Hella NorCal

You probably noticed I currently have a hella slow turtle like pace on the tour.  Yeah the van is super heavy and only 110 hp, but really it's because I grew up in California and have friends and family in every other city along the route.  What should have been a couple day stop turned into a week, and the holidays put a stretch on the visits as well.  Now that I'm getting out of those zones, the momentum will really start to pick up.  (Hella is a word invented in Northern California, one of my favorite pieces of slang from my youth.)

Lake Tahoe and Reno were really fun to come back to with a fresh creative eye and capture that with my camera.  It's interesting to change mentally over time and review your relationship with familiar areas like that, like my photos from high school are so different that they're funny. 

Here I'm now at day 23 of the tour, mile 1100.  I hit the road with a route up to see my father's family in Redding, but detoured into the wine country for some better views.  It's all about the scenic route.

These produce boxes looked like a great backdrop, nice and symmetrical for a portrait with Tina.  Yes, I've named my van Tina.  

Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet, Welches...

Mile 1320.  Castelli Di Amorosa is a medieval looking winery, complete with moat.  I didn't see any dragons though...

Why did the chicken cross the vineyard?  ...to get a buzz of course.  

Wine country is beautiful.  If I had a girl along with me I would have stopped at every winery and stretched this region's day trip into a week.  

It started raining pretty heavily and made for some great moody photo ops.  This tree had me pulled off the highway, shot from the window.  

Anybody want to caravan with me on my cross-country adventure??!?  No cost to get this camper, just needs gas. 

What would you caption this pic??

Hahahahaaa.  I found my camp location for the night!  

This is a buddhist church, but really freaky. 

Day 26, mile 1590.  I drove all the way to the Chandelier Driver-Thru Tree, and found out that my lift-kit had me too tall.  ...so we got this photo in the pouring rain, holding an umbrella over my camera, accepting defeat.  

Day 27, mile 2040.  The Sundial Bridge in Redding, CA.  This is an odd design for this community, I feel it doesn't connect with the mostly redneck culture.  I only say this because I was born in this city and am sure there was a lot of controversy of the funding to develop this project.  

Hello, from the beautiful designed architecture of Santiago Calatrava. 

 Great little place on a lagoon off the Sacramento River. 

Great little place on a lagoon off the Sacramento River. 

  Frank Loyd Wright designed the Pilgrim Congregational Church.  He never even visited the site, which happened to be his last church project just 4 years before his death.

Frank Loyd Wright designed the Pilgrim Congregational Church.  He never even visited the site, which happened to be his last church project just 4 years before his death.

The children who play here will hopefully someday come to appreciate this building.

A violin and clarinet performance echoed in the great hollow of this church to the audience of me. 

 Awesome architecture. 

Awesome architecture. 

Shasta Lake looks crazy because of the drought.  It rained heavily before this clear day raising the water level by 40', but still is super low.

This structure is supposed to be 50-100' under the water level.  It was the base to a tower that helped build Shasta Dam.  Now it's the subject of my fine art piece. 

Redding rednecks don't take kindly to terrorist activity.  Only one car at a time is allowed over the dam, and they got an eye on you! 

The security guard said "back in the day" he's seen people roll bowling balls and shopping carts down this.  Kinda lame for the environment, but I bet entertaining. 

 Castle Crags is easy to miss, but just off I-5.  I hiked up a trail to the top when I was a kid, but never got a photograph.  This parking lot shot is better anyways. 

Castle Crags is easy to miss, but just off I-5.  I hiked up a trail to the top when I was a kid, but never got a photograph.  This parking lot shot is better anyways. 

  Day 27, mile 2230.   Hedge Creek Falls in Dunsmuir is cool.  Though it's not a huge waterfall, the cave behind it is surreal.  

Day 27, mile 2230.  Hedge Creek Falls in Dunsmuir is cool.  Though it's not a huge waterfall, the cave behind it is surreal.  

 Yeah, I thought about running through it like it was a shower, but it would have knocked me on my butt real quick. 

Yeah, I thought about running through it like it was a shower, but it would have knocked me on my butt real quick. 

 Getting out of the hills on towards Mt Shasta is this cinder cone.  Mt Shasta was engulfed in clouds, so this was the beauty on the horizon. 

Getting out of the hills on towards Mt Shasta is this cinder cone.  Mt Shasta was engulfed in clouds, so this was the beauty on the horizon. 

Next I'll be rolling out of California into a state with No Sales Tax, Oregon!  I'm going to stock up on Ramen and PB&J and soups and Rainier...