California Dreamin

Leaving Reno and heading over the Donner pass speckled white with snow, we can feel the pull of the warm California weather. Finding our way through Nevada City and Grass Valley we stop in a town called Dobbins. Here we chat, drink tea with John DeMarco and play with his dog Snoop. John is an old friend of Ron’s from high school. He is an artist, writer, and musician. Ron admired John and I believe with so much in common they would still have been friends today.

The drive on 20 to Clearlake was full of flowers and green hills. Too bad that the State Park was closed because of flooding. We pressed on to Cloverdale in the dark on super windy 175 W. I don’t recommend this route at night. I was pretty scared. Late dinner at La Hacienda with a needed margarita and park overnight on a nearby quiet street. Next morning going through Sonoma wine country, you can see the large amount of rain has flooded many fields. The Russian River also overflowed(the worst flooding in over 20 years) and many people lost property. Very sad to see that.

We made it to the Pacific Ocean! Breakfast in the van at Sonoma Coast SB then a good run in the rain at Point Reyes National Seashore. We were the only runners out there.

We made it to the Pacific Ocean! Breakfast in the van at Sonoma Coast SB then a good run in the rain at Point Reyes National Seashore. We were the only runners out there.

Paul wanted to attend an audio software conference at Stanford. We spent some time outside the van in Palo Alto. (the van has a much better bed than the airbnb) We met interesting people, had many conversations, and I caught up on laundry. I enjoyed running during the day. A highlight was Wunderlich County Park filled with redwood trees, deer and steep trails.

The Nature preserve by google plex was close enough to run. I went there a few times and enjoyed the birds, waterways, and watching people stream into work. The art museums at Stanford, Cantor and Anderson collections, are worth a visit. They are not only full of a wide variety of art but they are free. My favorites were Elizabeth Murray, Josiah Mc Elheny “Island Universe”, Rodin and Richard Serra sculptures, and Do Ho Suh (crazy wallpaper).

Paul and I ate most dinners out in Palo Alto and shared one evening catching up with some of his friends Juan, Sarah, and Raj.

Alameda, what a lovely place. Who knew? My niece Lucy and wife Ari live on this sweet island and Paul and I found it charming in many ways. The homes look mostly Victorian but there is also a mix of new and old. Blue Dot cafe is the perfect place for a filling breakfast sandwich and coffee. The public transportation seems very easy so I took the bus to San Francisco for the day. There Lucy gave me a blue ribbon tour of Slack the company she works for.

I was super impressed with the design layout and how each floor of Slack was trying to emulate a different level of the Pacific Crest Trail. Think dirt, rock, desert, water, wood, snow etc… I am not sure how many floors I was on but it was an unforgettable journey. Plus you get treats on any floor, coffee, tea, cookies and more. It was nice to see Lucy enjoying her work and also to see how people responded so positively to her. My sister Carrie, George and Milo and friend Ella happened to be in San Fran at the same time. We got together for an enjoyable day where we walked around, saw the 16th street mosaic steps and had an evening family dinner back in Alameda. Plus Ice cream at Tuckers!

One thought on “California Dreamin

  1. Sharon Dailey

    Thank you for the tour. Seems like you are having a wonderful time, so many places, experiences and new friends. Would love to be riding along. Going up to Canada? Some GREAT places up there and beautiful scenery.

    Reply

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