Showing posts with label California. Show all posts
Showing posts with label California. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review

A Brief History Of Lawrence "Larry" Moore Park

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review
A Trail in Larry Moore Park, March, March, 2018, © B. Radisavljevic

I first saw Larry Moore Park, as it's commonly known here in Paso Robles, after I moved to this area in 1993. Larry Moore Park was actually established in the 1980's when the Riverbank Track across the street from it was built. My mother bought a home in this tract in 1995 within walking distance of the park. I visited her regularly and often took a walk in the park after the visit. I was delighted to live close to a river for the first time in my life. I have featured some of my photographs of the river itself here. 

At first the Riverbank tract homeowners were assessed by the landscape and lighting district that maintained the park. But by the end of 2015 it became evident that this would not be enough. The city made plans to take jurisdiction over the park and its maintenance and the city now owns the park. It has built a new playground and has plans to later build a new ball field and a parking area within the park. In 2014 after my mother's death we moved into her house and became Riverbank residents ourselves. 

Not all of us are thrilled that our "wild" space will become so much more developed than it is now. We don't exactly welcome the parking lot and the added traffic and the glaring stadium lights that are coming. I'm not sure the river walk will be the same after that. We were hoping that at least park maintenance would improve, but so far about all the city has done is build the new playground. 

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review: New Playground
Part of New Playground, November, 2018, © B. Radisavljevic

The River Walk Trail Entrance

The main trail for the Salinas River Walk begins at the south end of Larry Moore Park right across the from the west entrance to the Charolais Corridor Trail

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - West Entrance Charolais Corridor Trail

At the south entrance of the Salinas River Walk in the park you will find a park bench, trash cans, and some very large rocks marking the beginning of the trail. Here's how it appears if you stand in the park and look toward the Charolais Corridor Trail entrance you see above. The road itself turns into a cul-de-cac just past these trail entrances and one can park along the curb.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review: Salinas River Trail Beginning at South End of Park
South Entrance to Salinas River Walk at Larry Moore Park, © B. Radisavljevic
 In front of the bench is a very large oak tree and an access path heading west to the Salinas River. The flora you see in the photo below is typical of that which dominates the park in spring and summer. The yellow flowers by the rocks are mustard. The white flowers near the right middle are poison hemlock. In front of the blooming poison hemlock is a mallow plant, but its purple flowers are too small to see here. I show the blooms later under Flora.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review
Bench at South Entrance to Larry Moore Park, © B. Radisavljevic, June 3, 2019



"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review

To take the trail get up from the bench and turn to your right. You will see the trail heading northeast in this photo. It curves slightly parallel to the river until the trail seems to end just past some benches and a river access pass through. You will notice that one of the benches is broken. Maintenance in the park is almost nonexistent except for the playground, playing fields, and restrooms.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review


Here is the river access just before the trail turns. Notice the broken fence between the bench and the river access pass through. I took this photo and the one below looking west from the east.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - River Access


Above you see that the trail is turning. It will soon lead to the footbridge. The trail from the south turns onto the bridge by the elderberry tree. I was coming from the other direction when I took this photo.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - Footbridge over Creek


 Not long after crossing the footbridge you will come to a fence that borders a riparian mitigation area. Most of what's behind the fence looks like what's below. Lots of poison hemlock is in bloom there in June.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - Poison Hemlock in Bloom
Riparian Mitigation Area that Borders Trail, Poison Hemlock in Bloom, © B. Radisavljevic

The trail then parallels the fence until it crosses the park to the east and reaches a dead end. At this point you can turn south toward the southern exit to the Riverbank Tract or you can turn north toward the Veterans' Memorial Bridge underpass that takes you on a trail that continues north and east to 13th Street. Here's a view of the intersection on January 9, 2017.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - Trail Intersection

I took the photo below on June 3, 2019. You can see farther down the trail to the north here. It goes past the Kohl's store. A block wall separates the commercial area from the trail. Near the trail intersection you can see the shopping carts the homeless leave there as they go back and forth to where they like to camp in the riverbed. You will find these abandoned carts scattered through the park.

There is a vacant lot beside that sign that leads to the J.C. Penny parking lot where some homeless folks park before walking to where they plan to camp in the park. Some hikers also park in the J.C. Penny lot because it's close to the park trails going both north and south.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - Intersecting Trails
Trail Intersection at Larry Moore Park, © B. Radisavljevic

Although you can't see it above because the trees hide it, the fence for the riparian mitigation area borders the north side of the east-west trail from the river. If you were standing where the north pointing arrow is above, looking back toward the river, you'd see this.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - Homeless Campsite
Looking West Toward River and a Homeless Encampment (illegal at the time), © B. Radisavljevic

In October 2017, I left my house during some construction in search of some quiet and spent some time photographing the park entrance from the bench by the trail entrance. You can see all those photos and the video I made that day at What I  Observed from my Bench at Larry Moore Park.

Here is a photo of the large rocks along the trail entrance taken in October, 2017. I was tempted to crop out the piles of mulch so the rocks would be more prominent, but I simply didn't have the heart to crop out most of that magnificent sky just to get rid of the mulch. 

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - South Entrance
Rocks at Park South Entrance, October 2017

Here's a better photo of the rocks in January, 2012, without mulch piles. 

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - South Entrance
Rocks at Park South Entrance, January 2012 

Larry Moore Park is a Great Place to Photograph the Sky


I really appreciate the clear view of the sky I have from the Salinas River and the River Walk. It's a great place to photograph the sunset, or, as you can see above, cloud formations. 

I often walk as the sun is setting. I took the photo below through those trees you can see from the park bench near the entrance. 

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review -  Sunset Behind the Trees
Sunset behind Trees, © B. Radisavljevic


I shot the photo below near the river at Larry Moore Park. It's one of my favorite sky views so I used it to make this inspirational poster at Zazzle. 


I also made a poster of this pastel sky from the park. I made it part of my blog post on Medium: What a Glorious Gift is the Sky! The blog contains other views of the sky, mostly taken from the Veteran's Memorial Bridge in Paso Robles. If a photo seems not to have loaded, just click it to make it appear.


This next sky view comes from the other end of the trail closer to the northern Riverbank Lane entrance.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - Bare Cottonwood Tree in the Sunset


Here's one more. It's hard to stop.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - Sunset

Below is another interesting sky effect framed by one of the park trees. Some people call this a buttermilk sky.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - "Buttermilk" Clouds


I like the pink contrails in this one.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - Pink Contrails
Pink Contrails over Larry Moore Park, © B. Radisavljevic

I could share many more sky photos taken at Larry Moore Park, but there simply isn't room. There's much more to see here than sky. The sky will probably appear in many other photos I will share below.

Accessing the Salinas River from Larry Moore Park

Larry Moore Park offers the easiest access to the Salinas River in Paso Robles. Even when the riverbed is dry there is plenty to see. My favorite access path is near the south entrance I showed you at the top by the large oak tree. It is featured in this Zazzle poster. When taking this trail you need to be careful of the poison oak that lives on the right side of the trail. It's especially dangerous in winter when it has no leaves to warn you of what it is. The path can also be slippery in the wet season.



In the poster photo above you can't see the steep part of the path. Here is what it looks like looking up from the riverbank or riverbed, depending on the season. Perhaps by now you will recognize the bench at the top near where this path begins.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - Access Path to Salinas River
Access Path to Salinas River, © B. Radisavljevic
Although many people use this path to reach the river, it's only one of many unofficial paths they use to get there.

The more official designated entrances meant for accessing the river look like this and are found along the main trail fence. I think these pass through "gates" are designed to let people in and keep horses and vehicles of all kinds out.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - River Access Pass Through

After entering at one of these access "gates" you will find your own way down. If you are fortunate, you will find a path through the brush somewhat like this one.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - River Access Path


Take a Short Walk On the North End of the Trail with Me

I made this video to test the camera on my new Galaxy Note 9 phone last November (2018). So it's an autumn walk. It will show you some plants in the park I haven't featured below and autumn views of some I have, like the jimson weed.



Fauna at Larry Moore Park

I confess I've paid more attention to the flora than the fauna, since the fauna are better at keeping out of sight. I've seen birds, ants, bees, gophers, squirrels, hares, tadpoles,lizards, and cottontail rabbits. I've not yet seen a snake or any deer in the park. But that doesn't mean there aren't any.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - Squirrel
Not exactly in the park when I took the photo, but I took it from the riverbed just south of the park. Squirrels tend to roam, so I'm sure this one got to the park when I wasn't looking.
I'm not good at identifying birds, but these are very common in the park. It's also common to see birds of prey, probably hawks or turkey vultures, flying high above.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - Birds
Birds I See Often at Larry Moore Park, © B. Radisavljevic
Tadpoles

It occurred to me when I saw a very shallow pool unattached to the rest of the river that it was tadpole season and I might find a few. So I went to explore. I expect we will later see frogs or toads in the park if they can survive after the river dries up.



People also walk their dogs in the park, and they don't always follow the rule to keep them on a leash. Many people let them loose in the riverbed or after they are into the park. They are not supposed to do this. Here are a couple of posts from my Paso Robles in Photos blog related to dogs in the park.


As I walked in the park today I saw a rabbit rush into the brush before I could even aim my camera. I stepped over many anthills of red ants. A lizard skittered across the path in front of me a couple of times. And I also saw this.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - Lost Cat?
Had to Shoot with a Zoom - A Black Cat in the Park, Hunting, June 3, 2019, © B. Radisavljevic
Last month I saw another cat by the river. I'm not sure if these are abandoned or feral cats or whether they come to the park from the tract for some wild time.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - Cat in Tree
Tuxedo Cat in Tree by Salinas River,  © B. Radisavljevic


Flora in the Park

I love to photograph the plants in the park during every season -- in and out of the riverbed. Some of the most common plants there are jimson weed, telegraph plant, poison oak, poison hemlock, and milk thistle. Milk thistle and poison hemlock usually grow next to each other in the park. Click the link to learn more about them.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - Blooming Milk Thistle and Poison Hemlock
Milk Thistle and Poison Hemlock in Bloom at Larry Moore Park, © B. Radisavljevic

Poison oak also grows abundantly at Larry Moore Park. So be careful, especially in winter when the stems are bare and there are no leaves to warn you of danger. One of the places you really need to watch out for is under this spreading cottonwood (or is it a willow?) tree near the center of the park between the street and the trail. There is open space all around it. See that shady place under the tree? Poison oak loves to grow there.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - Large Tree in Middle of Park
Poison Oak Loves to Grow in that Shady Space Under Tree, © B. Radisavljevic
Here's a closer look. See all that poison oak? It loses its leaves in winter and you'd never know what it was, but it's just as dangerous as when it has leaves. See more details and photos of this tree in other seasons and information about other places poison oak lurks in the park in Watch Out for Poison Oak at Larry Moore Park.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - Green Poison Oak in June
Poison Oak Growing Under Tree in June, © B. Radisavljevic




Today I found a jimson weed flower in bloom and a several potential forests of the plant. Learn more about jimson weed here. The mustard adds some happy color to this photo.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - Blooming Mustard and Jimson Weed


Below is an enlargement of the blooming mallow plant we saw in front of the bench when we entered the park.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - Mallow in Bloom
Mallow in Bloom at Larry Moore Park in June, © B. Radisavljevic

I don't often see poppies in the park, but I did on June 3, 2019. This bit of color was snuggling up to a baby oak tree.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - California Poppies Snuggling with Baby Oak

I photographed this cottonwood tree near the river on May 22, 2019. If you have allergies, I suggest you come at a different time of year. The seeds were still flying through the air like snow on June 3.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - Cottonwood Tree in Bloom
Cottonwood in Bloom May 22, 2019, © B. Radisavljevic
Here's how the ground looks under this cottonwood tree.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - Cottonwood "Cotton" Under Tree
Cottonwood "Snow" on Ground, May 22, 2019, Larry Moore Park, Paso Robles, © B. Radisavljevic
Here is one of the many elderberry trees in bloom in the park during June.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - Elderberry tree in Bloom
Elderberry Tree in Bloom in June, © B. Radisavljevic


These are just a few examples of the flora that grow in Larry Moore Park. It has both willow and cottonwood trees. Elderberry trees seem to be everywhere. And, of course, there are oaks. It would take another post to show you all the flora. 

Park Facilities

The park has restrooms that stay open during the hours the park is open, 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. I looked at them today, June 3, 2019, and they were clean.  They lock them at 11 p.m. when the park closes. The drinking fountains next to the restrooms were also functioning.

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - Restrooms
Restrooms at Larry Moore Park, © B. Radisavljevic


Besides the trails, the park has non-regulation soccer and baseballs fields and a basketball court for shooting baskets. None of these fields were built for competitive play. They were built for neighborhood residents to play for fun. 

"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - Basketball Court and Playground

There are very few picnic tables. The city website for the park says there are barbecue areas. They are probably located near the playground beside the one picnic table I saw. There may be more in that clump of trees behind the playground. That's the one area I did not inspect today. 

Vandals have thrown many tables in the creek and in other places where they don't belong and torn them apart. There has been a huge problem with vandalism in the park in the past. Many hope that since the city now owns the park it will patrol more often. 

It is better to visit the park during daylight hours. As I've mentioned above, many homeless camp in the park, especially in and around the riverbed. Some neighbors who use the trail have complained that they have been threatened by men carrying sticks when walking north of the bridge underpass or near it. I have never had a problem myself, but I've not recently walked farther north than the trail I've detailed here. I now stay in the park south of the commercial development and the path intersection I showed you that leads north. 

The park is a wonderful recreation area, especially during the season when there is water in the river. The trails and the riverbed are great for hiking, biking, and walking dogs (on leashes, please). There are many plants and animals to study or just enjoy. There are gorgeous sunsets to observe. But it's probably best to walk with a dog or a friend at dusk. 

And if you happen to be in the park at the right time, you will probably see and hear the Amtrak trains coming and going. I usually see one go  past between 4:30 and 5 p.m. I rather enjoy that. Both the tracks and the 101 freeway are just on the other side of the river from the park. 


"Larry" Moore Park in Paso Robles: A Photographic Review - Amtrak Train Seen from Park
Amtrak Heading South.  I used a zoom lens so the train is really not in the park but across the river. © B. Radisavljevic



I hope you've enjoyed your photographic guide to the park. I know it's just scratched the surface, but that's all there is room for today.





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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

My Visit to Ronald Reagan Presidential Library: A Photo Review

Up the Long Road to the Reagan Library at the Top

Visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library with Me: A Photo Review
When we visited in June 2011, the library grounds were full of flowers. 


We visited the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, as part of our 47th Wedding Anniversary celebration.  The library is easy to access, since it's in a part of California that so far does not have the traffic problems of larger cities. You can find library hours and directions here. The driveway was long and curvy as it climbed to the library buildings at the top. This is what we saw when we got there.

Visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library with Me: A Photo Review

The view below shows the other side of the entrance.

Visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library with Me: A Photo Review

On the way up we passed this picnic area just before we got to the buildings. If you look toward the back of the photo below you will see part of the enormous parking lot. Parking is free, but some spaces require a long walk up to the building.

Visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library with Me: A Photo Review
Picnic Area at Reagan Library


The Library Entrance through the Courtyard


This is the way to enter the courtyard that leads to the main entrance. You pass through the shadow into the light, where you see the fountain in the courtyard.

Visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library with Me: A Photo Review
Through the Shadows and into the Bright Courtyard


Here is a better look at the fountain. You can pick up this view at Zazzle as a postcard, a puzzle, blank greeting card, magnet, or beverage coaster set.  I show it here as a puzzle. You can click the image if you want to purchase it or see the other products.

As you approach the door, this statue of Ronald Reagan himself greets you.

Visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library with Me: A Photo Review
Ronald Reagan Statue


Once inside the door, you can pay for your admission and proceed to the exhibits. There is an order to it. I went accidentally the wrong way, so I didn't see the displays in the order I should have. But it was still a  wonderful walk through Reagan's life - personal, professional, and political. (Note: The docents were wonderfully helpful at getting me back to where I took the wrong turn.)

Ronald Reagan's Early Years


The library's archives reveal that Ronald Reagan grew up in a poor family. He just didn't realize it at the time. His father was a shoe salesman and the family didn't own a home. When young Ronald was 14 he got his first job - digging ditches. Later he worked as a lifeguard during the summers. He saved his money toward tuition to supplement his college scholarship for Eureka College.

Reagan was raised in Dixon, Illinois, and his mother was a devout Christian and a member of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ.) His father was Catholic. Nelle Reagan was known in her church as a prayer warrior. She maintained her ties to the Dixon church even after she moved to California. Her Bible is on display at the Reagan Library, along with many family photos and other family possessions in the exhibit on Reagan's early life.

Visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library with Me: A Photo Review
Nelle Reagan's Bible


The Air Force One Pavilion

I think the most impressive exhibit was the Air Force One Pavilion. I was overwhelmed by the spaciousness of it when I walked in. Whereas most of the exhibits were enclosed by walls on both sides as you walked the path between them, the Pavilion displaying all the means of presidential transport was wide open and multistoried. Its glass outside walls allowed one to survey the surrounding valley as far as the eye could see. As you look at the photos of Air Force and Marine One, and gauge their size, you realize just how big this pavilion is to house it all. The library makes some space in the Pavilion available for public events. 

Maine One

The photo below of Marine One shows you how large it is in comparison to the tables you see in the background that are often used at events. 

Visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library with Me: A Photo Review
Marine One


Below is a closer view of the front of the Marine One helicopter. 


Visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library with Me: A Photo Review
Another View of Marine One


Air Force One

Those of us who have only taken to the air in commercial planes can easily be impressed when we board Air Force One and see what those fly on private or special government planes are treated to. Air Force One is a flying office, command center, and a place to entertain guests and the press corps. Library visitors not only tour Air Force One, but they can also get their pictures taken as they exit. One cannot take pictures aboard the plane legally without official permission. The exterior is impressive enough!

Here's the front of Air Force One

Visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library with Me: A Photo Review
Front of Air Force One


Below is the tail section of the jet that carried President Reagan and all who traveled with him. I took the photos from the second level of the Pavilion. At the back on the lower level you can see the mural depicting all the air transportation presidents have used. 

Visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library with Me: A Photo Review
Tail of Air Force One


I have included this official video  from the library to give you a better view of the Pavilion. It takes a video to do it justice, but you really can't take it all in unless you actually visit. Honestly, it is truly awesome. 



The Motorcade

The Pavilion also houses the land vehicles the President and those that protected him rode in.  You will find President Reagan's 1984 Cadillac limousine and a "follow-up" or "chase" vehicle -- a 1986 Chevrolet Suburban. That vehicle handles on-site communications and transport for the agents protecting the President. I had not realized that when the Presidents travel outside the country, these secure vehicles are transported by air to wherever the President will be .  Both vehicles are in the photo below. Please click to see a larger view.

Visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library with Me: A Photo Review
Part of the Presidential Motorcade


I just had to add this photo with the limo's Gipper license plate. They sure keep the limousine shiny. It might as well be a mirror.

The "Gipper" License Plate



The Berlin Wall


Perhaps some best remember Ronald Reagan for his appeal in a speech: "Mister Gorbachev, tear down this wall."  As we know, the wall finally did come down. One of the displays that really hit me was the reconstruction of part of the Berlin Wall. Here is one view of it. The hole is there for children to crawl through to explore.

Visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library with Me: A Photo Review
Berlin Wall Exhibit


Here's a genuine piece of the wall that is displayed outside of the buildings so you can see both sides.

This is the drab side that would have faced inside the wall.

Visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library with Me: A Photo Review
Genuine Berlin Wall Fragment


This is the other side, facing outside, where people drew pictures and wrote messages. I believe this part is particularly beautiful.

Visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library with Me: A Photo Review
The More Artistic Side of the Berlin Wall Fragment


 I made of two different views of this Berlin Wall panel as postcards . They are for sale in my Zazzle store, Barb's California Card and Gift Gallery.



Here is Reagan's famous "Tear down this wall" speech.




Last Photos


These photos didn't fit under the headings above. One exhibit reflects Reagan's love for horses. I'm not sure if it depicts his favorite horse, El Alamein, or not. I read that El Alamein was buried on Reagan's Santa Barbara Ranch. On the wall around this exhibit there is a life-size photo of Reagan riding his horse. That is not visible in this photo.

Visit the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library with Me: A Photo Review
Reagan loved his horses. 


A fitting image to complete this post is the final resting place of Ronald Wilson Reagan, who died on June 5, 2004. The lettering on the monument is too light to read in the photo, but this is what it says:

"I know in my heart that man is good
That what is right will always eventually triumph
And there is purpose and worth to each and every life"
The poster below and a postcard with the same image are in my Zazzle store.

 I hope you have enjoyed this mini-tour of the Ronald Reagan Library. If you ever get the chance, I hope you will go see it. Some of the exhibits I didn't have room to mention here are very moving. There is a video of the attempted assassination, and other videos reveal how much Nancy and the President loved each other. The final one left me in tears. I hadn't thought to bring tissues, but a docent was handing them out after I finished watching that video.

Many exhibits deal with Reagan's relationships with the leaders of other nations. You will also see a full-size replica of the Oval Office with Reagan's desk. You can even get your picture taken behind Reagan's podium with his seal. Do you recognize those who who are listening?



If you visit the Reagan Presidential Library, be sure to leave enough time to enjoy it all. You should be able to get through all the exhibits in three to four hours. If you are hungry, there are two dining options available -- a cafe and a pub. You don't need to pay admission to visit the cafe, but the pub doesn't have an outside entrance for the public. You will also probably want to leave some time to walk the grounds.

SEE ALL TRAVEL TIPS & DESTINATIONS REVIEWED

All photos and text are © B. Radisavljevic





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