Wednesday, January 21, 2009

California Dreamin'

I think it's time to head back out to San Francisco for a visit. I've had the good fortune to visit the left coast many times in the past. Each time we go, I seem to see it in a different light.
I remember the first time I ever saw the Pacific. I was traveling north on Interstate 880 (I think) and I saw an exit for Woodside. I took highway 84 because it seemed to be heading west. I knew the ocean was over there somewhere, but I couldn't see it because there was a mountain range in the way.
I arrived in San Francisco on a Sunday afternoon. My training class started on Monday so I thought I'd get in some sightseeing.
The road across the mountains was a narrow, winding road. Woodside was a quaint little community. I subsequently learned that some of the richest people in California live there.
I crept through town and and wound my way toward the ocean.
As I ascended the mountains, I rolled down the windows of the rental car and I could smell the earthy aroma of the redwood trees in the crisp spring air. Once I reached the crest of the mountain and headed down the other side, the terrain changed somewhat. I rounded one curve and came upon a flower farm that had acres of red, blue and yellow flowers planted in flowing rows. The scene looked like a beautiful flag.
Highway 84 dead ended into Highway 1. I took a right and headed north toward San Francisco. I had only traveled a few hundred feet when I came upon a majestic view of the Pacific. The sun was glistening off the water making the shimmering waves look like acres of diamonds.
As a friend of ours observed, "if you drive very far down the California coast, you can get scenic sclerosis."
A few days later, Jilda flew out to join me and it was her first trip too. I retraced my route to the sea. I wish I could have photographed her face the first time she saw the Pacific.
We have taken several of our friends and family with us when we go there. The last time we took our niece Samantha. I shot the picture above not far from Carmel. Maybe we can get out there this year.

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