Reflections on... Week One.

Reflections on... Week One.

I started giggling as I drove away; leaving the Bay Area was an incredibly freeing decision and my body felt that immediately. After not sleeping well for a little over a week, I slept a solid eight hours in my tent in my last night in Northern California. The knot in my back that had been bothering me for the past two months is gone and my cheeks and arms are already filled with color, despite plenty of sunscreen.

 McArthur Burney State Park - just over one hour from Redding, CA. 

McArthur Burney State Park - just over one hour from Redding, CA. 

I spent my first night at McArthur Burney State Park, a place I had been eagerly wanting to go to for the past three years. I was lucky to get there on the Tuesday after Memorial Day Weekend – while there were other visitors, the park was considerably emptier that it tends to be in the summer months and I got to experience its famous waterfalls mostly by myself. From there, I drove to the Shasta-Trinity National Forest and hiked up to Heart Lake, a 3-mile there-and-back hike with outstanding views of Mt. Shasta and Castle Lake.

 Heart Lake - can you see it? In the back is Mt. Shasta. 

Heart Lake - can you see it? In the back is Mt. Shasta. 

This was my first time driving on this part of the I-5, so a pit stop in Weed was an absolute must. The man at the tourist shop told me that there is nothing worth seeing here and told me to head to Ashland as soon as possible. So, I did.

 When in Weed!

When in Weed!

Hannah and Eli live in a gorgeous house in the Ashland with sweeping views of the nearby hills. I had my own bedroom and bathroom and by the end of my four day visit, their two dogs, Tabor and Griffey, no longer barked when they saw me. Success. Highlights included a day at Emigrant Lake, a visit to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to see Sense & Sensibility, breakfast at Morning Glory, and two homemade dinners on their porch.

 First night was spent at Caldera Brewing. I loved all the beer bottles lining the walls. 

First night was spent at Caldera Brewing. I loved all the beer bottles lining the walls. 

 Griffey and I playing fetch. Griffey needs to work on bringing the frisbee back to me so I can throw it again. 

Griffey and I playing fetch. Griffey needs to work on bringing the frisbee back to me so I can throw it again. 

 This house! So much natural light. Perfect for a lazy early morning with Tabor. 

This house! So much natural light. Perfect for a lazy early morning with Tabor. 

 Me and Hannah. 

Me and Hannah. 

 Hannah and Eli and our feast. 

Hannah and Eli and our feast. 

Reflections on... Week Two.

Reflections on... Week Two.

Reflections on... the Czech Republic.

Reflections on... the Czech Republic.