HOPLAND, CALIFORNIA

I will admit, that although I adored taking in all the scenery of our trip my one photographic goal was to be able to get some up close horse shots.  That’s all I wanted, not much to ask for right?  It was nearly impossible. Although there were plenty of ponies on the drive there weren’t any that we could just pull over on the side of the road and get a shot of.  I was feeling very dejected when my husband, uncharacteristically pumped the breaks and hit the car in reverse. What the heck are you doing?,  I screamed. He pulled into a dirt road and pointed wildly out his window–a horse!  How he saw it I have no idea.  The best part was when I walked up to the low fence, the horse which was way out yonder in the pasture came trotting out towards me like we were old friends.  It took everything in me not to start crying, I surely would have but knew I had about five minutes before my insane husband would want to get back on the road.  I was only able to take a few shots before the horse realized that I wasn’t harboring apples on my person and decided to walk away.  I loved that he posed for me for these couple of shots and I love that I have these images. I am pretty sure I will be blowing up the last one for our future home.

UKIAH, CALIFORNIA

We were supposed to just drive by Ukiah, California we did after all have a hotel booked in charming Petaluma, but my husband was tired and we were both cranky with hunger.  I can tell you it’s not easy finding a motel that accepts dogs at the 11th hour.  We ended up pulling up to a motel that took dogs and looked like it was free from bed bugs. My husband kept assuring me that bed bugs only live on the East Coast, but I think he was just saying that to assuage my mania. When we drove into the parking lot in the dead of night I couldn’t see two feet ahead of me, so I didn’t know that I would wake up to find these cherry blossoms blooming in between the blacktop.  We woke up very early the next morning and the air was thick with haze and soft sunlight, there were so many blooms that everything had a rosy, pink hue to it.  It was quite the sight and will be what I file in my memory bank about Ukiah, gosh knows I want to forget about the nearly $30 pizza we ordered that had a burnt bottom and tasted like sugar coated cardboard.

CRESCENT CITY, CALIFORNIA

After we got towards the end of the Redwood forest something astonishing happened, the forest incredibly opened up to the Pacific. Vast vistas of ocean for as far as the eye could see. The water even looked blue, which was a novelty because where I live the water looks black. This little stretch of civilization is called Crescent City. It is home to the only drive-thru Subway. We bought sandwiches and sat on the beach and ate them, even though it was not as charming as it may sound.  It was cold and windy, not something you want when you are eating your lunch on a sandy beach. My husband was tired of driving, but refused to let me drive. He kept saying if I drove it would take three times the amount of time to get to our destination.  I drive the speed limit, always, never will you see me go above it.  My husband thinks if we aren’t going with the flow of traffic that it’s dangerous, I say let the other cars speed, there is a reason speed limits are marked.  I also am not good with driving on the highway and I can’t see at night. So those are the reasons I wasn’t allowed behind the wheel of my own car. It was fine by me, I could take more photographs.

THE REDWOOD NATIONAL FOREST

This is all I have of the vast expanse of land called the Redwood Forest.  I think this river may be called the Smith River, but to be honest by the time we got to this point in our adventure I was seriously queasy from all the curvy roads. I am not the most ideal person to road trip with. I have been getting many emails about how I am getting the images so crisp.  A lot of it has to do with my lighting conditions.  In Portland the city has a beautiful diffused light almost all the time because of the clouds which makes it pretty easy to take a good shot. In my last Foto class so many people rued the gray days but I say hooray!  That’s some of the best light you can get, no harsh shadows, great detail and there’s a lot more light than you think.  The Redwood Forest has pockets of open shade where you can get beautiful light, granted there were also a lot of areas that made the daytime feel like evening, just masses amounts of tress everywhere.  I tried to get some shots of the trees, but again my lens choice was not conducive to landscape photography.  I couldn’t get more than 3 trees in the frame, let alone convey the enormity of them. We’re leaving for North Carolina next week and I don’t know what I will see there so I don’t know what type of lens to rent. Any suggestions?  I am super excited about stopping in Savannah, Georgia, I am sure there will be tons of great photo-ops there. To be continued…

THE ROAD HOME:: PART I

When we left Portland it was clear and the sun was out, the drive down to California proved to not be as welcoming. I could not believe the skies, they looked like abstract oil paintings. I’m from Southern California so I never have had an opportunity to witness anything like this at home. On our most stormy days the sky does not look like a painter took his melancholy rage out on his canvas, I was quite enthralled.  The craziest part is the next set of photographs I will be uploading, riding through the California border the sun comes out and dances across the Redwood forest and the winding Smith river like it never was hidden behind these angry skies. Looking at them now I can appreciate them much more than being enveloped by them in a small car with two naughty dogs and a neurotic husband.
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