Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Road Trip


The view from the motel room window in southern California
We took a thousand mile journey. From the foothills to the coast, from the coast to southern California and then back, in four days. We went for my niece's wedding, and a wonderful family reunion. Some cousins who I hadn't seen in more than 30 years came from New Jersey. My wonderful older brother, his beautiful partner, and his sweet son flew out from Virginia. I hadn't seen them since 2008. Add all that to a beautiful wedding site with blooming jacaranda and purple blossoms floating in the gentle southern California breezes, and it was quite a lovely love fest.

After all the festivities, we left Sunday morning for the long drive north back to the family beach house in Capitola. We hit a traffic jam that was literally the worst we had ever been in (and it wasn't even in southern California!). We crawled along at three miles an hour for more than an hour. It was absolutely insane, with no end in sight. We kept thinking that there had to be some kind of really bad accident that would create such a mind-numbing slowdown. Fortunately, we were able to pull off the highway and take a different route to the coast. We stopped for gas, and while Roger was filling the tank, I ran into the convenience store to ask what was going on. The cashier said, "Oh that's the traffic from the Red Barn Sunday flea market." WHAT? She said, "It happens every Sunday. There's only about five miles more of it." I couldn't believe that a flea market could cause such a traffic jam. I'm not even sure how that's possible, or why it's permitted to persist in such a thoroughly rotten way. I googled "flea market highway 101 traffic" and found that a lot of people have been complaining for years about this. I plan to write a letter. Seriously dangerous situation there.
The earth's shadow and Monterey Bay
But the upside was that we still arrived at the beach house with enough time to make a nice dinner and watch the light change as the sun went down. That's when we saw this wonderful atmospheric optic. It's the earth's shadow. The beach house is on a cliff that faces east. So, even though we are on the west coast, looking at Monterey Bay, we look eastward. The earth shadow is on the eastern horizon at sunset. During this unusually clear and fogless sunset, we caught this absolutely beautiful moment.
 
On our first day home, the sky gave us a day of halos. We waved and shouted, "hello halo," and were so glad to be back.

Don't we live on a spectacular planet?

12 comments:

  1. Ah, we do indeed! Great post for the day and good to see you online again!

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  2. We certainly do!! So glad you had the chance to renew friendships with your cousins!!

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  3. That was quite a long, short trip. Our family has scattered. We livd in the same town my father grew up in, so years ago our family gatherings were pretty big. Now, with all but one of the previous generation gone and the cousins scattered, there are no more family gatherings.

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  4. Shame the trip was so long and difficult--that flea market thing is ridiculous.
    However it seems like seeing everyone was worth the aggravation and loved your shots.

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  5. Yes, this planet is spectacular! Glad you had a good trip notwithstanding the flea market traffic.

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  6. I love the halos, though the first time I saw one I'll admit it freaked me out.

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  7. Amen, we do. Must have been some trip!

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  8. yes, very good planet!

    how bizarre about the flea market. i've seen it from the road, but not during a peak time.

    glad it was a good trip, otherwise!

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  9. YES! And it is particularly spectacular from your two homes. Glad you got to see so many from the family - it doesn't get to happen very often.

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  10. You might like this site
    http://spaceweather.com/gallery/index.php?title=nocti&title2=NLC

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  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

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