four years ago today [2012.10.15]
waking to the sounds of the pacific ocean waves crashing into the rocks and cliff below was nice. i had breakfast and took some shots of the waves before continuing south to explore the coast. before stopping to explore a state park, i saw really beautiful rays of sunlight coming through the tunnel of trees that surrounded the pacific coast highway. at the park, i attempted to fly a radio controlled powered parachute model though only got it in the air for a few seconds before it crashed.. i was having difficulty hand-launching it and when it actually took flight, i think i quickly cut back on the throttle so it wouldn't go too high or far, and it went right into a tree. it was a bit disappointing that i had yet to have an actual flight (let alone get any photos with it) after having spent so long researching and building it. i had hoped to have an alternate option to kite aerial photography for when there wasn't enough wind to fly (this was before quadcopter drones were readily available).
after leaving the park, i found more spots along the coast to check out and saw whales in the distance from one of the overlooks. the coast was really beautiful.. i could've spent much more time there, though was going to my first campground in california that evening. on the way inland, i took a long, winding road through the hills in sonoma county. it was quite beautiful and desolate, yet also another fun drive with plenty of steep inclines and descents (and countless curves).. some of the slopes measured 7 or 8 degrees (a 14% or 16% grade). at times the truck was all of a sudden rapidly accelerating down the curves at near 60 mph.. the serene drive could quickly turn into one needing focused attention to keep the truck under control. near the end, i found a park with a view of lake sonoma where there was a lot of wind, so i grabbed my kite for a quick aerial photography flight.. having launched from a small lookout tower with no room to walk down the kite, i recall it being difficult to bring down with winds pulling so hard. afterwards, i drove a little further and spent the evening at a campground near cloverdale.