All this traveling around and living out of suitcases can get a bit old, as I have stated in previous posts. Not complaining, mind you, just simple things become bothersome, like your toothpaste is never in the same spot. Is it in the toiletries bag in the bedroom or are we now staying in a place where it can be kept in the bathroom of all places? Since coming back from Europe we mostly made a beeline to northern California to do something we have not done in our four years of home-free retirement, mooch off of relatives for a full month!
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This was my fourth or fifth trip into Death Valley. It is understandable how someone might quickly drive through the main roads of this national park and not see the beauty hidden in this barren land. The sights worth seeing in Death Valley often require one to get up for sunrise or wait until sunset. On the plus side, you also are not going to get the Yosemite type traffic jams. At midday much of this land looks like a xero landscaped yard in an upscale part of Arizona, with not a single green sprig to be seen and the hard ground covered with smooth tumbled rocks. Yet within this arid desert one can always find some water and, hopefully, some beautiful sunsets and memorable reflections.
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While walking the banks of the Sacramento River near Redding, California I heard a surprisingly loud racket sounding like loud drums beating. I soon found the source of the noise were salmon spawning. Here is a short video of a couple trying to make it upstream to their spawning grounds.