From the Midwest to Maine to the Florida Keys to the Gulf to the Pacific … and after more than 12,000 miles of enjoying our US-sized back yard, it was pretty exciting to see the “Welcome to California’ sign. On a diagonal, our entrance into the Golden State couldn’t have been farther away from Northeastern Maine. It feels like we were just there, but nearly 3 seasons have completed and it’s turned into glorious chartreuse spring everywhere. After many years of drought, California’s rains made for a glorious spring. We’ve never seen it so lush, and we’re both California natives.

I keep a photo and RV Diary of where we are every day and it surprises me to look back and see how amazingly diverse and wonderful the US is and we’ve only seen a tiny portion. The weather, plant life, wildlife, geography and cultures all knit together so nicely. I love this country and seeing her close up makes me love her more!

California is all on its own a very diverse state and she’s certainly a big one! We discovered its also not the easiest state to drive through in a large motor home because of road restrictions and city traffic especially in the south and in the Bay Area, but we learned a few tricks along the way and managed to see all our kids, grandkids, Kirk’s parents and some very dear friends. It was fun being a tourist in our home state. We were able to enjoy it more than when we lived and worked there.

The Golden State was named for her golden hills, not for gold mining as some may think. Early this spring…the golden hills were an emerald green with flowers galore! We entered the state April 4th and exited May 21st, which gave us plenty of time to watch nature sprout, blossom, seed and ACHOOOO…get those allergies going.

Welcome through a bug splattered windshield. The Imperial Valley is predominantly agriculture

 

We were by no stretch of the imagination out of desert yet. Yep … California has deserts! El Centro, California, in the Imperial Valley, is desert and heavily agriculture. Row crops go on for miles and miles and miles!  Several places along I-8 are close enough to see the huge wall separating California from Mexico. It’s a huge steel looking wall that’s high, long and looks like it’s been there quite a while. There were border checks along I-8 fairly frequently. We were waved through each time. Wait…we were profiled! I expect they don’t check the thousands of large motoromes that pass by twice a year … late fall and early spring. The lovely RV Park, which is home to so many in winter was deserted and peaceful.

Snugged in at a huge RV Park in El Centro, California. By no means are we out of the desert yet…but soon.

Ocotillo Wind Energy

Almost out of the desert.

So many flowers!! This high desert pass was covered in yellow flowers.

I-8 crawls to over 4,000 ft and the last push before San Diego County and the greater Southern California area.

Woohoo! Oceanside and almost the Pacific

The California Coast in Oceanside

Everywhere Flowers … even in a usually dry wash

The Coastal Range was beaming sunshiny yellow flowers. This is the Rincon, just outside of Ventura

Mountains above Arroyo Grande in the Central Coast

Above Arroyo Grande/Pismo in the Central Coast

Riding Mindy Smith’s Rocky Mountain Horses in the beautiful Central Coastal Range

Rockies don’t trot … oh yeah!

Lovely horses, lovely day, so fun!!

Pismo Sand Dunes California Central Coast

Pismo Sand Dunes … those tiny specs are people walking on top of the far dune

Silicon Valley Apple Headqurters

An Apple a day…

Oroville dressed in green

Hwy 70 and the Feather River. Driving to Lake Almanor

Hwy 70

Lake Almanor, California

Lake Almanor, California

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Green making way to gold in the northern state

Golden Hills outside Colusa , California

Signature golden hills and large old Oaks. It takes a century to grow a magnificent California Oak

A rescue facility in the coastal range in Willits is Janey’s Alma Mater

We were fortunate to live close enough to visit the tall trees for a number of years. This area of the country is bucket list amazing and beautiful. No place else like it on earth. Here’s a website if you’re interested. https://www.nps.gov/redw/learn/nature/about-the-trees.htm

The Redwood forest is home to the tallest trees in the world. Their great height creates its own weather to the forest floor below.

Redwood Highway is a must see

And just like that, the Redwoods make way for wind blown shores

And next comes Oregon

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