Monday, June 14, 2010

Happy Trails to you

Fluffy is about to go on the road again. It is time for the annual pilgrimage to Oregon for wool and honey. Oh yes, I know, there is wool here and honey, but that misses the important point- Oregon, trip, not home. I am running away with my friends to a fiber festival and three days of fuzzy goodness, spinning, demonstrations, wooly smells, camping and cooking out. This is followed by 4 more days with my sweetie in the woods and trails wandering back home.
Lots of driving, lots of filming, lots of sightseeing. Pretty soon, after living here for 55yrs, I will actually have seen most of the state of California. I think there is a little corner up in the right top end that I will probably miss, but the rest of it will be pretty well known by me.
I have seen most of Arizona and I don't live there. Probably been to 2/3 of Nevada and New Mexico. I have seen the top half of Texas, all of Missouri, all of Mississippi and a bit of Indiana. I have explored all of Hawaii, too.
Why has it taken so long to really get to know my home state? Could it be that the state is so long and 50% boring? I think it is because of the desert. A big portion of California is desert or near desert. And now that the water is turned off, most of the growing area is returning to desert. That makes for a really long boring drive up the middle. It starts to get interesting after the first long day- when you have left SanDiego/LosAngeles behind and have passed Sacramento heading north. The northern valley is a bit nicer/less desert than the southern end. The mountains start and then you are in Redding- Mt. Shasta, and fishing lakes. Trees become a natural occurence. Along the coast, I start to fall in love right about the north side of Santa Barbara all the way to the Oregon coast. For me, there isn't much interest in the middle so a trip through the state is a multi-day adventure. It can't be done on a weekend.
The fact that California is so large and divided has made it difficult for me to really get to know it. I have gone to SanFrancisco/Oakland a few time, but when you fly- you don't really explore. Need a car to get out and about. I have gone to the wine country north and loved it, but I only got a couple of days before having to run home.
A really important thing to note here, is that this is the same problem for people who live in the North half of the state. They don't get to see the south part much. Our state is really two separate states joined by a desert with very little population. It is hard to know and respect the needs of each end. I think, though, that my trips north to Oregon give me an opportunity to get to know the whole state and meet the neighbors in the north. I am looking forward to the Redwoods and Humbolt. I want to know you better, Siskyou.
But right now, I need to pack my bags and stuff them in the car. See you soon.