Friday, February 15, 2013

North of the Bay

I was just about to edit some pictures from my recent hikes, at the Gaviota Wind Caves and at the Old Los Angeles Zoo in Griffith Park, when I rediscovered some pictures from my first trip up north from December. These shots were taken on Day 3 as I was circling around Oakland on my way to Sonoma and then back down to San Francisco through San Rafael.

This half of the trip was what really did it for me. Just to see all of the rolling hills filled with vineyards and to walk into the local Whole Foods (grocery store chain) and seeing an entire refrigerator wall full of craft brew beer. (see photo below) That was the biggest variety I have ever seen outside of Total Wine, Bevmo and La Bodega!

I started my day off in Fremont, CA. I had one mission to stop at before I started making my way to Vallejo.

View of the hills right next to Mission San Jose.

For those of you that might know the area, I hopped on the 680 and cut up, through the hills to the bridge  to Vallejo when I was stopped at a rape station...... err I mean toll booth. Apparently all of the bridges in the area have toll booths because our streets and freeways fund is always raided by the state government. But I digress.

I was bored while waiting for my turn to come. So I snapped this in the meantime.
I took a slight little detour through a bad ass nature reserve. I always love how the nature reserves are conveniently placed near a plant of some sort. This one was next to a ridiculously huge oil refinery and a Six Flags, which I became disappointed and sad when I saw that it was closed. Here are a couple of images while I was illegally and quite dangerously shot while going like 70mph

This bridge was the one that crossed over onto the nature reserve/marshlands.. Isn't that an awesome reflection of my defroster vent from my car?

From on top of the bridge seen in the previous shot. I believe the hills in the distance were from the San Rafael side of the upper bay.

Another view of the hills on the San Rafael side of the bay. I think I had to look through the viewfinder to attempt this shot. I didn't have any close calls and I am normally a safe driver. well... except for that speeding tickit and all of those accidents I was in previously. Anybody want to ride with me?

I was originally going to see the mission in the center of San Francisco first, but it didn't really make much sense and it would have cost me more gas in the long run. So, I hit the last mission on the list, San Francisco Solano, in Sonoma. Unfortunately, I'm still am working on my project so I don't have those pictures for your viewing pleasure at this time, but here are some of the cool sites around the town square where the mission also resides.

Since I had parked in a 2 hour parking spot and my lack of time, I hopped into my car and hi tailed it out of there. I had actually stopped at the nearest whole foods which was about a block away and snapped that shot at the top.  I'll have to do an in depth analyses at some point on one of the man made wonders that the area is incredibly well known for Russian River Brewery;s Pliney The Elder. Which are incredibly plentiful up there. I grabbed 3! Not as many as other people I know that got like 4 of those cheap Styrofoam coolers full of them.

I hopped on the road and made my way back to the 101 Freeway and stopped at the next destination, San Rafael. Unfortunately, I didn't really give a crap about that town. (can you blame me for being honest?) I got these next two shots that might have shown up on a previous post.

An uncanny ability to showcase a town, right?! I wasn't too enthused. My mind was stuck on what the next place looked like. 

These next two were also taken dangerously and probably illegally. The first one, I'm actually going to be hanging in my office at work sometime soon.

Well, That was most of a days events. For the pictures from later in the day, you can view them here.

I would like to leave you all with my picture of the trip. I took a similar one with Instagram, but this one was shot with film. It's perfect except for the photographer near the bridge in the middle and the person standing on the left, but hey, nobody is counting.