Thursday, July 14, 2016

Travelogue, continued: the road to Santa Cruz

When we left Palo Alto I wanted a nice drive west to Highway 1 so I used the Google Maps app and asked it to avoid highways and tolls. We ended up on what I think was Highway 84, which took us past a huge and amazing horse park. The rolling hills were covered in golden grasses and I spotted what appeared to be a cross-country course as we drove past. It was very different than what we have here in North Carolina, mainly because the landscape in California is so different. But it was nice to see that even Silicon Valley has space for horses!

84 wound up and through the hills, and we took hairpin turns through redwood groves. I couldn't stop exclaiming. It was a drive that required constant attention but it was delightful. At one point I was behind a huge flatbed truck piled high with square bales of hay and again I was happy to be made aware of the presence of horses.

We passed horse farms and I wondered how anyone could trailer in and out on 84 but I guess if you do it enough you get very good at it.

Eventually we drove out of the forested area and into a hilly area comprised of golden hills and open sky. 

And then, suddenly we came to a stop sign where you could either turn left or right. Ahead was the Pacific Ocean.

It was wonderful to think: take 84 and turn left at the Pacific Ocean!

This is what we saw:

I wish I had more photographs of the coastal highway going south to Santa Cruz but I was busy driving and exclaiming and listening to the customized soundtrack my son was creating from his iPhone. It was an amazing drive.

When I was 30 I made a drive with my dad from Austin, Texas to Los Gatos, California with my two cats and all my earthly belongings. It was one of the most amazing road trips of my life. The next year I drove the coastal highway south to Hollywood and that too was a wonderful trip. So as I drove this summer, age 56, with my son, the previous trips layered in and it felt like time had become an accordion, stretching in and out. If anyone doubts that time travel exists, just ask a mother who remembers her own childhood, her young adulthood, her child's childhood, and the journey into her child's young adulthood. 

I can't accurately capture the magic of this trip but it was there every mile of the way.


Grey Horse Matters said...

The drive sounds wonderful. I'm sure it was beautiful too. It's a memory your son will always remember just like your memories of an earlier time.

billie said...

I hope so! :)

Melanie said...

This was home to me over 23 years ago - I just happened upon this after seeing something about CLinton Anderson and finding this blog. Thank you for the reminding me of some wonderful memories!

billie said...

Hi, Melanie - it is such a beautiful part of the country. I'm so glad I stirred some good memories! I lived in Los Gatos for a year and loved driving to Santa Cruz every weekend for coffee, groceries, laundromat, book shopping, etc. I wish I could visit there more often. Hope to see you here again on the blog!