Last weekend was our first weekend here in CA, and WOW was I blown away by the beauty of Northern California. Saturday Bob and I made our way to Whiskeytown National Park where we made our way back to Boulder Creek Trail. The trail weaves over the creek 5 or 6 times, until you make it 3 miles back to Boulder Creek Falls. I'm working on some sketches right now, I think these photos will make for some nice watercolor paintings. We did 6 miles all together...not bad for our first day out! We almost ran out of gas on the trip home & then got our first Inn & Out Burger. We also stopped at a brewery who's specialty was a Red Ale which we loved.
Sunday we drove through the farmlands of the Northern Central Valley (the area we are staying) and made our way to the foothills of the Yolla Bolly Mountains. These mountains are geologically different than the other mountains around. Phil and Ana took us up to this stop off point where you could just see FOREVER! After our outing with them, Bob, the pups and I drove up the mountains into Mendocino National Forest where we found Tatum Ridge which was the highest point we could find. We stopped off and hiked around for a while until we ran out of water. It is SO dry here! I made some "plein air" sketches for paintings while looking out into mountainous landscapes.
Excited to see what this weekend will bring!
Bob leaves for work around 5 a.m. and the past few days I've been getting up with him. It's nice waking up with the sun and having some time to paint or draw before the day starts. Watching the moon set and the sun rise is quite inspirational, and the moon has been full, big and bright :) Here are some shots from the past few mornings...notice one of the dogs, Rossen, looks very similar to Delilah.
I'm really amazed by this adventure so far...
It was a struggle to find temporary housing that allowed for 2 dogs on such short notice. But through a wonderful website which connects travelers with host families, we found a place finally! 2 days before starting our journey out west.
It just so happens, the couple taking us in are working artists who run an art gallery, artist co-op, marketing and design firm, and exhibit their art internationally. They are avid animal lovers and grow much of their own food.
We arrived yesterday to this beautiful piece of property tucked in at the foothills of mountains and surrounded by green pastures and farm land. They built the 1 room cabin we'll be staying in as well as their personal 2000 ft art studio which is 100 yards from the cabin.
The cabin itself doesn't have running water (which we're use to) or electricity but the studio has water and full kitchen facilities for us to use.
There is a small donkey named 'Noogie' right next to the cabin, a goat and many Antarctic chickens. The view is outstanding, and everything is so GREEN!!
We're in heaven to say the least...about to learn so much!!
Jessica R. Willis
Artist of many mediums inspired by nature and philanthropy