Thursday, August 23, 2007

Napa Valley and the North Coast

GEEK! After San Francisco Pride, Rose and I rode up through the city to the Golden Gate Bridge. She'd never been, and I'd never gotten to take pictures. We had to get up to the north side of the bay anyway, so rather than taking roads we'd already been on, we opted for a new route. It was a long drive in nasty traffic, but I love that bridge, and I got to take geeky pictures with the cross-section of the cable. What's not to love? I have to give my girlfriend all the praise and credit when it comes to the photos. She took my (borrowed, fancy) camera and her (simple, old) camera and her tripod and made great and gorgeous shots. I made some pretty crappy snaps that manage to make the golden gate look like a tinkertoy. So, if I haven't mentioned it yet, all the (good) photos I've posted are her work. I'm the author, she's the illustrator. It's a great partnership! And here's one, courtesy the tripod:

Beautiful Golden Gate
So after pulling out of our space in the crowded Golden Gate overlook, we waved at the German tour group on their rented BMW motorcycles who were pulling into our parking space, and turned our noses northward for Napa. A long-time friend of mine found herself living out there recently and decided to finallyGo for Launch! tackle some of the things she had on her list of "stuff to do before i'm 40". She had to change the title to "stuff to do before i'm 50" but she's working her way through it. One of her things was to learn to fly a plane. All well and good, but plane rental is expensive. She got tired of renting and decided to buy, because that's the sort of woman she is; as she somehow managed to avoid living beyond her means when she was young, she can afford it. I, personally, am spending half my disposable income paying for my dissolute and misspent youth. So she sent us out to the airport and arranged us some time with her flight instructor and her plane and off we went to see the sights of the Northern California Coast. Truly, it is a beautiful place.

Point Reyes Lighthouse
We flew over the San Andreas fault, the Point Reyes National Seashore, an elk herd, a hidden little surf beach, the Monterey County Open land trust, the only oyster supplier in the bay area, and the flats where they make sea salt. Tremendous! Scenic Napa And as a super-bonus for you, dear reader, I have an out-of-chronology bonus winery shot that we took a few days earlier when we were driving through the valley. The road ahead was supposed to lead us to Lake Tahoe and thence across Nevada on US Highway 50 (according to The Plan) but as you may recall, Lake Tahoe was on fire this summer. Okay, the lake itself wasn't ON FIRE, as such. But the forests surrounding it were on fire, and said Highway 50 was closed. So we had to change The Plan. My aforementioned long-time friend is a California native, and she made the wonderful suggestion that we drive through Yosemite National Park and wind our way across Nevada on Route 6, which would put us back on 50 close to the Utah border. It was a perfect Plan B! So we said goodbye to San Francisco Bay and headed off for Yosemite.
Good Bye, Embarcadero

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