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California Road Trip:Beyond Sonoma County

9.10.2012

There's no doubt California is a beautiful state. We are blessed with such varied topography and vegetation from the beautiful coastline, Sierra Nevada range and desert.When we think Northern Cal, San Francisco first comes to mind. But this travelogue is dedicated to the typically unexplored region at the edge of Northern Cal, the last third of our great state...beyond Sonoma County. {more after images}

Sonoma County
making our way to the coast on Hwy 101
Eureka
where the land meets the sea at Humboldt County
amazing redwoods
Jedediah Smith State Park
 Ok, I admit my tolerance for a long road trip was diminished after an attempt to drive across the country last summer. But the adventure of driving up the length of our home state to the Pacific Northwest was calling me this summer. Plus I've always been curious about exploring the rest of California like the city of Eureka...maybe it was the allure of the days gone by during the California gold rush. And who can resist the redwoods, the tallest trees in the world?  Following a stop at Santa Rosa,a gateway city to the wine country in Sonoma County, we continued our trek to the north on Highway 101, also known as historic El Camino Real.

The drive on this part of Hwy 101 is so beautiful with vineyards blanketing the valleys, rolling hills dotted with oak trees and the road lined with pine trees and redwoods. No traffic jams on this part of the 101 my fellow Angelenos! The atmosphere with the warm inland air meeting the cold ocean temperature created the most beautiful effect, as we transitioned from extremely hot weather to cold and foggy along the coast. I couldn't help but scream "Eureka!" when I arrived in this small town, a Greek word meaning "I've found it!"  It was inspiring to be surrounded by the redwoods along with seeing the so called "Ewok Forest" (for any Star Wars fans) filmed at Jedediah Smith State Park.

Another great side trip would be along Mendocino Bay when driving up north along the coast- that will be next time!

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