I decided to give myself this 'little trip' as a 65th birthday present to myself, driving around the edges of the US and into southern Canada, in my 'topless' Jeep Wrangler, taking only the highways and scenic byways, no Interstates! When I mentioned my plans to a few folks, I started hearing from various publications (AAA, AARP, Good Sams, etc) businesses and websites asking if would be interested in writing articles, blogging, stopping to interview specific people and of course, take lots of pictures of what I see and who I meet.
I said to myself, 'Self, if any of these interested folks would contribute to your 'gas money fund' you could stay on the road a lot longer, see a lot more and actually not mind doing what they ask.' When they said sure, I said 'look out world, here I come!'
I plan to 'wheels-up' on August 1st, leaving Wilmington, NC, heading up into and over the mountains to destinations West. My main 'sponsor' is a sewing/textile/style business that has requested that I stop at any and all fabric stores I find along my route, interview the owner and customers, take photos and blog on their site exactly 'what and who in America is sewing today.' Since I was raised at the foot (treadle, that is) of my grandmother's and mother's sewing machines, I have had a lifelong passion for fabrics and sewing since I was a wee thing. It's like I wrote what I required for this job and they created it just for me. (Well, actually that's exactly what happened.) And besides this really perfect 'sewing' gig, I get to write about what I see, who I meet and eat and do for several other publications. Life is really good!
But now I need the experienced road traveler's help. I am sitting here trying to put together my calendar, with all the stops I need to make along the way for the 'work portion' of the trip. The month of August will get me from NC to San Diego (taking a week and a half of personal time to 'do' the Indian Market in Santa Fe and have an 'all girls, Class of '64 mini-reunion in Sedona).
I will arrive in San Diego Labor Day weekend. I have several places there I have to do interviews, but then I plan to drive all the way up the coast, staying on the coast highway (#1 or #101) as much of the entire way that I can. I have to stop in several place along the way for work but will also be stopping to sight-see, including Newport, San Simeon, Big Sur, Carmel, San Francisco, etc. etc. along the way, for my own pleasure and to visit with family and friends. I will continue up the coast of Oregon and Washington state, driving into Vancouver before turning back East and dropping back down into the U.S.
For now (and I am sure I will have LOTS of other questions that will arise along the way) is what is the actual mileage of the CA coastline from San Diego to Crescent City. I need to plan exactly how many days I think it will take me to 'do' CA before I 'do' Oregon and WA (where I can make better time as there are not nearly as many fabric stores to stop at along their coastlines, but lots to see.) My last 'stops' in CA will veer me off the coast to Santa Rosa and Healdsburg before I head back to the coastline.
Any and all help, suggestions, ideas, must-see's, must-do's, names and locations of fabric stores I might not know about would be very much appreciated.