We are still traveling, but tonight is the first night that I have both the energy and the internet connection to give a short update. More detailed travelogue to follow.
On the first day of our journey, my true love said to me: Exactly how many times were we in Arizona today?
I lost count.
That's because we ate lunch at the Four Corners monument. We started out in New Mexico, we then entered Arizona on the way to Four Corners, but the access road was in New Mexico. We parked in Colorado, stood in all four states at once, then ate our lunch in Arizona. We crossed back into New Mexico to leave--the access road again--then back into Arizona, then into Colorado to get the road we wanted into Utah. The rest of the day was spent driving through south-eastern Utah to get to I-70. The picture of Church Rock (above right) was taken as we were stopped for road construction south of Arches National Park on our way to Moab. If you have to be stopped for a while, this was the place (with apologies to Brigham Young). We slept in Utah, too.
On the second day of our journey, my true love said to me: How many ranges did we cross?
I lost count again.
This was the day of America's Loneliest Road. We started in Salina, Utah, where we camped at a wonderful little camp park. At Delta, Utah, we began our trek across the Great Basin and the Basin and Range Geologic provinces on Highway 50, America's loneliest road. And we drove. And we drove. And we drove. Basin. Range. Basin. Range. Basin. Range. Basin Range. I guess that's why they call it the Basin and Range. We had lunch in Ely (pronounced "ee-lee"), Nevada, and dinner in Reno. But it was "Hot August Nights" in Reno, and the few open hotel rooms came with price tags so jacked-up, that we'd have paid over a hundred bucks for a Motel 6. And the KOA was full. On to California! Another two hours to Auburn, where we got the last room in town. N. had to sleep on the floor--but, hey, we were supposed to be camping! The picture (above, left) is of the road sign for America's loneliest road as you leave Ely, Nevada for points west.
On the third day of our journey, my true love said to me:
How many bridges did we cross?
I lost count. Again!
California has rivers. And bays. And Golden Gates. And marshes. And lagoons. But I do remember the trip from Oakland over to Bolinas. We crossed two famous bridges within sight of each other over the span of two hours. The Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate bridge. Two hours? Yep. You have to wait in line to pay a toll to get to San Francisco on the Bay Bridge. (They let you out for free). And access to the Golden Gate is by city streets in "the City by the Bay." So it was bumper to bumper. And we were driving Henry, the standard shift pick-up truck on the hills of San Francisco. It got kind of exciting a time or two. The picture shows Henry's beautiful red front end approaching the first tower of the Golden Gate. We dropped N. off at COTE Camp, Coyote Tracks, in Bolinas' Commonweal Gardens. The we stopped for the night between Bolinas and Petaluma, California.
On the fourth day of our journey, my true love said to me: How many gravestones do you think there are?
I didn't even try to count. As we drove through wine country on our way to I-5 north, we made three stops: for breakfast, at the Veteran's Home Cemetery, and at Cakebread Winery. The cemetery was the most important. Bruce's Mom and Dad share a grave at the Veteran's Cemetery in Yountville, California--in the hear of wine country, just north of Napa. It is an incredibly beautiful place to be buried. We then stopped by to visit Jack Cakebread, a friend of Bruce's before he became a vintner. And we tasted some wine. Then it was on to I-5, picked up south of Redding, and on up to Oregon, to see Bruce's brother R. The picture (above left) is of the graves in the Veteran's Cemetery marching into the hills of wine country.
On the fifth day of our journey, my true love said to me:
How many hours of sleep have we lost?
I was too tired to calculate. R. has a beautiful 1920's house that is a diamond in the rough. It has lovely glass-doored built-ins in the dining room. It has original latch-front cabinets and beadwork in the kitchen and bath. But in order to use the bathroom or sleep in the bedroom, it was vital that we clean them. Really. R., who is legally blind, is in the midst of having the lenses of both eyes replaced. They do one lense and then three weeks later, the other. He will have the best vision in the family when it is finished, but he needed a great deal of help with his house on Tuesday. We took him to get a new vacuum, supplies and sundries, and then pitched in on more cleaning on Tuesday. It was not what I expected, but we did have fun together. The picture is of R. standing on his new porch with Xena, his best friend.
On the sixth day of our journey, my true love said to me: How many mountain pictures have you shot?
Ahem! I lost count.
There has been the Jemez, the Nacemiento, Ute Mountain,the La Sal Anticline, the Wasatch Front, the ranges of the Basin and Range, the Sierra, the Coast Range, the Klamath, Mt. Shasta and the High Cascades. But the last so far (this WILL change), is the Lassen Volcanic Field. Today we drove down from Medford, Oregon to Lassen county, in Eastern California, to look at some land Bruce and R. inherited from their mother. The picture is of Lassen Peak, an active volcano, taken today as we drove past on the way to Susanville.
Wow. We have travelled a lot of miles thus far! And we still have to go back to Oakland to visit with a friend, pick up N. from camp and then go home! Maybe tomorrow's question should be: When do we stop driving.
I thought this would be a short post. You know? This is just highlights. Just to whet the appetite for the play-by-play. That will come later. Maybe. But now, dinner in the motel room. A walk out for ice cream. And sweet sleep, nature's balm!