Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Humbolt State University

The purpose of our trip was to take Sarah to college. Here she is with her brother, after getting moved into her dorm room. Her dorm seems more like summer camp to me, with it's wooden building nestled among the redwood trees. Because she's a vegetarian not fond of institutional food she opted for a student apartment. 5 girls in 3 bedrooms share a kitchen bath and living room. It seems pretty plush to me! She'll get her exercise at school as the campus is built on a hillside, and her dorm is up big steep hill. The Humbolt State campus is actually quite nice, nice setting, nice architecture, nice landscaping. I think she'll be quite happy there.
Sarah's dorm
If you peek between the trees you can see a little of the big hill up to the her dorm.
Another campus building.

....and of course, I had to take pictures of the lovely flowers on campus.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Crossing Nevada...

Last night I chased a rainbow across the Nevada desert....
I'm sure most people would think I'm crazy for saying this, but I actually really like driving across Nevada. I find the desert beautiful, and I love the wide open skys and far off mountain vistas that are rarely marred with man made structures.

Driving east across Nevada last night we spied a rainbow, or should I say half a rainbow, the left half, colorful, broad and bright and stretching up to the sky. I would have loved to snap a picture but one thing about driving through Nevada is that that exits and highway pull offs are few and far between. As we drove east the rainbow faded and and brightened several times as we chased it across the state. It made for a most pleasurable drive. It was evening and as the sun began to set the low hanging clouds of the weather system that caused the rainbow also caused the the sun to refract and bask the the landscape in an almost eerie golden glow. With the rainbow still ahead of us I finally spied an exit... one of those random exits that appears to go no where, so we stopped for a photo op. From this vantage we could take in the full arc of the rainbow, now double, in the this crazy golden light. The pictures don't begin to capture the beauty...

But then the thunder clapped and raindrops started falling and we thought better of standing outside in the open, so we hopped back in the car and continued east. In not many miles there was another ranch exit and we braved the weather for a few moments to get a few more pictures of the spectacular sunset storm.

And no, we never did find that pot of gold... but our stop for the night was at Winnemucca, Nevada where we got a cheap room at a casino.... and 2 coupons for free drinks in the bar. That's as close to pot of gold we could get. Since as of Monday Matt is officially an adult we went to the lounge for gin and tonics and to listen to the band. As we sat a guy walked up to us... a guy I'm acquainted with from the singles group in Salt Lake City.... so what's the probability of running into someone you know when your hanging out in one of several town casinos in a town more than 5 hours from home? (You should always know your probabilities when playing at a casino) 100% I guess! Wanna bet?

Friday, August 20, 2010

California Adventures

A few more photos of our adventures.. after spending the afternoon with Sarah, Matt and I took a misty evening drive up to Trinidad Bay and Beach. This is where Humbolt State has it's marine biology lab. Now I'm really hoping Sarah takes the oceanography course her school offers!

My boy Matt and a huge stump that must have washed up on the beach... it is so amazing how big the trees are here... even the dead ones.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

California Adventures....

This weeks adventure... the family adventure taking my daughter Sarah to begin her freshman year at Humbolt State University in Arcata, Ca. She and her big brother drove her car, which she wanted at school, and I followed in mine. It is quite the drive to Arcata. The first 8 hours landed us in Reno, Nevada, on a day that, convieniently, was Matt's 21st birthday. We stayed at a casino where he got to drink a beer and gamble a little to celebrate his big day. I think he rather enjoyed geting carded by casino security, which allowed him to proudly pull out is license that said he was, indeed old enough.

From Reno to Arcata is where the drive gets long as it is 6 hours of 2 lane highway. First throught desert rangeland, then through the forest up around Lassen Volcano National Park, then dropping into a valley were the city of Redding Ca. After that it seemed like we were home free.... only 140 miles to Arcata. As it turns out highway 299 is 140 miles of windy and steep mountain roads with lots of hairpin turns. It was quite a beautiful, but exhausting drive. I would have loved to take pictures, but since I was following the kids and couldn't stop with out loosing them I never had the chance.

We got to Humbolt last night in time to check into her dorm, a spacious (by dorm standards) campus apartment nestled in the redwoods. It's quite a beautiful place, with the campus on the hillside in the redwoods, with some spots overlooking Humbolt Bay.

Sarah, who was really nervous about starting school, made friends right away and spent her first night in the dorm. I joined her in the morning for orientation, while her brother checked out the town and local skatepark. By lunch time she decided she didn't need me at orientation after all, so Matt and I left to drive north along the coast. Wow, talk about beautiful!!!... and this time I was able to stop for pictures!!!

And what trip to the forest would be complete with out stumbling upon a giant Paul Bunyan statue?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The end of Minnestota...

Back to the Minnesots quaintness.... smack dab in the middle of my brothers town Minnitrista, is the tiny town of St. Bonnifacious. A tiny mile square town totally surrounded by Minnetrista. Main street sports 3 bars, a gunshop, a laundromat and a gas station. The St. Bonny ford dealership has been around since 1912, and it doesn't look like much has changed since then! The town also has the cutest little library that I have ever seen. What a quaint little step back in history.

Now for the less then quaint side of Minnesota we had to take our token shopping trip to the Mall of America. Sure enough, it was huge. So were the lego sculptures at the lego store. And yes there really is an amusement park in the middle of the mall. The mall was built on the site of the old Metropolitan stadium, where the Vikings and Twins once played. If you are observant you will find an old chair from the old stadium hanging high up on a wall overlooking the amusement park. According the wikipedea the seat is at the exact location (including elevation) that it occupied in the stadium, andto commemorates a 520 foot home run hit by hall-of-famer Harmon Killebrew on June 3, 1967. Interesting. I'm not exactly a mall rat so I found the place a bit overwhelming. Fun to see once, but not someplace I'll need to go see again.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Back to Minnesota

One wonderful treat we had while visiting Minnesota was my brother taking us on a brunch cruise on Lake Minnetonka. We could not have asked for a more lovely day for a boat ride!!!!
Alligator Alley. Why? As we passed through it the captain said it would be obvious why the channel was called that. Guess what, it wasn't! Maybe because of the cattail? We never figured it out. LOL

The sailing club.

Matt and Sarah

Uncle Jeff

Wednesday, August 04, 2010


I'm never sure what I think of astrology. It's interesting and fun but being the the science nerd type I can't help but think "show me the science behind it".

Then every now and then I read my horoscope and it is so "holy crap unbelievably spot on" that I have to wonder if maybe those astrologers really do know their stuff

Today was one of those days.

Today is my "unniversary"... would have been my 26th wedding anniversary had my marriage made it past 23 years. I try to make the best of it (tonight is martini night with the girls), but it is always a sad day for me.

Here's a screenshot of my yahoo horoscope today... I guess today was one of those "holy crap unbelievably spot on" days for sure.

Monday, August 02, 2010

More Minn.....

One highlight of our trip was stumbled upon by accident. After driving through downtown (or is it uptown?) Minneapolis, we found our way to a parkway along the Mississipi that my brother had yet to discover. We spied a sign for Lock and Dam No 1, and turned down the drive to investigate. It was the first of 29 locks on the Missippi River. The cool thing was is that it had on observation deck with a little self guided tour. None of us had ever seen a lock in action, so we stayed and watched the lock operate in both the upstream and downstream direction. I guess we're all a little nerdy because we all thought it was pretty cool. I liked seeing the kayaks come through the lock; they seemed so dwarfed by the operation, I think I would have felt a little intimidated by the big walls ang giant gates of the lock.