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Friday, February 27, 2015

Day 43 - Flat Drive / Tent?

I got up at 6:00 and was on my way at 6:15.  Prior to the weather changing I was going to take I80 over the Sierra  Nevada Mountains by Lake Tahoe. 

This morning Tajoe was getting snow so my travels took me down the Central Valley of California.  This route can be (is) very boring, having taken it a number of times.  Certainly it is not as picturesque as my previous posts.

This is all I could get for color out of the sunrise.

My first stop was in Redding, CA for my McDonalds stop.  WIFI was just ok.  I figured I would hit the bathroom before continuing on my 7 hour drive, only to find I need a special coin to get in.  I guess this is how they control mon patrons using their facilities.  Since I was a patron they put in the special coin and let me in.

Did I say it was flat, flat, flat for, miles, miles, miles!

The flat road made for great mpg on my Prius getting a high of 66.2 average mpg while on the highway.  When I got off the highway it went down to 65.5 for the day.

No complaints.

The Central Valley is a very large valley with mountains on either side and farms in between.  Here is a fruit tree farm.

There are signs all down the valley that water = jobs.  The lack of water is still a big problem for farmers.

I was on I5 but switched to CA 99 that is also a divided highway that runs parallel to I5 but further west.  Here I am driving through Sacramento.  This was another minor milestone for me. Haven driven the I5 from Sacramento to Oregon I can now say I have driven the entire length of I5 from Mexico to Oregon.

Still flat and farms.  Have some clouds that will give rain to the mountains and a few sprinkles to my campsite.

Once in awhile you see something different to break the the landscape up for the eyes.

At 4:30 I finally arrived at my destination for the night at the county park northeast of Bakersfield, CA.  The csmpground has about a dozen people camping here.  

It is off season so its $12.00 per night for camping but I get a $2.00 discount for being over 62.  There are flush toilets and showers.

While I was making my dinner of spaghetti the park ranger came around to check me in.  He asked if I had a tent and I said yes, but explained I stay in the car when I can.  (I brought a tent if it became an issue of sleeping in my car.)

So, I said to him with a sense of exuberance that I had modified my a Prius to allow for sleeping and living out of it.  I showed him around and he turns to me and says you must be an engineer.

I said in a conciliatory tone, "Yes, You have that right."

He left and I was glad he didn't push the tent issue, but I was ready if I had to.  I think I need a ball cap that says Yes, I'm an Engineer

I went for a shower this evening since the campground last night didn't have one.  I couldn't shave at the restrooms as in many places like this there is no hot water at the sink.

Here is my shaving setup.

The thermos is on the right.  I heated hot water last night and this thermos will hold hot or cold for 24 hours.  And it does.

With my previously made hot water from last night I can shave at my campsite.  I have my camping mirror and a black folding parts tray from Harbor Freight that I use for a shaving dish.

I have shaved this way a number of times with some in the back seat of the car.  This was the first with hot water from yesterday.  When I bought the thermos I bought with the intention of keeping hot water like this and the water was still so hot in it that it burned my hand when I put it in.  It was worth the $50 I paid for it.

No flowers tonight but I have a nice view of the hills nearby.  There is a lake and nice brook too.


Thursday, February 26, 2015

Day 42 - Finished PCH / 7000 Miles

Today was a race against weather & time.  My goal was to finish my trip on PCH to Oregon.  

I have now completed the entire PCH, these last few days was the last segment.

There is a weather front coming in today so I'm up at dawn and take my shower and off McDonalds for downloads for my trip today.  Then it is a long day of driving.

This morning's red sky forecasts the future weather.

Sometime after I settled into my car last night this tent showed up a few spaces over.

There was one trailer, one class C camper, one tent and me in my car.

There are a lot of beaches on the way.  Here you can see the marine layer sitting off the coast.

My drive takes me through the National Redwood Forest.  Such large trees.

Then there are the oddities marking tourist places.

Then around another corner another beach with no one on it.

Lots of trees!

Towns along the way.  Note the blue sky still wth me but look on the horizon the clouds from the front and rain approaching.

Then hours later I arrive in Oregon.

This is the river that separates CA from OR.  I'm on the OR side.  Both states have parks in either side of the river.  There is so much driftwood.

In order to get over to I5 I need to backtrack into Crescent Coty, CA and pick up the highway and head back into Oregon to get to Grants Pass, OR to pick up I5

Before I get to Grants Pass I see this sign for the Smokejumper Museum.  I head in but it isn't open.

I took a few photos.

They have these panels outside to look can get an idea on their history.

After I get to Grants Pass I then head south towards CA, and the rain has caught up to me and its in the 40's.  I will drive through the rain for my stop for the night. 

Heading south I drive past mountains with snow as I am driving at 4000 ft elevation.  There were signs for pullouts to put on chains if needed.  Not my idea of fun.

The drive takes you past old volcanic mountains.

I do break through the front as I head south into CA and the temperature has risen into the 60's.

I decided to stay at this national park campground just north of Redding, CA.  The fee is $20 for the night of camping and flush toilets and water but no showers.  I have my Senior Pass so I get half off the price.

It is 70 degrees here and I decided to make a boneless chicken thigh dinner and then gave myself a haircut before working on my trip expenses.

Today I passed 7000 trip miles and when I updated my expenses In Quicken I have spent $309.92 for gas in total for the trip so far.

I figure I will travel another 8000 miles before I finish my 2015 Travels.

Now where to go tomorrow.  The weather will play into my next stop.  I had thought of driving over the Rocky Mountains by Tahoe, but they are expecting 6-10 inches of snow starting late morning tomorrow.  I don't have chains for my tires and don't want them, so I will be heading down through central California to makeup way back to AZ.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Day 41 - Eureka, CA / Redwoods

Morning brought another day of blue sky's and some fog off in the distance

First thing I go for my shower.

I had to feed the shower.  I got by with 5 minutes.  The shower is typical for a state or county campground.  It could be spruced up better and clean the lights overhead from the webs and bugs too.

There was only one tenter in the campground.

Here is the town across the bay this morning.

The Coadt Guard was going out after dark last night.  Here is what their boat looks like.

The vistas heading north are worth the stops on the way to enjoy as many as you can.

The views change but not the pleasure to the eye.

The exposed large rocks make for great diversity in the scenery.

As I wind my way past large and small bays and up and down hills I found these 3 cattle walking on the side of the road.  They gave me no mind.  I'm glad as they probably weigh the same as my Prius.

They are not the only things to look out for on the narrow winding roads.  Signs along the way point out that drivers need to look out for bikers.  With switchbacks and narrow roads you could come around a corner and not see a stalled car in the road until it is too late to stop.  I let many people pass me.

From time to time I pass through very small towns with a general store some small hotels and sometime resorts.

Cell coverage was nonexistent for many of the miles on my way to Eureka, but there was enough traffic to make the route well traveled.

I stopped in Fort Bragg at McDonalds for a break and internet,  the break was good but the Internet was the worse at McDonalds so far on this trip.  I left with little downloaded.

Eventually the PCH (CA 1) leaves the coast to meet up with US 101.  It is up and down steep hills making sharp turns on the way up and down.  It made for a tedious drive.  I would pull over for cars begind me as pullouts on the side of the road came up.

Through the mountains there were a lot of very large trees and rock slides.

Eventually I met up with US 101 headed back to the coast and Eureka.  On the right of the road is a very large landslide that covered the climbing lane.

(Wiki photo)

Where CA 1 & US 101 meet is a tourist attraction from long ago.  I pass on going to this.

(Wiki photo)

Another tourist stop is this treehouse.  I pass this tourist stop too.

(One log House web photo)

I paused to look at this log house on the side of the road but missed taking my own photo.

The old road left by the US 101 bypass is called the avenue of the gods for the great stands of Redwood Trees.

It was worth the extra time to take the old road.

My selfie with this cross section of redwood at a state park visitor center I passed.

My camping spot for the night is this county csmpground on the island across from down town Eureka.

I left at 8:00 am and stopped for the night at this campground at 4:30.  Overall I would say I had a 7 hour drive for the day.

The view of the protected harbor is not as impressive as it was last night.

Tomorrow I need to get going early again as I need to finish the CA coast tomorrow as rain is coming in Tomorrow night up here.  I want to be heading south Friday am.