It's not my fault, blame Sam Andreas

Trip Start Sep 03, 2008
Trip End Oct 01, 2008

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Flag of United States  , California
Monday, September 22, 2008

Well, today turned out to be long, stressful, and wonderful, but before I begin I need to tell Janet something.  A couple of days ago, when we were in White City Oregon, I visited a Costco.  In case you ever wondered, that Costco is EXACTLY the same as ours!  Same stuff, same brands, same Seafood Road Show, same turkey rollups, and it looks like the same prices.  I was really surprised. Now, on with the show!

We started by filling the tank with $4.25 gas.  That's the price you pay to be represented by Nancy Pelosi.  God only knows who she is subsidizing!  When I filled up later in downtown Sausalito it was $3.55.  Go figure.  By the way, I saw a Kucinich sticker on a bumper today.  Please mail him out here.

We headed down highway 101 to "The Avenue of the Giants".  Yesterday I explained the difference between Sequoias and Coastal redwoods.  Today I saw the difference!  The trees we were seeing yesterday must have been Sequoias, because the trees along the "Avenue" are INCREDIBLY tall.  I have included pictures but, again, they don't even come close to showing the majesty of these trees!  We have stopped to take pictures until we got tired of it.  Then we took pictures from the car, then through the sunroof.  When I get home, I am going to work on a car-cam that takes pictures like the "Google Maps van".  360 degrees as you move.  When we left the "avenue" we headed down US 101, but soon realized that it was an inland straight-shot to San Fran, and we wanted to do the coast.

We picked a small town on the coast and let Victoria route us there.  She took us over the mountains (about 35 miles), but the only roads going there were twisty-turny with hairpin turns and switchbacks up and then back down.  The grades were as high as 18% (12% was the steepest we had seen on the entire trip!).  It was white-knuckle all the way.  We got to the coast, and the scenery was, again, gorgeous, but the road followed the coast up, down, and lots of twists and turns.  It was a full-time job keeping the car on the road, and very difficult to sightsee at the same time.  After abuot 2 hours we stopped for lunch and headed back to US 101 (back over the mountains, same kind of road)!

We hit 101 north of Santa Rosa, just in time to catch the traffic all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge!  Rick, I don't know how you made that trek every day all those years,  Now I know why you love Idaho so much!  I couldn't believe the miles and miles of vineyards on both sides of the road in the Sonoma Valley. No wonder they make so much wine. 

When we got to the bridge, we got off at the last exit prior, and headed up the hill to the top of the mountain overlooking the bay.  The picture entitled "Task Completed" sums it all up.  Several years ago we flew to San Diego and drove the Coast Highway to San Francisco.  This time, we drove the Coast Highway from Vancouver to San Francisco.  We have now driven the entire Pacific Coast Highway!

Our Hotel is in Mill Valley, but I didn't realize it is about 2 miles from the bridge.  I remember Doris day had a TV sitcom, and she lived on a ranch in Mill Valley.  I can't believe there are any ranches left in Mill Valley, because we are about 100 yards from Sausalito where real estate is about a trillion dollars an acre.  Sausalito is a village built on a hillside around a cove across the bay from San Francisco.  The town is beautiful, and it has a panoramic view of the entire San Francisco skyline.  We had been through Sausalito on a previous trip, and always wanted to eat dinner at one of the bayside restaurants there, so tonight was the night.  We picked Spinnaker, a restaurant on stilts in the bay, and were fortunate enough to get a table right away.  I was shocked at how reqsonable the prices were, I was expecting much higher.  We had a beautiful view and a nice dinner and headed back to the hotel.

Tomorrow we're off to Yosemite.  If I see Sam, I'll say "howdy partner" for you
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