The journey back east has begun, the I-90 will be taking us over 400 miles to Missoula Montana through the forests of Washington. Our route takes us past Mt. Rainer and through the mountains, across the tip of Idaho then into the Lolo National Forest just outside Missoula. The first hints of the Rockies have begun to show up in the form of massive forested waves of land, framing the sky in a washed out shade of green. This leg of the journey is the start of our shift backwards into Eastern time, we lose our first hour after exiting Idaho. More updates to come.
Continue reading Day 18 Road Updates: 2PM Central
My apologies for the late start, the forests of Northern California have a seemingly intrinsic lack of cell towers. We spent the morning careening around mountains through a thick low fog, quite an adrenaline soaked journey. Finally though, were into Oregon and trough the treacherous forest/mountain roads, at least for now. The whole state smells like a giant lumber mill, it’s amazing. The smell of forests is everywhere, as well as actual lumber mills, contributing to this magnificent aroma. The sun is out and the fog has been left far behind in the city of Eureka. Never ever go there. If you’re going to see the redwoods, fly to Portland then drive down and stay in Eugene. Don’t even think about Eureka. The post explaining our reasoning should be up tonight. Anyhow, Portland is about 4 hours out, hopefully the weather holds. Also here’s a picture of the foggy roads, another reason to never visit Eureka. It’s pretty reckless. More updates to come.
Continue reading Day 16 Road Updates: 5PM Pacific
The Redwood forests, home to one of the three remaining Sequoioideae on this planet: Seqouia sempervirens, the Coast Redwoods. Along with the Giant sequoia, Seqouiadendron giganteum, (only found in Yosemite), and Metaseqouia, the Dawn Redwood (only found in China), they make up the only existing coniferous redwoods alive. Dating back some 1.6 million years, the Coast Redwoods are some of the earliest trees known to exist, a first blueprint for modern trees. Growing to heights of almost 400 feet tall, 20 feet wide, and 3000 years old, these colossal plants are some of the oldest things living, not to mention the biggest. As the largest of the redwood species, the Coast Redwoods dominate the landscape completely, it’s not difficult to see why it was picked as the location of Endor, I kept expecting Ewoks to pop up from between the towering pillars of wood.
Continue reading Redwood National & State Parks
Alcatraz, a small island in the bay of San Francisco. Famous for housing the nation’s first super max prison, dubbed “the Rock”, these 22 acres of cold stone and gulls nests are much more than pop culture would have you believing. Established in 1847 as a defensive position after California bought it from the Spanish, Alcatraz saw the first steps of its transformation into the place it is today about 15 years later, at the start of the civil war. It was built up along with fort point, known as the guardian of the gate, and filled with high range cannons, thus a single building now stood on the island.
Continue reading Alcatraz Island National Park
After a night in the citizen hotel, we’re on the road and headed to the city of Eureka. A day at the beaches and the redwoods beckons, as we work our way up to the return leg of the journey. The highways are empty and the heat is on, with a high of 99, were most assuredly out of the mountains. Not a lot to say at this point, but we should be passing through fort Bragg in a few hours. More updates to come.
Tertiary update: just passed the town of yolo. Heh.
Continue reading Day 15 Road Updates: 2PM Pacific
My apologies for the lack of road updates of late, it’s due simply to a lack of road in general, the city posts each night should give the full picture though. We’ve just come from the Presidio, and are currently crossing the golden gate. Trust me, it’s better from afar. The traffic is abysmal, perpetuated by the ludicrous amount of tourists who think a car is just a sightseeing utensil. Since entering the city, we’ve encountered a marathon, a bike race, and an aids walk, none of them have been as detrimental to our time as the ridiculous out of country drivers.
Continue reading Day 14 Road Updates: 12PM Pacific
Today we started off going to Monterey, CA to see the awesome cliffs over the Pacific Ocean. We did not have a ton of time there but it was well worth the stop.
Then we headed to San Francisco and we went to Chinatown and then took the cruise out to Alcatraz.
Tomorrow we head to Oakland to catch an Oakland A’s game and then staying in Sacramento, CA.
Continue reading Day 13: San Francisco, CA
We’re just now heading to San Francisco, after traveling highway one along to Monterey. The late post is due to the lack of service as you travel between the Pacific and the Santa Monica mountains, essentially a 40 mile stretch of dead zone. The loss of LTE is hardly missed however as the coast is everything it’s hyped to be. The evidence of the ocean’s raw power is everywhere, the remnants of its destructive crusade against the coast seen as the battered shoreline of central California. A staggering amount of spires, caves, and pools populate the area, which can change from a sheer 150 foot drop to a gentle sloping beach in just a few minutes. The rocks were not only magnificent in construction, but also strikingly colorful. Kelp pools created areas of water painted a shade of deep red, contrasted by neon blue shallows and the kind of moss coverage that you always imagined would make an incredible bed. As I ventured out onto the rocks, a condor decided to ride the wind directly in front of, and subsequently right over me. 100% worth the stop, but get there earlier than ten a.m. or plan to come back tomorrow, because parking will be completely and totally nonexistent.
Continue reading Day 13 Road Updates: 2PM Pacific
The first thing you notice about Yosemite is the smell. You’ll travel for miles through the Sierras, narrowly avoiding car and cliffs alike, every so often spotting a hint of the valley along the road; a colossal boulder, a winding river chocked with granite, a patch of sequoias sticking out of a cliff at 30 degrees. The anticipation builds as much at the tension, the road would be amazing if it weren’t so terrifying, switchback hairpin turns on an 8% downhill grade, a fatal drop lying only feet away, waiting anxiously for you to make your one final mistake. Then, after your ears pop for the hundredth time, you level out. A magnificent shunt of granite juts out over the road, a natural tunnel heralding your arrival into the valley. You open the windows, craning your neck to see the trees that time forgot, ancient relics from the Cenozoic era; the Giant Sequoia, one of only 3 remaining species, stands almost 300 feet tall, and is responsible for the first and most notable aspect of Yosemite you will encounter. The smell.
Continue reading Yosemite National Park
We’re blazing through Southern California on our way to Yosemite and the Madera Speedway. The sun had just risen over the mountains when we started about an hour ago, so naturally it’s now positioned to annihilate our entire field of vision. The traffic is treacherous, the 6+ lane highways are packed full, but somehow everybody still manages to be breaking the 65mph speed limit. About 15 minutes ago we stopped for the usual McDonald’s breakfast, incredibly clutch for anyone doing this journey, their breakfast is actually the best thing they offer. Back on track the the Yosemite Valley, we have a long journey through the heart of California ahead of us. More updates to come
Continue reading Day 12 Road Updates: 10AM Pacific