Northern California greeted us with rain and fog. We have not seen bright sunshine since we were in Port Townsend Washington. Such is the case when you travel the WET coast during the rainy season.
She also greeted us with a sign have not seen in along time safety belt use mandatory. From a psychological perspective, reminding us of the reason for seat belts might be more conducive to compliance.
I also see that highways with a speed limit over 55 still keeps the 55 limit for trucks and for vehicles of any size with a trailer.
We drove down the Redwood Trail and we saw a lot of big trees, Some so big, the road curves around them and some that have scrape marks from run in with vehicles.
When we passed through Bandon, we saw a place that turns beach junk into art. Unfortunately, they were closed for thanksgiving, so we could only marvel at the seagull mascot at the front door.
Somewhere near Leggett, there is a turnoff Highway 101 towards Fort Bragg, and the drive thru tree. The tree is a worthwhile side trip. For $5, you have the privilege of looking at a 2400 year old tree, 315 feet high and 21feet in diameter. If your car is not OVERHEIGHT, you can also drive through it. The gift shop has a lot of wood themed items for sale.
From there, you can take an hour of hairpin turns down the mountain, some marked as slow as 10MPH to make your way to Fort Bragg. The faint of heart might continue on 101 and find an alternate route, like the 20 out of Willits.
Glass beach did not disappoint us, but it came close. When we arrived at the designated coordinates on glass beach drive, everything was fenced in. We quickly discovered the alternate entrance and followed the path to the world famous beach. WOW is the moment. There is glass everywhere; we could make mounds of glass with little rock or sand in them, we could scoop 200 or more pieces with just a dip of the hands. Pictures are good, but they cannot fully explain the feeling of being on a beach where the glass easily outweighs rocks, sand, sea debris, and anything else. We would have rolled in it if it had not been raining. Remember we have not seen the sun since Northern Washington.
Saturday, we headed towards. Bolinas, the last of the so-called agate beaches on our trek. We are following the Shoreline Highway to make sure we get our fill of the Pacific Ocean. More hairpin turns and switchbacks get us to Agate Beach. I found a few tiny fossils, but no agates and no glass.
Another sinuous mountain drive brings us to the Golden Gate Bridge. It is a pretty sight that brings us back to straighter roads. The San Fransisco bay area seems to stretch out forever. We must have driven 90 minutes before we could see a break in the steady stream of street lighting. On the way to San Jose, we saw a huge Cross on the side of the hill with lights spelling JESUS SAVES in a cross pattern.
We marked our 20, 000 kilometres before reaching San Fransisco. We headed to a Travel Center of America for an RV dump and some Laundry. Sunday we are back on the coast.
We went to Monterey. There is a nice crescent beach downtown where I found 2 pieces of seaglass, among all the other beachcombers with metal detectors. We also saw several pelicans diving for food in the bay. Then we followed the Cabrillo highway towards San Luis Obispo. There is another 200 km of hairpin turns and great scenery. For some time on the drive, we were beside sandstone cliffs reminiscent of PEI.
We passed our 21000 km mark before seeing all those names from song and movie: Santa Barbara, Ventura Highway, Malibu, Santa Monica, etc. We also saw several of the names we hear on Storage Wars: Oxnard, Long Beach, Oceanside, Murieta, Mission Hills, Irvine, Santa Ana, Irvine, etc.
We did not see the Hollywood sign, but we did see the Queen Mary in its new home in Longbeach.
Our final destination was ob noodle house in Ocean Beach. We had a red beer with a spicy flavour, grilled sizzling fish with ginger chicken wings, eggs rolls, and house fried rice. Everything was excellent and affordable. This is a must stop if you are ever in San Diego.
On our way back North, we got our first taste of the desert from Victorville to Barstow. From there we entered mile zero of the I40. It said we were 2225 miles from Wilmington NC which is about as far as we need to go to get to our daughter’s for Christmas.
For the Baby Boomers among us, some may remember the song Never Been to Spain
Well I headed for Las Vegas
Only made it out to Needles
What does it matter
…well we mad it to Needles and beyond, but going East.
We picked up an Indian Country Guide Map which shows several attractions in the Grand Canyon and throughout the desert. Now we are ready to move into Arizona after crossing the 22,000 km mark.
See you in the next state.