2. Visiting Luke & Pete…Arcata 10.2009


after we were all done downtown, luke and I took the dogs and went for a walk in the redwood forest behind his apartment.  this is such a peaceful place...filled with mosses, ferns and some amazing-tall trees with huge trunks.  the dogs can chase sticks and rocks forever .  luke’s walked these forests tons and tons...mostly in the company of the dogs...and one of the neighbors dogs too.  I asked luke to stop by the tree trunk as he was walking by...then you can see the perspective...it’s soooo BIG!


luke suggested I might like the arts alive! in eureka...I’d been to this before...it’s similar to “first fridays” in kansas city...really a fun atmosphere to spend the evening...and check out the magnificent full moon! a singing accordian player on the corner (with the full moon right above his head)

and on the way back to my car, there was a “bagpiper” (is that technically a musical term?) serenading everyone .....he was super loud too


so, on my way back, I decided to pull off the highway, and play with my new camera....I wanted to see how it took pics of this wonderful full moon.  very interesting...love the shot of the full moon surrounded by the moving clouds...but the “phantom-moon” is getting bigger...where did that come from?  



pete and I left arcata about 11am to go for a scenic drive, through the redwoods and along the ocean.  luke was working today and had done this drive before, but it’s one pete was wanting to do...and I’m so glad we did.  the day was kind of overcast, but the sun shone through the clouds every once in awhile


the first several miles of this road is the route for the 1/2 marathon that pete and shannon ran in a couple of years ago.  I never tire of looking at the size of these amazing trees


after we left the redwoods, the views opened up to the mountains. not near as big or rocky as the colorado mountains, but still so beautiful. the clouds were growing darker as we slowly drove this narrow and winding road.  we took the turn off for the mattole beach


it started to rain, just a tiny bit (see the spots on the photo), and we had the entire beach to ourselves. the waves were big here. I could sit and watch the waves for a long time. on the left side of the road was the ocean... and the right side of the road were the mountains


and along side the road...was a goat


the road continued to wind up and down, but stayed near the water. the road continued to wind up and down, but stayed near the water.  the few drops of rain stopped


this was looking towards the north (left) and this was looking south (right)....the clouds were so amazing, so defined above the mountains, the water, the rocks and the little bit of sun behind the clouds


the road continued north, climbing up the side of this mountain; the view from the top

what a shot

on up the road farther, another small river finds it’s way to the pacific


the road ended in ferndale, but we went back down the highway to fortuna...home of the eel river brewery.  we had a nice lunch...I had the fish and chips...pete had the tri-trip sandwich...my fav part was sampling 4 of their beers...all were really good, but the stout was my favorite


we all met back at pete and shannons to just hang out awhile...very spoiled dogs. brandon is also a dog lover.  brandon has taken to california just like the boys have...they all just love it.  shannon and sarah in the kitchen...shannon was treating everyone to another great meal.  this is where pete does the majority of his hanging out at home...tucked in corner, behind two computer screens.  I think everyone’s getting pretty tired of me taking their pictures.  but I can handle an eye-roll or two...I’m tough.



my last day...I drove to eureka to get shannon a birthday gift...and stopped in old town to grab some coffee...the mariners compass in the center of town.  the view down the street to some of the shops.  for about 5 blocks the streets are lined with old victorian style buildings.  there is the boardwalk by the harbor.  a view of the harbor with the mountains in the background.  a boat headed out this morning.  after successfully purchasing the b-day gift, I met up with everyone to head up north for the day’s outing


we drove to the lady bird johnson redwood grove.  this pic is from standing inside a tree, shooting up

one of the hollow trees....plus luke


this loop through the forest was just filled with so many cool things to look at


I’m always fascinated how two, or three. or multiple trees grow from one trunk.  this is called a “widow-maker”...where a branch falls off, plants itself from the force of the fall, and grows into a tree…wow


kaya and blue came with us and they really enjoyed running all around.  Luke in the hollow of a tree.  the girls and the muts 


our next stop was called “dry lagoon”...wow!  this was one of the most awesome beaches I’ve ever been to.  we all just played around on here for a good chunk of the afternoon


the waves here were the biggest I’ve seen up near arcata.  the dogs LOVE playing at the beach...no water too cold for them.  okay...I just couldn’t stop taking photos of these waves...


shannon and luke discussing the break.  pete...just wave-watching


and of course, there were lots of things to climb on…. and jump off of


two happy couples


blue...loves his playtime on the beach & posing in between fetches

wow!  love those wave-crashes

we were all having such a great time here


the things to climb on just get bigger... but the view from up there was great...or so luke said… if one climbs, the other one does too.  the tide coming in around the rock


they never climb down... I guess jumping is a lot more fun


this time, it was a contest to see who could jump the farthest... I think pete won


they look like explorers.... what have they spotted?

they definitely have the best view


still looking while climbing down


the little dark spot in the water was a seal swimming around.  he would dive under, then surface....it was neat to watch him

i love them soo much!

the sun was shining, the winds were died down...just wonderful!


the view looking north…then a a close up shot


pete and I got a little crazy with the camera and this area of rocks

we left the beach...after having a super-great time there all afternoon.  we were all planning to meet downtown for dinner later

after strolling downtown for a little while, we all met for some yummy food and great beer at hum-brews...a former brewery, but now just a great place to hang out


we went back to pete and shannon’s.    shannon opened her birthday gift (a little early) I couldn’t believe it, but on her “wish list” was a cast iron skillet (she loves to cook) and we also got her a “wheat-free” cookbook.


a little more lounging, visiting and laughing, and it was time to say goodbye to pete, shannon, shelby and dexter.  after this shot, luke took me back to his apartment, so I could pack up, head to bed, to get ready for my early morning flight

my thoughts about this trip…

it was so great seeing the boys, the girls and the dogs.  luke and pete are having so much fun, and have seemed to figure out life as they like it

danny and I are excited about the upcoming wedding, sometime next summer or fall.  shannon and pete seem to be meant for each other...they enjoy the same things so much

it was so nice getting to know sarah better on this trip...they too, seem to enjoy the same things..they’re always going camping, or to some festival or beach-walking with the dogs

I got to spend so much more time with the boys hiking, going to the beach, and visiting than I’d anticipated.  the casino and poker room are a little slow right now.. but they are just taking it all in stride, enjoying what extra time off they might have...and they have found sooo much to enjoy!

and me?  spending time with everyone was wonderful...I miss them sooo much...but the added bonus of hiking through the forests, watching the mighty ocean, and being in this glorious california outdoors, is just icing on the best type of cake!  the only thing I’d wanted to do, that I didn’t, was to go for a walk on the beach at night...seeing this magnificent full moon shimmering in the ocean water

but, one last treat was in store for me...as my plane took off before dawn this morning, the plane flew out, in a wide swoop over the ocean, and in my window, was the beautiful, full moon...how very, very special

it was a really great trip...

home   1   

 vikhill@gmail.com                                                                                                                                                    © Vicki Hill 2022