Cowboy’s Best Friend

Years ago we attended a nature walk through the desert near Scottsdale Arizona. Our guide pointed to one of these cactus and called it the cowboys best friend. The needles could be used as emergency sutures or to sew up torn jeans or boots. It is a variety of Cholla cactus and they are plentiful in the Sonora Desert of the southwestern United States and Mexico.

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Cowboy’s Best Friend

California Science Center

The first time I ever went to a science center was in the 1970’s in Toronto. It was fun and enlightening and we have made a habit of going to Science Centers as we travel around the world. We have been to centers in New Jersey,San Francisco, Chicago, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Milan and others.

This year we went to The California Science Center in Los Angeles for the first time. It is a beautifully designed facility and the special exhibit was the Magic of Pixar. It was a fun peak behind the science of animation. They also limited the amount of people in the special exhibit through reservations so it was never too crowded and it made the exhibit more accessible

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California Science Center

California Science Center

Another View from Indian Canyons

Recently I posted about Indian Canyons. That post featured a view along Murray Canyon Trail.
This view was taken from the foot of Palm Canyon Trail. in the background are the San Jacinto Mountains.

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Another View from Indian Canyons

Also Santa Monica

Yesterday I posted Santa Monica and extolled on the virtues of this wonderful beach town. Although as Dr Phil says, no mater how flat you make a pancake it has two side.

Another view from the Santa Monica Pier.

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Also Santa Monica

Santa Monica

The first time I saw the beach at Santa Monica was in 1967. The pier looks pretty much the same today and the beach is still a spectacular stretch of white sand. Of course the neighborhood is even more upscale and wealthy then it was in the 1960’s. They were just building the Interstate 10 and back then Santa Monica couldn’t compete with Westwood and Beverly Hills. Of course it is beachfront and as Los Angeles grew so did the price tag in Santa Monica.

It is a public beach so you see all kinds of people there from hippies and families to bodybuilders and of course tourists. There is a wonderful bike and pedestrian path that runs all the way from the Pier to Venice and Muscle Beach. It is a great walk for people watching and exercise.

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Santa Monica

Santa Monica

The Dragon of San Monica Pier

Santa Monica

Boot Hill Graveyard

I had read about Brisbee Arizona. It is an old mining town in the mountains to the southeast of Tucson. It is now an artist colony and old west ghost town of sorts and I thought it would make an interesting day trip while we were in Tucson. I didn’t realize that to get there we had to go through Tombstone and the bonus of the day trip was seeing the Boot Hill Graveyard.

The graveyard was fascinating. So many people were shot or murdered in a period of just five years. Here were the graves of the infamous Clanton Gang. At one time they rode with Frank and Jesse James. The cemetery was small but well maintained and free to the public. Just down the road is the OK Coral and the famous Tombstone Courthouse.

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Boot Hill Graveyard


Boot Hill Graveyard

Red Blooms in February

We went to the Los Angeles Arboretum on February 14, the day before we left California. The Arboretum is located in the eastern part of the county just outside the city of Glendale. I imagine it is spectacular in any season but in February in addition to the Spring flowers we got to see succulents and cactus in bloom. This plant is some sort of aloe and I have never seen blooms like this on any succulent. The perfect tableau for Valentine’s Day.

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Red Blooms in February