Loving this place immensely; seeing photos from all over the world gives me great joy. I love Wunderground and am very happy to be here! Thanks to all
By: Feather3 , 3:03 AM GMT on November 20, 2009
Well, where to start. I left here early on the morning of November 6th, beating sunrise by a few minutes as I left Mendocino County and entered Sonoma Co. on highway One. Heading south down Highway One is tremulous in the best of times. That morning, it was raining.
Over the mountains along the Sonoma coast highway, there was also heavy fog. Have you ever noticed while driving that route, that there are gates at the tops of the mountains? Gates that will be *closed* when there's *snow* on the coast?! At any rate, I wondered why there weren't many folks driving that route until I got to the very top of the summit; parts of the road were eroded away, there were minor rock slides all over the place due to the current conditions of rain and heavy fog. . .but I trudged through at a snail's pace, just to be certain. At one point above Pt Reyes, I missed the turn and kept going straight. OOPS! That was the Marshall Road and it took me straight into Petaluma!!! So I got on the 101 and drove south to the Golden Gate Bridge from there instead of turning around and going back (I was already losing time). Stopped in Montara after a foggy, drippy wet drive over the bridge and got gas. Called my daughter and told her where I was, so we met at the stable at Moss Beach (just south of Montara) and I got photos of her with her horse, Silver, a silver quarterhorse that was born and bred in South Dakota.
We went back into town afterwards and had lunch together. I was soaking wet from standing in the rain with she and her horse while she gave him supplements, etc. She was going to ride in the rain, the silly woman. :)
I got back into the car and drove down the coast without anything weird happening. Got some nice shots at Pescadero of the surf, birds and Pigeon Point Lighthouse:
Got into Santa Cruz around 3:30 PM or so, and pulled into the hotel carport and just enjoyed the sunlight streaming in through the back windows of the car. ..I was so tired. Got into the hotel room without event; waiting for my friend Valorie to arrive from Thousand Oaks, I took a shower and ordered a pizza and root-beer. Valorie arrived just after the pizza did so we had dinner, and afterwards she wanted to show me some of her tile work with pottery shards she's found over the years at various beach-glass beaches up and down the state and across the country. When we got to her car, we noticed that both tires on the driver's side were flat. So we moved stuff around in my car, and shifted all her artwork into my car and called a tow truck. They came and got her car, and took her to a tire shop, then brought her back.
Next morning, we woke and went to have breakfast at a cute little diner in Santa Cruz called Emily's Bakery. Fun art adorns the wall in this wonderful little eatery. I ordered the quiche and a mocha latte and we sat and enjoyed looking around this interesting building that was once a garage. ..complete with sliding door! Emily has it decorated nicely, with Chinese lanterns hanging from the ceiling. There's a piano and guitar, keyboard, drums and congas in the corner. . .the art work is rather impressionist, done by a local woman with an eye for soft tones and unusual shapes. Mostly portraits, they are of local homeless people. ..from a rather eclectic perspective. Off we went to the Seymour Center and Long Laboratory, where we set up our respective tables for the Sea Glass and Ocean Arts Festival....
.....a highlight of the festival for me was when this little 8 year old girl came up to my table to touch the sea glass that adorned one of the mirrors I had on display. When she first came up, she looked up at me as she caressed the glass and wistfully said "I really love this mirror".......half an hour later, she returned, again caressed the glass on the frame of the mirror and said the same thing. She did this about five times total. About half an hour before closing, her mom came up and bought her the mirror for Christmas. That's going to be one very happy little girl, come Christmas morning.
Another high light was the juvenile Leopard Shark in the tank not far from where my table was. During a slight (and I mean VERY slight) lull in the day (over 1280 people attended!), I wandered over to the well-lit tank and was going to shoot a photo when the shark raised its head and stared right at me. What a photo op! hehehe
All in all, the festival was an excellent day!
I stayed one more night in Santa Cruz, and early Sunday, November 8th, I left Santa Cruz at the crack of dawn and headed south down Highway One. At Monterey I stopped for a brief moment, shot a couple of photos, then headed south towards Carmel and the Carmel Highlands, where I kept stopping and shooting photos at just about every possible place.
In Big Sur, I was in TOTAL PHOTOGRAPHY HEAVEN, and shot so many photos, I am surprised I didn't overload the 2 GIG card in the camera! hehe
It was early, the sky, misty, the wave action, intense. The light was perfect for shooting into it, as it was naturally filtered by the combination of the mist and high clouds coming in off the sea.
One of the waves looked like a giant Standard Poodle:
Bixby Bridge was a highlight of this trip for me. ..:
After I finally got to the summit, I raced down the mountains so I could get to Cambria in time to meet my friends from Santa Maria.
Met a couple on the highway, shot their photo with their camera and they returned the favor: boy was I TIRED!
At San Simeon, during a straight-away stretch, I turned on the head set on the cell phone and called Tom at home to make sure he was OK.
I inadvertently passed the spot where the elephant seals bask every year. . .oops! But as I was speaking with Tom on the cell, I noticed these white concrete barricades on the side of the road. . .I was thinking "road work" and didn't even connect them with the wet spots on the road; I was, after all, *talking*. . .egads.. .a mild rogue wave crashed up and over the barricade and swept right over my car!!! I screeched into the phone, "A WAVE just hit the car, Tom!!" He yelled "ARE YOU OK, MOM?!" and I was laughing so hard, I couldn't speak for a moment. . .then said "Yeah, it wasn't that bad, but that was soooo coool!!!"
I met my friends in Cambria, where we went to Moonstone Beach after getting the ***correct*** directions from a state park aide. Most people, it turns out, go to the stretch of beach along Moonstone Beach Drive, called Santa Rosa Beach. The *best* moonstones and rocks are found *north* of that beach at one called Leffingwell Landing. It didn't disappoint :)
There was even a lone Long-billed Curlew hanging around with the Heerman's Gulls on the shore. . .
After having lunch in a quaint cafe called Robin's, in a secluded section of Cambria, we got into our respective cars and headed south, me following them towards Santa Maria. At Morro Bay, we took Highway One and went inland to the 101. At one point, I had to pull out from behind my friends because a guy merging into my lane from an onramp wouldn't yield and nearly hit me. That was the only problem while driving I had with regards to other drives, for the entire time of my trip.
I pulled well ahead, got off the highway at the right exit, but turned the **wrong** way. LOL. So I flipped a U-turn and headed west, into the setting sun and got on the 136 towards Vandenberg AFB, where I literally flew back to my hometown. . .after arriving at my mother's, I set up the laptop after dinner and a shower and worked photos. Bed was early, as was arising the next day (4 AM).
That day we went to Jalama Beach to collect shells and rocks. I love shooting the cliffs at Jalama. . .they are very unique and geologically very active, with oil deposits beneath the beach, bubbling up out of rocks and with plenty of shale and sandstone with rocks ranging from carnelian and jasper to onyx:
The surfers are fun to watch, too:
The next day we went to La Purisima Mission after taking my step dad to the doctor for a blood draw and then having lunch.
Sunset that night. My step dad was having a very hard time with several things; he has dementia and is 91 years old. He needs to have things paced to his needs, and my mother's a quick little woman, always rushing around to get things done. . . he was complaining loudly and it was upsetting my mother, so I started shooting sunset shots from inside the house to distract myself from giving un-asked for advice. . .
Early the next morning, I began my trek back to the Mendocino Coast from northern Santa Barbara County. I left at 6:45 AM and only stopped for gas, bathroom and food. I didn't even take photos on the return trip as I wanted to get home before dark. San Francisco saw the most traffic of all; even Healdsburg was tame by comparison. I arrived home at 3:45 PM. I drove 467 miles in 9 hours. I was bushed. . . .
It was GOOD to get home!! SOOO good, in fact, that the very next day, I went to Glass Beach:
Some friends from Colorado, who had never been, were in town and wanted me to show them around. On it goes. . .the tours, the photo card productions, the checking of inventory and of course, the ever-present church work. *whew* Tomorrow, we cook a Thanksgiving style meal for probably close to 60.
Good night :)
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