On October 16, 1997, I did my first solo "cross-country" (over 50 miles from my home airport) flight. The route was from Palo Alto to Castle (near Merced), to Monterey, and then back to Palo Alto. I managed to take a few pictures along the way.

The first picture is when I was on a not-very-lined-up final approach to Castle. Luckily the runway is over 11,000 feet long and 300 feet wide, which is bigger than any single runway at San Francisco International, so there was more than enough runway left to land on after I did get lined up:
Landing at Castle

Next is a picture of the air museum at Castle, which I did not go to (it includes a B-52 as well as an SR-71 which I almost didn't see because it is so much smaller):
Air museum

Next is a random picture of the central valley:
Central valley

Next is the San Luis Reservoir, which is located off highway 152 for the earthbound traveler:
San Luis Reservoir

This United 737 taxiied by while I was in the runup area at Monterey:
United 737

Here is the coast near the now-closed Fort Ord:
Fort Ord coast

Random picture of the Santa Cruz Mountains with the Santa Clara Valley in the background:
Santa Cruz Mountains

This is Mt. Umunnum, which is close to where the previous picture was taken:
Mt. Umunnum