So, no big change I thought when we were reaching California, but there was a border-like gate with various booths to check if we were bringing any fresh produce into California. They waved us right through, well we didn’t have any anyway. The landscape continued to look very dry and all of a sudden, Casinos were popping up everywhere.
Past the first major City which is called Crescent City, that’s where the Redwood Forests start. Redwood trees grow in a narrow strip along the coast of California and also southwestern Oregon, live to about 2000 years old; they average 500 to 700 years old, can be 380ft. tall, have no known killing diseases and don’t suffer significant insect damage. They had been logged heavily in the mid-1800’s until 1920’s when the State of California preserved some key groves. We managed to find a campsite in the Del Norte Coast Redwoods State Park called Mill Creek. It is high tourist season, meaning the campgrounds fill up quickly.
We were surrounded by big, big redwood trees probably around 100 years that were growing just beside an even bigger tree stump from a previously logged tree. Really amazing! There we stayed for 2 nights, because we wanted to have a close up look at all those amazing giants. So next day we took the “ Damnation Creek Trail” through the Redwood Forest all the way down to the coast, took about 3 hours and well worth it.
We also sent another e-mail out to our motostays website to see if we find an address in the San Francisco area where we could crash for a day or two. We got a positive response from a young guy in Berkely, who was willing to put us up in his guest room for 2 nights. Wednesday we continued along Highway 101 through Redwood National Park but wanted to follow along the Pacific Coast, so we had to change on to Highway#1. Boy were we in for a ride!
First time I went on a really twisty road! It was a lot of fun, unless we had a big RV in front of us, which is nearly impossible to pass on those roads until it moves over to a turn out to let others pass. We passed funny little towns that looked like left overs from Hippie times. We had a delicious ( everything is called “all-natural, gluten-free, local…organic and blah, blah blah!!) Pizza in Mendocino. A beautiful little posh town with colorful Gingerbread Houses, lots of expensive cars and expensively dressed people ( I love observing people!). But of course these people are texting while they drive, so I was nearly cut off by a lady doing the exact thing, so I yelled at her to get off the fr… phone! I don’t know if that impressed her at all!
Another night spent at Van Damme State Park( no relation to Jean-Claude!) and next day we were off to Berkely, meaning for us big city and big traffic again. Oh yeah, we also passed through Bodega Bay. Sounds familiar? That’s where the movie “ Birds” from Hitchcock happened!! Creepy!!! As many of you know, both Heinz and me are not big City guys, but for once I was intrigued by San Francisco. I just wanted to ride over the Golden Gate Bridge that Heinz had already seen a couple of years ago, so I was quite excited. Thank God for GPS, makes finding an address in a city a lot easier. So Berkely is on the other side of the Bay meaning San Francisco and we went over the Richmond Bridge, kind of a smaller version of the Golden Gate to get to Aaron’s place.
Aaron has a small apartment in Berkely about 10 Min. from the famous University( 60-70’s Hippie sit-ins coming to mind!lol) He does Computer research support, writes software etc, and also teaches sometimes, he said. First night we walked into town had supper at Café Rouge a really nice place, also famous for Oysters. Mhm, I am not a big fan of these slurpy creatures, to be honest, so I stayed away from them!
Today the plan was to ride to San Francisco, go to San Francisco State Park in the City and explore around the Bridge, and that’s all we could manage. Traffic was horrendous, it took us forever, it was hot, we were sweating buckets so we abandoned the idea of even going to the hills where the cable cars are.
We spent some time at the beach strolled around in the downtown Park and then finally inched our way over the Golden Gate Bridge in heavy traffic. It was still impressive though, it is sometimes tough to focus on traffic and do sightseeing at the same time on a motorcycle. We rode through the hills of Golden Gate State Park on the other side of the bridge and finally ended up in Sausalito only to make our way through heavy traffic again back to Aaron’s place. Phew, I’m telling you, those Cities!!! People drive like maniacs, all other bikes do constant lane splitting, try to cut you off etc. But after all it is probably good practice for South America where I expect this to be even worse!! So, I guess enough of being polite, just join the rat race I say!!