Thursday, September 27, 2007

Scenic California

Ocean view at a State Beach near Bodega Bay. Hear the waves crashing. Feel the wind blowing.

Leaving for a trip is always the hardest part. So many things to do. Last minute work to be done, packing, line up a catsitter, and on and on the list goes. Getting out of the house, is the biggest step. The next hurdle is getting ourselves to the airport. We don't "travel light" as they say. We travel heavy. Very heavy. Camera, golf clubs, clothing X 2 people adds up. Well, we both need our cameras don't we? Believe me, one camera is one too few when you have two photographers traveling to a scenic place such as California. So we don't fight it. We've given in to the reality that we are not capable of traveling light and that is okay. Hubby is a good packer. He has a list, a plan and a spot for each thing. Each of us is assigned a carry-on item and we check the golf bags and suitcases. We've discovered the easiest, most economical way to get ourselves and our stuff to the airport, is to drive there and then park at a nearby hotel. The hotel shuttle takes you to the airport. The shuttle driver helps load and unload the stuff, and the car is safe at the hotel's parking lot. While waiting for the shuttle in front of the hotel the day of our outbound flight, a car pulls up and parks with one wheel on the curb, just feet away from me and my bags. An older man gets out. I couldn't help but notice him considering the way he parked. The license plate on his car read California.

"Long drive." I say to him.
"Oh, yeah, I hate driving in this city [New York]. People drive crazy!"
"Oh, yes. It's not easy," I say, "I'm on my way to California now." I nod my head toward his license plate.
"What part?"
"Napa, San Francisco, Carmel"
He kind of snarls, "You should go to Bodega Bay! My father was born there! Beautiful place! The Birds was filmed there! You see it?"
"Oh really, yes, I've seen The Birds. I'll have to check it out."

Well, really didn't think I would. But for some reason, that cantankerous old guy got stuck in my head. I guess I've always had a soft spot for cranky old guys. I told hubby about the conversation he missed while he was inside. I tucked that pieced of info away in my mind for later.

After Napa, our plan was to head over to San Francisco and stop at Muir Woods along the way to see the redwood trees. I'm not sure how it came to be, but we weren't in any particular hurry and figured this was our day to drive around some. So we took the scenic route and headed over to Bodega Bay. The GPS took us on a long country road, past farms, open fields, and mountains. Not much civilization as I see it. Thank goodness we found a convenience store, some might call it a bodega (and yes they had wine), with a port-a-potty out back at a critical moment. Then it was on to Bodega Bay.

We found a visitor information center upon entering town. We stopped and told the lady we wanted to see redwoods after Bodega Bay, and then end up in San Francisco. She suggested a route for us and told us to go to Guerneville to see the redwood trees. Gave us a map with a highlighted route and we were set to go. The first stop was an ocean view at Sonoma Coast State Beach at the end of a road that winds around the edge of Bodega harbor. On our way, along the winding road, we stopped at a store (they have bodegas in Bodega Bay!) and got picnic fixin's. We ate our lunch atop a peak with beautiful views of the ocean. The only birds around were the seagulls, who wanted a taste of my lunch. They were polite enough about it. I told them I wasn't willing to share and they found some other gullible person to feed them.

View from our picnic spot.

After that we drove North on Route 1 and saw beautiful wide open spaces like this one. That red horse was curious about me as I stepped from the car to get his photo. I hopped over a ditch to get close enough to point my lens over the fence and had to sidestep a raccoon skeleton laying there.

Further North on Route 1 we came to Gleason Beach. I love how those rocks poke out of the water. This looks like it would be a romantic spot for holding hands or maybe a picnic.

After some driving, we finally arrived at the redwoods in Guerneville. They are quite beautiful. One might even say majestic. If you look closely in this photo, you'll see hubby in the bottom right corner. He's wearing a blue shirt and red hat. See my tiny husband? I could probably fit him in my pocket at this scale.

The sun streams through the trees. It's pretty dark in the woods, except for the occasional ray of sunshine. The wind blew and the giant trees swayed. Standing still and looking up, you feel as though you are the one moving.

1 comment:

Pam said...

One of my all time favorite spots. Did you head to the Tides Inn Motel?