Ruth and I are among the lucky ones who have gotten both COVID-19 shots, so we are planning our 1st celebratory trip in over a year. We have not seen my brother Jim, who now lives in Oakland, CA for more than a year; so the Bay Area will be our 1st major stop. Jim is also a writer whom we have collaborated with in the past, so we are looking forward to catching up about his latest projects. He also is an avid traveler so we have shared many roadworthy experiences with him. We have a lot to talk about!
Because foreign destinations are still not available and being realistic, Ruth & I do not expect to be out of this country in 2021. If that situation changes, we’ll see what we can do. Going to Australia is a mighty tempting possibility. In the meantime we are only considering unvisited domestic destinations, including the 5 following people magnets that we have learned about recently but have not yet experienced.
This 1st post-pandemic excursion is developing into a road trip so far. It will include a drive down Highway One on the fantastic California Coast after some time spent in the Oakland area. We have not done this super scenic road is several years. Ruth and I are both wondering how the past several months of restriction have affected travel. We will be finding out and reporting on this.
We have never been to Mount Diablo State Park east of Oakland. Seeing it is now a definite possibility. Several sources have told me that it is often visible in the Bay Area, but I have not noted it in the past. This California State Park centers on a geologic anomaly that sounds interesting. Although 30 miles from San Francisco, Mount Diablo is said to be isolated. It’s an upthrust peak of 3,849 feet that is not a volcano but is between 2 earthquake faults and is reportedly a double pyramid, whatever that means. There is a road all the way to its summit that is very popular with cyclists. At lower altitudes, this road is said to be a mix of oak tree woodland and grassland. The upper regions have some pine trees. Mount Diablo is an interesting name that I am looking forward to researching since diablo means devil in Spanish. I am aware of 2 movements in the early 21st Century to rename it Mount Reagan for the former governor of this state who became a 2-term national President, but apparently this has not been such a popular idea.
The other road I am looking forward to learning about is called Moki Dugway. This very beautiful mountain area is in southeast Utah. Moki Dugway is a mountain pass. The road to it ends at scenic route 95 and Bear’s Ears National Monument that we have not seen, but I recall that President Obama got into some trouble for bringing it to peoples’ attention during his Presidency. This historical footnote will be examined. Farther up 95 is another National Monument called Natural Bridge that sounds a lot like Arches National Park, which is further north around Moab.
The other 2 scenic drives that we are considering are Highway 46 in California, which begins at the coast but ends in the town of Paso Robles that we visited the last time we were in this area and really liked. We have also been told that Gates Pass Road west of Tucson is quite scenic but seldom seen by travelers. Both are definitely on our list of sights to see.