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Dawn of the Perfect Day

CALIFORNIA

-----There are days, and there are days. All are appreciated for their own gifts, but some days would make Santa Claus proud.

THE PERFECT DAY

-----We had such a day, in early November, cruising down the Sacramento River to the Pacific with our friend Chris. The perfect day should begin with a perfect sunrise, and it did. Mists swirled up from the river. Gulls flapped lazily up river in search of tidbits. The sun rose from the tules, through the low trees - and the gulls wheeled in anticipation of another day. Smells of brewing coffee filled the cabin and the stirring sounds of Mozart added the perfect backdrop, thrilling both the ears and soul.

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-----We headed out in tandem, Rana Verde and Halcyon - two perfect pocket cruisers off on adventure. Bows swung southerly, down the ebbing flow of the Sacramento. We were heading to the sea.

-----A century and a half before, thousands flooded up the Sacramento from the sea - Argonauts bound for the goldfields of California. Steamships thrashed the river with giant paddlewheels, packed with men from everywhere. Gold had been found up a tributary, on the American River, and they were going to strike riches in the creeks and rivers draining into the Sacramento.

-----A century and a half before them, Spanish eyes drifted across this landscape - rolling hills covered with brown grass, hot sun blazing above - so reminiscent of their homeland in the sere western scrublands of EspaƱa. There were differences - critical ones - here there was a great river. Of almost equal importance, here there was no landowning nobility. This was land for the taking.

-----Here, along the banks of the Sacramento, little had changed with the passing of so many. Goats still roamed the brown hills, tended by young boys calling to each other in the beautiful sing-song of Castile. Crows flapped lazily over the brown grass. Sea lions chased the salmon of the river. Long V's of migrating geese filled the air.

-----Little would change from our passing, but we would be changed, just as those who came before were changed. This river - this land - carves a deep impression on the soul. This day would not be forgotten by the three who shared its charm.

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The Mothball Fleet and Commerce on the Bays

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Under the Bridges and Through the Strait

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There it is! The Golden Gate - from the East, Under, and from the Sea

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Past Point Bonita Light, up the Bolinas Coast, and Back Under the Gate - Pilot Boat Heading Out

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Fort Point, The Golden Gate, and Alcatraz

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The San Francisco Skyline, Unique Views from the Bay, and the Cable Car Tracks

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The Liberty Ship Jeremiah O'Brien, Sea Lions on the Docks and Navigation Marks

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Oakland Bay Bridge and Red Rock

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Sunset of the Perfect Day

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Dinner that Evening - El and Chris

(11/03)

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