Sunday, May 31, 2009

Northern CA & Oregon

I was pleased to see all of the farm land in northern CA and to know that it is not all developed with strip malls and housing developments where every house looks alike. I wonder what type of markers people use to find their homes in those type of neighborhoods. When I lived in Henderson years ago, my neighbors had painted their house blue - the only one in the neighborhood so I was always able to tell people that I lived next door to the blue house.

My favorite part of the trip so far has been the winding roads thru Mt Shasta CA. There were very few cars on the road there Thursday afternoon so I was really able to enjoy the drive. I found myself cruising into "race car driver mode" able to slide easily back and forth into the inside lane around every curve. For a short distance I was the "lead car" setting pace for the mustang behind me. Then a gold honda civic appeared and became the best pace setting lead car I have ever journeyed with. We appeared to be a team, taking the curves at 80 mph with the grace of synchronized swimmers. The breathtaking view of Mt Shasta appearing around every corner - I was elated. He led me all the way to Medford and I so wanted to thank him and tell him what a great job he did - how I enjoyed our cruise together but I guess part of the fun of the event was that he was a stranger - and would remain one - just offering a moment in time - a memory shared.

As we came out of the mountains and a short ways before Medford we passed thru the Ashland area. I've never been to Ashland and will make it a destination on my return. Perhaps it was the time of day, the sunset reflecting pale peachy pinks off of the rolling green hills or the David Grey cd playing, or the high I was on after my "race car driver" experience, but this place felt magical. The colors in the sunset - hmm - another inspiration for a new encaustic color palette.

Speaking of encaustics - I was able to connect with another encaustic artist on my journey who I found via facebook and blogging sites, Rebecca Shapiro. Her abstract acrylic painting style has evolved into encaustic painting. I love her work. Check it out here. Rebecca graciously invited me, a stranger but fellow encaustic artist, to stop in and see her studio which of course I did. A new friend - thank you Rebecca.

My destination for the day was just north of Portland in Vancouver WA to stay with Robyn and Paul. I had met Robyn when we both lived up in Snohomish county. Last year we both moved. Robyn and Paul kindly welcomed me into their home where I have been able to lounge and recover from all the driving. Simple things like a comfortable bed to sleep in and a place to do a load of laundry while visiting with a friend is a great blessing. Thank you Robyn and Paul and all of the great people I've visited with and met on the road trip north.

And now to head out again for a short journey north to see my family, starting with my gorgeous grandson, Cameron.


  1. Karon,
    It was my pleasure to connect to another encaustic painter and artist and member of the tribe. I'm looking forward to your return visit!
    Rebecca :)

  2. Karon,
    The next time you're through Mt. Shasta Country, get off onto HWY 99 and at the little town of Gazelle take the Callahan/Gazelle Road which winds over the mountain into the Scott Valley. There is a great little arts community tucked into this valley - its beauty will show you why. Stop in Etna, and ask at the Scott Valley Drug for directions to Catherine McElroy's place - she is a wonderful local artist who can tell you about her favorite painting spots. In Fort Jones, stop at the Marble Rim Gallery which is run by local artists. You'll follow Hwy over another mountain and back to I-5 at Yreka. (Reverse the trip if coming from the North) - you'll be glad you took this picturesque detour.