Thursday, January 10, 2008

Rest Stop

We drove back to Santa Cruz Wednesday. It's a 350 mile trip from my sister's back here. We know that part of Highway 101 pretty well, having made the journey many many times. Yet, we still managed to have a few surprises along the way, even though we stopped at the same old rest areas and parks. We saw three bald eagles for the very first time here in California. No photographs, but a sweet sight nonetheless.
One of our favorite stops is a little cliffside park in Pismo Beach. Quite a lovely spot to stop for a picnic lunch. It's midway, so we stop whether we're heading north or south. We always see pelicans here, but this time, we saw sea lions and this very friendly Heerman's Gull. (Check out those dark legs and feet!)
RCWBiologist suggested that we look for Yellow-billed Magpies, and it reminded us that we always have seen magpies in the rest areas. We stopped in one around Hunter-Legget, soon after we saw the Bald Eagles, but did not see any magpies. We did however get a good eyeful of this fantastic Red-Shouldered Hawk.

Still it was a long, tiring and sad journey. While we were heading north my mother was readmitted to the hospital. When we left on Tuesday she was really recovering well, but Tuesday night things took a turn for the worse. My sister is down there with her, and she also has some great caregivers who are looking after her. We plan to head back down when she is released from the hospital, or if the situation warrants a more quick return. Until then, we're going to take a nice long nap. We're beat.

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