the wandering chick
here and there
I've spent more time than I thought I would in this great state...not that I don't think it's worth every beautiful moment...it's just that the thought of being swallowed by an earthquake kinda scares me....or being trapped by a wildfire.
But, even though I've not left yet, I'm so far unscathed and am continuing to appreciate all that it has to offer.
The pictures on this page cover a wide area, mostly of the little towns I either visited on my way from Point A to Point B, or that I took a day trip to.
Seeing these pictures is nothing like being there, but I hope those of you viewing them enjoy what you see.
San Jose has some wonderful buildings, including this one, the Museum of Art.
Right:a plaza in the old district of San Jose
Below: the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph
Dos Reis Regional Park is a sweet little county park just off the Interstate 5 near Lathrop. It was my base while visiting San Jose for the day.
Also close by is Corral Hollow Road. The hills surrounding Corral Hollow have been designated an official off-road vehicle recreation spot. I found such beauty in their velvet-like texture.
The San Francisco Bay Bridge
A view of Alcatraz from San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf
San Fancisco harbor on the south side of the Golden Gate Bridge
On San Francisco's Embarcadero
Lime Point Lighthouse
Above and Below: the Golden Gate and Fort Point Natl Historic Site
St. Canice Church in Nevada City
Nevada City (yes, it's in Calfornia) is one of many cities in the state that got its start during the boom days of the Gold Rush. Once a city of 16,000 boisterous rebel-rousers, it has become a clean, quaint and picturesque town of less than 3,000. Its whole old town section is on the National Register of Historic Places, and the residents pride themselves on the fact. Filled with cozy corner restaurants and unique dress shops, one can easily spend a full day in the "Queen City of Northern Mines." Nevada City is located northeast of Sacramento in the rolling hills of gold country.
Just as this house on the end of Broad Street caught my eye, the mail carrier was crossing the street. I stopped him to ask if the house had any particular significance or even a name. He stopped, grinned, looked at the house, then at me, and shared that the neighbors know it as the Haunted House...that a previous owner had committed suicide there. When I asked about the current owners, he said as far as he knows, they haven't any problems living in the house.
Nevada City's Methodist Church
Anyone who has read in depth the journeys of the Gold Rush days has most likely read the tragic story of the Donner Party. Starting out in April 1846 from Springfield, Illinois, the Donner Family was part of an 87-member party that would take the advice of a, some say, money-hungry Lansford Hastings who wrote a book of a great shortcut that would shorten their journey by nearly 400 miles. Instead, the journey, which turned out to be barely impassable by foot, and definitely impossible by wagon, actually added miles, depleted their food and water, exhausted their oxen and caused a severe drop in morale.
Their delays put them into October, and with winter approaching, they were still faced with crossing the treacherous Sierra Nevadas. After numerous tries to no avail, they built shelter and huddled down for four months of harsh winter weather. Though wood was abundant for building shelters, food was not, and the party initally began eating the meat of their oxen that had wandered off and died in the snow. In the end, cannibalism kept the remaining survivors alive.
One year and two weeks later, the remaining 46 of the initial 87 were rescued.
A mountain pass, a state park, a lake and this monument were built in honor of the Donner Party.
This plaque was on the outside wall of the Donner State Park Museum. It made me smile.
Another Gold Rush town is Truckee located just northwest of Lake Tahoe. It's a booming city today with lots of shops and great restaurants.
Above: The United Methodist Church
Below: The Truckee Hotel
The Truckee River is the sole outlet for Lake Tahoe. The river travels 120 miles through California and Nevada between emptying out into the still more northern Lake Pyramid. A part of its journey is through the town of Truckee.
Highway 88 travels westerly from the south side of Lake Tahoe and crosses the Carson Pass on its way to the Sacramento Valley. The route is quite scenic, especially overlooking the Caples River. I stopped in at the Caples Lodge and took a couple pictures. While there, I was sure I saw a bald eagle fly overhead. I never spotted him the second time so moved on with my eyes peeled on the skies...as much as one can when driving over a mountain pass!
I couldn't find the name of this lake, but it's also on Highway 88, on the down side of the Carson Pass, heading in to the Sacramento Valley.
With scenery such as this, any time is a good time for a picnic.
Jackson, in the Sacramento Valley, is yet another quaint town that survived after the Gold Rush days were long gone.
About 70 miles north of San Francisco is a grove of redwoods called the Armstrong Redwoods State Natural Reserve. It's a small area, possibly less known than other redwood groves such as Muir Woods. But this little treasure packs them in and holds it own. It's located just outside Guerneville, in Sonoma County.
If I understand it correclty, a distinguishing character of redwoods is the canopy at the top of the trees. Like spokes on a wagon wheel, the limbs form this rounded structure.
A wonderful little town in the Sonoma Valley is Healdsburg. Great restaurants such as this one, the Spoon Bar and Grill, line the street along with art galleries and interesting shops.
The Russian River meanders through several counties in northern Californiaincluding Sonoma County before emptying out at the Pacific Ocean near Jenner. Inland, it provides a refreshing break on hot summer days.
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I was pleasantly surprised when I happened upon the San Luis Reservoir near Los Banos in the San Joaquin Valley on my way from San Francisco to Midpines. There is a visitors center, a state park, campgrounds and picnic areas here and at the adjacent Pancheco State Park. Evidently, it's a great place for boating and fishing. It's located just west of Los Banos and near the summit of Pancheco Pass, Highway 152.
This shot is of San Francisco from the airplane. Not sure where, but we were approaching the airport from Phoenix.