Posts Tagged With: film

SAN JACINTO STATE PARK

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Four intrepid adventurers arrived at the base of the 2nd steepest tram ride in the world. We watched as this gondola full of passengers returned. You can’t see the destination at the top from here.

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As we rise above the valley and pass the 2nd tower you can see by the cables how straight up you go, with 80 people sharing a gondola. The gondola has a revolving floor, one of three such trams in the world. These are the largest cars of the three systems and since the floor is moving you have a view of what is behind you, in front of you and to the sides.DSC03232 (Copy)

The sun hit a pinnacle called the lily on the right. Straight up and down.

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Because you revolve, your view is a constant play of shadow and sunlight. Burnished tips of this evergreen growing out of solid rock as they do, attract the eye. Try and plant one in rock and you fail.

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The mountain plants and minerals continually change. The gondola looks in shadow as though a man is standing on top of it and riding it down.DSC03237 (Copy)

Minerals in the rock produce surprising patches of color. As the floor rotates you get a few chances to take pictures through two open windows. But most of the pictures have to be taken through glass, and always while moving.

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Plants get quite stunted as you near the summit of 8,516 feet above the valley floor.

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There was a small patch of ice in the shade at the summit. The park shows a film of the recreational opportunities of this unusual place, a cool place for folks to retreat during hot summers, 54,000 acres of mountain forest, walking trails, tobogganing and winter play in the snow in some year. What’s not to like?

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Spectacular views. A restaurant, gift shop and small museum. DSC03265 (Copy)

Bruce is handicapped and this is a comfortable place for people in wheel chairs or unable to walk stairs. Elevators and ramps bring you everywhere. We were warned that the temperature is 30 degrees cooler than the valley. Pat and I wore extra clothing, but Bruce and Jim decided they were tough and didn’t need anything but their shorts and T-shirts.

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Mineral coloration, the yellow and two bright orange streaks fascinate me.

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On the return trip I heard someone behind me say to her partner: “I thought you were afraid of heights?.” He answered: “No, I ‘m afraid of falling. I feel safe in the gondola.” If you visit Palm Springs, this is a lovely way to stay cool and spend an afternoon.

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We had dinner at Elmers, a restaurant I remembered from somewhere in our travels. We weren’t disappointed. Excellent food, average prices. That was also borne out by the surprising pictures on the wall.

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I guess you could say good enough for presidents…DSC03340 (Copy)

…and kings.

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Scientists…

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…and the rich and famous. There were many pictures of the glitterati here.

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We played a dice game in the dark wearing headlamps. Remember the old Coleman lanterns? The headlamps are very comfortable and cast plenty of light, though I took this shot with a flash. The game they brought is called Farkle, or Zilch. I’ve heard it by other names as well.

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ABBEVILLE DELIGHTS

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Abbeville is a small, old town with a couple of jewels. One is  Magdalen Square. The square has precious ancient oaks impossible to fit in your camera, so you must go and look for yourself. As you can see one tree can easily cover  a city block.

rattan grows on these trees

These old oaks are often covered with rattan, commonly called resurrection fern, because it turns brown when it is dry and green when it rains. It is a plant we see often on old oaks. These trees have earned their whiskers.l

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Metal arms help  hold up  long heavy branches

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There are four of these giants, if memory serves. So huge, their branches mingle until you cannot actually take a picture of a single tree without getting parts of another. In a word, magnificent.DSC03729 (Copy)

Across from the square sits the St. Mary Magdalen Church with a tree branch looking like a giant hand reaching for the building.

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I look for something unusual wherever I go and I’m rarely disappointed. This tombstone sits in front of the church.

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In the cultural center/museum/gallery, as usual, I found something I’d never seen before. This item is a change counter used by the church before they started handing out envelopes and urging people to put bills in the collection basket.

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In the cultural center, I discovered the second jewel of Abbeville. Well,  great pictures of their Giant Omelette Celebration. If you decide to come, it is held the first full weekend of November every year. You are looking at the cooking of a 5,000 egg omelette.

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One chevalier (chef) puts the butter on the 19 foot skillet. I’m going to give you the recipe in case you need it. 5029 eggs. (The confreres add an egg for each year of the celebration). 50 lbs.  onions, 75 bell peppers, 4 gallons onion tops, 2 gallons parsley, 11 1/2 gallons cooking oil, 6 1/2 gallons of milk. 52 lbs butter, 3 boxes salt, 2 boxes blk pepper, and tabasco sauce to taste.

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To the original recipe, the chefs now add crawfish tails. After all, this is Cajun country. Ya gotta have crawfish in your omelette.

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And hot french bread to eat with it.

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Can you tell these people are having fun? The festivities include a Procession of Chefs, and an antique car show, etc. and etc. Everybody who wants a taste of the omelette lines up. It is free. But the tradition began with Napoleon. His army was traveling in Southern France and they stopped in the town of Bessieres to rest. A local innkeeper cooked him an omelette which was such a culinary delight, he ordered the townspeople to gather eggs in the village and prepare omelette for his army.  It then became a tradition to cook a giant omelette to feed the poor of the village at Easter. Of course, the tradition spread to other villages in France and eventually to the little town of Abbeville.

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The cultural center has some great old pictures and history. This from the premiere of The Louisiana Story, a movie that was filmed on Weeks Island but the movie crew stayed in Abbeville

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I was surprised to see JAX beer in the 1930’s. There is a JAX brewery in New Orleans and I thought it was a new beer.

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A series of photos about the ravages of Rita. Much of the town was under water. Pretty horrific.

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The center hosted a children’s art exhibit while we were there. This one was my favorite from their permanent collection, by Robert Baxter.

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We took a pass through an old cemetery next to the church. Everything we saw was within walking distance of our parked car. Easy and neat.

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