Monday, November 20, 2017

The First Half Of The Journey Home

There was a time when two 350 mile days of highways didn't knock us out as much as they do now. We have to take a day between to let our bodies recover from such an uncomfortable hurling trip on old roadways. So, we headed out on Friday from southern CA back to the beach house. We usually stop about 100 miles into the trip at the Gaviota Rest Stop. But on the way south we noticed that it was closed in both directions, so we knew we had to make other plans for the trip back. We decided to stop at Refugio State Park for our morning break to snack on our homemade granola with raisins, apples, and yogurt. We never go to restaurants, so when we paid the $10 entry fee for our brief half hour stay, we figured it was less than what we would pay for a breakfast at a roadside restaurant. When we arrived at the picnic area we fell in love.
This was just about the most wonderful place to unwind and relax. It was quiet, no sound of the roaring highway, just the rolling waves and gulls calling.
This is the view looking south.
The view looking north, curlews at the surf and oil rigs at the horizon
We sat  delighted with the choice to stop here and knew that we would do this whenever we travel these roads. Breakfast at the beach and a two minute drive back to the freeway.

From here we drove up through the Salinas Valley. It was such a beautiful day with the sun shining and the hills bathed in light. The grape vines were yellowing  in the autumn air. I took photos while we zoomed through at 75 mph. I think you can see the calm beauty of the moment. It looked like this for a hundred miles.

This was the first half of our journey north to Capitola. All the way, all the way I kept saying, "I love California. I just love California." It's true.



20 comments:

  1. Yes. I love California. I just love California. Always will.

    Thank you for letting me continue to experience, through your loving photos, the state where I was born and where I lived until I was 24 years old. I didn't leave because I didn't like California. I left because I was curious and assumed I would be able to return. That didn't happen. Fortunately, I have come to love Washington State, too.

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    1. am-- I'm so happy to share these photos of our much loved state with you.

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  2. Glad you had a good time, to vive you an idea as to how far you drove in the UK you would have driven from my house to Scotland and back. You first half would take me up to Scotland which takes around 6-7 hours. Don't envy you that trip. Hope you took lots of food because I'm no different in that I hate stopping off at motorway service stations, the food is rubbish. Hope you got home safe

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    1. Bill-- I love getting a sense of distance there. I'm not much of a traveler (I don't fly), but if I was your photos have made me fall in love with England. I would love to take the drive to Scotland. We're home now, and I'm planning on doing post about our stay in Capitola, and then the next half of the trip home.

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  3. How lovely to breakfast in such a natural setting...sure beats a pancake house!

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    1. Barbara-- Yes, it really was a lovely stop, and it definitely beats a Pancake House!

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  4. I agree - I just love California... and I live in New Jersey! For years I've said that I'd like to take a month just explore all of California. Haven't done it yet... but I'd like to. Enjoy the views.

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    1. Sharon-- I think when I lived in New Jersey, I loved California too. I couldn't wait to move here. I hope you come west, drive the coast from the Oregon border south. It is stunning in every way.

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  5. California is a wonderful place. I envy you that breakfast picnic!

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    1. Colette-- We do love California. Oh we plan on stopping at Refugio State Park on every trip south. What a place!

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  6. At first I thought you had been ripped off but then seeing the pictures, I think you got your money's worth. What a neat place to decompress.

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    1. Patti-- It seemed crazy at first to spend a day-use fee knowing we were only going to be there about a half hour. But wow it really was worth it. We loved it.

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  7. I love Calfornia. Such ecological diversity. I have many good memories from many parts of the state and hope to return again someday. Your new resting place looks wonderful.

    Although I have a pretty high tolerance for long distance driving, it's getting to feel pretty old. Last trip home from Arizona to Nova Scotia felt like it might be my last. It's a lot for a lone driver with 2 dogs to care for. People act surprised -- like it's nothing. "Aw, c'mon, you can do it again!" Uhm. No.

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    1. bev-- Yes, ecological diversity! It is really so beautiful to look around and see such sights. We are so happy about this new rest stop. Roger did all of the driving on this trip. We usually split it, but I was just too stressed and tired to feel confident that I could keep my mind on the road. I totally understand not wanting to take such a long journey again. It is a lot to do alone with two dogs. I do understand the desire to go south in winter though. I'm beginning to have those kinds of winter dreams.

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  8. I have intensely wonderful memories of our visits to various parts of the state, even the time a year ago when Palm Springs tried to cook us! Even that was balanced by a trip to Joshua Tree.
    But the driving. Whew...

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    1. isabelita-- It's true about the beauty and the driving. Whew!

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  9. Beautiful spot. In Alaska, when you pay a entry fee, the money is used at that state park for maintenance and upkeep. At most of the parks the fee is $5. I don't mind paying it at all.

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    1. Dave-- We didn't mind the fee at all. Quite glad to pay it, and are now thinking about getting a State Parks pass. It's such a good thing to do.

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  10. Wow, that's a beautiful park! Do you know the singer Kate Wolf? She sang many songs about California and your pictures often make me think of them.

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    1. Steve-- California's state parks are really beautiful. Oh yes, we love listening to Kate Wolf. We have two of her albums on our playlist. What a voice!

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