Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Road Weary Travelers

We were on the road for eight days. As we've gotten older travel has gotten much less comfortable. There was a time when ten or twelve hours in a car (truck/van/camper) was easy, but now six hours makes my neck and back stiff for days. Have cars just gotten more uncomfortable? It seems to me that the headrest in any position is worse than useless. And what's with all the beeping beeping beeping when we are backing up? Do the car designers think we don't know when we're in reverse? Sometimes I just long for an older car that uses a key in the ignition and doesn't tell me everything that's going all the time. I'm old, and the cars are new. We don't really get along.
We spent four days with my mom, helping her get ready for her move to Virginia in late May. Much of the time was spent going through old paperwork that needed to be tossed, organizing documents that needed to be saved, and getting all the old photographs and albums together into one spot for packing. There wasn't much time for enjoying the scenery or taking photographs. We did get to watch the full moon rise there. It was lovely to see the moon from my mom's third floor balcony. This image is slightly photoshopped. The details of the moon never show up unless I am zoomed in on it, but then the lovely trees are left back on earth. So, the moon here is from one photo and the trees from another. The moon is layered over the bland, washed out moon.
After the few days in southern California, we headed back north. California is truly stunning after the winter rains. The fields are ablaze with yellow mustard flowers. I took this photo while we were zooming up the highway at 70 mph. This photo was taken with the iPhone. I thought it captured it pretty well.
We spent two nights at the family beach house, to rest up for the long journey back to Humboldt County. While we were having dinner I looked out the window toward the bay and saw something in the sky that was most definitely not a bird. It hovered and zipped around like a little machine, which is exactly what it was. There was a drone out and about photographing the beach scene. I'm sure this paddle-boarder had no idea he was being droned!
On the morning we left for home, the sky was a moody gray with sunlit rays. We went out to say good-bye to the bay and clicked this photo. We arrived home on Sunday, road weary and very happy to be back behind the redwood curtain.


  1. Really like that last photo.

    This reads like Driving Miss Robin. ;-)

  2. Sounds like you had a better time than I did over Easter. Yes cars have come a long way and like you I don't feel comfortable after a couple of hours sat in the same place

  3. greetings! I have discovered your blog and joined you. I am looking forward to going back through your previous posts! Nice job....

  4. About an hour of sitting in one place is enough for me! Probably just as well that I live in a small country. Love that last moody shot.

  5. Sounds like the trip was both emotionally and physically exhausting. There's so much history even in paperwork. And there's a finality about the departure.
    The photos are lovely. I love the yellow hillside--it reminds me of traveling around Scotland. And nice Photoshopping! It has its uses!
    I think the back-up beeps are for the people outside the car, like on heavy equipment. I guess the beeping inside is the beep equivalent of the click click of a turning signal.

  6. Quite a emotional and physical journey for you and roger and then for your mother to Virginia. Your mother is so deeply loved and loving.

    Your wildflower photo reminds me that my father said that his first vivid memory of arriving in Southern California (after driving from Minneapolis in 1939 to start a new job and a new life) was the extraordinary beauty of the rolling hills covered with wildflowers.

    It's 3:25 a.m. and the waning gibbous moon is bright in the eastern sky.


  7. Those long days are hard on us too and we try to avoid them now by reconciling ourselves to laying over after 5 or 6 hours and planning stops accordingly. I notice after such trips, I am not hurting for weeks as I used to be.

    The photos are great. I have the same issue with the moon and what you are doing is just capturing what you actually saw which the camera just can't get without some photoshop help.

  8. Phil-- Glad you liked the photo. Yes, Driving Miss Robin Crazy!

    Bill-- We spent Easter on the road. It was the quietest, least traffic-y day to go 350 miles. We're still recovering from trip.

    mohaverat-- Nice to see you here. Thank you for stopping by!

    John-- It really is crazy to consider how big California is. Quite an exhausting undertaking. Glad you like that photo!

    CCorax-- Yes, exactly it was an emotionally and physically draining trip, and I didn't even write about the other family stuff that occurred. Oy. I love that hillside photo too. California only looks like that for a very brief few days, and then it's back to brown. Oh yes, you remind me that when we back up in the car we sound like a big truck warning people. It's crazy.

    am-- You really do get how much my mom is loved. I appreciate that. I always wish we lived closer, but southern California has never appealed to me. How wonderful that your father arrived to see such a beautiful moment of California.

    Rain-- My neck and back really ache after these long journeys. I am going to try to find something to help cushion my head and neck for the next trip. Glad you liked the photos!

  9. I guess it will be kind of hard having your Mom move so far away to your brother's but at least to visit, you can fly and it will be much faster than driving down the coast.
    I can still do the 12 hour drives but I am usually seeing double by the last hour. Not as fun as it use to be and I have an old, uncomplicated vehicle. Doesn't help.
    Bet you are really glad to be home again.

  10. Patti-- Well, I don't fly, but we do like to take the train. We've already looked into taking the Amtrak to Washington DC. It looks like it could be a fine way to go. Twelve hours is a lot of time in a car. I think six is my limit these days, and even then it's a bit too much. Yes, very happy to be home.

  11. Love the roadside covered with flowers. We especially dislike traveling to Indianapolis to visit our son. Eight hours. Which is too long for one comfortable day, but too short to divide into two days. Glad you are home safe and sound. And soon to be rested.

  12. NCmountainwoman-- So glad you like the roadside flowers. It was truly dramatic. I don't think I could do an eight hour drive. I would probably split it up. We are definitely and gladly getting back into our usual comfort zone.

  13. How'd your mom get to SC from NJ?

  14. Phil-- In 1970 my parents sold the house in NJ and moved to California. My twin brother and I had just graduated from high school, and my younger sister finished her senior year there. They stayed in southern California since then. I left after a couple of months and have really never lived there.

  15. re: beeping I think you can turn it off in the Prius---not that I have done it myself but if you troll thru the Prius websites I've seen it discussed. I guess it's a safety thing for visually impaired folks so they don't walk into the path of the car.

  16. lindaj-- I may have to explore those discussion groups to see how it's done. It may have just been my own stress though that made the beeping seem much too loud and annoying.