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Oregon To California

Our visit to Crater Lake NP, was an incentive to explore and seek new beautiful views and scenarios Turing the expedition.  There had been many days of being surrounded by white-peaked mountains, pines and lakes that this view had become relatively monotonous.  But this lake was different, the color of the water and its location inside a volcano’s crater made it impressive.

Even though it was covered by snow, something rare in middle of the summer, the lake seems a pristine and firm presence that will perdure in time.  We walked on the path around the lake taking Pictures and enjoying an Amazing view.   We could have stayed there for hours but the mosquitoes.  With snow, cold, with sun or not, these insects survive all adversities and sting every time they have a chance!

We continue our way, with a stop on an Italian restaurant to celebrate Sergio’s birthday with cake, candles and singing included.  After the short break, we continue to Redwoods in California, a park as majestic as the trees it contains.  Among all immense vegetation, a tree distinguishes itself: Big Tree, a not to original name for this giant tree, but it is really big, with a height 92.6 and a diameter of 6.6 meters.  Its total circumference reaches 20.7 meters and Big Tree is more tan 1,500 years old!!!  One can only imagine all that this tree has lived and seen, and makes us give life a different perspective knowing it has been there for so long and will continue there for many years more, then you understand that our life in this planet its simply brief and we have to enjoy at its fullest.

We continue to our way towards Lassen Volcanic NP, but regretfully we could only drive the first 10 miles because the roads were still closed due to the snow  Yes, snow… in the current changing climate we are experiencing there was still snow in July, which prevented us from going through (and we are in California. After this small inconvenience, we continue towards Sacramento to camp and meet with a Venezuelan friend that lives there, Álvaro Rodríguez, who amiably, as always, suggested some places to visit in California, and I have to say they were excellent suggestions.

The first place we went to visit was Napa Valley, famous for its wines; we couldn’t go without visiting one of these famous wineries.  Robert Mondavi Winery is one of the most famous brands known all over the world.  The facilities were great and the tour with wine casting was very nice, and obviously, I couldn’t leave that place without buying some bottles of wine to enjoy them with my wife when we meet again.

In my case, since I am a descendant of Italians, it surprised me that an Italian would come all this way to this remote place to start making wine.  And we are not referring to this date with internet, cell phones, we are talking about 1966!!!  It’s really admirable the vision and the courage of these European immigrants who left everything behind and with pure work and force made their home in this land, creating big companies and leaving a wonderful heritage.  And when I mention companies and legacy, I am not speaking in monetary terms, but the magnitude of their work.

We went a little faster to get to San Francisco with daylight, and we just have the time to take a picture to the famous Golden Gate and Alcatraz prison when the night got in and made us go looping for a camping place.  The next day, we went to Pismo Beach, another good suggestion from Alvaro, a beach with vehicle access and immense dunes were we could play for a while.  What was unusual for us Venezuelans, it’s to associate Beach with cold, the wind blew really hard, throwing sand at us as well as a gelid cold from the Pacific Ocean.  The idea of camping in this place was not the best so we continue our search for a campground near Los Angeles.

We took off this day as a birthday present for Sergio, and as an excuse to enjoy the world know attraction park and famous for its roller coasters: Six Flags.  I am only going to say one thing: You have to go!!!

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