May 20, Ridgway


We've covered lots of ground since leaving San Diego in late March. Up to Seattle for doctor/dentists visits, back down to Tucson for a wedding, up to Utah for a motorcycle trip and now east to Colorado on the way to Kansas for Memorial Day weekend with the Porters.

As usual, we went up the Pacific coast on our way to Seattle. One of our favorite spots on the California coast is Jalama Beach County Park, northwest of Santa Barbara. It's some 15 miles west of Highway 1 along a small, curvy road that dead ends at the park; fortunately, they've got a remotely controlled sign just off Highway 1 to tell you if they're full before you drive all the way in. The park is popular with surfers (both board and wind), and is apparently well known to the locals as it's often full and we've even begun to recognize some of the regulars.


Jalama Beach
Our next stop was Aptos, where we got to visit with Eric and his family. We stayed long enough to drop the BMW and do a day's motorcycle tour with Eric, going by Pinnacles State Park hoping to see California Condors--no luck. Still, it's a lovely isolated park with camping which someday we plan to use. The big news from Aptos is that Eric and Wendy's daughter, Lindsey, is getting married over Memorial Day weekend. Sadly, we'll miss the wedding because of prior commitments to be in Council Grove that weekend, but hope to get a full report with photos later.


Wendy & Tyler in front of Eric's garage

Jonathan & Lindsey on Wendy's porch

Our doctor/dentist visits in Seattle were routine, no complications, so we were only in town a week. Barely enough time to visit Gaynell and her family, Roxanne and Keith, plus get some work done on the motor home. We're not planning to return to Seattle until late spring or early summer of next year, but will stay at least two weeks then so that we will have more time for visiting family and friends.

From Seattle it was a quick run down to Tucson. En route we had a brief visit in Penn Valley with friends Dick and Earin, where we again got in a short motorcycle ride, and then crossed over the Sierra Nevada range so we could swing by Mono Lake for some birding. The Tucson highlight, of course, was the wedding of Aaron and Burcu on Cinco de Mayo in Randy and Ginny's yard. With over a hundred guests, including several of Burcu's family and friends from Turkey, the place was hopping. We opted to stay at a nearby RV park to free space in Randy's driveway for the caterers, and were happy to have Keith stay with us for the wedding weekend. Cousin Jane, who we'll see again shortly in Kansas, provided some helpful transportation in Tucson, and it was great to see so many family and friends gathered in one place. We did manage to spend two nights camping in Madera Canyon, about 30 miles south of Tucson, before and after the wedding for some great birding (see "New Bird List" below).


Keith trying not to squint

Neal & Roxanne

The exchange of vows

They are married! (Catalinas in background)

Happy mother of the groom, Ginny

Relieved father of the groom, Randy

We couldn't stay in Tucson very long anyway, as we had to get to Cedar City, Utah, by the afternoon of the 8th in order to meet Dick and Eric, who were cycling over from California. The four of us spent a crowded night in the motor home and next morning took off for a motorcycle tour of southern Utah and northern Arizona. On our five nights out (three sleeping on the ground and twice in motels) we visited Zion, Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Parks, all exciting new sights for Margie. In addition we got to see Natural Bridges National Monument, the Goosenecks of the San Juan, Mexican Hat and Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in Utah, plus the Glen Canyon Dam, Antelope Canyon, the Navajo Bridge over the Colorado (where we saw several roosting Condors!), Monument Valley (where so many John Ford westerns were filmed) and the Vermillion Cliffs, all in Arizona. Dick did a great job of planning a route that provided so much magnificent scenery, time for some hikes, and strategically placed spots for spending our nights. We all had a wonderful time and hope to do another cycle tour this September when Margie and I will spend some time in the San Diego area.


Zion canyon wall

Bryce Canyon

Four cycle tourists in Bryce Canyon

Looking up the slot in Antelope Canyon

After we parted from Eric and Dick in Cedar City we made a quick trip down to Flagstaff to have breakfast with friend Benegene (herself on a two-week driving trip from Houston), followed by a drive through Grand Canyon National Park on our way to Cortez, Colorado. We're now at Ridgway State Park, a couple hours northeast of Cortez, where we'll spend a few days enjoying the Rockies (and hopefully some good birds) before heading for Wichita on our way to Council Grove.


Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon from Grandview

We've been well and having a grand time, as you can tell from this narrative. We hope that all are well out there amongst our readers.

Love,
Riley & Margie

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New Bird List
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Surf Scoter3-29-07 Jalama Beach, CA
Surfbird4-02-07 Jalama Beach, CA
Allen's Hummingbird4-06-07 Ano Nuevo Reserve, CA
Wrentit4-09-07 Patrick's Point SP, CA
Blue-throated Hummingbird5-04-07 Madera Canyon, AZ
Bronzed Cowbird5-04-07 Madera Canyon, AZ
Dusky-capped Flycatcher5-04-07 Madera Canyon, AZ
Brown-crested Flycatcher5-04-07 Madera Canyon, AZ
Gilded Flicker5-05-07 Ventana Canyon, AZ
Elf Owl5-06-07 Madera Canyon, AZ
Flame-colored Tanager5-07-07 Madera Canyon, AZ
Juniper Titmouse5-14-07 Coral Pink Sand Dunes, UT


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