A California Story


Day 26 of our virtual road trip takes us west from Nevada to California. Lyle and I lived in California for about 15 months in 1988 and 1989, but rather than tell about that, I decided to interview the California boy I married. Lyle grew up in Vallejo which is in the San Francisco Bay area.


“Would now be a good time to interview you about California?”

“I guess.”

“Okay. So tell me a story about California.”

“I don’t got no California stories. Like what? I liked California because obviously there lots of different interesting roads to drive, but also because you could be to the ocean or desert or mountains in a couple hours in different directions. And also…”

“Slow down!”

“I wasn’t talking very fast.”

“I know, but I’m trying to write it down…” {scribbles furiously} “… okay.”

“Okay, what?”

“Go on.”

“With what?”

“Whatever you were going to say.”


“What do you mean tell you a story? I grew up and lived in the same house for 19 years. Or 18. Which was it? The interviewer is supposed to ask the questions.”

“What’s your favorite place in California?”

“Probably the redwoods.”

Picture from 2001: The first time we took our kids to the California redwoods.
Picture from 2001: The first time we took our kids to the California redwoods.


“Well, it’s where we would go camping and on family outings–day trips. Just the redwood forest.”

2001. Driving our car through the Chandelier Tree.

“What’s your favorite memory?”

“Ummm… I guess that. Going on day trips to see the different scenery… day trips, camping, bike rides. We went to Point Reyes… I was going to say a lot but I don’t know if it was a lot. More than once. I remember one time we loaded all the bikes in the old green trailer… you know the one Loren had that used to be Dad’s? that old green trailer… and went to Point Reyes and we got the bikes unloaded and the trailer had vibrated so bad that it had loosened one of the back wheel hubs and all the bearings came out so we had to find a bike shop in town and have the wheel fixed before we could go on our bike ride. On the Point Reyes bike rides everyone would have to wait on me because I was the youngest and always slow and last.”

October 2012. Another visit to the Redwoods.

“Would you like to live in California again?”

“Probably not. Too liberal. Maybe some parts in northern California where the lifestyle is not so hectic. Not so many people.”


Have you been to California? If so, please share a memory in the comments! That will make this series even more fun!



  • Sheila @ Making the Most of Every Day

    I didn’t know he was from California! I am learning so much about y’all! I’ve been to CA twice: once when Michael ran the Big Sur Marathon. We toured San Fran, wine country and Carmel. And once, just a few years ago, we went to Sacramento for his work. We toured the capitol, Lake Tahoe and more wine country (Lodi).

  • Walker Shaw

    My first trip to California was in 1957. With my grandmother, Alta Walker, who raised me, accompanied my aunt, uncle and cousin. We visited various relatives but the highlight was to the newly opened Disneyland. Admission included a ticket book with coupons of various values “A” to “E”. The best rides needed as “E” ticket. This fabulous memory of California goes with much thanks to Uncle Macie, Aunt Barbara and my cousin Curtis Walker. By the way Karla, we are cousins several times removed through the Shumaker connection. Thanks for the wonderful blog.

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