Monday, October 11, 2010

California Dreamin' – The Search for Summer

Highway 1 - California Coast
My shiny new love affair with this state lost its luster during the summer-that-never-was in Southern California. I found it disorienting to wake up on a July morning that felt like January, pulling on sweat pants and socks before venturing downstairs for a glass of iced tea. Where were the slap of the screen door, the salty scent of bathing suits drying in the sun, and the sound of birdsong drifting in through open windows? Not in San Diego. Not this year.

So, David and I went off in search of summer. Surely ten days and 1300 miles would enable us to discover where the season was hiding. We packed socks in our bags, just in case, but we didn't need them. In a bit of extraordinary serendipity, we not only routed out summer but fell back in love with this incredibly diverse state.

Actually, judging by everyone we spoke to during the trip, the very best time to visit the California coast is during the fall. September and October are similar, weather-wise, to June and July back East. It was a bit over 100 the day we set off for Lompoc and a friend in Santa Cruz swears we had the only four-day-stretch in San Francisco that was in the upper 80s. Most San Franciscans don't leave the house without a sweater and an umbrella, but during the time we were there, folks wandered about, somewhat dazedly, in short-sleeved shirts!

We didn't have too much trouble with fog either. That's another of the curves weather throws at the California coast. It's maddening to know that the scene you're straining to glimpse through the mist would probably win you a photography award if only it were visible. On our trip, we encountered little fog or fog that “burned off” by the afternoon.

So, since the weather was practically perfect and the scenery some of the best in the world, David and I enjoyed one of our best trips yet for very little money. I'll tell you all about it in the next few entries.

No comments:

Post a Comment