Photos of Manzanita Mountain Man Rendezvous!

Have you ever wondered what it was like to live as a mountain man? Trekking through the wilderness as a trapper or frontier explorer? Journeying through the untamed American West as a trader, prospector, scout or pioneer?

What would it be like to leave the comforts and routine obligations of a civilized life behind? To go where few had gone before, finding your own way over rugged mountains, across uncharted rivers, living on the land, camping beneath the stars?

Today I learned a little of what that was like. I drove an hour east of San Diego to Northcote Ranch to enjoy the 26th Annual Manzanita High Mountain Rendezvous!

This modern reenactment of an historic Rocky Mountain rendezvous takes place in the beautiful countryside near Lake Morena. It attracts reenactors and visiting history buffs, school students and families from all around the Southwest. Every single participant I met was extremely friendly. They showed me and other visitors around with enthusiasm.

I observed many participants in period costumes camping in canvas tents and tepees across a broad field and among shady trees. Many of the campers create their own leather goods, jewelry and other Old West artifacts.

As I walked about, I listened to frontier music, visited a gunsmith, looked at the wares of different traders, and stepped inside a couple of the largest tepees. On several outdoor ranges I observed people throwing tomahawks, shooting arrows, even shooting authentic black powder muskets. I even enjoyed a good old hamburger and tater tots at The Hungry Dowg restaurant tent!

Other rendezvous activities, which happened to be idle during my visit today, include blacksmithing, candle making and woodworking. There is something intriguing everywhere one turns!

I photographed some of the informative signs, including one that concerns San Diego’s early history–particularly the 1820s to 1840s, when Fur Trade goods were sold to merchant ships that traveled around Cape Horn. Back then a wandering trapper would occasionally come into Old Town. Click those photos and they’ll enlarge for easy reading!

If you’ve never been to a mountain man rendezvous, make sure to put the Manzanita High Mountain Rendezvous on your calendar for next year. Kids absolutely love it.

This fantastic event is open to the general public and admission is free!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Cool discoveries at the Encinitas Street Fair!

There was a lot to see and do at the 36th Annual Encinitas Spring Street Fair!
There was much to see and do at the 36th Annual Encinitas Spring Street Fair!

This morning I rode the Coaster north to Encinitas. It’s the weekend of the big annual Encinitas Spring Street Fair!

Lots of food, art and entertainment could be found along many blocks of South Coast Highway 101. As I slowly walked along, I made a whole bunch of cool discoveries. It seemed I encountered new surprises every few steps!

Several tents featured art that I particularly liked. I also met some interesting people, found out about noteworthy community projects, and learned a tiny bit about the history of Encinitas.

(Click photos that contain information and they will expand for much easier reading.)

People fill several blocks of scenic Highway 101 and enjoy a fine April weekend at the Encinitas Spring Street Fair.
People fill several blocks of scenic Highway 101 and enjoy a fine April weekend at the Encinitas Spring Street Fair.
One of these artistic surfboards for sale has Encinitas written on it.
One of these artistic surfboards for sale has Encinitas written on it.
One of the guys at the City of Encinitas booth had a big smile!
One of the guys at the City of Encinitas booth had a smile!
I spotted a fun map of Encinitas in a shop window. It illustrates many landmarks and local businesses in this awesome beach city.
I spotted a fun map of Encinitas in a shop window. It illustrates many landmarks and local businesses in this awesome beach city.
A dog heads over to smell some locally grown flowers.
A dog heads over to smell some locally grown flowers.
Some sweet treats to eat, and another smile!
Some sweet treats to eat, and another smile!
More yummy food on the grill.
More yummy food on a grill.
The band Nathan & Jessie provide some sidewalk entertainment. Check out nathanandjessie.com
The local band Nathan & Jessie provide some sidewalk entertainment. Check out nathanandjessie.com
More fun stuff!
Some silly stuff!
Author Scott Sussman was autographing his fun kids books. His website is octopusinkpress.com. Weird the Beard sounds like several characters I know.
Author Scott Sussman was autographing his kids books. His website is octopusinkpress.com. Weird the Beard sounds like several characters I know.
Beautiful, translucent Scented Gem Candles in different fantastic shapes could be seen at the Gemtera table.
Beautiful, translucent Scented Gem Candles in different fantastic shapes could be seen at the Gemtera table.
Sea-themed artwork by Marea Baja.
Sea-themed artwork by Marea Baja. Check out mareabajadesigns.com
Her sea glass mosaics are created from surf tumbled sea glass collected on the beach!
Her sea glass mosaics are created from surf tumbled sea glass collected on the beach!
The yellow Old School Shave Ice school bus has arrived!
The yellow “Old School Shave Ice” school bus has arrived!
Someone rides their bike down Highway 101 past this beach sunset mural by @CloeHakakian
Someone walks their bike down Highway 101 past this beach sunset mural by @CloeHakakian
Encinitas artist Carla Funk had many fantastic pieces displayed at her table.
Encinitas artist Carla Funk had many fantastic pieces displayed at her table.
I LOVE YOU THIS MUCH
I LOVE YOU THIS MUCH
Carla Funk offers Art Camp in Encinitas, featuring classes in ceramics, painting and drawing. Her website is ArtTilesByCarla.com
Carla Funk offers Art Camp in Encinitas, featuring classes in ceramics, painting and drawing. Her website is ArtTilesByCarla.com
I spun the prize wheel of North Island Credit Union and won some sunscreen, which I promptly put on my nose.
I spun the prize wheel of North Island Credit Union and won some sunscreen, which I promptly put on my nose.
The San Diego County Fair had a table with these free fans. The theme in 2019 is the Wizard of Oz! It's gonna be OZsome!
The San Diego County Fair had a table with these free fans. The theme in 2019 is the Wizard of Oz! It’s gonna be OZsome!
Think Possible Apparel has unique screen-printed shirts with tiny positive phrases forming cool designs. Check out ThinkPossibleApparel.com
Think Possible Apparel has unique screen-printed shirts with tiny positive phrases forming cool designs. Check out ThinkPossibleApparel.com
Officers of the San Diego Sheriff's Department Senior Volunteer Patrol told me they need volunteers. You can serve your community and meet cool friends!
Officers of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department Senior Volunteer Patrol told me they need volunteers. You can serve your community and meet cool friends!
I'm greeted by a big smile beside a collection of books! Teri is of Top Reads Publishing, found at topreadspublishing.com
I’m greeted by a big smile above a collection of books! Teri is of Top Reads Publishing, found at topreadspublishing.com
These books are by authors around Southern California. If you're an author or reader, learn more at sandiego.readlocal.org
These books are by authors around Southern California. If you’re an author or reader, learn more at sandiego.readlocal.org
Here's some info concerning PWSD, Publishers and Writers San Diego.
Here’s some info concerning PWSD, Publishers and Writers of San Diego.
These nice folks from @kinndproject sell shirts with a golden message. 10 meals are donated for each item purchased. Visit their website kinndproject.com
These nice folks from @kinndproject sell shirts with a golden message. 10 meals are donated for each item purchased. Visit their website kinndproject.com
kindness is golden
kindness is golden
A vendor had this fun stuff at their table.
A vendor had this fun stuff at their table.
Some cool t-shirts.
Some cool t-shirts.
It's the Welcome Home Soldier Foundation. Help vets and get some salsa at whsfnow.org
It’s the Welcome Home Soldier Foundation. Help vets and get some salsa at whsfnow.org
These amazing rope animals were made by an outstanding artist in Thailand named Nong.
These amazing rope animals were made by an outstanding artist in Thailand named Nong.
The Encinitas Lions Club had a table at the Spring Festival.
The Encinitas Lions Club had a table at the Spring Festival.
Get a ticket for An American in Paris. Funds raised go toward a program that helps those who are blind learn to surf. Amazing!
Get a ticket for An American in Paris. Funds raised go toward a program that helps those who are blind learn to surf!
Here's my favorite of the festival. Pixie Village Cottages made from fallen logs by Dennis Patterson. Visit his website pixievillagecottages.com
Here’s my favorite of the festival. Pixie Village Cottages made from fallen logs by Dennis Patterson. Visit his website pixievillagecottages.com
Members of Team Paradox strike a pose!
Members of Team Paradox strike a pose!
Team Paradox is a group of local high school students who build robots. They compete with other high school teams around California, the United States and the world!
Team Paradox is a group of local high school students who build robots. They compete with other high school teams around California, the United States and the world!
Someone investigates displays at the Encinitas Historical Society tent.
Somebody investigates the fascinating displays at the Encinitas Historical Society’s tent.
I'm shown the Encinitas Historical Society's 1883 Schoolhouse on a shirt. The building overlooks the Pacific Ocean and today houses a museum.
I’m shown the Encinitas Historical Society’s 1883 Schoolhouse on a shirt. The building overlooks the Pacific Ocean and today houses a museum.
A poster details The 25th Annual Encinitas Heritage Tree Contest! The heritage tree was planted in 1952 above Moonlight Beach.
A poster details The 25th Annual Encinitas Heritage Tree Contest! The heritage tree was planted in 1952 above Moonlight Beach.
These historical photos are of old sites in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, just south of Encinitas.
These historical photos are of old sites in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, just south of Encinitas.
More historical photos of Cardiff-by-the-Sea.
More historical photos of Cardiff-by-the-Sea.
Ted White, The Song Peddler brought his cool bicycle piano contraption! Check out facebook.com/TedWhiteMusic
Ted White, The Song Peddler brought his cool bicycle piano contraption to the festival! Check out facebook.com/TedWhiteMusic

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Mingei’s museum gift shop at Liberty Station.

The Mingei International Museum in Balboa Park is currently undergoing a major renovation and expansion. Once completed, this world-class folk art, craft and design museum will be more amazing than ever!

You might recall a blog post from last year that featured the Mingei’s planned transformation. To see architectural renderings of what the Mingei will eventually look like, click here!

While construction is underway, Mingei’s gift shop and cafe are temporarily located at Liberty Station, in the historic Dick Laub NTC Command Center building. Step through the front entrance and you can’t miss it.

Today I meandered about Liberty Station with no definite destination in mind. I was pleased to happen upon the Mingei’s shop and meet the smiling lady behind the counter. She told me that Niki de Saint Phalle’s fun, kid-friendly Nikigator sculpture, which used to stand in front of the museum in Balboa Park, might be moved out from storage and placed right in front of the Command Center. How cool would that be?

Here are a few photos. The lobby of the Command Center not only features Cafe Mingei, but a collection of great art created by Liberty Station artists!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

Quilters look to the stars for inspiration!

Today I took a short stroll through the Visions Art Museum at Liberty Station. Anyone in San Diego who has a love for creative art, crafts or quilting really should visit this place.

Every time I visit the Visions Art Museum there seem to be brand new displays of contemporary quilts and textiles. In addition to the gallery exhibitions, walls near the gift shop often feature handcrafted works by local quilting groups.

As I walked through the museum today I was instantly captivated by a wall full of 14″ x 14″ quilts that shine, swirl and sparkle. LOOK TO THE STARS, from a famous quote by Stephen Hawking, is the theme of this year’s Canyon Quilters of San Diego Challenge. According to their website, the Canyon Quilters is a local guild with around 200 members.

Check out all the brilliant artwork!

Many of the pieces in my photos are still available for purchase. Head over to Liberty Station and step into the fantastic Visions Art Museum to have your eyes dazzled!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Asian arts come to life on museum’s front steps!

A colorful Celebration of Asian Arts enlivens Balboa Park . . . On The Steps of the San Diego Museum of Art.
On the steps of the San Diego Museum of Art, a colorful celebration of Asian arts enlivens Balboa Park.

Every so often the San Diego Museum of Art hosts a fantastic, free outdoor event in Balboa Park. This evening I experienced On the Steps at SDMA: A Celebration of Asian Arts!

There were joyful performances of music and dance, and at several booths in front of the museum’s entrance a variety of arts from diverse Asian cultures were demonstrated.

This is what I saw!

I arrived just in time to catch an amazing, super energetic drumming performance by Naruwan Taiko of San Diego.
I arrived just in time to catch an amazing, super energetic drumming performance by Naruwan Taiko of San Diego.
The San Diego Bonsai Club was demonstrating an ancient Asian art form.
The San Diego Bonsai Club was demonstrating an ancient Asian art form.
Like a small forest of tall, beautiful trees.
Like a small forest of tall, beautiful trees.
Ikebana flower arrangements added even more beauty to the event. The demonstration was hosted by Sharon Bristow at the Japanese booth.
Ikebana flower arrangements added even more beauty to the event. The demonstration was hosted by Sharon Bristow at the Japanese booth.
These amazing Korean ceramics were all created by Yonsoo Chung, representing the House of Korea in Balboa Park.
These amazing Korean ceramics were all created by Yonsoo Chung, representing the House of Korea in Balboa Park.
Korean artist Kim, Eun Jin shows youth how to make jewel-like teapots from colorful strips of paper!
Korean artist Kim, Eun Jin shows youth how to make jewel-like teapots from colorful strips of paper!
These tiny teapots are made with recycled paper by the Artreepaper community with the help of Kim, Eun Jin.
These tiny teapots are made with recycled paper by the Artreepaper community with the help of Kim, Eun Jin.
I was shown by an artist from the Confucius Institute as SDSU how the name Richard appears as a Chinese ink painting!
I was shown by an artist from SDSU’s Confucius Institute how the name Richard appears as a Chinese ink painting!
Even more art was being produced by lots of creative people at this table.
Even more cool art was being produced by lots of creative people at this table.
Kids representing the Confucius Institute perform kung fu fan moves in front of the Timken Museum of Art.
Kids representing the Confucius Institute perform kung fu fan moves in front of the Timken Museum of Art.
These performers from the San Diego Korean Pungmul Institute were hanging out in the Plaza de Panama as they awaited their turn in the spotlight!
These performers from the San Diego Korean Pungmul Institute were hanging out in the Plaza de Panama as they awaited their turn in the spotlight!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Art raises awareness about bird trafficking.

Public art now on display in Seaport Village aims to raise awareness about the impact of illegal bird trafficking.

Birds Without Paradise (Pajaros sin Paraiso) was created by Oaxacan artist Manuel Molina with the assistance of volunteers and school children in both the United States and Mexico. Many life-size birds made of corn husks and wood take flight overhead, reminding us of the harm caused by illegal bird trafficking.

The freedom themed art, which has been displayed at various locations in both nations, strengthens cross-border cultural connections and is a delightful bond between diverse people.

These colorful birds will be flocking above Seaport Village, just west of the central fountain, through April!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!

Art, crafts and fun at December Nights!

I spotted a Santa Claus with a beard made of white yarn at 2018 December Nights!
I spotted a Santa Claus with a beard made of white yarn at 2018 December Nights!

Another year, another wonderful December Nights in Balboa Park!

I headed across the Cabrillo Bridge at noon today, just as the second day of San Diego’s big annual holiday event got underway.

I prefer to wander through December Nights in the early afternoon. The sun is out, the air is warm, and the feeling is unhurried and carefree. I miss the magical Christmas lights after dark, but I also avoid the hectic press of huge crowds.

I’ve blogged December Nights for so many years now, I thought I’d try for a new angle in 2018 and focus on all the holiday art and crafts one can see while walking around. As usual, however, I ended up taking photos of anything fun that happened to catch my eye.

Many fun holiday crafts and decorations can be enjoyed throughout Balboa Park during December Nights.
Many fun holiday crafts and decorations can be enjoyed throughout Balboa Park during December Nights.
Jeff, the super cool Spanish Village Art Center historian, holds a drum and greets visitors with a huge smile!
Jeff, the super cool Spanish Village Art Center historian, holds a drum and greets visitors with a huge smile!
I was taking a photo of glass Christmas ornaments in Spanish Village when I got photobombed!
I was taking a photo of glass Christmas ornaments in Spanish Village when I got photobombed!
A happy elf was lurking near one of the Spanish Village artist studios.
A happy elf was lurking near one of the Spanish Village artist studios.
Some of the carved wooden animals of the Balboa Park Carousel were wearing elf and Santa hats.
Some of the carved wooden animals of the historic Balboa Park Carousel were wearing elf and Santa hats.
I learned Santa Claus would be hanging out in front of the Starlight Bowl.
I learned Santa Claus would be hanging out in front of the Starlight Bowl.
I noticed The Old Globe Theatre's gift shop was well stocked with nasty green Grinches, and his adorable dog Max, too!
I noticed The Old Globe Theatre’s gift shop was well stocked with vile, nasty Grinches, and his adorable dog Max, too!
People take a break during December Nights by sitting near cheerful red poinsettias in the Botanical Building.
People take a break during December Nights by sitting near cheerful red poinsettias in the Botanical Building.
A big Santa hangs from the Point Loma Garden Club's colorful tree, one of many fantastic Christmas trees inside the Casa del Prado.
A big Santa hangs from the Point Loma Garden Club’s candy and cookie bedecked tree, one of many fantastic Christmas trees inside the Casa del Prado.
Another Christmas tree at the Festival of Trees was decorated by the Friends of Balboa Park with many happy dreams.
Another Christmas tree at the annual Festival of Trees was decorated by the Friends of Balboa Park with many happy dreams.
The San Diego Womens Chorus sings holiday music at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion during 2018 December Nights.
The San Diego Womens Chorus sings holiday music at the Spreckels Organ Pavilion during 2018 December Nights.
A group of children called Let's Dance for Fun! performs at the small December Nights stage near the Botanical Building.
A group of children called Let’s Dance for Fun! performs at the small December Nights stage near the Botanical Building.
Santa, a guest of the House of Finland, was checking to see if children have been good at Balboa Park's International Cottages.
Santa, a guest of the House of Finland, was checking his list to see if children have been naughty or nice at Balboa Park’s International Cottages.
Holiday traditions and music from around the world are celebrated at the International Cottages during December Nights.
Holiday traditions and music from around the world are celebrated at the International Cottages during December Nights.
The House of Sweden always has lots of Christmas crafts and fun holiday stuff on display.
The House of Sweden always has lots of Christmas crafts and fun holiday stuff on display.
I headed over to the Starlight Bowl and spotted a happy snowman atop the outdoor amphitheater's roof.
I headed over to the Starlight Bowl and spotted a happy snowman atop the outdoor amphitheater’s box office roof.
These friendly folks with Save Starlight are looking for people to help support the restoration of a cherished San Diego performance venue, Balboa Park's Starlight Bowl.
These friendly folks with Save Starlight are looking for people to help support the restoration of a cherished San Diego performance venue, Balboa Park’s Starlight Bowl.

If you love Balboa Park, and would like to help restore the beloved Starlight Bowl, please take a moment to visit the Save Starlight website here!

I poked my nose inside the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater and noticed there's going to be a fun Merry Christmas Show coming up!
I poked my nose inside the Marie Hitchcock Puppet Theater and noticed there’s going to be a fun Merry Christmas Show coming up!
I discovered lots of holiday art, crafts and fun at another wonderful December Nights!
I discovered lots of holiday art, crafts and fun at another wonderful December Nights!

I live in downtown San Diego and love to walk around with my camera! You can follow Cool San Diego Sights via Facebook or Twitter!

You can easily explore Cool San Diego Sights by using the search box on my blog’s sidebar. Or click a tag! There are thousands upon thousands of photos for you to enjoy!