A day late, a dollar short (well, more than that thanks to holiday shopping!), but here’s the weekly update…
From the coastal views in Santa Cruz to the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas to the confines of a very busy RV park in the heart of LA freeways is definitely a shift in perspective and scenery to fit into one week. The highlight of the drive across the state west to east was seeing both Coalinga and Visalia, two towns I’ve always wanted to see. Now I can cross them off my list 🙂
I spent two nights inside Sequoia National Park, at the only campground open past November. No hookups, little sun for solar, and because it was in a canyon, quite dark past sunrise and before sundown. I did love this beautiful little river spot with wonderful reflections in the water.
Seeking more sun (and power), on Friday I moved down in elevation and out into open land at a Corps of Engineers campground above the Terminal Dam of Lake Keweah. There were lots of dirt roads to explore with my camera. I might have been slightly obsessed with the light on that far peak.
Sunday was the nerve-wracking, adrenaline-pumping challenge of driving my trailer up Tejon Pass, better known to Californians as The Grapevine. A punishing long-haul grade up one side and then a series of swooping fast drops in elevation on the other, it’s a road I love to drive in a car with light traffic. With a trailer, though, it is a completely different story. I stuck to the two right truck lanes, dropping to 45 mph for the last few uphill miles. I passed a few trucks, but mostly a zillion cars zoomed by me.
And if that wasn’t exciting enough, then I got to cross the top of the LA basin via the I-210, which is under construction and so had a hard concrete barrier on my right most of the way. Ugh. But eventually I got where I was going and settled in to one of the few RV parks in the LA area that have spots for transients like me. I might be the smallest RV in the park…
Since then, it’s been a fun whirlwind of family and friends: lunch with my sister, a great-nephew’s 3rd birthday party, meeting his younger brother for the first time, dinner with a good friend, and another dinner with friends, which included meeting their new baby (honorary aunthood involved, and I can confirm he’s adorable!). To stand in for all those gatherings because I don’t post photos of people here for privacy reasons, here’s my nephew, Tim, all grown up but still as goofy as he was when he was a kid coming up to visit me in Santa Cruz about a million years ago.
Some weeks are all about scenery, some are all about hanging out, and some are a mix of the two. This has been that last kind of a week and I’ve really enjoyed it. Thanks to everyone who hung out with me, and to the parents of the babies and toddlers, you all are doing AWESOME jobs!
I grew up in LA. I still call freeways “the 5, the 10” and so on, and I still hate the traffic and the smog. But it will always be a bit of home for me because family and friends are here.
Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
Oliver Wendell Holmes