided to attend the Mammoth Bluegrass Festival which was held the same weekend.  We managed to get across the Tioga Pass Road  just before it was closed for firefighting reasons.  We had a couple of days before needing to be in Mammoth, so we spent that time at one of our favorite campgrounds on Lee Vining Creek (Aspen Campground).

A very well camouflaged Brown Creeper

It is more visible on the side of the tree

Steller's Jay

We usually see American Dippers (Water Ouzel) here.

There were lots of chipmunks around.

We then moved down to Mammoth and managed to get into the nearly full Shady Rest Campground right at the edge of town.


"How am I going to turn that thing on?"

Douglas Tree Squirrel (aka Chickeree)

One of the amazing new bluegrass groups is the Sleepy Man Banjo Boys.
Here is a video of them performing at the Mammoth Festival.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Elkhorn Slough - August 2013

After visiting with friends at Jalama Beach, we started towards Sacramento to visit our Son.  On the way, we stopped in Moss Landing to take another wildlife cruise on Elkhorn Slough.

One of the many Sea Otters that we saw.  Sea Otters spend a lot of time grooming to insure there is air trapped in their fur for insulation.

California Sea Lions

Brandt’s Cormorant at its nest

A "mature" Sea Otter

Great Egret

Sea Otters with clams for lunch

Snowy Egret

Brown Pelicans

White Pelicans.  We had never seen White Pelicans at Elkhorn Slough.

Western Grebe

Cormorant with its catch

Intrepid Explorers