Monday, May 21, 2012

Hike to the Unexpected & Creepy Crawly Things

Ok, so I withdrew from society for a bit and then decided that a hike was in order. Ever since our last Sunday morning hike with Dave in the Bayford area, we've been trying to meet up again, but it's poured the last couple of times we attempted it. We aborted the hikes, while Dave soldiered on. Not this time, although it did look like we'd see some rain action.

You remember Cosmo and George? Um, Michael had a weird expression, so I thought I'd help him out.

There are two dogs tied up along the route and Dave brings them doggie treats (one dog is friendlier than the other). Their owner had dumped some meat nearby and boy did it smell. I'm pretty sure the poor pooches liked the biscuits better. I don't get the point of having them here (they're tied up so can't "get" trespassers), but at least they had some kind of shelter.

Along the way, we picked up some passion fruit off the ground and gave it a try. It was not the most appetizing thing to look at but you just put the slime and seeds in your mouth and chew. Get ready for a tart surprise.

After a not too difficult jaunt, we ran across a newly cleared little farm nestled up against a bubbling brook with tiny waterfall and pool. Dave's lived here for years and never knew what he had in his own backyard (so to speak).

Dave had no problem getting in, but you know I wasn't putting more than my hand in that cold water. Cosmo wasn't getting in either.

Michael found some wild raspberries and my tastebuds didn't know what hit them. Yummy. Of course, if we tried to grow them ourselves it'd never happen. As it is, things keep eating the veggies we planted - the last casualty was our corn to ants. Grumble.

Can you see the donkey in this picture?

We heard a peacock off in the distance too. It was a really pleasant hike. On our way home we noticed the small hydroponic farm going up. Faster...faster...

Then it was beach time. As soon as we got there, it started pouring.

Luckily, it was a quickie. After a nice time to ourselves and two hours later, big, cold drops were falling from the sky once again. We decided to call it a day.

On our way there, we had noticed a car that had hit one pothole too many. This time I had to run down and take a picture of it. I'm not sure why they didn't just put their bumper in the backseat and carry on, but maybe something else fell off. We seem to have inherited the worst vehicle in the fleet ourselves and announce we're coming by the squeaky shocks and springs - SQUEAKer...SQUEAK...SQUEAK...SQEAKer...  Like rusty bed springs. Embarrassing, but better than not having a car at all, I suppose.

Upon our return, we had a little kitty mewing at us. The neighbors have been feeding this thing for months, but were gone for awhile. The cat would sit outside their door wondering why no one was feeding it anymore, so we started putting food out for it. Now it's our friend. She's skittish but will let you pet her if you're slow about it. Maybe we can grab her sometime and get her fixed. We'll put her back outside on her own, but at least there will be one (or 10) less litter(s) in the neighborhood.

Then for our evening entertainment, we had another centipede invasion. Just last week, the cats woke me up by going after something at the corner of the bed. The nasty thing had scrambled up under the lip of the mattress top, but is there no longer. I managed to get that one without being stung. Last night, Jack was staring at the bottom of our desk leg. That's never good. I moved it and saw the biggest centipede we've had in the house yet, probably about 5-6 inches long (the biggest I've seen was during a run and it was longer than my shoe and two finger's thick). It came wriggling out at full speed toward my foot.  Aack!  I yelled at Michael to grab the broom, he yelled at me to get the camera (the camera?! forget that!) and then he took off for some paper towels.
Are you kidding me? This thing was huge. The last 2 times I got stung, it was because the darn things had bent around the towel and zapped me (the 3rd time I leaned on one that was on a railing - that hurt for 3 weeks). I ran for the broom intending to just sweep it outside, but by the time we both turned around it was gone. Uh oh.  By now, Zura was in on it too and let us know it was in our black shag rug. Ding-bat Michael starts looking for it with his hands - hello?  He finally grabbed the cat brush that was on the table and nailed the thing between the bristles. Of course, nothing kills these things, so he just shook it outside and slammed the door. And stay out!

Kevin Salt

To get that vision out of your head...For those of you have read Idiots, you'll recall that we considered another couple that had left a few months before us for a similar adventure our mentors - Amanda and Kevin on Solstice. They've since sold their catamaran too, but still have the traveling bug so have bought a small camper van and are heading to Alaska (from Arizona)...slowly. It's kind of strange because we were thinking about doing the same thing around Australia (only in something bigger because we have 2 cats). So once again, we watch and learn before we decide if we want to copy. Anyway, they happened to be in Monument Valley for the eclipse that could only be seen from the west coast if in the U.S., and took some great pics. Here's one, but you can see a couple more on their blog.  I still think the west coast (Arizona, Utah, & Oregon in particular) is one of the most beautiful places anywhere and would move back there if we had to go back to the States for some reason. That is not the plan, however...