A quick recap of the road trip


I'm home in Portland with both a feeling of elation to be back with my sweet Leo and Little Miss Panda, but also a sadness that the trek is over and Julia has gone back home. I have so much to tell you about, but I’ll try to keep from making this post too long. It was an amazing trip; one I'll look back on as being among the most memorable, but I'm exhausted. Like all of the past few weeks, we've packed as much into as little time as our little psyches could handle and it'll be days before the effects wear off.

The trip started with an easy jaunt to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles. We stayed at a place owned by a friend of Julia's. This allowed us the opportunity to stop by Village Spinning and Weaving in Solvang, CA.

While there, we availed ourselves our their various wheels, including Ashfords, Majacrafts, Louets and a Windwheel. When I left the shop, I thought I was happy with the Ashford Kiwi. That's definitely not what I expected, but it was a lovely little thing, easy to use, and it felt fine.

As we embarked on the next leg of our trip, we decided that we'd see if we could try a Schacht Matchless at Carolina Homespun in San Francisco. We figured that with the $600 price difference, the Matchless would have to be pretty darn wonderful to sway us.

I. Love. This. Wheel.


After spending hours at Carolina Homespun, spinning until we had to concede to the road trip agenda (and our rapidly waning blood sugar), we made our way to lunch and then back on the road. It was noon, and we were going to drive to the Sequoia National Forest, a mere 38 miles from San Francisco.

Five hours later, several wrong turns, some swearing at the atlas and not a Sequoia in sight, we were in stop and go traffic on the Golden Gate Bridge. In case the impact of that isn't entirely clear, that's a 5 hour detour to get us back to where we started, without actually seeing what we had hoped to see.

The sun was setting and the question became: Do we drive as far as we can at night, missing a good deal of the redwoods but still trying to get to Crater Lake the next day? Or do we drive a more reasonable distance, enjoy all the of the redwoods and skip Crater Lake?

We decided to drive as far as we could without overshooting the redwoods. There is no anxiety quite like that feeling that you've made a horribly bad decision. As we wound through the dark roads at night, hour upon hour passing, we calculated our optimal stopping point. Finally, having passed up most obvious points of civilization, we found ourselves in a quaint little area...where every light in town was turned off. The towns were silent and the motels could have as easily been abandoned, for all the life we could detect. Beam me up Scottie! I see no life here.

As the crew (all two of us) grew ever more punchy and concerned, we wound down one sleepy town's main street after another, until we found our oasis. Motel Ravenwood was open. As unlikely as it was, the owner just happened to be awake, awaiting another guest and he just happened to have an open room. We could have cried with happiness. Instead, we snatched the keys, paid our rate and made a bee line for the warmth of our beds.

The next day we awoke refreshed and ready to complete the last day of our journey. The redwoods are everything we hoped they'd be. Following the 101 up the coast, we stopped for a walk on the brisk sandy beach.

Doesn't Julia's sweatshirt look like it belongs on this beach?

From there, we followed the directions the motel owner gave us and found a quiet little trail off a well groomed dirt road.

My little spindle even joined us on the walk.

As we left the redwoods and headed to Crater Lake, I had a little twinge of excitement when I realized I had finally hit my new home state. If you are wondering, it's beautiful and Crater Lake is no exception.

We stopped at each little vista point and the little spindle joined in the oohing and ahhing. The atmospheric haze made the lake look dreamy and almost unreal. The spindle particularly enjoyed seeing the chipmunks. None of them broke into song.

Even the firemen were a delight to look at.

All said, it was an amazing trip. I’m still recovering, but I’m so glad I had the chance to do it. Portland is wonderful, and being back with my sweeties, is as grand as I hoped.

I should have more pictures up soon, and I feel pretty sure that Julia will have some stories to regale you with as well.


What beautiful scenery! I especially like the redwoods. Just gorgeous!

Welcome home! Looks like you gals had a great road trip, the pictures are great. I think Panda needs a little chipmunk brother. And is that blonde guy a fireman? Sweet Jaysus, get me some matches and a pile of carelessly discarded oily rags, stat!

What an amazing trip! Despite veering from your planned route, you still got to see some of the most beautiful parts of the country. I love that haze win the pictures of the top of the redwoods, it's like being in an alien tree world.
Welcome to your new home and I hope that you settle in well.

Welcome to Oregon! I bought my Schacht Matchless used from Woodland Woolworks, which is about 30 minutes from Portland. I saved a few hundred bucks this way, and my wheel couldn't be better.

Email me if you're ever in Eugene.

Great re-cap! It was like I got to do it all over again. I miss our fireboy. Er, fireman. xox,

Man I need a little trip like that too! lol

looks likes loads of fun and beuitiful!

I am deeply saddened to learn that the chipmunks did not sing.

Your trip looks amazing!

I'm most jealous of the trip to Carolina Homespun, though. I already miss that place. -_-

glad you made it safely and had such a fun trip. now you can start the fun of nesting and setting in.

I am so glad you ladies had an amazing trip...holy cute fireman Batman!
Hugs to Panda.

Welcome to Portland! I'm so glad you got to see the redwoods AND Crater Lake because they're both fabulous!

i'm kicking those chipmunks out of oregon.

WELCOME! don't get too used to the heat, it's a mirage...

Welcome home! I hope to see you at the fiber fest at the end of September.

Glad to made it home safe! Now can we please have some Panda pics?! ;)

I'm sure she was so happy to see you!

The RAVENWOOD? You're kidding me?! Two blogging celebrities were RIGHT OUTSIDE MY FRONT DOOR and I missed them. Sigh.
I live in Crescent City, where Stout Grove is, and work just across the street from the Ravenwood. Hope you had a nice time in the real Northern California, and enjoy OR.

what a fun post! I felt like I was traveling with you :)

Glad you made it to Portland safe and sound.

Such awesome photos! But you're missing the one of Panda pumbling you to the ground when she saw you!

sigh... love that West Coast vibe. Gorgeous pictures, of course. Redwoods are amazing spirits.

Glad that all ended well... good luck coming up with the dough for the Schacht. eeeek!

Glad you're here safe and I second Sachi's comment about hoping to see you at Flock and Fiber!

Glad to see you made it to your new home safe. And it looks like the trip was half the fun! Seeing you spin out in public is quite inspiring. I have yet to do it, but I think I'm going to have to try:)

Glad to see you made it to your new home safe. And it looks like the trip was half the fun! Seeing you spin out in public is quite inspiring. I have yet to do it, but I think I'm going to have to try:)

Sounds like you had a great trip; I'm glad you let your spindle see all the sites. The Redwoods are on my list of must-see places. I like your photo of the Golden Gate Bridge; it looks very similar to the one I took this morning going into San Francisco and put on my blog! I hope you enjoy your new home in Portland. I have been along the Columbia River Gorge area, and if you haven't seen it, you must! The waterfalls are beautiful.

Looks like a wonderful trip - such beautiful photographs! I'm sure Leo & Panda are happy to have you home.

AAwwwww, you made it. Congratulations. Our house will go on the market TOMORROW and so our journey towards Colorado will start. Good luck in your new state! You'll love it up there!

I just bought a beginners Louet spindle and some roving and am waiting eagerly to get it in the mail! Your spinning is an inspiration. I was looking at the Schacht wheel too, do you think you will buy it?

The trip looked like good fun. You will like Oregon. I had a great time in grad school there. Your post was perfect timing as I will headed down to Oregon (from Canada) next week to visit friends and am planning to see Crater Lake and maybe some redwoods. And definitely some lazy time at the beach.

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This page contains a single entry by Marnie published on August 29, 2006 4:59 AM.

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