Bodega Bay’s Kortum Trail

My husband and I and friends have been camping in Bodega Bay for years and years. We typically camp on the beach in the Sonoma Coast State Parks which is pretty darn glorious. During many of those trips we hiked portions of the Kortum trail which parallels the coast for approximately 5 miles round trip. The mild and maintained trail connects Wright’s Beach all the way to Blind Beach.

Since baby made his arrival in my life two years ago we haven’t been back to the beach or the trail. So finally my Mom and son and I spent the weekend visiting the area and I took the opportunity here to show you some views from the trail. One can see magnificent views of the ocean, beautiful rock outcroppings, lovely wild flowers, seals, birds, rabbits, and sunsets. iPhone photos but hopefully I get the point across.

It frankly does not get much better than this friends.

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Salmon Creek Art Walk, Bodega Bay

While visiting Bodega Bay recently we stayed on Salmon Creek.  The tiny community hosted the Salmon Creek Art walk in part due to a large number of resident artists and secondly due to the sheer beauty of the area and its relationship in general to art.  While baby and my Mom were napping I snuck away and visited a few of the art walk locations and have posted a few of the more “interesting” finds.  A surprising number of people walked up and down the hills looking for the various locations and enjoying the architecture and landscape.  I particularly enjoyed getting perspective in to the interior of some of these adorable and eclectic beach homes.

 

Fisherman’s Fest – Bodega Bay

Bodega Bay Fisherman’s Fest occurred recently in coastal Bodega Bay, California.  The festival was a fun little stop while in town with my mother and son.  There was something for everyone.  The fest started with a blessing of the fleet, crafts, and tons of seafood.  There were bounce houses, dog parades, and tide pools for the tots.  The festival even boasted a contest for groups to build and navigate a wooden boat in only a few hours.  Naturally the coast guard is on hand for anyone who sunk!  Sadly naptime conflicted with timing so we didn’t get to enjoy watching all of the sailors compete in their handmade boats or go for a very cool swim when they failed.  However, we were able to watch a coast guard rescue demonstration with divers in the ocean and a helicopter adeptly plucking people and dropping them to safety.

Di Rosa – Modern Art in Napa

Di Rosa Center for Contemporary Art is not your average stop in Napa.  The art is serious and IT.IS.LARGE.  The grounds are lovely.  Wine is nowhere to be found (except for the vines on the property) which is welcome in a place where stopping at one winery about hits my max these days.

Di Rosa is highlighting the largest collection (over 100 pieces) of art by Viola Frey in one exhibition ever. Many many pieces were on display including her larger than life pieces in living 80’s color. Most of the pieces are ceramic ranging in size and purpose.

The exhibition space is spectacular.  Be sure to come early since they close at 4 p.m. and one must be shuttled to the exhibition space.  I was lucky visiting during the week as I was the only visitor and had the entire place to myself save one security guard.

Napa has some world class art happening which perhaps could be taken more seriously if everyone wasn’t so tipsy all the time. 😉

My favorite installation is below.  Something about a swinging angel was entertaining and not expected.  And what’s not cool about a random car hanging from a tree?

Below are the grounds and the main exhibition space with some pretty wild and colorful pieces.

Come enjoy Napa.  There is something here for everyone.  Cheers!

Random Napa

A lot of people go to Napa for the wine. Some come to shop or to visit the spas and places of healing. Many come for the outstanding world class food. I second all of those reasons. But this trip I came for the fresh air. I came for the antique stores and the art. (More of that later)  Mostly I came to get some fresh air.

A life-size corkscrew must bring a smile to your face.  And who doesn’t love a good tree lined drive?  What about a converted gas station wine tasting room?

I also wanted to see the burn area from the recent and devastating fires.  If you look close in a few of the photos you will see a lovely and charming country winery scene. But if you look close the hill behind the winery is the fire line and miles and miles behind it burned along with much of what was in its path. Many moons ago I presented my dissertation at the Mayacamas Ranch which sadly was lost in the fire.  They vow to rebuild and I wish them luck because their place was spectacular.  Its been a little while since the fire so green is growing but all of the trees are dead and much devastation still exists.  And a lot of building…

 

CA’ TOGA ART GALLERY, Calistoga

My photography friend and I headed to Napa with the plan to photograph spring flowers. A quick and random yelp search layer led us to the random Villa Ca’ Toga. After seeing some of the images online and having never heard of this place flowers were out the window and we set coordinates towards beautiful Calistoga. Turns out sadly that the tours of the Villa start next week so we settled on the gallery. (Harrumph.)

A visit to the gallery did not disappoint and has well inspired us to take a trip soon to see the Villa which is home to and created by Carlo Marchiori. Carlo is a multi talented and prolific artist whose muse is his own Villa on the outskirts of Calistoga.  Every inch of the Villa is covered in interesting and eccentric art as well as the grounds which appear to be covered in random sculpture.

Who wants to visit the Villa with me?!

 

 

 

Springtime in Napa

It’s springtime in Napa which means mustard flower and cleanup piles. I have always found Napa to be a spectacularly beautiful place. But, I’ve always found the views away from the large commercial wineries to be my favorites. The side roads and country in between the touristy places can take your breath away. Napa is truly the most beautiful big time small town in Nor Cal and I never ever get tired of it in any season.

California Automobile Museum – Micro Cars

The California Auto Museum, in downtown Sacramento, is boasting its Micro Car exhibit for the first time in seven years with what looks like double the micro cars on display!  They were even hosting a clever Micro Cars and Micro Brews event the evening we visited.  The museum underwent a refresh a few years back and I am happy to see it is alive and well.

The museum typically has a roaming exhibit (Micro Cars in this case), a race car exhibit, muscle car area, historical vehicles, and an area with cars on consignment (to help fund the museum itself and to hopefully fund some heat/air conditioning.)

It is also fun to see the addition of an area for children with several auto related activities which was a bonus for my little boy. Zoom. Zoom.

#SPRING

Spring is finally happening here in Northern California.  It’s been lovely to get out and run around a little bit after what seems like months of rain.  All good for the state of our drought in California…Enjoy a photographic representation of Fresh Air.

Folsom Prison Museum – Folsom, California

Folsom Prison Museum is a tiny and random museum attached to the current Folsom Prison in California.  Parking and walking in isn’t for the faint of heart since you drive down Prison road and park in the same place as all of the visitors meeting with their prisoner loved ones.  You even have to walk through the Prison Gate in order to get to the front door of the museum.  From there things go up!  You are greeted with a warm welcome to an obscure and interesting micro museum.

The museum boasts a number of interesting newspaper articles, photos, prison art, Johhny Cash memorabilia, prison contraband, and other historical artifacts of note even if some are somewhat macaub.  It is an interesting stop one which won’t take you much time and might be coupled nicely with a walk or ride on the nearby lovely Johnny Cash Trail.

Toothpick anyone?

Looks cold, damp, and drafty to me

Johnny is all over this museum

Contraband weapons

The museum has lots of great photos to look through like these before and after dress out and shave photos

Yikes, its a noose

Old guard tower that could tell some crazy stories

The real prison gate which Johnny was photographed in front of

Submitted also to Kammie’s Odd Ball Challenge over at Nut House Central!