After my time spent with my brother's family, I had a long six-hour drive by myself to make up from the greater San Francisco area to Willow Creek to join Carl and the boys.
When I was plotting this trip, I had two routes as an option. Highway 101 is a famous, scenic drive would give me higher potential for views of the Pacific coastline - but it was estimated to be about an hour longer in length for me, not to mention I think I would have hit some rush-hour traffic going towards and around SF that way. Since I was doing this drive solo, I opted for the shorter, easier route, and the one that looked like it would be against the way all those commuters would be traveling.
And I'm so glad I did! It was stunningly beautiful, especially once I got off I-5 in Redding and hopped on Highway 299. First, I saw brown tourist signs in Redding for the Sundial Bridge.
Which was stunningly beautiful, and one of the more unique bridges I've seen. It actually tells time, with its giant sundial!
And then the rest of the drive... whoa... it was one breathtaking view after another.
The Whiskeytown Lake National Recreation Area may have been my favorite.
I need to plan a way to go back and just spend some time there, because it was incredible.
Suffice it to say, my drive took a bit longer than expected because I was stopping the car so many times.
I spent well over seven hours on my drive. But the time flew by because I was enjoying myself so much. You just don't get scenery like this back in Texas every day.
Finally, I found my way to Carl's uncle's property, which had no address, I just had to count mileage and look for the "green gate." These landmarks also helped let me know I had found the correct green gate. Yay for little boys!
I was so happy to be reunited with my munchkins. Fourteen days apart was the longest we've ever been, and I missed these little rascals. They quickly updated me on everything they had been up to while they were gone. Like hunting for Big Foot and finding his foot prints...
Chopping wood and stacking it...
Building a flag pole for Uncle Louie...
Feeding the deer every night ...
Making smores in the firepit...
And just having a great time.
Carl and I feel very blessed that his family opened their doors to us to give the boys such a great experience this summer. How lucky they were to see vistas like this everyday for two weeks!