But today I'm going somewhere a little farther south, a little warmer, a little foggier, a little more coastal, and a lot more west!
I've had a little bit of time to catch my breath and time to catch up with myself. So while this post is not just about San Francisco, it's the only clever title I could come up with today.
From Vegas through Death Valley, Yosemite, San Francisco, sleepy beach towns and endless coast to Portland, Seattle and onward, I'm going to try really hard to keep the details of this three-week epic adventure to those relevant to the subject at hand.
|Steller's Jay. Remember the story about Steller?|
However, there was so much about Yosemite that I'm sure my readers will appreciate. Like squirrels. Especially squirrels sticking their tongues out!
|California ground squirrel|
And slightly more exciting and also slightly larger are bears. Which it turns out, I am a little less afraid of than I thought. Not afraid enough, anyway, not to take a selfie of myself with one.
|Half dome in the background. That's another hike for another day when we have more time!|
I can easily recommend this hike in Yosemite. 4.8 km, not bad right? This was a trail that is pretty much uphill the whole way--1000ft up. There were people stopped on the side of the trail panting, sweating, even crying. I don't know but I didn't think it was that hard...I guess we have done much more intense elevation changes...with way heavier packs...anyways....
|Best catches in the bay|
Gulls are my least favourite birds to identify (something tells me it's not just me....). At least I'm starting to get better and recognize when something is just a bit off. Or in the case of this first gull, quite a bit off.
Like, this one is so sooty it looks like it was hanging out in someone's chimney. And that bright orange bill. Can't miss it. Just hanging out on some dude's car.
#269: Heerman's Gull; San Francisco, August 2013
How have I not counted a Western Gull yet? I swear I've seen these, or at least something that looks an awful lot like one. Anyways, hey there pink toes, strutting across the intersection like you are Paul McCartney or something.
#270: Western Gull; San Francisco, August 2013
#271: Brewer's Blackbird; San Francisco, August 2013
This next one looks a bit odd but I suppose it's somewhere between juvenile and adult. It's definitely a familiar one...
Well, it was worth it and not just because we scored a life bird.
#272: Brandt's cormorant; San Francisco, August 2013
|Notice the dude on the left, with the blue on the throat pouch.|
The City by the Bay was a blast, but after a while you need to get away from the crowds and hug the curves of that beautiful coast. You need sand in your shoes. You need salty on your skin. You need a little more space. The adventure continues...