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  1. #71
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,127

    Default Furthest west point.

    Did you not end up taking that lovely back road from the Redwoods to Mendocino? Eleven years ago when I drove it, but all the views are still fresh in my memory.

    Lifey

  2. #72
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,350

    Default Never enough time.

    Unfortunately not Lifey. No matter how hard I tried I just could not fit that section of CA1 into our trip this time around, but it's another one on the 'For the future' list. As with most of our trips, the difference an extra 2 or 3 days would have made is huge, but then again, had we had an extra few days available, we would then wish we had a few more. I just can't get enough !!

    Dave.

  3. #73
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,350

    Default Ferndale.

    We mentioned lunch in the Victorian town of Ferndale and it's wonderful homes and shop fronts that are taken care of with great pride by the towns folk so I though I would share a few pictures. The town was first settled in 1852 by 3 men, two of whom were brothers [The Shaw's] and at the start of 1853, 12 men were sharing the Shaw's cabin and so it began. Located between the Redwood parks and only 5 miles from California's 'Lost coast', it really is a wonderful place to visit, it has been dubbed the best preserved Victorian village in California. Two of it's best known buildings are the Victoria Inn and the Gingerbread Mansion.

    The Victorian was built in 1890/91 and originally housed the Ferndale Bank.


    The prestigious Gingerbread Mansion B&B, originally built in 1899 as a family residence.


    Church of the Assumption.


    The main street.

  4. #74
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,350

    Default The Golden Gate. Not quite to plan !

    October 1st.

    Another beautiful morning welcomed us so we took a walk around Redwood river resort and down to the Eel river that ran below before breakfast and then it was back on the road heading south on the Redwood Highway. As we got to Leggett I really wanted to take CA1 down the coast, but also understood long ago that this wasn't possible as our time on the road at this point was running out. So we continued south on 101 through Redwood valley and past rolling hillside and small Wineries all the way to Corte Madera where we stopped at the Cheesecake factory as instructed by our food Guru, Louise. It was located in the Corte Madera shopping village that had a collection of stores and was very busy which then became a problem to park up. We stopped in a waiting area designed for delivery lorries and thought we would have to get take away but the staff in the Cheesecake factory were very helpful and called security to confirm we could park there for a while. It's not usually my 'type of place' but I enjoyed it, the place was quite lavish and the food was very nice.





    As we left we caught views of San Quentin State prison across the bay and it wasn't long before we saw Bay Bridge and the city of San Francisco in the distance from Mill Valley. We turned off 101 through the town of Sausalito and made our way to Vista point on the north end of the Golden Gate bridge.

    San Francisco from Sausalito.


    The parking at Vista point was packed so we continued up the Marin Headlands on Conzelman road as planned. We had arrived expecting parking problems, especially in an RV and it was no surprise that the parking lot at Battery Spencer was also full, we had banked on getting lucky as the turn around of parking spaces was quite quick. As we continued further up the hill our luck arrived, another RV had just vacated a big space in a pull out on the road side and we slotted straight into it. We had great views of the bridge and it was only a short walk out to Battery Spencer and best of all, there was no fog !!





    We enjoyed many views with aircraft, pleasure boats and ships going over and under the bridge before making our way up to the small roundabout on top of the hill to turn around and come down again and at last get to drive across the Golden Gate bridge. We had pre paid the toll to cross by 5pm and it was a little after 4pm that we started to merge onto the bridge. I was hoping to be just ahead of rush hour getting through SF, but that was all about to change !! The traffic was moving slowly on the bridge as we merged our way on to the bridge, but it was moving. Having merged we were trundling along when there was a big bang that made me jump and then a car bounced off my front wheel, The bang was the sound of my side mirror being struck by the car roof and sent flying forwards. We stopped on the bridge and the lad, a young Russian who had just collected his rental car said that a car had forced him over into our lane and he had nowhere else to go. He seemed to be going faster than everything else around him and it seemed that he was trying to accelerate through a gap that wasn't there rather than backing off. There seemed no need to stand on the bridge, so I suggested we go to the other end and find somewhere to park and exchange details while trying to hide how I really felt. It was tough, with an estimated half a million miles without an accident, a delay I could do without and the fact that I was probably going to lose my damage deposit until it was sorted going through my head. It didn't get any better at the other end when he stepped out of the car with his American friend who had then changed their story to I had merged into them and should have given way. A sheriff was called and came and took statements and it was well past 5pm when we finally got back on the road and the traffic had built up quite a bit, delaying us even more.

    We cut over to the coast and headed down the Great Highway to CA1 and through Pacifica and El Granada where we had another unexpected delay just south of town. This one was welcome though and by choice, we saw activity on the water and yep, we were once again blessed by Whales close in shore. I took a small turning down to Miramar beach and we watched them for a while and instantly the mood lightened.



    We continued south on the Cabrillo Highway through Half Moon bay and arrived at Pigeon Point Lighthouse just as the sun was setting.

    DSCF3559

    It was time to move on to our destination for the night, Henry Cowell Redwoods State park near Felton. We had the option of going down to Santa Cruz and head back north or cut across the hills that included roads named 'Ice cream Grade' which sounded challenging, I love a challenge ! The Ice cream grade turned out to be just that with narrow winding sections and switchbacks and warning signs that states the pass is not suitable for trucks. It sure was a work out in the dark especially as it seemed to be used as the Locals short cut, or should I say race track !! We made it to the campground around 8:30pm feeling pretty beat but still able to take all the good from the day before tucking into Chowder and bread followed by the Cheesecake we had failed to eat after a big lunch at the Cheese cake factory. Yummy !!

    Footnote. With only a small amount of damage to the wheel hub cover following the accident, Cruise America did not hold my deposit on return. I had photographic evidence and I have heard no more about the incident.

    Todays mileage 270. Total 3135 miles.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 01-08-2016 at 09:59 AM. Reason: Added mileage

  5. #75
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,350

    Default The end is near.

    October 2nd.

    We woke around 7:30am and after an hour or so of grabbing breakfast and showering we took a walk around the sand hills on which the campground is located. This area was once an ancient sea floor, some 10 million years ago the sand we stood on was covered by a vast ocean and the moist air and sand creates a unique ecosystem for resident plants and insects that can't be found anywhere else in the world. We walked up onto a viewing platform from where you could see for miles around, but as we looked towards Santa Cruz all we could see was cloud rolling in.



    Our destination tonight was Malibu beach and we already knew that taking the coast road around Big Sur was not going to be possible, however, we had left the possibility of visiting Santa Cruz and Monterey open and from Monterey I would have also loved the chance to visit the famous Laguna Seca raceway as we cut inland. With a lot of miles ahead and the cloud looking thick on the coast we decided to take CA1 as far as Moss landing and then CA183 through Castroville to US101 and eat up some miles through the central valley. We didn't want to arrive too late and tired on our last night in the RV.

    Castroville, Artichoke capital of the world, apparently.


    We passed miles and miles of crops being irrigated by water pumped from deep beneath the ground as large groups of people worked in the fields. Landowners have been forced to invest in huge pumps to bring water up from underground resources because of the droughts in recent years, although it's now being reported that this is causing the central valley to sink at an alarming rate !

    Along the way we spotted a group of old 'Woodies', including an old favourite from back home, a Morris minor, affectionately known as the 'Moggie minor' in the UK.


    After a quick stop to fill with gas we rolled through San Luis Obispo, passed the Madonna Inn and into Pismo beach at 1:15pm, not bad going in an RV as it was just over 3 hours since leaving Henry Cowell State park, 177 miles earlier. Pismo Beach was a nice seaside town with beach side shops and lovely sandy beaches and the weather was glorious for taking a stroll.



    Under the pier.


    A little over an hour later we were back on the road and heading to Santa Barbara where the volume of traffic slowed us up and we had similar through Ventura, but then the road opened up and we had a good run along the coast on CA1 into Malibu Beach. The Malibu beach RV resort is up on a cliff that overlooks the ocean and by the time we had parked up in our spot it was close to 6:30pm which is quite good for us. This was to be our last night in the RV and in the USA, so it was really special to sit outside with a beer and reflect on our trip while witnessing a wonderful sunset to the sound of the waves breaking ashore from our ocean view site.

    Malibu beach at sunset.




    Cheers.


    It's not quite the end though, we have a day left tomorrow before our evening flight out !

    Todays mileage 341. Total 3472 miles.

  6. #76
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    215

    Default

    I'm enjoying every moment of your trip. Dont go home. Head off somewhere else so we can read all about it. :)

    Cheers. Keith

  7. #77
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    7,127

    Default All good things must come to an end.

    Keith, you trying to stop this coming to an end?

    Guess like myself, you have been taking a virtual roadtrip with them. Time to plan your next trip mate.

    Lifey

  8. #78
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    11,350

    Default I would love to !

    Quote Originally Posted by keithg View Post
    I'm enjoying every moment of your trip. Dont go home. Head off somewhere else so we can read all about it. :)

    Cheers. Keith
    It would be my pleasure Keith, could you organise a whip round for funding mate ? ;-) Haha.

    Dave.

    [The only trip I have booked at the moment for this year, is with a slightly different mode of transport. Navigating a 55ft Narrow boat along a canal in the Brecon Beacons in South Wales] :-)

  9. #79
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    215

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lifemagician View Post
    Keith, you trying to stop this coming to an end?

    Guess like myself, you have been taking a virtual roadtrip with them. Time to plan your next trip mate.

    Lifey
    Hi Lifey. Every day im planning in my head the next trip. The dollar isnt helping. Have to find a lot of cheaper ways to do it which we can do. 2015 was a bad year for us. Didnt go anywhere. Put all plans on hold. Hopefully this year will be great. I did try and talk Margaret into buying a house in USA but she said no. To far from grandson and i'd miss him. Got offered a job driving from Georgia to the west. Still thinking about that one. :)

    Keith

  10. #80
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, Australia
    Posts
    215

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Southwest Dave View Post
    It would be my pleasure Keith, could you organise a whip round for funding mate ? ;-) Haha.

    Dave.

    [The only trip I have booked at the moment for this year, is with a slightly different mode of transport. Navigating a 55ft Narrow boat along a canal in the Brecon Beacons in South Wales] :-)
    Hi Dave. Just had a look in my wallet. Sorry mate. Just enough there for a ice cream. For me.
    The boat trip sounds great. Hope we hear all about it. Whoops, i cant talk. I was in New Zealand in 2014 and didnt do a report in the Off Shore part here. My teacher here Lifey pointed that out to me. :(

    Keith

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