06 October 2012

2012 WILD WEST California 11 - Artichokes in Pacifica

Half Moon Bay CA to Mojave CA

Oh, no. Left my notes in the car. Not going out again in this bluster. Car doors almost blown off their hinges as we were unpacking it for the night. Trying to remember. Tired.


Drove about 358 miles today. Left about noon from Duartes and arrived about 7:30pm into Mojave CA. A long haul. Highest elevation was 4,181 at Tehachapi Pass. Along the top of the pass were a multitude of wind turbines, but not all on tower poles like we are used to seeing. Most were oil derrick style towers. I guess because the wind is so strong, it lets the wind pass through the tower.


Tom and Lisa both had to get up early. I woke with them and said our good-bys, then back to bed. Remy and Tosa kept us company as we readied and left.

One more pass through HMB...... sentimental, a tear on Deb's part. Stopped at Shane and Lynde Meyers place for a short but sweet visit. Again talk about old times, cats, NWA people, Kalamazoo haps, and viewed their wedding video taken at S.F. city hall. Lovely and sweet. Shane reminded us that we are missing HMB Pumpkin Festival next weekend. We were not toooooo disappointed. Deb has worked the fest clean-up crew for years as a fundraiser for the theatre. Been there, done that. Never again.

Their yard was still beautiful with the stag horn ferns still as big (one at least six feet in diameter) and healthy as ever. Shane's Grandpa Bob used to love working back there and these two have kept it nearly as nice. Before we left Shane tried to give us his Grandpa and Grandma's ashes to deliver to Ohio, where years ago they had planned their final resting place. This was funny because Shane has been saying for years that he has to get to Ohio to take care of this and while there would visit us in Kalamazoo. We respectfully declined, leaving him a commitment to come East.

Not able to hook up with Lynn and Ralph. Must be out of town as no answer to our phone calls. We wanted to see them, of course, but also wanted to see how their gorgeous backyard garden was doing. Bummer!

First stop was planned for Duarte's in tiny town of Pescadero, one of our favorite cafes along the coast. We timed it just right so we could get an artichoke omelette (made with sliced arti hearts) off the breakfast menu and arti soup off the lunch menu. They also have wonderful home-made French bread (crusty outside, warm and wonderful inside). Just had to wipe the soup bowl clean with that bread. We each got both, so we were stuffed but happy as we exited. This is one of our all-time fave meals ever.

Then into driving mode--Hwy. 1 to Santa Cruz to Castroville (artichoke center of the world) to Salinas Valley (salad bowl of America with green tomatoes, brussel sprouts, pumpkins, onions, green and red lettuce, cabbage, strawberries, cotton, and artichokes growing along the highway) to Bakersfield and finally to Mojave CA.

Beautiful sunset as we head down the mountains into Mojave. Also, gusty wind signage on the downhill from Tehachapi Pass were a definite warning. The Desert Winds Best Western (clean, adequate, great shampoo-y stuff) was named appropriately. The cashier at Taco Bell said Mojave means desert winds in the Indian language and that sometimes the road is closed to big trucks as they have tipped over because of fierce winds. The town's name is definitely living up to its weather today. It was VERY gusty. Our guesstimate is over 30 MPH. Hope it is not so windy tomorrow.

Taco Bell for dinner. UMM, easy and good. Hot tub next for Deb, as Mike did some reading. How exhilarating! The wind is gusting mightily. The pool was running tides with each gust like the Pacific Ocean. Overflowing at times. A little more sheltered sitting in the hot tub, but mist-like off-shore winds blowing in my face. All alone. Watching the world go by. Peaceful. Happy. Relaxed. Might not get too far on the blog tonight.

PS - Still thinking about the kittens left behind. Starting to get homesick.


Best meal so far is Duarte's in Pescadero, for artichoke specials and sentimental value. We loved the Turkish place Kennedy's took us and the Peruvian place Mattusch's took us, but for old times sake, Duarte's wins.

Best cat sitter ever...Lynde Meyers. Wish you lived in Michigan.

Best backyard garden of any of our friends at Lynn and Ralph's. Wish we could have seen the current version.


  1. Got your message. That sounds fine, we will miss seeing you guys but I'm glad we got to see you recently. We are leaving on Wednesday to go to Philly, but we do have a lot left to do! Looks like you guys are having a great time! Safe travels :)

    1. You guys have a fun and safe trip also. That is a nice part of the country at this time of year with the color change. XX


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