When last we met I had just fled the Bay Area.
Destination: TRUE Northern California. Up where the redwoods grow, and the people are slow. Or something. Mendocino County. HOME. Ish.
I grew up in a small town in Northern California. My wonderful friend Howard grew up an hour away, in an even smaller town.
We met 12 years ago. The first time we met I threatened to beat him up. We've fast friends ever since.
So, when he told me his town has a yearly blackberry festival, I invited myself up to stay with him for the weekend, which inspired my whole trip. I'm a little bit pushy like that.
So, friend, after fleeing the cool fog of the Bay Area, I headed deeper North.
Is it weird that I have a favorite tree? I pass it every time I drive "home." It's the platonic form of tree (to me). Oak trees are awesome.
The views out the car window just got prettier.
And pre-oh, wait. "Downtown" in my home town. Awesome.
While "home," I drove up to visit my oldest brother. He, along with most of the hill people, lives behind a locked gate.
I'm pretty sure it's worth it for the view, though.
I also met up with the town "mayor" (aka the really friendly homeless guy).
Ate some blackberries.
Played with my friend's itty bitty kitty.
And then it was time to hit the windy country road to my friend Howard's house.
So, Howard's town is small enough that his instructions, when I rolled in to town, if my phone didn't work, to pull in to the one gas station, step outside my car, and yell his name.
I didn't get a chance to test this, because my phone worked, but the first thing Howard said to me was "I can see you." The he climbed through a hole in the fence and welcomed me to his home town.
He pulled me in to a huge dinner party, with people named Yoyo and Feathers and Monkey. Everyone was SUPER nice. It was so weird, and lovely. The food was amazing, the conversations were amazing. I still have bruises from trying to steal a cemented picnic table.
The party wound down around midnight. Howard pulled his guest mattress out on porch, and we fell asleep under the stars. It was amazing.
The next morning it was blackberry festival time! We were working the radio booth (Howard is trying to bring the first radio station ever to his town. Awesome!) I ate all day, and Howard drank all day (even though these pictures make it look reversed).
Pretty much the whole festival is visible in this picture:
And then we went square dancing. At one point I laughed so hard I thought I was going to pee my pants. Square dancing is SO MUCH FUN you guys. No pictures, because I was too busy do-see-doing and crap.
My feet can tell the whole story.
Another night of sleeping under the stars. I woke up to this.
Blackberry pancakes and kale for breakfast.
And then it was time to hit the road. 10 hours to home.
But, I couldn't leave without hitting up the river. ON the way out of town, I pulled over along the river and headed down.
So fucking pretty.
I miss the river already.
YAY water! I even got some freestyle swimming in.
I think I could live comfortably as a river girl.
Time to head back to the car.
It was too hot to get dressed, so I didn't.
I passed through where my dad lives, so I stopped by and had a burger with him.
Nine hours later I was home.
It was awesome. I had so much fun. Everyone was so nice. Now I want to build a sleeping porch.
And that's how I spent my summer vacation.