In the past week I have made two big trips around the island, one by van and the other by boat. I am glad I finally got to see more of it-I had been wanting to do that since I got here. My first trip was this past Sunday, when a bit more than half the class drove to Avalon. Avalon is the other town on Catalina, and the only one of reasonable size (Two harbors would barely rate an off ramp on the interstate). Getting there requires an hour long drive on 20 or so miles of twisty dirt roads.
So we took off at 9 in the morning, driving down the road toward Avalon. I had been hoping to see buffalo, and I finally got the chance soon after we started driving. This buffalo was standing on the side of the road. We drove up behind him (It was definitely a male buffalo) and he walked down the road in front of us. Then he started getting ornery. He shook his head, looked at us, and then started gouging the side of the bank with his horns. We decided to get out of there before he came after the van. I got this picture, which isn’t great because I was sitting in the back of the van.
After that excitement, we continued on down the road through the island coast and interior. This is a bay where we stopped to take pictures. I think they do some surfing there.
We continued on a ways, until we reached an island fox sanctuary. Island foxes are a species of fox found only on the island. They are tiny and rather endangered. They are also very cute. We were there at just the right time to see this one, because her trainer was out cleaning the cage and the fox was excited and running around. This particular fox was sick as a cub and had to spend time in the vet’s, as a result she never learned to live in the wild. She played with the trainer like a dog would.
Awww. Anyway, we made one more stop on the road to Avalon at a bald eagle sanctuary. Not as cute, but more majestic. Bald eagles also inhabit the islands, but it takes some work to keep them there because there is still so much DDT in the fish around the island that they still can’t incubate their own eggs. The clutches are incubated elsewhere and returned to them.
We finally made it to Avalon after that. Avalon is an interesting place because cars are rare and very limited in who can have them. So a large chunk of the populace uses golf carts, which is amusing. While in Avalon I went to church, because it was Sunday morning after all. The preacher reminded me of Zach Spivey. They were talking about their new program to build houses for people in Mexico. Then I went next door to pick up some books in a little used bookstore. I also walked around, ate some tasty fish taco, went to stores, and had ice cream. Here are some pictures of Avalon. Note the golf carts.
I also found this during my shopping. Incredible…I almost want some. No doubt far superior to regular soap.
And with that, I must leave you for now. Stay tuned for my boat journey, featuring marine birds, mammals, and possibly even some video.