I am parked in Col. Allensworth State Park, and using a couple quiet days between crossing the Tehachapi Range and arriving in Petaluma where I will be very busy, to finalize my blog entries on the trip to Spain and Morocco.
This state park is at the site of the small town of Allensworth, founded by a man born in slavery who rose to the rank of Lt. Col in the US Army after the Civil War. This town was his dream, a place where Blacks could form their own community and be self-sufficient. Its boom time didn't last very long as the water table dropped, the railroad built a spur line and didn't use Allensworth as the area station, plans for a technical college for African Americans on the order of Tuskegee Institute did not pass the State Legislature, and the untimely death of Allensworth who was run down in a pedestrian accident.
Today and yesterday it was the perfect spot for me to work. I wandered the town and watched the video but there are not other distractions. So, I promised phtos of me on a camel, on a donkey, snake charmers and snakes around my neck. Here they are:
Well, my shadow anyway. I was wearing a turban and I will share photos of the process of wrapping it.
I rode donkeys and mules a couple times. Here it is to make the trip to our small mountain gite (small guest house) in Aremd. It took about an hour up the mountain. Some of the group walked, I chose to ride. I also used a donkey to cross the river to get to the old section of Ait Banhaddou.
Snake Charmer, left was in Marrakech. I had a snake around my neck there too, but no one photographed it. But the second instance was going over the High Atlas Mountains.
The henna lasted until my arrival back in the States. Even now, almost a month after it was applied, I can faintly see it on the edge of my hands. This is an ancient tradition in Morocco and many other areas. Photo on left was inside our Riad in Essaouira where a woman came to paint my hands. The photo on the right is in the small street in front of our riad. It took about 45 minutes to apply the henna and another hour for it to dry.