Mining Our Way to Palomar

What began as a subtle, precognitive dream recently became a real adventure. After some careful research and delightful phone calls, a rough plan was in place to map our birthday celebration. Shadowy desert mountains rose up high to the East and West of the San Luis Rey River Valley beckoning our family to the lush 6000 foot elevation of Palomar Mountain. With cool breezes at our backs, beginning in Oceanside, CA, we followed the winding curves of CA-76 East into Pala, CA. Dark cutouts in the hillsides marked a variety of private mining claims and guided us toward the Stewart Gem Mine.

Shovels in hand, atop a seemingly lackluster heap of dirt, we filled our buckets with high hopes of uncovering even a tiny green crystal. Several hours later after careful sifting and rinsing, we each had about two tablespoons of tourmaline, lapidolite and quartz. Not a shabby haul for first-timers, making our 40 dollars a worthwhile investment. We left with smiles on our faces, sweat under our caps and the promise of refreshing icy drinks at the Pala Casino just down the road.

After a few rounds of toasting and some good luck at the roulette tables, we headed up SR6 to Fry Creek Campground, 2 miles from the top of Palomar Mountain. From the sagebrush covered desert floor to the groves of massive 600 year old pine trees, we again found ourselves marveling at the impressive contrast within the Southern California terrain. We landed in site 16 at the end of the campground road, pitched the tents, lit a fire and cooked up some grub.

Invited by National Forest Service rangers to a "star party" later that evening, we joined amateur and professional astronomers a few miles away at Observatory Campground. 9 high-powered telescopes were set-up to reveal globular clusters, Saturn and Jupiter, but the panoramic view of the skyline through our own eyes was far more impressive.

The last couple miles of SR6 led to the Palomar Mountain Observatory which houses the historic Hale 200-inch telescope. Here we enjoyed the final part of our journey as we walked the path amongst the fern fields to the telescope dome hidden within the old grove forest. It became clear to each of us that just when you think you’re in the middle of nowhere, you can round the bend and find stunning surprises created by the genius of mind and nature. Discovering fascinating places that withstand the test of time is definitely one of the best reasons to travel!

Written by Cari K

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Well Beyond Percentages

Recently, someone brought to my attention that California's overall rate of recycling redeemable materials, including glass, plastic and aluminum cans had fallen to 58% from 70% a decage ago.  This person also went on to say that people were not having any sort of "enlightenment" indicated by these statistics.  Upon first glance, we could all come to the same conclusion, but that would be rather short-sighted.

For many people, life goes beyond what can be touched.  Although scientific quantification was born out of the human need to classify and define the physical environment, the wellness of our world and its population should not be evaluated on numerical trends alone. Statistical data is not enough to explain the ever-changing behavior of ALL human beings and our planet.  New understandings in quantum mechanics have evolved the role of science to a more multidimensional perspective linking the physical world to non-physical states of being. This knowledge will eventually permeate the daily rituals, practices and beliefs of global societies.

As you've likely observed, the contrast between our destruction and renewal is growing. The quickened pace of our lives has contributed to both a lack of environmental respect and a general deterioration of good old-fashioned values.  However, within this diversity, there has been born a growing desire by many, to improve the quality of new technology and to create a safe integration of these new innovations into our environment. This includes the recycling of resources, the processes of farming, as well as, the major shift in traditional medical practices and the evolution of spirituality.

The pressing need for environmental and behavioral quality control is at the forefront of many minds. Granted, not all human beings are concerned with nor care about leaving a clean, healthy world for future generations, but the evolution of human life in its contrasting perfection is not in vain.

Written by Cari K
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Where is Wonderland?

We are going to jump down a different rabbit hole today. Remember when you learned that humanity once thought Earth was flat? Can you get a sense of the evolution of all cultures across our world shifting and changing their perspectives of life? What if the world each of us perceives, yet again, is not as unchangeable as we have been thinking it is? Have you noticed how your emotional perception changes the way you experience and rendezvous with life? 

What if emotions can be used for a better reason than just to react to circumstances? What if we begin to use them as a guide to free ourselves from states of frustrated hopelessness that can instead point us toward the freedom of happiness? If emotions highlight the type of thoughts we are thinking on any subject, we need to be strong warriors who value and deliberately use our focused minds. Once you understand how you feel, you are free to choose your perspective with the thoughts you think. It is sloppy behavior to act like a lazy victim who blames their lackluster life on crappy luck and other people. It is not the alignment of the stars or the economy that inhibits us from receiving goodness. It is our attitude and perception that bring us satisfaction or not.                                                 

All of us have areas of our lives that bother us to some extent because we are not where we want to be. It seems that whoever is succeeding at whatever, all have one thing in common. They allow themselves to flow toward their desires with clear intention. Let it be easy. On any topic, you feel somewhere between happy or sad. Notice where you stand, with respect to where you would rather be. Find a way to “go with the flow” toward what you want, to relief and satisfaction. Feeling good, should be the priority, out of necessity, out of self-respect, out of wanting a graceful life filled with benefits and assets. Why would you settle for anything less?

Written by Cari K
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Tea Party

While my intention with this site is to showcase a variety of topics from profound, to poetic, to the adventurous and beautiful... humor will always find its way through my fingertips.

Not long ago, a dark scavenger roamed the sidewalk opposite my house and disappeared into the neighbor's backyard. Later that evening, I thought I heard one of my cats outside rummaging next to the living room wall where I keep the trash barrels. Engrossed in my movie, I did not look up. Something jumped to the ground. 

I arrived in the kitchen just in time to see a fat, striped tail waddling along on the back patio.  The porch light does not shine around to the corner of the house. I walked into the darkness. It crept along the fence until it stopped to turn around. "Oh my God! You are so not Jupiter. You came into my kitchen and ate from the cat bowl! You sneak!"

There you have it. I'm living in the wild disguised as an urban neighborhood.  Perhaps the coon never was in the kitchen because a gigantic butt like that could not easily have squeezed in through the cat door. However, it tried. What will it be doing next time when it figures out how to get in? Champagne and smoked trout, anyone?

Written by Cari K
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