Sunday, 20 May
Not long after leaving Monterey we were surprised to find ourselves again passing through farmland. At Castroville the signs told of Artichoke festivals and Brussels sprouts. In some areas the farm fields stretched to the cliffs overlooking the ocean. The Pacific Coast Highway was again up and down, but the curves were less sharp and we made good time until we got to San Francisco. There was apparently some kind of big marathon or something going on and the traffic was horrendous. It took at least 2 light changes to drive each block. We finally got to Golden Gate Park and Ft. Point, which is underneath the south end of the Golden Gate Bridge. Parking was a little tricky, but with the help of a friendly park ranger, we managed to get both rigs parked. After stamps and patches (a not a few pictures,) we crossed the Golden Gate Bridge and continued north. We decided to take Hwy 101 instead of Hwy 1.
Just south of Cloverdale we had a tire blow out on the camper. For some reason California puts a curb at the edge of the highway shoulder, which limits how far you can
Flowers and farmland
near Castroville, CA
get off the road. Unfortunately, the flat was on the highway side, so Kerry had to kneel partly in the lane of traffic to change the tire. Bob and Gena pulled in behind us and Bob waved oncoming cars over to the left lane. Some drivers would not give up their right lane, but most moved over. Kerry managed to change the tire fairly quickly and without being flattened himself. We stopped for the night at a quiet little campground south of Willits with wild turkeys and deer wandering through.
Monday, 21 May
Kerry went into town early to see if he could get a new tire and wheel for the camper. Willits is a small town and the tire shop didn’t have the size we needed and the rv place is closed on Mondays, so we just headed on north, hoping we wouldn’t regret traveling without a spare.
At some point Hwy 101 became the Redwood Highway. It wound up and down the coast mountains. At Eureka we found a tire store with the tire we needed. They said the rim was not damaged (though it looked it to me) and put a new tire on.
farmland along the coast
right to the cliff edge above the ocean
So now, $100 poorer but more confident, we caught up with Bob and Gena, who were waiting this last hour and a half on the side of the road for us. After a quick trip to Target, we resumed our trip.
Near Orick we stopped at the Redwoods National and State Park visitor center, where we got stamped, patched and postcarded. The rangers there recommended we take the scenic road through the old growth forest. It was a beautiful drive (even though it was raining and foggy) with those majestic trees towering overhead. It seemed a holy place, full of dignity.
Tomorrow we get into Oregon, the only state Kerry has not been in. It will be my first visit, too.
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