November 23 From Colorado to San Diego via Seattle

Last time I wrote we were in the Rocky Mountains and now we are in San Diego. We've been to a lot of places since then, but all are places we've visited and written about before, so I'm just going to post some pictures and go on. We have enjoyed having Icy Blue with us on this trip. As we were leaving Ridgway, we did attend a bird banding and I got to release one of the warblers after the banding was finished. Quite an experience having that small bird lying on my hand before it took off.

Just-banded Wilson's Warbler

Mount Moran (Grand Tetons)

Bacterial bed at Yellowstone

Mount Rainier

We had a great visit in Seattle. Everyone there was well and in good spirits. Riley and Keith spent a weekend together camping in the Cascade foothills using Keith's camper truck and had a great time. We also had good visits with Roxanne and Gaynell & Thad. The cherry tree in Roxanne's back yard had fallen down since the last time we were in town and the yard looked empty without it. She has plans to put in a tree to replace it but hasn't gotten around to it yet. Gaynell and Thad were digging out their vegetable beds, getting them fertilized and ready to plant next Spring. Evidently, this is impossible to do once the rainy season starts. And the rainy season started the next week after they finished! I slipped on the wet front step of the RV and fell onto the driveway--bruised and embarrassed but not badly hurt. Thank goodness! We saw all our doctors and got good reports from everyone, except that Riley had to have a small cavity filled by our dentist.

Keith & Riley atop Mt. Pilchuck

Fall colors at Golden Gardens Park

Margie & Julian

Jenefer & Aubrey

After leaving Seattle, we did our usual stop at Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge for birding and a good time. We saw one new bird, the Rough-legged Hawk. Then a stop in Portland to visit Luke, Amy and Naomi. Naomi had just had her second birthday. She is so cute. We were not there long enough for her warm up to us totally, but it was fun anyway.

Great Blue Heron at Ridgefield

Luke, Amy and Naomi
We then went on down through Lassen Volcanic National Park to Penn Valley to visit friends Dick and Earin Scott. Lassen was covered with snow with temps in the 20's but when we got to Penn Valley it was warm again and we were thankful for it. Riley and Dick rode his dual sport motorcycles for several hours, and we also did some hiking and movie watching with them. They had two new kittens, bringing their pet numbers up to five cats and a dog. A Great Blue Heron had visited their pond/water feature and eaten most of their fish--easy pickings!

We then drove over to Aptos to visit Eric and family. Lindsey's daughter Ryin is two also, and like Naomi, is as cute as can be. We did some motorcycling with Eric, and went over to the beach park where he volunteers to do some tide pool collecting. Very interesting and a good time!

Ryin & Lindsey

Eric & Margie at Point Lobos State Reserve

We drove down Hwy. 1 to get to San Diego, and again, did not see any Condors. I guess the time we did we were just lucky. We are settled here in San Diego until Dec. 3. We've been walking at a nearby park, Lake Murray, just about every morning with Lara. It's a great place to bird and we have seen three new species there: Cassin's Kingbird, Tropical Kingbird and California Gnatcatcher. We saw the Kingbirds in a flock that also included a Western Kingbird. We were lucky to pick out the Tropical, but we saw him again alone on another day. Justin, Alyssa and Cleric have all grown and changed so much over the last year. Cleric has been more social with us than Naomi and Ryin; guess he's not as shy. Or maybe he just accepts me because I look and sound like Lara!

Cleric and Ashley at Mission Bay

Justin & Alyssa fishing at Santee Lakes

Cleric on the slide

Cleric and Ashley at Buena Vista Park

Riley and I took one day and went up by Cuyamaca Lake and on to the town of Julian on the motorcycle--had apple pie and cinnamon ice cream, yummy! And we plan to take a motorcycle ride up to Mount Palomar before we leave. We also did some birding at the Tijuana Estuary one day. Riley managed to spot the Clapper Rail and it put on a good show preening for us. We also saw a Wandering Tattler, another new bird for us.

Cuyamaca Lake

Alyssa, Lara, Margie & Justin

From here we will drive across the southwest, visiting Tucson and Albuquerque en route to Houston for Christmas.

Love to all,
Margie & Riley

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