One - Day Two
- Day Three - Day
Four - Day Five
I got a late start, I had many other things to do most of the day.
I left Montrose at 5:15 pm. Drove North to San Luis Obispo,
stayed at Motel 6. Drove approx. 200 miles on Day One, the
drive took approx. 3 to 3 1/2 hours. I could have left the
next day, but I need the psychological "push" of knowing
I was already on the trip. If I had waited until the next
morning, I probably would have found other errands and chores to
do before I eventually would start on the trip.
Left San Luis Obispo 8:30 am. One hour and 65 miles later, got
gas at small town of San Ardo. (Gas station had appalling bathroom.)
Later in the morning, passed through the fabulous town of Gilroy on
my way north. Gilroy is the "Garlic Capital of the World".
Visited "Garlic World" (a shop on right side of road,
when heading north.) Got some wonderful garlic goodies, and
2:00 pm. Got lost in San Francisco. (It is really easy
to do---Highway 101 merges into downtown S.F., and you have to keep
on your toes to not get lost. So far, I have never been enough
on my toes!) Wandered through downtown S.F., stumbled
upon the new S.F. Public Library. A wonderful library!
Five floors, and an elevator that talks! (But the bathroom is
dirty.) Tried to pick up my e-mail on their computers, but there
was too long of a line. Ate onion soup at the library's cafe,
and relaxed a bit. Finally found where I needed to go to get
back on the 101, and drove north, over the Golden Gate Bridge.
7 pm. Got into my Motel 6 in Ukiah (just in time to see Clinton's
speech about the Lewinsky scandal---I guess I will always remember
where I was on that historical day!) I got to Ukiah later than
I had hoped---I met with rush hour outside of Santa Rosa. I
had also dropped by the small charming town of Cloverdale, to get
a hot pot. (To heat water for tea, etc., in my motel room.)
Traveled approx. 360 miles on Day Two.
Left Ukiah at 8:55 am. Saw by my map that I was very near a
side road that would take me to Highway 1. I had been told by
a coworker about a little town on Highway 1, Albion, and I wanted
to see it. I was glad that I filled my tank before I took this
side-road to get to the 1, there were no gas stations on the way!
The side road was twisty, so it took longer than the 30-some miles
would suggest it take.
11:41 am, drove 60 miles. I got to Albion, but it was foggy,
couldn't see anything. Drove down the "Little River Road",
(where I took the picture at the top of this page, of the California
Coast) and got my feet wet in the sand. It was a very pleasant
stop along the way.
12:18 pm, 23 miles later, had lunch at Ft. Bragg. This is near
where the 1 and 101 converge again, so I was back on the 101.
Drove around downtown Ft. Bragg, and found a little Internet cafe
place called "Static" where I checked my e-mail. (Update:
I sadly have to report that "Static" has either moved, or
gone out of business recently.)
Before dark, I crashed at a nice motel in McKinleyville, a little
north of Arcata. I had planned on staying at the Motel 6 in
Arcata, a town a little north of Eureka, but had foolishly not called
ahead for a reservation. (I usually would, but got lazy that
one time!) The friendly people at the Arcata Motel 6 told me
that since it was around "enrolling time" at the Arcata
University (Humbolt State University?) all the rooms were full up
with kids and parents. They suggested this little private motel
in McKinleyville, a few miles north. I went there, in a grumpy
mood, but the motel was quite nice. It was owned by a very
genteel man from (I think) India, who told me my room was "H"
(but he pronounced it "Etch"...we had to work on that a
bit before I figured out what he meant!) The name of the motel
is "Bella Vista Motel", and I would suggest it, if you are
looking for a "Motel 6" sort of place. Traveled 230
miles on Day Three.
Left McKinleyville at 8:46 am. Started on my way South (McKinleyville
was the furthest North that I went on this trip.) Stopped for
a few hours at the wonderful little village of Ferndale.
Had a veggie burger at the Ferndale Grill, it was very tasty!
This little village survived (and rebounded well) from an earthquake
earlier this decade, and was also featured in the film "Outbreak".
1:11 pm. Stopped to absorb the Ave. of the Giants, a lovely
drive through a redwood forest. I stopped at the "Burl
and Drift" gift shop, where I got a redwood screensaver, and
a redwood t-shirt. While I didn't do it this year, I sometimes
will stop and do a little painting of the redwoods. Had traveled approx.
60 miles since my morning departure in McKinleyville.
2:36 pm. Traveled another 14 miles. Still wandering through
Ave. of the Giants. Stopped to get postcards at the small town
of Myer's Flat. I usually allow at least 2 hours (minimum)
to travel through it. I look for the signs (going either North
or South on the 101) to take me to the alternative route through the
Ave. The Ave. of the Giants road automatically blends back onto
the main 101 Highway.
4:06 pm. Used the last of my cash-on-hand to buy Mendocino-brewed
root beers at a health food store in the little town of Laytonville.
Have traveled another 64 miles since Myer's Flat. In the past
I have stopped at a funky gift shop in (I think) Laytonville, called
"Nobody's Business". It is a fun place to stop.
Approx. 6:00 pm. Stopped to get a nice salad at the "Owl
Cafe" in Cloverdale. A cozy little cafe, complete with
a waitress with Big Hair. It seemed to be a favorite of the
locals, too. The "Owl Cafe" has several signs for
it on the 101, if you are looking for it, you can't miss it!
After 7:00 pm, got into the Petaluma Motel 6. Petaluma is a
little north of San Francisco. This time I was smart and called ahead
for a reservation. It was fortunate that I did, because they
were sending people away! I had traveled approx. 270 miles on Day
Left Petaluma 9:46 am, heading south to S.F. I deliberately
left late to try to avoid the San Francisco rush hour.
11:30 am, 66 miles later, I get gas just outside of San Francisco.
Because it is late in the morning, rush hour is not the problem that
I feared it would be.
With great determination, I manage not to get lost going South through
downtown San Francisco. I travel for many hours---I have a schedule
to keep! I arrive in the Scandinavian Town of Solvang (several
hours north of L.A.) by 3:44 pm. I had traveled 341 miles since
leaving Petaluma that morning! I eat a Mexican dinner in Solvang
(which seems ironic, since it is a Scandinavian town!) Solvang
is a great place to visit, lots of shops, and lovely buildings.
It is nearby to Buellton, a town famous for it's split pea soup!
41 miles south of Solvang, I get gas at Goleta, CA.
Still on my grueling schedule, I drive and drive and drive.
I arrive in San Diego at 10 pm! (I am visiting old family friends
there.) From Petaluma to San Diego, I have traveled approx.
610 miles on Day Five! I do not recommend anyone else doing
this. I am unusual in that I really enjoy traveling by car for
long distances. I just drink a lot of TAB (the miracle "Wonder
Beverage", otherwise known as a diet cola!) and I am "good
to go"! But, even though I do not have the exact mileage
and times, I do remember driving through Los Angeles around dusk,
so it would not be an unreasonable (grueling, but not unreasonable)
drive to make: Petaluma to Los Angeles in a single day.
Whew! I made it! It was a wonderful trip. I would
like to take 6 or more days to make this trip next year, though I
did get a lot done with the short amount of time I had this year.