Tuesday, August 29, 2006

northern california

I am still catching up with stuff after being away for ten days. The first half of our trip was spent in Northern California with my mom. She lives in a home on the side of a hill overlooking Clearlake – a little over 100 miles north of San Francisco and a bit north of Napa Valley. We had beautiful weather, highs in the 80’s with blue skies. (The last time I was there it was over 100!) I love the feel of dry heat, kind of like you are baking but not so hot that you feel uncomfortable. The hillsides are lovely, a golden tan color punctuated by the dark green of live oak and manzanita tress. (I can always tell when a movie has been filmed in California by looking at the hills and trees.) I love the unique aroma of the California hillsides, of the dry grass, of the live oaks.

Although my parents retired there some 30 years ago and we have lots of pictures, I took a lot more of the house to get digital pics.

We spent most of the time hanging out with my mom. At 86 she is starting to slow down. She painted her 3-car garage all by herself when she was in her early 80’s, so I guess slowing down is relative. Now, a nap in the afternoon is not optional.

One day we went to a visitor center with displays about the geothermal generation of electricity. (The world’s largest network of geothermal generating plants is in Lake and Mendocino counties.) Another day we drove over to the coast, about 80 miles away, to visit Ft. Bragg (not the home of the 82nd Airborne in North Carolina) and then drove down the coast to the city of Mendocino, an art colony. The coast is rocky and beautiful but the water is far too cold for swimming. We even saw a school of dolphins swimming. On the way back we took another route inland and had the very pleasant surprise of driving through a redwood forest. The trees are so tall, so big, and so thick that it is other worldly. No wonder Steven Spielberg filmed parts of E.T. and Return of the Jedi in redwood groves.

We have a few pics here.

Be blessed!

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