About a year ago Lupe and I decided we wanted to return to the Coastal Redwoods in Northern California and also visit Crater Lake. Lupe had never been to Crater Lake so I reserved us a deluxe room overlooking the lake a year in advance. One week before we left I received notice from Aramark- the concessionaire for the Crater Lake Lodge - that they had "overbooked" and we couldn't stay in the lake view room. Wow... ok... so we canceled that part of the trip ( there's much more to the story but I don't want to relive it and it's enough to say that I will never book with Aramark again - and I recommend neither should you). So.... ok - let's' change plans - no problem and drive directly to Crescent City. In the end, we had a fantastic time and we shall camp at Crater Lake soon enough.
To break up the drive we headed for Rohnert Park as a first stop and from there headed to Crescent City. I visited this area back in 2016 and last Fall and was anxious for my return because it is such a beautiful place. These photos are from Jedediah Smith State Park.
These photos are from the Crescent Beach Overlook - an NPS site.
One of the most fabulous drives in the United States is the "Avenue of the Giants" in Northern California. Have you been? Let's check it out...
We swung by the coast on our way to the Victorian town of Ferndale.
Years ago I saw a "California Gold" episode that featured the town of Ferndale, CA. I remember that the entire town was designated as a historic landmark. It's an interesting place - we stayed at the Victorian Inn which was great until the owners began forcing us to watch Newsmax and listen to them discuss their far right politics. Jeez - it's everywhere. Regardless, we had a darn fine time.
Visiting cemeteries is not my cup of tea unless I am going to the resting place of a close relative. However, the locals in Ferndale recommended seeing the town graveyard and so off we went. I was surprised at how poignant an experience it was... it's an old cemetery and the visit did what it was supposed to be do I suppose - help me appreciate the joy of being alive and realize how quickly it can be over.
It is so terribly sad to see the graves of children. I won't soon forget my visit.
We drove from Ferndale to Mendocino and stopped and hiked among the big trees and ferns on the way. Such a quiet walk...
We are fans of Mendocino. I made a few photos but it was all about relaxing and enjoying some fine meals in the cool summer air. Here is pretty little inn in which we stayed.
I was pleased at how not busy the town was... it was quiet and calm and not too touristy- such a rare thing these days.
Thanks for coming along. I hope your summer had a few highlights too. A few weeks after these photos were taken I had a bit off a health scare and lost an old friend it reminds me to remind you - breathe easy and enjoy...this is a damn short ride. Much love to all.
I was unprepared to retire when I did. While the circumstances might be unique for each "retiree" I don't think I'm alone in that feeling. Most of us go from being productive "members of society" to being a little lost with this new stage of our lives. That probably sounds strange to many of you still working who look forward to retiring- I know it was a foreign thought to me. But, like many things in life, you can't realize how different it feels until you're there.
I remember telling a friend I went from daily trying to make the world a better place to having little purpose. She asked me, "So, you wanted to change the world? You did all that academic work, got your doctorate, and worked in school districts to help kids and change the world, right?" "Yep", I replied. Her response?
"How'd that work out for you?".
Brilliant, even though it did sound a little like Dr. Phil. It was a painful truth. She said three things that resonated afterwards...
1. Trite as it may sound, maybe all any of us can do is be the best person we can be. Set that example and quit trying to "change anything" except yourself.
2. Do all the things that you've wanted to do. That's not selfish, that is leading a productive and meaningful existence and following your heart is an opportunity that many people never get.
3. Surrender to what is.
So, I took her excellent advice.
I have been a traveling fool since that conversation. I work at being the best husband, father and friend I can be. Two new lights of my life, Finley and Joaquin, have been born. I have found a new love- photography. I have embraced my love of music and literature. I have re-established some long lost relationships that are deeply meaningful to me. I have seen and been places I wanted to see my entire life. This year is no different. I'm getting into my "golden years" and I'm loving it. Turns out this next stage of my life is a powerfully poignant and beautiful time.
Here's where I'll be the next few months:
April - I'll head to Utah and the Colorado Plateau. Zion, Monument Valley, Canyonlands NP, Kodachrome Basin and the Valley of Fire in Nevada.
May - Arizona - Painted Rock Petroglyph CG, Kartchner Caverns, ghost towns, Chiricahua National Monument, Bisbee, Madera Canyon.
June - San Onofre, Pinnacles NP with Lilly.
July - Utah, Idaho, Oregon, Wyoming and Glacier NP in Montana with Lupe. Point Mugu with Lilly and Lupe.
Aug - High Sierra fishing with son Jordan (and maybe Kevin?). Sequoia NP with daughter Lilly.
September - Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park, Redwood NP, and Harris Beach in Oregon.
October - Arizona and a visit to Little House Customs for some improvements to my little trailer and camping along the Mogollon Rim.
November - Still not determined but that sounds like desert time, doesn't it?
Come on and join me!
See you on The Road...
This will mostly be a journal of my travels. I may include other items that interest me. Feel free to join in.