This morning I write on the eve of a journey. Tomorrow, I will wake early, squeeze the last of my belongings into my newest purchase -- the kind that goes vroom and that makes me feel like quite the grown-up -- and with my atlas in hand, head south. Then east. I am picking up my best buddy, Amy -- a Seattlelite who also worked on the farm -- and we'll drive to Virginia to work on the same farm once again.
As much fun as it would be to drive along the coast, there is one stop we must make before returning to life out East: Bob's Red Mill. For some, it may seem silly to plan a trip around a granary mill, but to those I say that if we're just going to buy a ton of Bob's Red Mill products out East, then wouldn't it make sense to get them ourselves and see where they're produced? Plus, Bob's is one of the most notable natural granaries in the world. It's a food nerd thing.
photo: Mary Cruse
photo: dawn paley
From there, we'll hit the coast and spend some time in the Redwood National Forest. I remember driving through briefly as a kiddo, but given my age at the time, the only memories I have are a little less landscape-centric and a little more Baby-sitter's Club. This time through, things will be different, as Kristy and Claudia's antics will be replaced with hikes, yurts and warm sleeping bags. Out of everything on the trip, I think I'm most looking forward to this first stop.
Once we've had our fill of the ever tall redwoods, then it's on our way to the Grand Canyon. Now depending on our mood, we may drive through wine country -- Sonoma, Napa -- and continue on 101 to see the California coast, or we may just link back up with the interstate and tuck it down to Bakersville, so it's over and onward to Vegas. One of my good friends from Seattle is a forest ranger in Yosemite, and as much as we tried to swing seeing her and Yosemite for the first time, weather doesn't allow it, so any immediate interludes with Yogi and Boo Boo will just have to wait.
Neither of us are what you would think Vegas girls to be, so I'm sure we'll hightail it out of there as soon as possible to the Grand Canyon, then the Grand Staircase. Cannot wait to hippie it out with epic scenery, hikes and spending as much time in nature as possible. I've never spent time in the desert, so I'm really looking forward to seeing what my impressions are and how landscape, so different to my beloved PNW strikes me.
photo: Grand Canyon NPS