Monday, May 30, 2016

Hiking Montgomery Woods State Natural Preserve

Monday, May 30, 2016

After our usual delicious breakfast at the Little River Inn in Mendocino, we decided to drive to Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve near Ukiah.

The drive from Mendocino to Montgomery Woods took a bit over an hour, over a twisty 2-lane road with lots of potholes. When we arrived, we found a fairly small parking lot, but managed to find a place to park our Sienna minivan.

Montgomery Woods is known to have some California's tallest Redwoods and we enjoyed hiking the hilly up/down circular trail.

The trees can get quite enormous and tall. However, we were bothered by all of the mosquitoes.

The redwoods need fire to reproduce and there was ample evidence of fires at Montgomery Woods.

Alex found a few small bugs that walk on water - i.e. "Jesus Bugs". They were too small to photograph.

The hike was not very long at all - there were no maps and my cellphone (AT&T) did not work at all. We hope the trail was well marked (and it was), so we made it back in just over an hour.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Fort Bragg and Mendocino

Saturday, May 28, 2016

The drive from San Jose to Mendocino was fairly tedious, with multiple accidents on US-101. We started our drive at 10:00am but arrived into Little River Inn, near Mendocino at 2:15pm.

After checking in, we headed for Mendocino, hoping to find a restaurant still open for lunch.

After looking at a few places downtown, we settle on Mendo Burgers - a small, family style shack. Alex had a large John Ford Ranch burger, while ordered a Homemade Crab Cake bun with large fries (I initially wanted Fish & Chips but they were out). The fries were very thick but tasty.

After lunch, we decided to meet our friends, who were eating lunch at Fort Bragg.They waited for us by the Cowlick's Ice Cream Shop on 250 N Main Street. Since our friends really liked it, Alex and I decided to get a taste of our own. I ordered one scoop of Black Forest & one scoop of Pralines & Cream. Alex ordered the "Mushroom" and Vanilla. The Mushroom flavor was very weird tastng.

After our quick fill of dessert, we headed for Fort Bragg's Glass beach.

We did not see much glass in the sand (or missed the proper spot).

After spending some time there, we headed for another nearby state park - MacKerricher State Park. There, we explored the beach, looked for seals and birds, and let our friend's dog chase the incoming waves on the beach.

I filmed a short video clip of Maya charging around:

The waves were crashing with a lot of force on the beach and Maya never got tired of chasing them around.

We did manage to spot a few seals playing in the surf, but we were far away.

We spent a few hours on the beach and decided to stop by for dinner at the nearby North Coast Brewing Company's Taproom restaurant. There was a 40 minute wait, but we waited patiently and sat down around 8:00pm.

Alex ordered a Margherita pizza, which was way too large for him and he only ate less than a half.
I ordered the "Red Seal Ale" - an American Amber ale, which had a nice thick foam (due to extra Nitrogen pumped into eat). It was a delicious, sweet beer. I decided to eat light, so I ordered a cup of Clam Chowder and a Walnut with Blue Cheese salad. We finished right around 10:00pm and headed straight for our Little River Inn.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

After a delicious breakfast in our Little River Inn, we headed for the Catch a Canoe rental shop on Big River.

We have rented outrigger canoes (courtesy of Polynesia!) there before and wanted to rent them again, with our friends. Since this was Memorial Day weekend, the shop was very busy, but we were able to secure two outrigger canoes at around 11:00am. We settled on a three seater outrigger, while our friends (with their dog) settled on a shorter two-seater.

We had a fantastic time canoeing down Big River with our friends.

We saw a few seals sun bathing on the shore.

A filmed a short video of our brief canoeing adventure:

After canoeing, we decided to head to Mendocino for lunch. We stopped by at the Mendocino Cafe, where we sat outside, enjoying the beautiful day.

For dessert, we shared a delicious chocolate mousse.

After lunch, we explored Mendocino downtown for a bit and then headed for Point Mendocino, overlooking the Pacific ocean.

We hiked all around Point Mendocino, exploring all the nooks and crannies, overlooking sink wholes, and small beach inlets.

The rugged coastline is something to marvel at and explore.

We stayed on at Point Mendocino until the beautiful sunset.

The sunset was really magnificent.

After sunset, we stopped by for a light dinner at our Little River Inn.

We had a grand time in Mendocino, and decided to visit the nearby Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve the next day.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

2016 Spring Concert at Dartmouth Middle School

Today, we attended a performance of Dartmouth Middle School's Spring Concert - the second concert in 2016. Alex played trumpet in the Jazz band and Concert Band and we were eager to observe his performance.

The Jazz Band opened the concert with "On Green Dolphin Street" and continue on with "Rock this Town". Alex played the trumpet and sounded good.

The Beginning Band took over next with three pieces: "Mythos", "Shenandoah", and "Anthem of Liberty". The band definitely sounded better than in the fall of 2015 (as 8 months of practice has made a difference).

The Choir, which had over 100+ student singers, took over next with "Build Me Up, Buttercup", "Closer to the Flame", and "Wait and See" (a song written by Sam Neipp).

The Concert Band continue (where Alex plays 4th trumpet) with "Haunted Carousel" - a musical piece which contains a strange instrument. The band continued with "Heartland" and "Afterburn" - an energetic piece.

The Symphonic Band took over with "I am the Doctor" and then "Copper Meadows". The next piece - "Appalachian Spring" - written by Aaron Copeland was very long.

For the final piece, the Symphonic Band and Choir played and sang John William's famous "Call of the Champions" from 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. The song mainly contains the Latin words "Citius! Altius! Fortius!" or Faster! Higher! Stronger! in English.

The Spring Concert Program

Jazz Band

  1. "On Green Dolphin Street" arranged by Rick Stitzel
  2. "Rock this Town" arranged by Rick Stitzel
Beginning Band
  1. "Mythos" by Chris M. Bernotas
  2. "Shenandoah" by Robert Sheldon
  3. "Anthem of Liberty" by Steve Hodges
  1. "Build Me Up, Buttercup" arranged by Mac Huff
  2. "Closer to the Flame" by Boersma and Lantz III
  3. "Wait and See" by Samuel D. Neipp
Concert Band
  1. "Haunted Carousel" by Erika Svanoe
  2. "Heartland" by Steve Hodges
  3. "Aferburn" by Randall Standridge
Symphonic Band
  1. "I am the Doctor" arranged by Jeff Buckley
  2. "Copper Meadows" by David Gorham
  3. "Appalachian Spring" by Aaron Copeland and arranged by Robert Longfield
  4. "Call of the Champions" by John Williams and arranged by Jay Bocook