California Dreaming

I arrived at Stanford on Thursday afternoon, having followed Highway 101 through northern California.

Some observations about the drive: The landscape seemed to change almost immediately as I crossed the California border. The redwoods are quite different from the western red cedar in Washington and Oregon. I left the freeway to drive through the Avenue of the Giants, and I was struck by the deep silence and stillness of the redwood forest. It gave me a sense of the mystery that pervades the forests of fairytales, the vastness and otherness that one feels beneath enormous, ancient trees. And I saw light that explained to me the sense behind the word “dappled.”

That was Humboldt County, where I also saw the off-freeway towns of two hundred or so called the “lost coast.” In Mendocino County, the vineyards began, with more in Sonoma County. Here the grass is a golden brown, and I thought about the differences between the aridness of California and the rainforests of Washington. As I approached San Francisco, I smelled flowers, and further on, a cedary smell that I now think is the redwoods.

I arrived at Stanford by what seemed the back way, driving in on Stock Farm Road instead of Palm Avenue. I’m enjoying being on The Farm.

This entry was posted in travel and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s