SAGE California Trip Adventure A Journal Entry

Oregon Conference SAGE members took a trip to Northern California in late October of 2006. Here's the account of member Ruth Jones.

We left Medford, Ore., by 7:15 a.m. This was to be our longest day. We drove for several hours and then stopped at a rest area. But when we loaded back onto the bus and tried to go on our way, it didn’t want to start! Fortunately, our driver Tony was able to roll it down a nearby hill to get it started.

A few hours later we arrived at the California coast, stopping in Eureka to see a mansion, Ingomar Club, built in 1885. It was the former home of a pioneer lumberman William Carson. Next stop: Avenue of the Redwoods.

Then more transportation troubles. We were maybe 10 miles from the highway when the bus started smelling funny and making funny sounds. We stopped and decided to have lunch while we waited. Our driver walked back toward the highway to call for help.

After about a half hour and no one had stopped to help, I flagged someone down. We told them what was happening, and they said they would turn around and go pick up our driver. Some of us walked about a half mile down the road to a little store. Walking back we were passed by a patrol car.

When we arrived back at the bus, the patrol car was there with our driver Tony. The patrolwoman had called a neighbor who drives school bus. She was going to bring her school bus and take us back to Fortuna.

More excitement: Since the doors under the bus are sealed by air pressure, we were unable to get our luggage out. The fire department came and got the luggage out. It was a Kodak moment as we took pictures of the fire truck, patrol car, school bus and our tour bus.

We spent the night in Fortuna.

We left by 6:00 a.m., bound for San Francisco on a brand-new bus, courtesy of Tony. In San Francisco, we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge, and then on to Pier 33 to catch our boat to Alcatraz. We spent time shopping on the pier, and then we boarded the boat for Alcatraz. After a short boat ride, we reached Alcatraz. It was interesting to learn about the famous people imprisoned there.

We spent the rest of the afternoon shopping at the five-story Westfield Shopping Center. Inside was a Bloomingdale's. I had never shopped there before, and I soon found out why. I found a pants and jacket outfit for $795, and my friend Roxanne found a purse for $2,200!

We spent that night in Napa.

We drove to Elmshaven. On the way, Paul Gordon, former head of the White Estate, gave us information about the White Estate.

We spent the night in Redding. That evening, most of us went to see the Sundial Bridge, which spans the Sacramento River. The bridge is illuminated at night—very pretty.

We headed back to the Sundial Bridge and went through Turtle Bay Exploration Park and Gardens. We spent about two hours there and then on to the Shasta Dam.

We arrived at Shasta Dam and were not allowed to take anything with us: no phones, purses, cameras or backpacks. We walked over the dam to the tower on the dam and waited for them to let us in. Everyone had to go through a metal detector, which took awhile since we kept setting it off with our belts and pocket change.

We boarded an elevator that took us down 12 stories into the dam. The tour guide showed us how the speed of sound works; this was really cool. We proceeded into a room where he told us a little about the dam’s history. We also got to see where the water comes out of the dam, which wasn’t that much. Then we got a tour of the turbine room, including the inside of one that was being worked on. That room was very noisy! We stepped back outside and our guide told us that the huge tubes bringing the water to the turbines were big enough to drive a school bus into.

We got back to Medford about 5:30 that evening.

February 01, 2007 / Oregon Conference