The originally planned route took us to the coast near Paso Robles, so the tanks were topped off there again, assuming that the prices in Cambria and on the coast would be that much higher again. But, our plans were changed in an instant by a large flashing sign. Apparently the coastal highway had collapsed into the ocean (my interpretation) back in March somewhere north of Big Sur, essentially making this route a dead end. So with a quick U-turn it was back north on the 101.
There were not many camping opportunities in this intensely agricultural area, so resigned to the fact that it might be a Walmart night. Unfortunately, when we pulled into the WM in Salinas that my iPhone app said might allow overnight parking, security told us that was not the case, but recommended a non-descript area where trucks often park. It’s only good feature was the wi-fi available from a nearby motel. Oh ya, and the reefer on a truck that would start up every hour or so. But, no complaints when a campsite may have been just as noisy for $40!
Hailey checks out the new vegetation – quite a change from the desert!
The next day, the Iphone found us some decently priced diesel to fill the tank again in Santa Cruz as we continued north on the coast. We were making good time without even trying, so decided to run through San Franciso to take advantage of the mid-day traffic. Tomtom and I have this route pretty well dialed, so in no time at all we were officially in ‘northern’ Caifornia, looking for a good road back to the coast.
The Petaluma turnoff looked good, so we headed west towards Jenner on the coast. This may well be a road I have not travelled before, so it was good to see some new country. Of course ‘see’ is a matter of perspective. Out in the desert, you can often see 40-60 miles in several directions. Here, you are lucky if you can see a couple hundred feet down the road where it curves through the redwoods whose tops link above you.
And, she checks out the ocean views!
Most of the ocean side pull-offs and viewpoints have ‘anti-RV’ signs to discourage parking along the Caifornia coast
Fort Ross Historic SP camping area was closed (permanently?), and they wanted an $8 day use self-registration fee to park at a slanted non-descript, dirt and grass waterfront area (ya, right, in their dreams).
We kept our eyes peeled and soon found a nice, un-signed roadside waterfront spot to enjoy the sunset views, and a good nights sleep. Darn, noisy waves
Driving on the coastal road somewhat reminds me of driving in Mexico. Narrow, winding roads with no shoulder, lots of distractions and no room for error. Of course California lacks the quality potholes, huge topes (killer speed bumps) (except at Safeway), the burned cars on the shoulder, and other challenges that make Mexican driving so special! But towing a fifth wheel on the coast road does keep you focussed.
What? You expected more writing!