Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thursday September 25, 2008 ~We need to get moving!

When we woke up this Thursday morning, we finally got to see where we camped last night. (Remember it was pitch black when we pulled into this campground at 8pm). It was so beautiful! We were right in among the giant Redwood trees.

Look at the size of the stump behind me!

Bob getting the camper loaded up.

When you look up into these magnificant trees...well, lets just say one feels very small indeed.

It's interesting to look at the bark of the Redwood up close. Not like the Douglas Fir that grows here in the Pacific northwest, that's for sure.
They have these food lockers at all the camp sights for those with tents. Put your food in there & lock it up or the bears will come looking for it in your tent.
On the road again. This is a little section of highway called "Avenue of the Giants" off Highway 101. Very narrow but then 101 isn't much different in some areas.

We stopped here briefly. Sometimes there will be a chainsaw carver working but not today. This place along the highway has all things Redwood & Bigfoot. (They don't know that Bigfoot lives in Washington state!)

We finally got on the road again, knowing that we needed to cover some distance today if are ever going to get to Pasadena by Friday evening. We stopped in another cute little town ~ Willits, California for gas. But, oh my it was so hot! I'm sure it was at least 100*. Just suffocating!

From Willits we continued on, rolling into the San Francisco around 4pm. Before heading across the Golden Gate bridge we turned off and went up into the Presido on the northern tip of the San Francisco peninsula. The narrow winding road takes you high up into the hills above the Golden Gate bridge and offers magnificent views of San Francisco Bay and of the city. This area has a very interesting history. It has been a fortified location since 1776 when the Spanish made it the military center of their expansion in the area. It was later passed to Mexico and they passed it to the United States in 1847. In 1995 it was closed as a military base and since then has began the change of mixed commercial and public use. In 1962 Congress recognized the Presido as a National Historic Landmark. As you drive around you can still see many of the old bunkers and of course buildings used for military purposes in the past. This particular afternoon, it was sunny and warm up there but extremely windy. Almost so windy we could barely open the doors of the truck to get out and take pictures.
Up in the Presido. I believe the housing down there is still being used by military personnel. There were people on the beach and vehicles coming & going. Can you believe that guy out there? The wind was blowing so hard~I was afraid he'd loose his balance and fall off.

Bird Rock (YUCK!!!!!!!!!)

One of the old military buildings left for public viewing. As I remember, this was a Brig. There were bars on the windows.

The Golden Gate Bridge

It was so windy here this picture of "The Rock" also known as Alcatraz was a little blurry. I was leaning on a bench but that wasn't enough.

We'll be down there soon.
After leaving the Presido we crossed the Golden Gate bridge, paying the $5.00 toll (you only pay when you're going southbound) blending in with all the commuter traffic.

heading for the toll booth
We're in town now and heading for Beach Street that will take us down to Fisherman's Wharf.

This sign cracked me up! Even if I was a wine drinker, I don't think I'd feel comfortable in SNOB bar. LOL !
The houses are so close together but they are all so beautiful. When we came home I took more pictures of these homes. I'll share those at a later date.

heading down towards Fisherman's Wharf.

This particular line of the trolley car system starts in front of this 24 hour Walgreen Store.
The traffic wasn't really that bad, those people move right along and are courteous enough to let you change lanes when you put on your turn signal. Our destination goal was the Fisherman's Wharf area to get something to eat and then on down 101 to a campground.

We actually found a parking place right at the corner of Jefferson and Jones. Bob pulled that big truck & camper right in and we filled the parking meter full of quarters and took off walking down the street.

How would you like a loaf of crab shaped sourdough bread? I got a small loaf of regular shaped sourdough~theirs is so good!
Most of the eating places were already really busy by this time, so we ended up walking back past the truck and went into In-N-Out for dinner (yum? yum!).

Robin, I had a fry in your honor!

One last walk past the marina and then we went back to the truck and headed south on Highway 101.

It was now after 7pm and Bob said that we'd pull into the first campground or rest area and spend the night. We saw some private campgrounds but a couple of them wanted $40 for a night and that's just ridiculous! We kept thinking we'd find a rest area~so we kept driving and driving and driving. Finally about 150 miles south of S.F, near Soledad, CA I saw a big McDonald's sign off to the side of the freeway and we could see lots of semi trucks in their parking lot. By now it's almost 11pm and we are both exhausted. So we took the exit and found a spot out at the end of this huge parking lot and settled in for the night. We figured if we could get a couple hours sleep & then someone pounded on the door and told us to leave~at least we would have some sleep . Well, no one bothered us and we slept like babies.

The next morning, we went into the McDonald's for some breakfast and told the manager we'd looked for a rest area after leaving S.F. and there didn't seem to be any. He said, "no, there's no rest areas between here and S.F. but you're always welcome to park here." Wow ! How nice of them! I'm still going to write Arnold Schwarzenegger (former actor and now governor of CA) about this situation. That's crazy not to have a place for people to pull over & take a rest break. We did consider that big prison just off the highway there in Soledad but by the time we stopped we were too tired to care. However, I had my can of Hornet & Wasp spray ready in case someone came breaking in the back door of the camper.

It's now Friday morning~will we make it to Pasadena tonight or not? That remains to be seen.


  1. I've been to 'Frisco and Fishernam's Wharf but I never got a chance to see the Redwoods. Maybe I'll get over that way next year on my way to Tahoe.


  2. Linda, your photos and descriptions of the places are excellent. Again thank you for taking me on your journey with you, i love the redwoods and san francisco itis so picturesque and the golden gate bridge.

  3. a lot of your pix brought back wonderful memories of the 2 times i've visited that the sf area. great shots of those red woods...they are awesome, aren't they??! and i love that evening marina shot.

  4. I was just in this area (SF Bay) in September, and thought you certainly got the red in the bridge beautifully photographed. I love that red bridge. Enjoyed the photos! Gerry

  5. One of our favorite places is San Francisco. Ken lived there for several years, and we love going there every few years. One of my best vacation memories is our Alcatraz tour--it was fascinating!

    On one of our trips, we went through Muir Woods, north of SF, with all the redwoods. Unbelievably beautiful, and awesome in the true sense of the word. We've driven most of 101, including Avenue of the Giants! It really is some of the most spectacular scenery in our country, and I hope everyone gets a chance to experience it at some point.

    Since we're Midwesterners, the coasts are especially fun for us--whether east, west, or south! It sounds like you had a wonderful trip, and you've given me wanderlust again! Good thing we're taking a road trip this week to see Ken's mom in Missouri. Who knows what adventures and treasures we'll find? :)

    All my best,

  6. oh my old hometown of SF! I MISS it terribly. However, I don't want to live there again ... unless I win the lottery and can afford the home and still live comfortably!

    As for the blog entry taking so much time, I've just started writing and posting my entries through Windows Live Writer - OMGosh it's so SIMPLE to add photos and get everything PERFECT! It only took me a few minutes to write and put my last entry together. I'll e-mail you the link.


  7. Linda, I am so enjoying my trip with you. It is one of Chuck and my favourite routes.

    Blessings and hugs to you and Gabi..and Bob if he want one ha ha

    Love ALBERTA Lori

  8. your pictures were great Linda! I like how you are doing this; you are telling a great story of your vacation with pictures and words; its almost like we were there with you! its nice that the San Francisco drivers were courteous and considerate to let you change lanes if needed; I'm sure driving is extremely hazardous there at times on the bridges, with wind, narrow streets, etc.

    Those redwood trees are something else, aren't they? just so tall and majestic.

    always a welcome treat with In and Out Burger and they really do have good fries

    that was interesting about the rest stops; doesn't seem quite right to have that long of a distance without one

    looking forward to the next entry :)


  9. Looks like a great trip, Linda! THanks for sharing..I love San Francisco...and California. Maria from Washington.

  10. Linda how wonderful... and great that we can share this journey with you ,I love hearing about all the places you visit and seeing pictures of everything ,I must invetigate this windows writer one of your commentaters mentioned Jan xx

  11. Wow what an amazing trip loved the redwoods!

  12. Linda, I LOVED this! Wow! I know what you mean about Blogger not being so friendly with pictures. I have never been out west, so I have never had the pleasure of seeing Redwood trees. Wow! They are incredible! The crab-shaped bread made me giggle. I love warm sour-dough bread with lots of butter... Mmmmm... Happy Thanksgiving to you, honey! Love, Val xox

  13. Thanks for the wonderful adventure you allowed us to join! Tammy

  14. I am enjoying your trip so far!! and what a wonderful job you did with all the entries... the pictures are beautiful!
    I recognize a few places I've been before... :)

  15. WOW I figured out how to make a comment. You should write a book. I love to read your journals and see your pictures. Skinner

  16. Linda thanks for the tour I really enjoyed being with you ~ the photographs are great ~ loved that crab shaped bread ~ the Golden Gate Bridge is amazing ~ Ally x

  17. What a fascinating trip and that was so nice of them in McDonalds to say you could stop there anytime! The Golden Gate bridge looks very majestic standing there doesn't it? I love the giant redwoods, I guess they would make you feel pretty small! Look forward to seeing if you made it to Pasadena before nightfall! Jeannette xx

  18. Those pics were great! oh how I miss San Francisco...where is the pic of you are Bubba's? :)

    Happy Thanksgiving buddy!

  19. I love the pictures of the ocean. I am such an ocean person!

  20. Catching up here. Your pictures are great! I loved your descriptions of the places you saw. I'm glad you found a place to sleep! You can always sleep in WalMart's parking lot, too. They always allow that.
    Have a good Thanksgiving.

  21. This makes me miss my old home of SF!

    Sonny and I are talking about driving down instead of flying down there. We shall see.


  22. Awesome photos & commentary! You make me feel as though I was on the trip with you.

    You could live in that stump - my gosh that is HUGE!!!!


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