Road Trip Day 2 – Hearst Castle & Big Sur

The second day of our road trip began with the drive from Santa Maria to Hearst Castle, where we had booked a tour of the upper rooms in advance (which we were told is highly advisable). We were a bit early and took the time to get some information about the castle and it’s backgrounds from the panels in the visitor center. I didn’t know that William Randolph Hearst was actually the kid of a rich father that went slightly overboard with his “little something on the hill”, for example. It’s an interesting place!

Continue reading “Road Trip Day 2 – Hearst Castle & Big Sur”

SAN-2-SEA days 7 to 9

I spent the last 3 days of the trip in Seattle with Doug and his wife so this is just a brief summary and gallery of the photos that I made during these days.

After shopping on Thursday morning for home-cooked dinner and dessert (I made Tiramisu) we headed east a little bit, wanting to do a hike at Mount Si. Just as we reached the trailhead parking lot, it started to rain (Mount Si belongs to the westernmost extension of the Cascade Range and as such is a moisture-barrier). We began the hike, hoping it would only be a brief shower, but when the rain didn’t stop and I remember the sweet walks and hikes on muddy trails in Germany, I asked to call it a day. The two days along the Oregon coast were enough rain and weather for a while for me. ๐Ÿ˜› Continue reading “SAN-2-SEA days 7 to 9”

Photo of trees in fog by Alexander S. Kunz

SAN-2-SEA day 6 – arrival in Seattle

After some bites of yet more “continental breakfast” and some coffee, we left Garibaldi and headed north a bit on Highway 101, to Cannon Beach. When we reached it and checked out the beach near Haystack Rock it was raining, so we went to have some breakfast at “Pig & Pancake” first (hoping again that the weather would become at least a little better) before driving into Ecola State Park. Continue reading “SAN-2-SEA day 6 – arrival in Seattle”

Heceta Head lighthouse

SAN-2-SEA day 5 – Coos Bay to Garibaldi

We woke up to grey skies and the sound of rain in North Bend, OR. Finally, the weather had changed. Albeit, a bit too much. ๐Ÿ˜› After breakfast we drove a couple of miles on Highway 101 north before making a left to Umpqua Lighthouse State Park (yes, funny name) and driving south into an area of coastal dunes. It was raining hard, and it was an unpleasant mess to walk on the sand, so we gave up that exercise pretty soon. (Also, with the car so fully packed, there was not enough room to spread wet clothes to get them to dry faster, ahem.)

We continued up north for a while until we were near the town of Florence, OR, where we drove towards another area with coastal dunes. There were a couple of smaller parking lots along a road that was somewhat sheltered from the wind by the dunes, and Doug wanted to get out and have a look over the first row of dunes – I decided to wait in the car, it was still raining hard and quite windy. Let him get all wet and sandblasted alone if he likes that. ๐Ÿ™‚ Continue reading “SAN-2-SEA day 5 – Coos Bay to Garibaldi”

SAN-2-SEA day 4 – Crescent City to Coos Bay

We woke up in Crescent City – and it was foogy! After some quick “continental breakfast” bites, we rushed out, a little bit back south to the area of nearby Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park, because we were really eager to make some photos of redwoods in fog (which is, as far as I understood it from the brochures that we collected, actually much easier in Summer than in Spring). Continue reading “SAN-2-SEA day 4 – Crescent City to Coos Bay”

SAN-2-SEA day 3 – Redwoods!

The mighty redwoods of central and northern California were definitely on our list of things that we didn’t want to miss. After sleeping until 8am and the usual Travelodge breakfast, we hit the road again.

Our original idea had been to visit Muir Woods north of San Francisco, but we somehow mis-interpreted were it actually was, and missing the exit to Highway 1 right past Golden Gate Bridge we sort of screwed ourselves by going to Point Reyes, especially in combination with the fact that we had to go so much further north to find lodging. Muir Woods became sort of out of reach because of that – from Ukiah, it would have been almost 2 hours back to the south. So instead, we continued north, more inland on Highway 101. Continue reading “SAN-2-SEA day 3 – Redwoods!”

SAN-2-SEA day 2 – Monterey to Ukiah

On the second day of our travels we drove back south from Monterey on Highway 101 for a little bit, just past Carmel By The Sea, to have a look at Point Lobos State Natural Reserve. The entrance was pretty jammed on this Saturday morning, so we parked on the street and hiked on the “Lace Lichen Trail” to the more scenic spots. The trees along that trail are covered with what is called – you guessed it – “lace lichen”. Those are pretty long strands of pale green lichen that grow from almost every tree’s branches and twigs. Unfortunately, it was mostly sunny again, but that stuff must sure look very pretty and ghostish in dense fog (which is required to bring the moisture to the lichen and enable this kind of growth). Continue reading “SAN-2-SEA day 2 – Monterey to Ukiah”

SAN-2-SEA day 1 – San Diego to Monterey

This is the first in a series of posts about a trip from San Diego up to Seattle, along the US west coast. I’m dating these entries back to the actual date of the travel so that they will appear correctly and in chronological order in the blog. The posts will be illustrated with snapshots that I made with my smartphone only, this time (the “real” photos will appear later, for sure).

On Friday morning, after some rearranging of things that Doug had stuffed in his Prius already ๐Ÿ˜‰ so that my suitcase and backpack would fit in, we left San Diego around 9am, hoping to beat the LA traffic on Friday at least to a certain degree – and thanks to the help of the Waze navigation app, we kept moving most of the time and made it to Santa Barbara for a delicious lunch buffet at the “Flavors of India” restaurant that I remembered from our stay for a wedding photography gig last year. Continue reading “SAN-2-SEA day 1 – San Diego to Monterey”

Hehuan Shan time lapse video

I just found this absolutely fantastic time lapse video made at the Hehuan Shan area by photographer Loisch (check out his website; even if you can’t read Chinese it’s not a problem – there’s a lot of beautiful time lapse videos there!). Make sure to switch to full screen & HD. It sort of illustrates what we missed when we got skunked by the clouds during our visit…