Monday, January 22, 2018


In January I felt like I had stepped back to the 1960's and early 70's when I marched in San Francisco and Arcata.  The period was my coming of age era.  In the course of one week in 2018, I attended two marches.

The remarks from the man in the White House regarding immigrants from Africa, Haiti and El Salvador pushed me to action.  On a foggy holiday Monday morning I joined a contingent from the Fresno Unitarian-Universalist Church for the Martin Luther King, Jr March in downtown Fresno. Our bright yellow hats stood our in the fog. 

I missed the Women's March last year and was determined to lift my voice this time.  A group of women in my park formed a group last year to share our concerns, vent, write letters and emails.  After Elizabeth Warren we wanted to be persisters.  But we also wanted a distinctive name for our closed Facebook page and we wanted to honor our solidarity as women.  So, we are the Purrsistahs.  Last week we had a sign making get-together and car pooled to Fresno, along with three great male supporters.

Here I am with some of our group.  We were early.   The grounds were packed before the speeches began.

The speakers represented the diversity of Fresno.  Latina, Black, Native American, Sikh, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hmong, Anglo, lesbian and straight, victims of sexual harassment, and victims of childhood sexual violence,  young, middle-aged and elders.  The keynote speaker was a vibrant and young 87 year old Dolores Huerta.   She is eloquent and enthusiastic and after speaking, led the group on an approximately mile and a half march.   I'm not good at judging numbers.  Media used numbers from hundreds to over a thousand.  The over 1000 certainly seems closer to the reality. 

A recent  refugee-immigrant from Syria, mother, wife who is making her way in her new home.
This young woman drummed and chanted as members of the local Native American community presented the colors and led an invocation.    The photo below includes one of the color bearers.

All ages
Dolores Huerta.   We headed out chanting !Si Se Puerde!

DiAnne, Barb and Marta cross a street on the parade route. Streets were not closed, so we crossed in sections
at crossing lights.   

And here are a few from the MLK, Jr March

Gathering before the march.  The U-U members are in yellow hats.

Love that men are standing up

Friday, December 8, 2017

The trip across the Pond

I have a series of posts here of the trip which included parts of England, Scotland and Wales.  Posts, by the nature of this site, are in reverse order so that the most recent entry is always first.  You can certainly read these entries going backwards.  Only rarely do I refer to another post.  Or you can read them in the order I wrote them, which roughly is the order of travel.  Simply go down to the September post which is the first and work your way backwards.  Either way, at the end of each page is a notation to go to an earlier post or a later post.   I suggest reading the post and the captions first, for each entry.  Then click on one of the photos to enlarge and you can go thru as a slide show with almost full screen views.  Photos were downsized to do the blog, but should still show well in full screen.  Hope you enjoy. I had fun reliving the trip, going back and double checking some of the facts, and this will be a good reminder for me, long into the future of this five week trip.

I love it when you leave messages on the blog.

North Yorkshire, Part 2 of Yorkshire blog postings.


Last summer I had an English couple on my photo tour in Yellowstone.  I mentioned I would be going to the UK this fall.   After the tour we stood talking for a bit and they asked where I was planning to go.  I mentioned the places we had already determined, but said that I wanted to spend time in Yorkshire.  Except for Leeds to see a friend, I wasn't sure where.  They said they knew just the place for a photographer and suggested I spend a few days in Whitby.  Since these were good photographers and knowledgeable about their own country, I decided to check it out.  It didn't take long, reading about Whitby and checking on accommodations, to make a reservation.

On the day of the eclipse I had just one passenger as just about everyone else had gone a bit south to see the totality.  He was from England and we had a great time with the quiet, uncrowded conditions.  I told him I was going to the UK in the fall and he asked where.  When I mentioned Whitby he was delighted and added that I would find the best fish and chips in all of the British Isles in Whitby.   At the end of the tour he handed me a tip saying, "this is for fish and chips when you get to Whitby."   I honored his request and must say they were excellent.  The lightest coating on the fish, and moistest fish I had on the entire trip.

The swing bridge over the River Esk.  Whitby is on both sides of the river.

Whitby is in northern Yorkshire, overlooking the North Sea,  Traditionally a fishing town, and there is still commercial fishing, it has become a major tourism site.  But the tourism is more for natives of the country than for the bus loads of overseas tourists.  So, it had a fairly quiet feel.  At least until the weekend which was the beginning of a one week school break, which included Halloween.  Since Bram Stoker was inspired to write Dracula while sitting overlooking the town and the ruins of Whitby Abbey on the far side, Halloween is a big event.  They light up the Abbey for that night. I left before the big night.   But I did have three and a half days in Whitby and nearby Robin Hood's Bay.  I preferred the quieter days before Halloween to explore.

Whitby has a couple other claims to fame.  Explorer James Cook did his seafaring training in Whitby and nearby area.  A statue of him, looking out in the direction of Hawaii, sits at the top of the hill on the west side of the harbor.  We have all heard the phase, "black as jet."  Jet is a stone, and while it is found in other parts of the world, Whitby became famous for mining and processing it.   And yes, I added a nice set of post earrings of jet to my collection.

Streets are narrow and the city, on both sides of the river and harbor, is steep.  I loved walking, exploring and photographing, even the 199 steps down from the Abbey.  I did ride the hop-on-hop-off bus to get to the top, but  once there the driver announced they were short staffed that day, and there would only be one more pick up at the site.  Since that was in just an hour, and I knew that wasn't enough time, I decided, arthritic knee or not I would walk down.  It turned out to be fine.  The steps were shallow and easy on the knee and the views were well worth it.  So was the old cemetery between the Abbey and the steps.
You can see why I enjoyed the walk down the steps.  what a view.

Next to the steps is another route.  Think I might want compound low in any vehicle I attempted with this.

My hosts at the delightful Lansbury Guest House, a B&B not far from the bench where Bram Stoker had his inspiration, suggested I try Robin Hood's Bay on Saturday.   They knew Whitby would be crowded with families.  Great suggestion.  But first, some more photos of Whitby:
 The Swing Bridge has quite a history.  The first bridge over the River Esk in Whiby was built in 1351.  In 1407 a man by the name of John Schilbotyll  left, in his will,  an oak tree to be used for repairs.  By 1620 the bridge was replaced with a structure with movable parts, a system of pulleys to open it.  In 1832 it was replaced with a swing bridge that moved horizontally.  The current bridge dates to 1908 and can carry trucks on its one lane.  Not terribly large trucks.  Not because of the bridge, but the streets, as you will see later, are quite narrow.   The 1908 bridge has motors to swing the bridge but the two bridgemen operate the system from the bridge.  The bridge is the only access to the east side of town unless you go by water. I walked it numerous times.  My lodging was on the west side.
This is the main business street on the east side of the bridge.  The two delivery trucks are using the sidewalk.

On the west side, along my route from my lodgings

the Abbey ruins are at the top, left of center.

The ruins of the old Whitby Abbey were great fun to photograph and you can see I spent some time there.  The history goes back to the 7th century when it was built as a monastery.  Later the Benedictine Order took it over as an Abbey.   The land and building was confiscated by Henry VIII when he banned the Roman Catholic Church in England.  The land was taken over by a private party who built their manor close-by.  In 1914, it was shelled by the German Army.  But it remains, now a national treasure, and its stark outline may be as dramatic as it was when it was an operating abbey.  

This side of the Abbey faces away from the town and port

Even the shadows were fun

This cross has special meaning to my family.  It commemorates Caedmon, the earliest know English poet.  He lived at the Abbey.  My cousin Bonnie's son is named for him.

Love the view of the beach

If you enlarge this, you can make out people on the steps below the abbey, the church and
the cemetery.

This was taken from near the spot where Bram Stoker was inspired to write Dracula.  The Abbey was a scene used in the book

                                              ROBIN HOOD'S BAY

I love small world stories and there is one that relates to my visit to Robin Hood's Bay.  I knew several of my neighbors were natives of the UK.   And I had even seen a photo of the house that Dave was born in when we were working on a slide copying project.  But after I had made all my plans there were only a few days back at the park, time to store my RV and pack for the trip.  I didn't have a chance to tell him trip details.  But  when I returned we talked.  I was telling him how much I enjoyed Yorkshire and he asked where I had been.  When I mentioned Robin Hood's Bay his eyes lit up.  It was a place he remembered well.   He asked if I had gone to nearby Scarborough, which turns out is his birthplace.  I had to admit I went through twice, but didn't see much.   On the trip up I was on a bus.  I was raining fairly hard and there was thick fog, although I do remember the bus driver coming to a crawl in one small town as there were sheep on the road and we could see them in the headlight.  On my return trip I took a bus from Whitby to Scarborough and transferred to a train to York.  About all I saw was the bus route in and the train station.

The bus from Whitby to Robin Hood's Bay dropped me in the town at the top of the hill.  I walked down from there.

Says it all
Walking was the way to go, and there were some pathways that clearly could
not handle vehicles, not even bikes on the stairways.
So, why is Robin Hood's Bay, named for him  It is highly unlikely he ever set foot here.  It is a long way from Sherwood Forest,  particularly with the transportation of that time,  One legend is that he kept a boat here  in case he needed an escape.  More likely, this little bay, without a river to make a port, was handy for small fishing boats.  It was also handy for scavengers of larger vessels that went aground nearby.  That form of piracy may have prompted the name of Robin Hood.  Whatever the case, there is a small cobbled slipway to the water at high tide.  The homes of the fishing families were small but close to work.  Today, many of those same houses serve as holiday guest cabins. 

First version without a car, second with a van. the green container on the left is used to store sand , handy for traction in winter,   I am not sure I would want to walk down the hill into town if the street were icy, much less drive.

I caught an early bus and it was quiet when I first arrived. But it was a beautiful Saturday, the tide was way out leaving a huge, long beach.   Soon people were running their dogs, digging for clams, searching tidal pools, and generally enjoying themselves.   On the inside of the breakwater on the picture below were several murals about the natural and human history of the area.

Cobbled slipway for getting small boats into the water.  Warning signs about dander if
tide is high and the tiny creek (see what looks like a tunnel) is running hard.  The people here were gathering for a program to learn about tidal creatures and perhaps fossils.  I eavesdropped but didn't hear the whole conversation.  
Ice cream truck on the beach

Add caption
The main road into the  village.

If you enlarge this sign, it tells the story of  an incredible rescue of  the ship, Visiter,  which came ashore in a storm.