South Park is a large Allegheny County Park south of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. As a boy we lived near to the park and it was a regular site of many adventures. We went to visit yesterday specifically to see the Buffalo and escape quarantine for a few hours. Our dog was stunned by the Buffalo and could not stop barking at them. Unfortunately where they were grazing made it impossible to get a good photograph of them.
There were a fair number of Canada geese in the park and on the pond a few goslings. It was great to get out of isolation and see such a sign of hope as the cute little goslings swimming with their mom.
This house sits on private property next to this small lake inside the Los Angeles Arboretum in Glendale. Imagine waking each morning and enjoying this view. Of course you have to deal with the sounds of tourists during the day and the loud honking noise of the peacocks. Still, I think I could handle it.
When I sit and gaze out at a pond and see the reflections on the still water it causes me to empty out my head of random thoughts. I am drawn into the reflections as if they were an alternate world to this one. I can’t not help but wonder if in that other world, someone is gazing back at me.
We continued south on California route 111 towards Mexicali 1eaving Bombay Beach and the Salton sea behind us. We were heading towards Slab City and when we got to Niland California we made a left turn and after a short ride through town we left pavement and electricity behind us. We were now off the grid. No cell towers, electric lines or even buildings.
Beside the road were rusted out trailers and campers. Some were occupied, we even saw a couple with Direct TV dishes and gas powered generators. Then we saw in front of us a bunch of cars parked just off the dirt road and an artificial mountain made of rusted junk that was spray painted bright garish colors.This was Salvation Mountain, a tribute to Jesus Christ made out trash in the middle of the Great Sonoran Desert. Another stop on our trip through California the Weird.
California is a wonderful state. It has endless beaches, mountains, deserts, national parks, spectacular waterfalls and tall magnificent trees. It is also a state of extreme weirdness.If Hollywood and Venice Beach aren’t weird enough try the Winchester House or one of the many roadside attractions. This year we took an exploration into the weirdness with the first stop being the Salton Sea.
The Salton Sea is about 15 miles by 35 miles with an estimated surface area of 343 square miles making it the largest “lake” in California. It also has a higher salinity than the Pacific or Atlantic Oceans and is similar to the Great Salt Lake. The “sea” also expands and contracts. It is much larger than it was in the 1920″s but has begun a cycle of contraction again a few years ago. It is not a great tourist spot. Sometimes dead fish litter the shores. There are a number of State maintained beaches and it has become somewhat of a Mecca for people wanting to live off the grid.
There was a documentary film made in 2014 about Bombay Beach discussing the residents of the ghost world along the Salton Sea. The people living along Bombay beach and the other beaches are not completely off the grid. There is the possibility of electricity and fresh water. As we traveled further down the road towards Slab City and East Jesus, the Salton Sea seemed less desolate on our return trip.
I grew up in Cleveland Ohio for the first part of my childhood. We used to vacation on lakes and I would go fishing with my dad. We would see Chris Craft boats on the lake and I would ask my Dad why would couldn’t have one of those. He would laugh and say well may someday you will. I still have never ridden in one of these beauties and plan to change that soon but I will never be able to afford one without winning the lottery.
We saw this one while waiting for a steamer in Lake Como. It was privately owned and not available for hire. Who knows maybe it was George Clooney’s
There are a number of boats that offer parasailing on Lake George. My favorite was the Smile Boat. Not because the parasail design is that great but because it represents the opposite of how I would feel if I were parasailing. Even when I was younger this is not something I would have considered doing. I liked water skiing and still like to snorkel. I learned how to like roller coasters and thrill rides but parasailing has never been on my list.