Rural passengers, 1950s vibes, and Walter the failed botanist in Ukiah, CA

Nice things people on Yelp had to say about Ukiah, a rustic town in Mendocino County with a population of 16,000: “The air is always sparkling clear (unless there are forest fires). Every night we can go outside and look up and feel as though we are camping in the Sierras—billions of stars! There areContinue reading “Rural passengers, 1950s vibes, and Walter the failed botanist in Ukiah, CA”

The Bucolic Life For Me: Exploring California’s Central Valley, Part 2

**This is a continuation of an entry from a few days ago that featured the towns Turlock, Modesto, and Fresno. ~~ Lodi, CA After I pull in to the parking lot of a 711, three humans dressed in wedding attire pile into my car, holding cardboard trays filled with burgers and fries. The bride’s dress takesContinue reading “The Bucolic Life For Me: Exploring California’s Central Valley, Part 2”

Ride with Me: Logger Vibes, a Curious Cat, and the Girl who Raved in Eureka and Arcata, CA

Eureka, CA  I’m on my way up to Eureka, a town of 27,000 in northern California’s Humboldt County.  Just outside Garberville off Highway 101 N, a gargantuan tree lays toppled on the side of the road. I stop the car to explore it; a closer look shows me that it has been carved out and convertedContinue reading “Ride with Me: Logger Vibes, a Curious Cat, and the Girl who Raved in Eureka and Arcata, CA”

Ride with Me: California Gold Rush Towns

Towns in the Sierra Nevada foothills, or “the Gold Rush towns,” were among my favorite getaways in the state. Many of them conjure the feeling of having been transported back in time. What they may lack in cultural variety, they more than make up for in their almost complete serenity, opportunities to connect with nature,Continue reading “Ride with Me: California Gold Rush Towns”

Bucolic charm, swimming pigs, and a passenger’s poeticization of rivers in the California Delta

Disco music pumps from the speakers, shaking the floors of the riverside restaurant-bar. Dressed in jean shorts, a maroon tank top, and black flip-flops, the bar-tender dances along to it. A tattoo of a fish (or is it a dolphin?) on her right bicep glitters and shimmies as she stirs mojitos and hands change to theContinue reading “Bucolic charm, swimming pigs, and a passenger’s poeticization of rivers in the California Delta”