We can’t help it–but it isn’t all our fault that all our road trips begin by heading straight south to California. The Mate and I have too many loved ones in the Golden State, but Mother Nature sends us that way too. Only once have we dared heading straight east to Montana in February, and we were as lucky as we were stupid, that year.
Anyone who’s driven repeatedly over the same route knows it can be a challenge to find new things to focus on. Blogging simply ups the ante.
I have to admit, I completely punted at our first stop, Eugene. We were too glad to be off the road, too happy to see our dear friends, and too warm and dry to want to venture back out into the cold and damp to take any pictures. I got a little exercise walking around and around the ferry boat when we left, and that was it for the day.
But the next day, we were back in one of our favorite environments: the coastal redwoods of Prairie Creek State/National Park. On Valentine’s Day! Because it was too yucky to tent-camp (the only kind we do), we treated ourselves to one of the little, bare-bones cabins there.
That way we got both a hike AND a bike ride in the big trees. Now, I’ve taken a zillion pictures of redwoods. They’re each so unique, so irresistible! So this time, I tried to focus on other things, like the effects of weather. You always see those old, fallen giants…but we met a newfallen one!
When the sun did finally break through, it drew my lens even more than the trees did.
But I still couldn’t resist this old beauty, just for itself:
Next morning, we had the world’s best bike ride down the closed-off Drury Parkway: 13 miles all to ourselves, riding down the middle of the road, looking up at the gorgeous giants spanning every bit of space around us…
Later that day, with our cousins in Oakland (when the sun finally came out!), I did my usual walk-through of the Temescal neighborhood, but this time I focused on character. Literally. You know these signs, right?
In Oakland, there are several of that type on each block. Then there’s the totally cool-looking Oakland International School (public), dedicated to immigrants.
And out front, this enticing “golden box,” which, upon closer inspection, proved to be a tiny studio where they connect kids with people from all over the world to share stories.
Next stop: Pinnacles National Park. Since we’ve been here before, I tried to make myself take pictures of things besides, well, the Pinnacles. Less obvious things.
Pretty sure I have a picture of The Mate in this trail-tunnel…so now it’s my turn.
What kind of pine tree IS that? I really should look it up. And look at that light on the rocks!
Okay, I probably have this exact same picture from 3 years ago. But he was probably wearing a T-shirt then!
Turns out there was a reason for the brightness of the light: contrast with the approaching black clouds.
And when they arrived, all that lovely sun went bye-bye, and we were suddenly being pummeled by hail.
At this point, I put on gloves and traded photography for swift walking. Time to get DOWN and get WARM. Are we in Southern California or what?
But despite–or perhaps because of?–the weather, I really enjoyed finding alternative foci for this entry…and hopefully you’ve enjoyed it with me. Happy February! See you down the road.