Wednesday, May 20, 2009

On exploring California.

Santa Barbara, November 2008

Pismo Beach State Park, May 2009

Exciting news! As of this month, I have officially traveled along every mile of California's coastal highway. This patch-worked journey started as a twelve-year-old, when my family vacationed in San Francisco and took (what I remember as being a rather torturous ) journey down from the bay to snap pictures of the Lone Cypress tree. I should mention, that our cousins/tourguides on this trip were kind enough to bring my bohemian sister and I to Haight-Ashbury, where we gave the cypress photos a run for their money by snapping pics of what might have been Janis Joplin's old house. (We weren't entirely sure what the address was, but who's counting?).

The coastal journey picked up again as a college student, when I spent a month driving across the US with some of my best girlfriends. We entered California from Oregon, at its northernmost coastal point, and headed south. What I remember most clearly about this trip is a walk through the Muir Woods. Being among these massive, holy trees was unforgettable. Incidentally, I was finally able to decide upon my favorite color (green).

In the three years since moving to Los Angeles, I've successfully covered all points south, including many a road trip to San Diego, and trips up the Central Coast, stopping in Santa Barbara, Jalama Beach, Morro Bay, Pismo Beach, and further on up to a new favorite, Big Sur.

Incidentally, I'm also proud of the job I've done visiting points inland. There have been family and beach trips to Orange County, work-related trips to the Inland Empire (which I'm happy to never visit again), a drive through the Mojave Desert (also, not a trip that bears repeating), and camping trips to Joshua Tree National Park, Shasta National Forrest, Sequoia National Park (my sister Courtney and I saw 6 bears!), and Yosemite National Park. They are all beautiful, inspiring places.

This memorial day weekend, I'm off to Catalina Island, which will probably be my last California excursion of the year before heading east before school begins. I'm guessing it will be the cherry on top of all of these other wonderful trips around the state.

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