Mini Road Trip
Karen and I decided to just go find a park where we could sit and knit and catch up with each other, but it was cold and windy, mostly overcast. Karen arrived with Sidney, leaving Ginger at home, which was good (for me, probably not so much for Karen's husband!), as I felt unable to deal with her puppy craziness.
Karen proposed just driving for a while, which was fine with me. The road unwound beneath us in the direction of Calistoga Road. I mentioned the local Petrified Forest. Karen had never heard of it, so we stopped and moseyed through the gift shop located in the former owner's house:
The gift shop has lots of fossilized things besides wood, including what looked like a, well, freeze dried or taxidermied cat, laying on the bottom shelf of large pieces of petrified wood.
Turns out that the cat is very much alive. One of the many pet cats dumped in the forested roads near the Petrified Forest, this pretty fella spends the days inside the gift shop, but since he's not housebroken, has to stay out side at night. He apparently drives the shop workers crazy in the early morning hours as he yeowls and berates them because they don't open the door to let him in--and out--and in again--and out again--until he's finally done and settles in for a prolonged snooze. As you can see by the pieces of wood on the floor, the cat has trained the humans to move them off the shelf so he can plaster himself against the heater vent. Good kitty!
Not being my usual together self, I forget where I took the following photo, but I believe it is looking across the road from the Petrified Forest gift shop & parking lot.
As we left the parking lot, I asked her if she'd ever been to the Old Faithful Geyser, down the road a piece from Calistoga. She didn't realize we had one of those, too, so there we went to read the posted history there and see the seismograph readings recorded for events close by - and far away, including the recent volcanic eruption in Colombia. As we left, I took a photo of the sky south of the parking lot.
Off we went again, heading northeast through Napa towards Lake county. We pulled off at a turnout to let Sid stretch his legs a bit. There was a creek running by,
but the bank was too steep for Sidney to get down and back with a sore leg (hurt when playing hard with Ginger the other day), so he read the news, watered a couple of plants,
and accepted some nonpetrified wood to chew on as we headed back to the car and the Sonoma County line.
We pulled over one more time, so I could get some photos of the moon hanging over a craggy bluff.
While making a pit stop in Calistoga, Sid and I stayed in the car. Here you can see that Sidney still harbors some separation anxiety when Karen leaves him behind. (He had been dumped at the pound TWICE before he was a year old because he was "incorrigible" - what is it with people who get animals for pets and expect them to be naturally tamed and obedience trained?!)
Got back home after dark to find the moon framed between the mimosa and plum trees bracketing my driveway:
Not a bad way to end what had promised to be a really bad day.