Monday, April 15, 2013


Stratocumulus clouds again surround Blair Valley.  A few Winds blow sandstorms over the dry lake coating everything.  Wind speeds are twenty to thirty miles per hour with gusts over fifty.  

We are prisoners here in Blair Valley, California. Advisories warnings state that driving high clearance vehicles is not advisable. Like it or not, here we are.  And I don't like it.  

I found this explanation of why the clouds are surrounding the mountains and find it interesting enough to share with you.  

Orographic Clouds
forced by the earth's topography
Orographic clouds are clouds that develop in response to the forced lifting of air by the earth's topography (mountains for example).

Photograph by: Holle
Air passing over a mountain oscillates up and down as it moves downstream (as shown in the diagram below). Initially, stable air encounters a mountain, is lifted upward and cools through expansion as it rises. If the air cools to its saturation temperature during this process, the water vapor within condenses and becomes visible as a cloud.
Upon reaching the mountain top, the air is heavier than the environment and will sink down the other side, warming as it descends. Once the air returns to its original height, it has the same buoyancy as the surrounding air. However, the air does not stop immediately because it still has momentum carrying it downward. With continued descent, the air becomes warmer than the surroundings and begins to accelerate back upward towards its original height (beginning the cycle again). It is during the upper-most ascent phase of this cycle that clouds develop. In regions where air is descending, skies are clear.

Photograph by: Holle
The lifting of moist air can result in the generation of clouds, while lifting drier air may not produce any clouds at all. The oscillations continue as the air moves further downstream from the mountains but are eventually dampened out by mixing and friction.

The desert floor sparkles as if fairies have tried to send a bit of shiny cheer.  I am not cheered today.  It is grating on my nerves today.  I long for peaceful breezes, not howling winds. 

Our dust allergies are creating itchy eyes and much use of tissue.  Oliver and Olivia's eyes are runny from the stinging sand getting into their eyes.  John and I use our sunglasses to help keep the sand out of our eyes.  

If windows are left open in the coach, everything is coated with fine sand interlaced with minerals that sparkle in the sun. I love the sparkles.  I do not love the stinging sand.  

Yesterday, Sunday morning,  the weather was sunny and peaceful.  We sat outside and read.  It was a peaceful and beautiful calm day.  It did not last.  The wind started.  It grew more powerful blowing sand stinging our legs and faces. 

Sunglasses protected our eyes from the relentless wind and sand. A mask protects John from the blowing sand and dust.  

I am concerned about John with all the find sand, grit, fairy dust in the air. 

Just a year ago he was fighting for his life in the ACCU, Adult critical care unit of the hospital. Respiratory failure was the diagnosis. I am always concerned about him, but this is really getting me down.  

It is enough to be awaking during the night to check his breathing, trying to keep him active enough, but not too active.  

When we get closer to the San Diego area I am going to have to find a Physician to check him out.  His blood pressure and energy level has become erratic.  

Finding an unknown Physician is troubling.  What I will try to do is find an Internist at Loma Linda Hospital.  I believe, but am not sure that it is a teaching hospital.  Teaching hospitals are usually up to date on the best and latest treatments.  

On a positive note, John and daughter Jojo went into Julian, California and came home with two pies.  An apple cherry and a strawberry rhubarb.  Wonderful pies.  

Until next time....please keep us in your prayers....

God bless!




  1. Your header photo is lovely.

    Thanks for the info on the clouds. I found it very interesting.

    I am going to include John in my prayers that all this messy weather does not affect his health.

    1. I remember how much I loved my college class when we studied clouds. Of course I had a marvelous Prof that made everything so exciting.

      Thanks for your appreciated.

  2. Wearing a mask seems like a good idea for John. Hope the winds die down soon.

    1. Thanks Judy, He has a mask hanging in the front of the coach to put on when he goes out.

  3. Thanks Sandie. Loving someone with all your heart can sometimes know what I mean. Love ya!


Thank you for leaving your comment. We do enjoy hearing from you.