Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Vacation

One of the joys of being a student or a teacher is Spring Break.  It is designed for recovery: to put the ‘spring’ back in one’s step.  In Oregon, it serves partially to give people a chance to get away from the incessant Winter rains, and partly to see how many people can fit in at the seaside motels.

We headed to California on a driving trip.  My husband had taken the week off to match my vacation schedule after years of working while watching the kids and me play during Spring Break.  Our kids are grown now and gone, but our Vietnamese student and her friend “needed” to see more of the West Coast.  [This is the way my grandfather, who loved ice cream, would say it: “The children would like some ice cream”.  So it is now a family joke, “The children would like to…go to California”, in this case, said I to my long-suffering husband.  “They need to see some other points of interest”.]

We drove to San Francisco leaving at 4 AM Sunday morning and heading toward sunrise in Crescent City on the California border at the Pacific Ocean. 

 Crescent City Lighthouse


There are three ways to get to the San Francisco Bay area: one is I-5, straight through central California and nondescript; there is Highway 1, a high and curvy 2 lane road along the beautiful coastline, and there is Highway 101 between the two, through the Giant Redwoods.  This last was our route, touching at times the ocean and the forests.


California Coastline


A Pretty Fence in the woods


A Giant Redwood Tree and a woodland elf


Along the Eel River


The stately redwoods have been embarrassed by commercial enterprises such as “Trees of Mystery”, “House in a Log” and the “Drive Thru Tree”.  But we did pay $6.00 so our girls could have the experience of driving through a hole cut in a tree.  They took many pictures.


10-03-21-12-45-29H 10-03-21-12-50-31H



Another sight I loved was the moss covered trees, not the redwoods but deciduous, outlined in bright green velvet where the sun shone.  We had to stop several times because “the children wanted to take a picture”.  The sun came and went quixotically so some of the pictures are missing the glory that we saw…




We came out of the  woods into fields of vineyards, passing the vines planted in geometric precision.  I am always fascinated by how the rows shift, converge, and redistribute as you drive past their lines.  




We arrived at our accommodation in Windsor (about an hour north of San Francisco) at about 5:30 PM, replete with the sights of the day.  After settling in, unpacking the food boxes, I made supper and we made plans for the next day, which I will show you tomorrow!


Gilly said...

Oh, that looks such a beautiful drive! I love those trees - especially the mossy ones!

And what a kind driver, to keep stopping so photographs could be taken! But maybe it was a really special road!

Hollace said...

Yes, Gilly, he is extremely tolerant and frequently does 'U turns' when I don't think and speak fast enough to get a picture. He is a saint, for sure!

Steven said...

Very nice! And here I did not even know you had fled town. Glad you got away.