Thursday, May 22, 2014

California Part 4 - Napa and the Coast, Highway 1

After five days together in NorCal, my family took off for home, while Alison and I took the long ride to San Francisco. You see, we'd decided to stay in Muir Beach thanks to giving us a better rate on paradise than we could have gotten on a cruddy San Fran hotel room. You'll see that paradise and the reason later -- first, let's talk about the way we got there.

We stopped in Napa city, picked up a map, and settled on the Frank Family Vineyards up in Calistoga. It was our destined location.

Beautiful grounds and a reprieve from driving in the rain were enough for me, but then we went in for a tasting and mentioned we were headed to Muir Beach. The man behind the counter informed us there was one truly spectacular way to get there: Highway 1.

We had the time, and he had a pen, so with a makeshift map we left the fields and headed through Napa and Sonoma valleys, all the way to the western edge of the state, country, and continent. Once we were past the petrified forest and through the fields of vines, it was us and the Pacific.

This is what the road looks like in front of you, all the time. It's difficult to focus on, however, because of everything on your right. 

Along this drive, we pulled off the road countless times, and my wife said some of the most pertinent advice about life I've ever been told. "If you want to be a photographer, you need to get out of the car." I jumped out at every stop that day, and I've been living according to those words ever since.

I really need to take one last opportunity to thank that man in Calistoga that drew a map for us, because it led to one of the greatest and most memorable times in our life together. What an adventure.

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