Category Archives: Out & About

Out & About—Frosty Burger in Pine Valley

Out & About San Diego

If you ever get to Pine Valley, California, about 40 miles east of downtown San Diego, I can highly recommend stopping at Frosty Burger for the best burgers in San Diego County.

They have no indoor seating; it’s all outside so you can enjoy the San Diego sunshine and the smell of the pine trees.

Sadly, they were closed the day I was there.

I’m not sure why.

Frosty Burger in Pine Valley, California

Frosty Burger in Pine Valley, California

Frosty Burger in Pine Valley, California

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

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Out & About—Snow in the San Diego mountains!

Out & About San Diego

It snowed in Julian last night, and since Julian is a mere 30 miles from me, I took a snow morning today to head on out there.

Sadly, I only made it to Cuyamaca Rancho State Park because the road between there and Julian was closed.

Lots of snow action at the Park, though, and my 2017 Toyota Corolla is a snow virgin no more!

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Out & About—Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Out & About San Diego

It’s no secret that I love visiting plant nurseries, and when the plant nursery is close to the beaches, it just makes it all that much better.

Such is the case with Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California.

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents is a specialty retail nursery owned by Jeff Moore. It’s been one of my favorite nurseries since I first discovered it back in 2003.

Jeff Moore, owner of Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

You never know what you’ll find on any one visit, so it’s important to go on a regular basis. For example, I recently found the following creatures which could be useful in keeping evil spirits away from your plants…. Maybe snails, slugs, gophers, moles, rabbits, and ground squirrels, too!

Keeping the evil spirits away

Keeping the evil spirits away

Keeping the evil spirits away

Check out the huge collection of beautiful plants:

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

You can find common succulents, colorful, collector, small or large, specimen plants, collector plants, lots of the same plants for mass plantings. Jeff also can help you with your landscape design or something as small as a beautiful dish garden. Heck, he even dug up a plant that was in the ground because I had fallen in love with it!

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

Solana Succulents has been in the same location for over twenty years, so Jeff knows what he’s doing and is always ready to help you with your plants. It’s a walk-in retail operation only, so there’s no wholesale and no mail order/shipping.

Jeff Moore also happens to be an author:

Under The Spell Of Succulents, by Jeff Moore

Soft Succulents, by Jeff Moore

Aloes And Agaves In Cultivation, by Jeff Moore

His books are available on the Solana Succulents website, and he has a fourth book, Spiny Succulents, coming out this summer. If you can’t get by the nursery, buy a book. You’ll enjoy them! Lots of beautiful, colorful pictures!

If you are going to the nursery, print the 10% discount coupon below and take it with you. The coupon has no expiration date, so come back here and print more as you need them.

Solana Succulents 10% discount coupon

Twenty-five more pictures because, well, a picture is worth a thousand words. So here’s 25,000 words in a slide show:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Solana Succulents in Solana Beach, California

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Out & About—Fault Line Park in downtown San Diego

Out & About San Diego

There is a park in downtown San Diego named “Fault Line Park.” It is split in two by a fault associated with the Rose Canyon Fault Zone. They are so proud of the fault that they have created a walkway on top of it and, on either side, is a huge mirrored ball.

Fault Line Park, San Diego, California

The balls were installed exactly opposite each other, but the eastern ball is slipping southward, and the western ball is slipping northward. In the western ball is a hole through which you can look to see if the two balls still are lined up exactly.

Fault Line Park, San Diego, California

Fault Line Park, San Diego, California

They are right now since the park was built in 2014, and the slippage is only 1 mm/year.

Quite interesting.

Of course, I did take a selfie in each mirrored ball.

Fault Line Park, San Diego, California

Fault Line Park, San Diego, California

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Mushroom House in La Jolla CA

Out & About—The Mushroom House

Out & About San Diego

I went on a 4½ mile hike in La Jolla yesterday, of which 4 miles was on wet sand. O.M.effin.G. I feel like I walked 40 miles.

4.5-mile La Jolla hike

I walked bottom left to upper right. My goal was to get to the Mushroom House—more properly called The Pavilion—a place I have been wanting to get to for 25 years. There are only a four ways to get there: boat, airplane, knowing the owner and being invited, and walking a couple of miles on wet sand and slippery rocks.

Mushroom House in La Jolla CA

Slippery rock beach north of La Jolla CA

Mushroom House in La Jolla CA

Mushroom House in La Jolla CA

In 1960, Sam Bell, heir to General Mills (Bell Potato Chips), purchased a summer home in La Jolla. His property extended down a 300 foot cliff to the mean high tide line of the surf below. His beach is isolated 4 miles from public access to the North, and is accessible only at low tide through rugged, slippery rocks from the south, and remains unused and out of sight.

The Pavilion was designed by Dale Naegle. Elevator Electric Co., designer and builder of the first glass elevator in San Diego, designed and built the 300-foot tram to the bottom.

Mushroom House in La Jolla CA

The design had to honor nature’s mightiest destructive forces, resisting tidal waves, rock slides, earthquakes, fire, wind, storms, and surfers.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Out & About—Hawk Watch in Ramona, California

Out & About The World

I went to Hawk Watch on 1/5/2019 in Ramona CA, courtesy of the Wildlife Research Institute.

In my 63 years 9 months and 26 days on Earth, it ranks as one of the Top 10 most interesting things I have ever done. Got to see gyrfalcon, pygmy falcon, peregrine falcon, American kestrel, ferruginous hawk, and red-tailed hawk.

I got bopped on the head by the wings of a diving peregrine falcon. Afterwards, we had a field trip where I got to see my first bald eagle nest in the wild and a juvenile bald eagle in the wild.

I took 458 pictures, so it will take me a little while to catalog all of them. Here are two pictures of the gyrfalcon, the largest of the falcons and, as far as I’m concerned, the most beautiful. It’s from the Arctic.

Gyrfalcon at Hawk Watch in Ramona CA on 1/5/19

Gyrfalcon at Hawk Watch in Ramona CA on 1/5/19

Hawk Watch occurs every weekend in January and February, and next Saturday, 1/12/2019, all those birds will be back, accompanied by some owls, including a Great Horned Owl. I guess you know where I will be next Saturday.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Out & About—Death Valley National Park

Out & About The World

My paternal grandmother adopted me in December 1965 when I was just three months short of 11. For Christmas 1968, we were going to go to Huntington Beach, California, to visit her oldest living son (my dad was the oldest son) and his family. We were going to drive. I asked if we could drive through Death Valley. The first answer was, “Yes.” The final answer was, “No, because it’s too hot and the car doesn’t have air conditioning.”

After graduating from high school in May 1973, two friends and I took a driving tour of states west of the Mississippi River. Our intent was to visit every city of at least 100,000 population, every national monument, every national park, and every national forest. We almost made it. We skipped Death Valley National Park because it was too hot and we were sleeping outside in tents.

I tried to visit Death Valley many other times but never made it, until July 30, 2018. It was everything I expected, and more, living up to being the hottest, driest, and lowest national park. It’s also an International Dark Sky Park, and I can personally attest to its darkness and the beautiful stars above.

International Dark Sky Park

I got to Panamint Springs, the western gateway to Death Valley, at 8:30 p.m. on July 30. Panamint Springs is an unincorporated area of Inyo County. Its population is unknown but probably is in the low double digits. My car’s temperature gauge said it was hot outside:

118°F outside

I had been sleeping in my car at night but at 118 effin degrees, I didn’t think that would be a good idea. There was a small hotel but it had no vacancy. However, there was a campground in back, and there were some cabins there. One was still available. $150 for the night. It had air conditioning. I was an easy sale. I got to my cabin, turned on the air conditioner, unloaded the car, and checked the outside temperature. Still 108 effin degrees.

When I woke five hours later, I took a shower. If you’ve seen Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” movie, you’ll understand why I thought of that movie when I saw the shower curtain:

After taking a shower, I watched the sunrise:

Sunrise in Panamint Springs in Death Valley

Afterwards, around 6:30 a.m., I started loading the car. Fortunately, the temperature had fallen. Thank goodness for overnight cooling!

100 effin degrees outside

As I was pulling away, I got a picture of my cute little cabin:

My cabin for the night

A drive through the campground showed that there were people who actually camped out in their tents!

Panamint Springs campground

Not knowing when I might find another gas station, I filled up at the only gas station in Panamint Springs…. with NO BRAND gas. Never had seen that before!

No brand gas

The scenery was beautiful in its own way on the drive to the Death Valley Visitor Center:

Death Valley

Death Valley

Death Valley

Death Valley

Devil’s Corn Field was quite interesting to a plant person like me. The plants are Arrowweed (Pluchea sericea), and native Americans used its straight woody shoots for their arrow shafts. Arrowweed spreads by rhizomes, and the desert winds cause the sand to accumulate at the base of the Arrowweed, causing the field to look like bundled corn stalks left to dry in a midwestern corn field.

Devil's Cornfield

The visitor center was named Furnace Creek Visitor Center, an appropriate name since it was 113 effin degrees at 9:15 in the morning, 190 feet below sea level.

Furnace Creek Visitor Center in Death Valley

The best of Death Valley was yet to come: Badwater Basin, Salt Flats, Devil’s Golf Course, Ashford Mill Ruins and the Old Harmony Borax Works, and lots of beautiful hot, dry, desert scenery.

Badwater Basin at 282 feet below sea level, is the lowest point in the North America. Interestingly, Mt. Whitney, peaking at 14,505 feet above sea level, is the highest point in the lower 48 states, just 84 miles away from the lowest point.

Badwater Basin in Death Valley

Badwater Basin in Death Valley

Salt Flats—Ten to twelve thousand years ago, there was a lake here, Lake Manly, about 100 miles long and 600 feet deep. As the area turned to hot, dry desert and the water evaporated, only salts were left behind.

Badwater Basin in Death Valley

Salt Flats in Death Valley

Devil’s Golf Course—Named after a line in the 1934 National Park Service guide to Death Valley: “Only the devil could play golf on its surface.” It is another part of Lake Manly. One can drive out to the salt flats, park the car, and walk around on lots of salt. Yet not a single margarita in sight!

Devil's Golf Course in Death Valley

Old Harmony Borax Works—The search for gold in Death Valley produced few fortunes, leaving borax, the White Gold of the Desert, as the valley’s most profitable mineral.

Harmony Borax Works was the valley’s first borax operation, operating from 1883 to 1888.

San Francisco businessman William T. Coleman built the plant in 1882 to refine the “cottonball” borax found on the nearby salt flats. The high cost of transportation made it necessary to refine the borax here rather than carry both borax and waste to the railroad, 165 miles distant across the desert.

Old Harmony Borax Works

Old Harmony Borax Works

Old Harmony Borax Works

Old Harmony Borax Works

Old Harmony Borax Works

Ashford Mill Ruins—Gold ore from the Golden Treasure Mine, five miles to the east, was processed here for shipment to a smelter.

Ashford Mill Ruins

Ashford Mill Ruins

Lots of beautiful hot, dry, desert scenery on the drive out of the park.

Death Valley

Death Valley

Death Valley

Death Valley

Death Valley

Death Valley

Death Valley

Death Valley

Death Valley

Death Valley

Death Valley

Beautiful hot, dry desert….

But it's a dry heat

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post