Thursday, October 29, 2009

Preparing for the road again...

This morning I discovered a wonderful Large cup of coffee for the grand total of $1... wow. Other than the Einstein's "refills" I can't remember the last time I've paid that little for a large coffee.

I wandered the town a bit before a nice dinner on Main St. The walk was nice and I made it to the top of a hill where I could see for miles. I did notice a number of more Victorian style houses instead of the smaller post-war or bungalow types. It is interesting how the spatial distribution of development might have a bit of a pattern... I would be interested to see what would happen if you took 30 cities... 10 each of 3 varying sizes and see if there is a pattern for development based on age of the buildings.

Well this will be a short post for I need to plan my drive for tomorrow... from Alturas to Reno to Denver... I am looking forward to my burger fix at In-N-Out and being home :-)

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A small town...

So what defines a small town? It's walking down the street and realizing that people store their cut firewood in the alley accessible to all- oh and tools are stored outside. It's the fact that random people wave at you as you walk down the street. Heck I went into a post office and there was a bell to ring for service... no one to watch over the counter because they were busy out back. And the Post Office really is on Main Street. It's the small coffee shop that accepts only cash (though I must say there are plenty of places like that in Point Loma where I grew up).

It is a different reality in a small town. People notice as you walk down the street and talk to you exuding a vibe I am not accustomed to. I have to say I know I'm used to moving faster and sometimes my impatience slips through. There is not a single chain restaurant in town that I've found. The railroad tracks go through the center of town and the BPOE lodge was built in the late 1800s and stands just as firm built in rock.

It's a different place, pace, world and I am privileged to get to experience it for a week....

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Throughout the US and into my own

As the year has evolved I have had the chance to explore some random places... places that 160 characters can not adequately describe as I update my facebook status. So I am attempting to revive the blog as a travel blog instead of a chronicle of establishing a life in a new state. Now this isn't the type of thing that is going to necessarily give you the hot spots to explore on vacation but mostly the unexpected places and things to love about this lovely country I am blessed to live in and work for...

I am currently in Alturas California which is a small town in North Eastern California- closer to Oregon and Nevada than any major city in California. I used to come up here for work occasionally and I do enjoy visiting. It's the kind of city that you need to remember to bring cash to buy a cup of coffee and a homemade english muffin.

This evening I went for a walk around town- it's the kind of place where within 15 minutes I walked to the edge of town and checked out some cattle. Then it was a walk through the neighborhood passing by the Catholic church built in 1883 and the little houses. The deer were wandering through the town eating on the lawns. The quail scurried through the streets fluttering around every corner. It's a darling place with some decent places to eat and a Rite Aid to rival most Targets.

The road up to Alturas was a nice meander through Northern California starting in San Francisco to wander Union Square, chill with the kid, through Sacramento (a lovely town and where I grew up so much), a visit to the UC Davis campus and then I was on my way. On the drive up I drove through Lassen National Park- a magnificent place that gets much less press than it should. But the lack of press means it is a gem with relatively empty trails and sights to stun you into silence. I managed a quick 3 mile hike down to Bumpass Hell and back... a little gem with volcanic history and bubbling mud spewing out sulphuric smells. During the hike I had over 45 minutes on the trail without seeing a soul and I realized I have become one of those people I always envied- the single woman confidently venturing out on a trail enjoying nature... it's a good life.