It is funny to me that I have been driving passed the Arata farm for the best part of 20 years, never once stopped there even though I was always curious. Maddy has developed an enthusiasm for Pumpkins, so this rainy day we went and checked out the farm. After all Half Moon bay is famous for its pumkin growing.
The giant Straw maze was what always caught my eye - you can see it from the Hiway 1.
We spent a good 1/2 hour lost in there I think. Although time went non-linear as the rain came down in sheets. It was fun having it almost to ourselves though, I couldn't imagine what it would be like with a few hundred people in there.
Being a touristy farm it has a petting zoo, always a curiosity for Maddy.
Yeah pumpkins ! Or Punkies as Maddy says. And now the weather report from Poplar beach in Half Moon Bay
We spent Labor Day weekend up in Twain Harte. It was Maddy's nap time when we got there, so Rick and I went and visited the local fire lookout. It was really interesting seeing what the daily job is like. Of course 1 hour is considerably different than 25 years!
It's tricky getting good shots through a telescope. I've clearly got some practice to do. This is Three Chimneys from 27 + 3/4 Miles away
I wonder how much radiation is emitted absorbed there.
Sunday Rick and Rena took us over to Columbia State Park, I had no idea this place existed. It's a great place for kids to get a feel for some history.
There are lots of exposed granite rocks exposed to climb on. Maddy really enjoyed that. The rocks are exposed from the Hydraulic gold mining back in the day.
The whole town is preserved as a living museum. Surprisingly it is free. I hope it stays open and maintained.
Maddy eventually conceded to some role play.
Down the road at Ironstone winery, there are some neat relics from the gold mining era. Some pretty serious gold was found by this rock muncher.
This forty-four pound specimen "Gold pocket" Ironstone's Crown Jewel was held onto despite an offer of $20 million.
Gerry talked us into scoping out Herd peak, as Lakeview was blown out Monday. Driving toward Mt Shasta was spectacular for a good hour. The view at launch is amazing.
Launch conditions were just fine even though it seemed intimidatingly strong. Scenery WOW !
The landing averaged out my previous days' glory ... What happened was ... A string of silly mistakes, first I didn't pack my drougue very well and struggled (and failed to get it out of the pocket). Then I started with a compromised approach, not terrible, but not great either, with that distraction and focusing on the downhill landing I forgot to rise my visor. I've done this before too, the fish bowl type distortion near the ground makes my think I'm at landing height when I'm still 5 ft up. The rest is history, no real harm done, except maybe my radio cords are unhappy.
At Lakeview this year we chose to fly from Black Butte, instead of Sugar because of the landowner issue there. Its really too bad as the geography, prevailing wind make for a fun race back to the town that most pilots can join in with an d get back at a reasonable time, while giving the locals something to see as a number of gliders land at goal in town.
Instead we flew north along Aberts Rim which is indeed spectacular, but landed at Wagontire, back intime to find all but one diner closed.
Nevermind that though, we are there for the flying primarily and Lakeview is generally great to spectacular.
It took a while, but eventually I climbed through the inversion into the strong westerly and topped out about 13k. After missing the first climb, the westerly and higher climb actually caught me back up with Wayne and Tom.
We flew close, but completely different lines along the rim. I went high and deep, Wayne raced along at 10k, Tom took strong climbs and ridge soared.
The rim from the ground is spectacular too.
This year the geyser was still firing on July 4th. The next day I flew way out front at 14k thinking I had shot some really cool pictures only to find the gopro had been pushed into the ground by a dust devil at launch and turned off. Still, on the flip side, I took first in the spot landing competition.