From Claremore Oklahoma to Fremont California to visit with Jetta and David.
Day 1 Claremore to Santa Rosa N.M. The usual 1st day of trip excitement, looking forward to getting out of the familiar territories. From Green Country to rolling hills and red dirt, to treeless range-land. Interesting to see how things change in a matter of hours.
Got to Santa Rosa N.M. for the first night . Quiet and dry.Uneventful evening. But the anticipation of day two kept things upbeat.
Day 2 Santa Rosa to Williams, Az. Got there early enough to make a quick trip to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It is a spectacular place but the large crowds made it feel carnival-like. I was disappointed to see plastic bottles and food wrappers strewn about like you might see in an alley way in anywhere USA.
The night was spent at the KOA just outside of Williams. We rented a Kamping Kabin. The usual hassles of tromping through the dark in an unfamiliar campground to shower, etc. The clear night sky at high altitude made the trek well worth the hassels. There seemed to be twice as many stars visible than what we generally see in the 'thick' air of Oklahoma.
If you ever stay in a Kamping Kabin don't forget your pillows! Amy had hers but Brenda and I had to make our own with clothes wrapped in a towel. A perfect set-up for the dreaded Kamping Kabin Krick-in-the-neck!
Day 3 Williams to Portersville Ca. We could have made it to Fremont with an extra long day of driving but we decided to take a detour through the Southern section of Sequoya National forest. With the help of a ranger at Lake Isabella we found the Trail of a Hundred Giants . It takes a determined drive through some treacherous mountain switch-backs but what a treat when you arrive. This grove of Sequoyas seemed to be waiting for an audience. A half-mile trail takes you to the base of one hundred trees. Some young (100 years old) and some grand daddies.(thousands of years old). Some of these trees' trunks were 10 to 12 foot in diameter There are some giants that have crashed to the ground. The fallen trunks and branches look like dinosaur bones. Great stuff!
Day 4 Portersville to Fremont Ca. Got to the Samulskis' by mid afternoon after a trip from forest to farms to freeways. Jetta immediately got into host mode. Lasagna, pizza, chicken salad sandwiches, waffles, fruits and veggies. She kept food and drink available continuosly from the time we got there until we left 4 days later. After dinner David, Jetta and the Claremorbans took a stroll down a trail just a half mile from thier house. The trail parallels a canal that runs all the way into San Francisco Bay. Due to oncoming darkness, we cut the stroll short but still saw plenty of ducks, seagulls and pelicans. We also saw several lizards. To Brenda's great pleasure we saw a yellow and black striped California King snake!
Day 5 I got up early and ran the trail to the Bay. Ten miles of salty breezy air. Near the mouth of the canal there are some hills. Gold grass and dark brown rock formations make a beautiful backdrop for the wide open bay.
After getting back from my run we had breakfast and loaded up the Samulskis' truck and headed to Sunset Beach in Monterey Bay. A great drive through farm country. Thousands of pickers out in the fields. A warm breeze was giving in to something. The last beanfield took us all the way past the San Andreas fault and into a cold wind. When we got out of the truck we could hear the ocean. The temperature had dropped from 80 something to 60 something in no time. We unloaded chairs, coolers, bags etc and headed to the beach. The sand was holding enough of the suns heat to off-set the oceans cool breeze. I decided to run and jump into the roaring surf. Well it wasn't exactly a run and jump, but I did go in and it was cccold! After some beach combing, some sand digging,some gull feeding, and some dolphin watching it was time to go back to Fremont.
Day 6 After another run to the Bay via the trail (I went exploring on those hills I mentioned earlier) Jetta and David took us to San Francisco. Fishermans Warf, Pier 39 . The Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street(once on foot and once in vehicle) and China Town. It was a sunny, beautiful day (except up on the cool foggy bridge). There are soo many details about the things we saw that day that it would be impossible to list them all.
Day 7 Half Moon Bay The Samulski Tour Inc. took us to an incredible beach. Just beyond the San Andreas fault and perched upon the continental shelf. All sorts of tiny sea creatures are clinging to the rocks as the tide recedes. The abrasive sand has teamed up with the ocean to carve marvelous formations into the large rocks that line the beach. The shells, pebbles and bits of glass in the sand were worn down shiny and smooth. It seemed as if someone had dumped a truck load of jewels at our feet. A community of sea lions were sun bathing just down the beach. After an hour or so of taking in this incredible place it was time to eat! We were treated to a fantastic restaurant right on the bay.
Day 8 Headed home. Took a line across California from Sacramento to Reno We were alerted by hwy signs that we may be driving near wild fires. Never saw fire but saw plenty of smoke hanging in the air. Aftergetting into Nevada we kept on rolling east. Got on Hwy 50. Known as The Loneliest Road. Unbelieveable! Beautiful mountains and canyons as far as the car will drive.It truly is a lonely road. Many times we were the only vehicle on the road for miles. Wouldn't want to break down out there. It would take forever to get help. We ended the day in Delta Utah. Don't go there! If you pass this way, make sure you have a lot of daylight left to keep it moving on through.
Day 9 Delta to Pueble Co. Through Colorado on Hwy 50, Fantastic country. The problem is that sometimes you get overloaded with beauty. You almost get tired of it. When I think I've seen the most beautiful sight ever, I drive a few miles and see something else even more spectacular. My oooh and ahhh muscles get worn out.
Day 10 Home. After 10 days and 3,885 miles(not counting the miles that the Samulskis hauled us around) . It is nice to be home but it will be hard to forget this trip. I am glad we had the opportunity to travel to California before Jetta and David move to Ohio. They are the best at making you feel welcome and showing you things you would never have been able to find on your own.
Well, the old garden is not providing anything this summer so I've decided to preserve some sunshine instead. Saw a "Sun Jar" advertised on some website for $4o. Figured that was a little steep so bought a 4-pack of solar garden lights for $20, rechargeable batteries included. Also bought some fancy little jam jars and some plastic tumblers for less than a dollar apiece. Gutted the lamps and inserted into jars. With a full day of sun they easily shine all night!
As the Earth spins on it's axis it also revolves around the sun. After 365 days or so it starts all over again. From a distance it would seem that very little changes, but from where we sit the changes are magnified. We've made it through another year and seen many changes, but of course, you know what "they" say: "The more things change, the more they stay the same." Looking forward to the next year and beyond.
Everybody made it out with all their fingers and maybe a couple of extra pounds. 4th of July at Grandad's lived up to it's well remembered reputation as a mostly relaxing day of fun and games, sippin' a brew or two, watching the kids run around making smoky noise, and of course exercising our jaws with what's new and the same ol' same ol'. Speaking of jaw exercising...you can't forget the food. We are certainly spoiled; fresh corn on the cob from Dad's garden, fried chicken, deviled eggs, potato salad, brisket, baked beans and Oh-my-god-great cucumber salad! Of course that's all topped with cake and watermelon if you like. The fireworks were great. Our own back yard show was topped off with an extravaganza of a pro show just a mile or so up the road. Now, with the smoke gradually clearing from my lungs I'll file this day away in the memory banks as one of the many great ones.