2015 07 27_ 08 11 Learning expedition in North California and Seattle

Northern California, often abbreviated NorCal, is the northern portion of the U.S. state of California. Spanning the state's northernmost 48 counties, in contrast to the 10 counties of Southern California,[1][2] its main population centers include the San Francisco Bay Area (anchored by the cities of San FranciscoSan Jose, and Oakland), the Greater Sacramento area (anchored by the state capital Sacramento), and the Metropolitan Fresno area (anchored by the city of Fresno). Northern California also contains redwood forests, along with the Sierra Nevada including Yosemite Valley and part of Lake TahoeMount Shasta (the second-highest peak in the Cascade Rangeafter Mount Rainier in Washington), and the northern portion of the Central Valley, one of the world's most productive agricultural regions.
The 48-county definition is not used for the Northern California Megaregion, one of the 11 megaregions of the United States. The megaregion's area is instead defined from Metropolitan Fresno north to Greater Sacramento, and from the Bay Area east across Nevada state line to encompass the entire Lake Tahoe-Reno area.[3]
Native Americans arrived in northern California at least as early as 8,000 to 5,000 BCand perhaps even much earlier, and successive waves of arrivals led to one of the most densely populated areas of pre-Columbian North America. The arrival of European explorers from the early 16th to the mid-18th centuries, did not establish European settlements in northern California. In 1770, the Spanish mission at Montereywas the first European settlement in the area, followed by other missions along the coast—eventually extending as far north as Sonoma County

Seattle (Listeni/siˈætəl/ see-at-əl) is a coastal seaport city and the seat of King County, in the U.S. state of Washington. With an estimated 668,342 residents as of 2014, Seattle is the largest city in both the State of Washington and the Pacific Northwest region of North America and, as of July 2013, is the fastest-growing major city in the United States.[5] The Seattle metropolitan area of around 3.6 million inhabitants is the 15th largest metropolitan area in the United States.[6] The city is situated on a narrow isthmus between Puget Sound (an inlet of the Pacific Ocean) and Lake Washington, about 100 miles (160 km) south of the Canada–United States border. A major gateway for trade with Asia, Seattle is the 8th largest port in the United States and 9th largest in North America in terms of container handling.[7]
The Seattle area was previously inhabited by Native Americans for at least 4,000 years before the first permanent European settlers.[8] Arthur A. Denny and his group of travelers, subsequently known as the Denny Party, arrived on the schooner Exact at Alki Point on November 13, 1851.[9] The settlement was moved to its current site and named "Seattle" in 1852, after Chief Si'ahl of the local Duwamish and Suquamishtribes.
Logging was Seattle's first major industry, but by the late 19th century the city had become a commercial and shipbuilding center as a gateway to Alaska during the Klondike Gold Rush. By 1910, Seattle was one of the 25 largest cities in the country.[10] However, the Great Depression severely damaged the city's economy. Growth returned during and after World War II, due partially to the local Boeingcompany, which established Seattle as a center for aircraft manufacturing. The city developed as a technology center in the 1980s, with companies like Amazon.comMicrosoft, and T-Mobile US based in the area. The stream of new software, biotechnology, and Internet companies led to an economic revival, which increased the city's population by almost 50,000 between 1990 and 2000.
Seattle has a noteworthy musical history. From 1918 to 1951, there were nearly two dozen jazz nightclubs along Jackson Street, from the current Chinatown/International District, to the Central District. The jazz scene developed the early careers of Ray CharlesQuincy JonesErnestine Anderson and others. Seattle is also the birthplace of rock musician Jimi Hendrix and the alternative rock style grunge.[11]