A friend of mine and I decided we wanted to go to Daffodil Hill in Northern California to see the daffodils blooming. We had both heard of the area but neither of us had ever been there. She also loves taking photographs and so it was decided that we would go.
The trip would normally take us about two hours to get there. However, we discovered that there is a big difference between normal and reality.
I drove and she navigated. Right off the bat I realized that she had a different route in mind but it was too late by the time I noticed this. That's fine. We were still headed in the right direction.
We got to a town and she said that we needed to make a left on this small road that was off of the main highway. Since I had never been there before I did exactly as she said. I turned left. I thought it was rather strange that there weren't any signs telling us where we were. I also was getting a little nervous when the road kept getting narrower and narrower. It is when the road turned in to a dirt road that I started to question whether we were going in the right direction.
I think I probably turned the car around and then back again a few times before we finally saw a jogger going by. All I can say is 'thank goodness!' We were lost. She got us going back in the right direction and it was then that we realized we had been absolutely in the wrong place. Thankfully we connected back up with the highway and managed to finally get to Daffodil Hill.
I can't really begin to describe how beautiful the daffodils were. I have never seen so many different types of daffodils and other flowers all in the same place. We walked and walked and took photo after photo. It was a photographer's heaven.
Along the way, we came to an area that had peacocks all over. I had so much fun trying to get photos of them when they would open up their tail feathers. It was my friend who pointed out the white peacocks to me. I had never in my whole life seen a white peacock. There were bunches of them. They were absolutely wonderful to see.
After both of us were exhausted and getting very hungry, we decided to start our trip home. Since we were able to get to the place, we decided the trip back home would go much smoother. Yeah, right!
We were enjoying the beautiful green countryside on the drive home. It all looked the same and so pleasant in this part of northern California. It was seeing a sign that said Stockton 30 miles when we decided we were not where we were supposed to be but rather we were at least an hour off our course. Amazing how she and I could get off the road we were supposed to be on and end up heading towards Stockton instead of Nevada City/Grass Valley where we both lived. Another a stop for directions (since neither of us could figure out where we were on the map) we finally got back on the correct road again and were heading in the right direction.
It WAS a beautiful drive but we were both starving when we finally decided to pull over and get some food. I am surprised we weren't smashing each other by this time. I did decide that if she and I make another road trip that she will drive and I will navigate.
The decision to drive up to Oregon all by myself so I could get photographs of the famed Multnomah Falls was a hard one but also one I knew I absolutely had to do. I had seen so many photos of the beautiful waterfalls but I wanted to see them for myself.
I made the plans I needed to make and also arrangements to stay with an old high school friend of mine who lived in Eugene. I told her she was welcome to go with me up to the northern Oregon area to see the waterfalls but she decided she would stay home. This was probably a good thing since she wouldn't have wanted to hike to the top.
I made stops on my way to Eugene to get more photographs. The area I was most interested in was Mt. Shasta. I think I probably spent an hour going to various places around the mountain so I could get the best shots. Once I was satisfied that I didn't need more I continued my journey to Oregon. Once in Oregon I stopped in Ashland to get more photos. I wish I had more time in Ashland because it is a very cute little town. However, I was getting tired and still had more driving ahead of me.
It was early evening when I made it to Eugene and met up with my friend for dinner and then followed her to her home. We had a nice visit but I knew I had to get up early in the morning so I headed to bed.
The next morning I started my exciting journey to Portland and then along the Columbia River to the waterfalls. I don't always think things through. I chose Memorial Day weekend in 2014 to do this. It was mainly so that I had more days to visit with my friend. However, everyone else in the whole wide world had the same idea. I can't tell you how lucky I was to find a parking spot. I think it was the last one. I had to walk a distance to get to the waterfall but when I saw it I realized the walk and the long drive was worth it.
Along with a billion other people, I was taking photos each step of the way as I got closer and closer to the falls. I knew I wanted to walk up to the famous bridge I had seen in so many photos. However, as I got close there was a sign that said something about a one mile walk to the top of the falls. I instantly knew I had to do this. Had I realized it was going to be such a strenuous hike I might have decided against this. One mile! I can do that!! No problem. Why I didn't look up to see how high the top of that one mile was, I don't know. Maybe I did and was in denial.
The trail was made up of many switch backs. Switch backs look like this < . You go uphill in one direction and then continue uphill in the opposite direction. Many, many times I debated about continuing. I thought I was going to have a heart attack. I couldn't breath and my heart was pounding. However, the encouraging people who were on their way down kept telling me, 'you are almost there.' Honestly I really wasn't almost there but those words kept me going with lots of rest stops along the way. I would pass a group of people resting and then they would pass me when I was resting.
I MADE IT!!!! I got to the top without dying. I was hot, sweaty and kicking myself for not bringing a water bottle, but I made it. At the very top I looked down at the world famous waterfall. I took photos of people with their cameras and they in turn took my photo. It wasn't my best picture but I decided I wanted to have that one photo of me standing at the top of the falls.
The trip down would have normally been easier except that, sadly, a man had a heart attack. I didn't see him but I had to wait and follow the paramedics and park rangers down the mountain as they carted him on a stretcher to the bottom with continual stopping to try to resuscitate him. An ambulance was waiting for them at the bottom. I found out later that the man didn't survive. That put some sadness in my trip. I still remember that part.
The picture at the bottom of this blog is me. Not my best photo but one I was proud of. I hiked to the top of Multnomah waterfall all by myself. You can see more photos of that waterfall and others that I took during my trip north, in my store.