February 10, 2010

On the Road

After the big storms in Truckee, the time finally came for our first road trip. We packed up our Honda Element, and headed south in search of a little more sunshine, mild weather and a couple weeks respite from the snow. While we aren't really tired of snow, we actually just needed to get our Element to San Diego to get it converted to a custom camping vehicle, an ECamper. With San Diego being about 1000 km from Truckee, not only did we have to break the trip up into shorter segments, but it also gave us the chance to visit a few places of interest along the way.

After a couple nights in the Sierra Nevada foothills, we headed across the San Joaquin Valley to the Pacific Coast and a few days on the beach. As with the drive into Yosemite Valley, desceding to the coast remains awe inspiring with the Pacific Ocean stretching to the horizon beyond the green oak and eucalyptus covered hills of the coastal range.

The sound of the waves crashing against the shore is in stark contrast to the graceful falling of snow that we've seen plenty of the past few weeks, however, both snow and sand both provide haven for two small boys in search of adventure. Elias and FrĂȘney needed no encouragement to get their feet wet and hands dirty, playing in the constant advance and receding of ocean waves or digging in the wet sand left by the ebbing tide. As parents it was rewarding to watch them absorb the impulses of this new environment and sense both their enjoyment and fascination.

Continuing down the Pacific Coast, we stopped for a couple days in my old stomping grounds in Santa Barbara. After four years of studying and living, Santa Barbara holds many good memories to be revisited, from the vibrance of the weekly farmers market, to the spectacular setting between mountain and sea.

Eventually our journey brought us even further south to Moreno Valley, where the boulder strewn and grass covered hills provided contrast to and respite from the neon lights of the city. Here we settled down for a few days and enjoyed a preview of spring to the backdrop of snow covered mountains in the distance.