I am a firm believer that everything in life happens for a reason. Trusting my gut instinct wasn’t something that I understood overnight, but changed me forever when I committed. My journey in life has been anything but the usual, particularly in the past few years. I have waltzed through all of my interests and seized opportunities as they came.
This road trip was simply a chance to start the new year fresh. I got to look down the road for a change, rather than staring blindly into the deep blue sea. The change of scenery was refreshing and the time alone was restorative.
M/Y Latitude, the boat I work on was getting ready to move from the shipyard in grey Seattle to sunny San Francisco. At the last minute, I was handed the keys to our crew car and told to meet the boat in San Francisco in 4 days time. I planned a quick itinerary, filled my backpack and grabbed my camera for company.
Before I knew it, I was already in Portland, OR, eating at a hipster cafe and strolling through some unique vintage shops. I continued along the coast and I stopped in Yachats, OR on the first night. I woke up to an ocean view and only the sound of trashing waves and my thoughts echoing in the background. I spent the entire second day stopping along the coast and zigzagging through dusty old towns and tourist pit stops. When the sun started to set, I got so caught up with chasing light that I earned a hefty speeding ticket. The officer didn’t find it very funny when I explained to him that I was racing through the town to catch the sunset at the other end. Lucky for me, I still caught the sun setting. My spirit satiated with light and imagery, I had no more space left for dinner when I stopped in a motel town called Eureka as I entered California.
The next morning I was ready for California! I drove through the beautiful Red Woods and swooped though some very sleepy towns that probably don’t exist on the map. As I finally reached suburbia I found a TJ Maxx and a Chipotle amongst a few familiar box stores. Since I had time on my side, I decided to spend the night in Napa Valley. At sunset I drove through grape-less vineyards but was mesmerized by the hazy, yet clear light coming over the horizon. I had finally met the California light I had dreamed of photographing. I capped off the evening by tasting a few wines and filling my belly with a steak frites at Mustards.
I had a lovely sit down breakfast the next morning in deserted downtown Napa at Grace’s Table. I never knew bacon, eggs and a glass of freshly squeezed OJ could put me in such a good mood. After a little stroll through some antique shops I hit the road for San Francisco, where I would watch Latitude sail under the Golden Gate Bridge. My hair got tangled in the wind and my phone died in the cold, the but view made it worthwhile.