Drove out of SF in the early morning light, and Golden Gate shone like a pearl. And I drove across it. I feel so... grown up.
We drove out on US 101 and hit Sebastopol rather earlier than I thought we would after a few false starts (our rental's GPS unit occasionally has trouble telling its right from its left...) and we had a nice meal in a brand-new restaurant which had literally opened only three days before while waiting for the author event at Copperfield's Books to start. At around half past two, after lunch and some meandering around Sebastopol's main street (which is GREAT, and extremely eclectic) we came back to the bookshop and I did my reading and signed some stock, and then we had dinner with a friend who had come to see me there. Then we crashed at the local Holiday Inn.
This morning, after the hotel's nice breakfast, we lit out on US 101 until we hit Route 128, and then went west on that.
I think I'm in love.
We drove first through rolling hills and vineyards which were turning jewel shades of garnet and ruby and gold, along this twisty hilly road that the GPS was having real trouble with and eventually decided "This road is straight" and flattened out all the curves on the screen [grin]. Then the vineyards turned into hills, and then the hills turned into... woods.
This is what Heaven looks like. The greengold light of the redwood trees, and the cathedral silences of the groves and the trees that go on forever and reach into the sky. There's a reverence here. This is my country, my kind of land, and I just drove and smiled and smiled and drove and transported myself into a state of zen rapture.
And then we hit the sea.
Spectacular coastline around Mendocino - we drove through Mendocino itself and eventually arrived into Fort Bragg, where we checked into a cute little B&B and are now waiting for a restaurant which was recommended to us to open for dinner.
Weather still good.
First encounter with redwoods accomplished. And I know now I was right to love and revere these trees sight unseen.
See you all later.