Friday, November 21, 2014

Touring the Golden State in their Golden Years - Redwoods and the Coast. (Not a Ride Report)

It has not been a fun task, writing the final chapter of the 'Golden Tour'. Granted the entire purpose of this blog is to serve as a memoir of sorts, call it a repository of photographic memories, enabling me to return, days, months, even years later and reminisce with a clarity which remains as precise as when the memories were made. Despite all that, I do miss my family and wish the tour could have just continued on. Writing about this last leg of our trip together, thus, puts me in a somewhat pensive mood. 

We had a bit of a slog from Mt. Shasta to get to the Avenue of Giants. Hwy 299, which keeps getting busier and busier, can still be a fun ride on the motorcycle, much less so when driving a rental car. Suffice to say, my parents were happy to stretch their legs and just stretch out and rest for a bit under these massive trees. The Giant Redwoods don't quite sport the girth of their cousins - the Giant Sequoias, but grow much taller, up to 375 feet or more. 

In the photograph below, it appears as if they are dancing, and maybe they kind of were, it is magical and awe inspiring at the foot of these magnificent creations of nature. In reality, however, they were stretching out their arms as far as they could, and still could not encompass the width of the tree. Even young Redwood trees start to dwarf everything-else around them, these old growth Giant Redwoods truly are nature's skyscrapers. 

After wandering the Avenue of Giants, we stayed the night in Willits - a sleepy little town, which pretty much went to sleep by the time we got a room, freshened up and ventured out for dinner. We were fortunate enough a Korean BBQ place stayed open late just for us, so we could actually have something to eat. 

The next morning, it was time for another great motorcycle road, only partially enjoyed cooped up inside a car - Hwy 20 from Willits to Fort Bragg. When the rest of California's northern coast is blanketed by fog, Fort Bragg always seems to be spared that wet blanket, I have always enjoyed a clear and sunny coast here. :)

We enjoyed our morning at Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, it was fun to see the little kid come out in my Dad, and I gladly joined in, as we collected some colored glass from the beach to use in some planters back home. Mom made us look good by being the adult and the dignified presence, as she always is! :)

Not all of Glass Beach is covered in smooth colored glass. It also has a very nice and clean beach, with plenty of sand to lounge around in and enjoy the sun for a while.

The beach wasn't the only sight to enjoy, I will admit, I love flowers and I have been trying to make a tradition of printing a calendar for my close friends and family. A calendar full of blooms, wishing them an year full of blossoms. I am not sure what these flowers are, but I think they just might make the cut. :)

As we started to make our way south along the Pacific coast, the fog quickly enveloped us and the beautiful coastal mountain ranges standing beside the ocean, broken up by various rivers which stream into it. In the Summer months, it is almost customary to find the coast shrouded, although, sometimes you do find pockets of lucidity, unfortunately for us, this day we found a seemingly endless cover, until we entered the northern reaches of the Sonoma coast.  

For or no fog, it is still a beautiful drive and an unmatched ride along the wonderfully winding Pacific Coastal Highway. 

The wildflower blooms and the turquoise coastal waters were very much subdued today, they were sorely in need to be shined upon, so they may reflect the light for the rest of us. 

Eventually, we did find the light, and without the fog fencing us in, it was time for boundless enjoyment of the breathtaking coastal views! 

Looking back whence we had just drove. The sun was getting ready to set behind us and it was a very fun roller coaster drive on the twisting and turning roads hugging the ocean-side cliffs.

A panoramic view of the Sonoma Coast. This particular spot is one of my favorites to stop and take in the view and either admire the delightful roads I had just rode, or that I am going to be riding shortly after. :D

A closer view from the same vista point. Wildflowers were in bloom everywhere along the coast, even in the middle of Summer. 

The rocky California coast, before reaching the beaches of Sonoma County. Lots of surf and a little rough seas. Dad was actually getting slightly weary of the winding roads. 

A last shot of the Pacific ocean from the coastal mountains, before we headed down to the beaches of the Sonoma coast. 

It wasn't long before they found their beaming smiles once again, as soon as we reached the beaches. It was a weekday and we pretty much had the entire beach to ourselves!

The surf was up, and so were our spirits, and it literally brings tears to my eyes to see that joyous expression on my Dad's face. He was having a great time frolicking with the sand beneath his feet and the cool (maybe a little cold) Pacific ocean around his legs. :D

Our coastal journey was coming to an end, our last stop along the coast was in the town of Bodega, a must-see if you are a film buff. The church used in the filming of Alfred Hitchcock's iconic movie - 'The Birds'. 

Near the church in the town of Bodega, is also the schoolhouse which was used in the filming of 'The Birds' movie. This is the schoolhouse which gets attacked by birds in the film, and the teachers and the kids run outside, trying to escape the avian onslaught.  This schoolhouse is now a private residence. 

Thank you so much for reading and for following along! 

Cheers! :)


  1. Great stuff. While I loved the Glass Beach photos and the blossoms, the smile on your dad's face while he was knee deep in water was priceless. It made me smile.

    1. I felt the same way! Nothing in this world more precious than seeing our loved ones' faces light up with pure delight!
      Thank you for your comments my friend! :)


I love to read your comments and suggestions and appreciate them very much, so please feel free to leave some. Although, to fight spam, I do limit comments to Registered Users which includes those with blogger accounts, or other Google accounts or OpenID accounts etc. Thank you!