30 November 2008

Pacific Coast Trip, Part 2

I continued my road trip by driving to the beach, where dense fog gave the beach an eerie feel to it, which was uncannily beautiful:

Next I drove into the Redwood National Forest, where I encountered the unbelievably tall redwood trees:

If you have not seen these trees in person, you really can't fully comprehend how huge these are. Here is me (with a weird expression caught by my camera's auto-timer) standing completely inside a living tree, and this is not by any means one of the largest:

A little further on, I drove through the world famous drive-through tree:

After leaving the forest, I headed out into the wilderness on a dirt road. I spend nearly three hours on this road, seeing another human only once. The spectacular vastness of the Northern California wilderness is truly breathtaking:

After leaving the dirt road, I passed though a few more scenic valleys before hitting the highway to head home back to San Francisco:

06 November 2008

Pacific Coast Trip, Part 1

Melissa went to Niagara Falls, New York for a long weekend to attend a wedding, leaving me behind to fend for myself. It sounding like the perfect opportunity for a road trip, so Thursday morning, I rented a car, and took off driving north out of San Francisco along the Pacific Coast Highway. This was actually my first time driving a car in California, so it took a little time to get used to driving again, but not as long as I thought it would.

I started by crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, then quickly began my journey driving the winding roads that brought me over the mountains of Muir Woods. After emerging on the other side of Mount Tamalpais, I reached the Pacific Ocean. I pulled over to the side and walked out onto a huge rock that jutted out into the ocean. I just stood there admiring the huge ocean and the trip ahead of me:

One of the things that quickly struck me upon leaving San Francisco is how empty California really is. Everywhere I went, vast stretches of untouched land engulfed my vision:

I continued on for a few more hours, and eventually pulled off to visit a beach. These beaches are nothing like the beaches I had grown to know so well in Florida. Huge rocks protrude from the sea reminding all visitors of the tumultuous geological past of our coast:

The beaches are not made of sand, but trillions of beautiful smooth pebbles of every color:

For lunch I stopped at a beautiful roadside cafe in the middle of a huge garden. The hosts were an elderly couple who made a delicious salad out of cheeses, fruits, and vegetables from their garden:

That night, I made it to the little town of Eureka in northern California. Bright and early the next morning I got up and prepared for my second day of travels, leading me into the great redwood forests:

To be continued...