The latest In a nutshell

Trip Start Nov 23, 2009
Trip End Mar 01, 2010

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Chateau Yolanda

Flag of United States  , California
Monday, March 1, 2010

This blog entry is a nutshell summary of our extended time in Oxnard, a driving trip to Northern California, A flight to Michigan and the drive back to California, and then more time in Oxnard.

After arriving in Oxnard, we took a week to relax.
- Dave helped Yolan a few things around the house that needed fixing.
- We enjoyed frequent walks on the beach just a few blocks from the house. 
- Dave had a job interview on Jan. 22nd, in San Diego.

We then drove the 6.5 hours north to visit brother Hans & family in Galt, CA. It was a short visit with good conversation over a delicious tortilla soup that Jodean had prepared from a Wolfgang Puck recipe. In the morning, we continued north through a powerful winter storm to Tulelake, near the California/Oregon border, where daughter Nathalie lives with fiance Eddie and 2 year old son Riley.

As we drove, just after Redding, near Mount Shasta, we followed the example of the truckers lining the road and put on the snow chains. We crawled up and over the pass where everyone was now removing chains. While Dave was crouched by the car removing the chains, he enjoyed a slush shower from a passing snow plow. We imagined that the driver congratulated himself on the direct hit. But really there was nothing either one could have done since the plow was moving very fast. The light faded into night as we continued driving in the in heavy snowstorm. It was pretty scary. As the snow flakes caught the headlights, they looked like streamers coming towards us.

We had a nice time visiting Nathalie's family. Nathalie guided us on scenic tour around the area. 60% of the North American migratory birds stop over in this area on their migration routes. Quite a spectacle in spring and fall. We visited a Japanese internment camp near Tulelake.  

Wikipedia explains: Japanese American internment was the forced relocation and internment by the United States government in 1942 of approximately 110,000 Japanese Americans and Japanese residing along the Pacific coast of the United States to camps called "War Relocation Camps," in the wake of Imperial Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor.[1][2] The internment of Japanese Americans was applied unequally throughout the United States. Japanese Americans residing on the West Coast of the United States were all interned, whereas in Hawaii, where more than 150,000 Japanese Americans composed nearly a third of that territory's population, only 1,200[3] to 1,800 Japanese Americans were interned.[4] Of those interned, 62% were United States citizens.[5][6] President Franklin Delano Roosevelt authorized the internment with Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, which allowed local military commanders to designate "military areas" as "exclusion zones," from which "any or all persons may be excluded." This power was used to declare that all people of Japanese ancestry were excluded from the entire Pacific coast, including all of California and most of Oregon and Washington, except for those in internment camps.[7] In 1944, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the exclusion orders,[8] while noting that the provisions that singled out people of Japanese ancestry were a separate issue outside the scope of the proceedings.[9] In 1988, Congress passed and President Ronald Reagan signed legislation which apologized for the internment on behalf of the U.S. government. The legislation stated that government actions were based on "race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership".[10] Over $1.6 billion in reparations were later disbursed by the U.S. government to Japanese Americans who had either suffered internment or were heirs of those who had suffered internment.

I hope these are lessons learned by us and our government.

We visited Lava Beds National Monument, a rugged area covered in lava and just a short drive from Nathalie's home. Tulelake, the town is small, population 2000. "Out in the sticks", we say.

We then made our way to the northern coast of California through spectacular scenic mountain scenery. We spent the night in Crescent City where we splurged on a room overlooking beach and lighthouse. 

From here, be began to retrace the Pacific Coast bicycle trip we did in December of 2003 (Eureka to Oxnard). We took our time, stopping frequently, and reminisced about the cycle trip and marveled again at the fantastic scenery. We stumbled across two herds of Elk just out side Redwood State Park. Two males with majestic racks relaxed in sunny spot in front of residence while the rest of the herd of about 30 grazed on a property of vacation cabins.

Then through the gigantic redwood forest via the Avenue of the Giants. The Giants made us feel tiny. A truck driving in front of us looked like a toy truck next to the giant trees.

About 100 miles north of San Francisco we came across the unique Sea Chapel, a nondenominational sanctuary for prayer, meditation and spiritual renewal. 

We stayed over near Carmel, took a scenic drive through town and the beach. We stopped in at Carmel Pueblo Mission on the way out of town.

Just past Hearst Castle and before Cambria, we stopped to walk along the coast to watch the Elephant Seals with their pups. The beaches and coves are lined with hundreds of them. A fantastic sight.

After this California loop, we flew to Michigan to get Dave's car that we previously left behind. We were hosted there by our good friends Susan and Jessica. They are wonderful hosts with a lovely house on a lake. We joked that they could make a good business if they turned their home into a B&B. We had a chance to visit briefly with a few Michigan friends before embarking on another cross country driving trip. Much faster this time. Via Chicago-->Omaha-->Georgetown-->Mesquite--> Las Vegas-->Oxnard.  We left Michigan just ahead of another snow storm and made the trip in clear weather. Gaudy Las Vegas forced us to snap a few more pictures along the strip.
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