Tuesday, August 09, 2005

California Coast

The fog was dense when I left so there wasn't much reason to stick around. I left before 9 am. US 101 turned into a real freeway with 65 mile per hour limit. So I made really good time. I decided to take a scenic route through Humboldt State Park on Avenue of the Giants. Very glad I did. It was an awesome, immense forest. I visited a tree that was estimated to be 1,000 years old. The fog was still think here, so I didn't walk at all. I need to return to this excellent locale.

It looks like I'll easily make Mt View today at this rate. I wanted to stay along the coast (CA-1) which is a slower, longer route, but should be scenic. I'm so glad I did too. Immediately after the split from US 101 onto CA-1, the road changed. There was a sign that said it was curvy for 22 miles. I figured this was like the deer crossing signs that say 22 miles and you never see a deer along the stretch. Holy shit, this was the opposite. There were hardly any straight stretches. It was awesome The funnest road I've ever driven. Thankfully there weren't too many people slowing me up. The few slow drivers usually pulled off the road pretty quick when they saw the Tasmanian Devil 6 inches behind them. It's not just lots of curves that have you slow up. (They may say you should slow up, but who ever does?) The signs were usually to slow down to 15 or 20 miles per hour. Sometimes even 10 mph. There weren't just the curves but switchbacks going up and down mountains. So I got to change gears a lot too (manual transmission). There were bonus points for targets (ahem, bikers) on the road. There wasn't a shoulder for the most part. The end of all the curves is the Pacific Ocean. From what I could see at 90 mph it was beautiful. Okay I was really doing 60, but the fog was pretty think, enough to obscure the best view.

I'm less than 200 miles from San Francisco and it's a little after 1 pm. I finally had to stop to eat. Man that was a fun drive. Before I turned onto CA-1, the temperature was at least 80. It had been up to 86 at least. By the time I neared the coast it was 60. Can't wait to see what's left.

The rest of CA-1 was also a lot of fun. There were a few more slow drivers. I hit some traffic going over the Golden Gate Bridge and in a few spots on US 101. I guessed right and found the hotel quite easily. I got here about 7.17 pm. Only took a little over 10 hours to get from Redwood Parks to Mt View including about an hour of stops. I made it all the way across the country without a ticket. Woohoo! I didn't get pulled over for slowing and didn't witness any accidents this time (unlike my trip 6 years ago). Although I did have a cop pull up behind me on Interstate 5 in Seattle. I had pulled onto the shoulder to talk on the cell phone. She just wanted to make sure I was alright and was very nice. I'm known for pretty short phone calls, but that one was especially quick when I saw her pull up behind me.

Total travel time was 9 weeks, over 7,000 miles. Google Maps says it should have taken about 2 days 0 minutes and 2,862 miles. Oh well, I preferred my itinerary. This part of the journey is over.


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