|Seals still there to entertain us|
|They look asleep, but can move very quickly|
We decided to take a the scenic Newton Drury Parkway
|Driving through the redwoods|
We stopped at Ancient Redwoods RV Park. There was a gate across and we thought we'd have to keep driving. However, when John went into the gift shop for directions, it turned out they were closing on the weekend, but opened up for us.
|You can see the axe where they tried to cut it down, and the jagged top from lightning|
|I feel so tiny!|
|The size of Redwoods never ceased to amaze us|
|Travelling down the winding road|
|There were several homes of this type|
We walked around Willitts
|All down the coast were unique Drive-thru coffee shops- you could not walk up, just drive|
|Beautiful homes with lots of flowers still in bloom|
|The Skunk Train|
|with the Skunk on the side|
|San Quentin, from the Ferry|
|Prisoners exercising in the prison yard|
|San Francisco from the Ferry|
|San Francisco from the Ferry|
|The Ferry Building- a market inside|
|Looking back at Pier 39 and the seals from Pier 41|
There was a type of a carousel of monkeys, which flew only around if you kept up a steady rhythm on the drums.
|If several people beat on the drums, sticking out from the base, the monkeys flew!|
Our second day, we took the California Cable Car up to Nob Hill,
|It is a long way down|
|Top of the Mark|
|Narrow switchback road down the hill, looking towards The Bay Bridge|
|From the top of the hill- Baclutha to the left in the harbour, Alcatraz to the right|
|Model of Alcatraz|
|Driving to Coast, cattle just over the hill|
|Interesting Outcrop beside the road|
|Many of the hills were completely barren|
The big difference from the Oregon coast is access to the ocean. In this part of California, many beaches were smaller, and often at the foot of cliffs or rocky hills.
|One of the bigger beaches, but you had to climb down|
|Beach in a cove at the bottom of a cliff|
|A beautiful beach, but difficult access|
|Eucalyptus trees lining the road in several places|
To go on the beach, you had to pay. There were some State Parks on the Coast, but only a few had washrooms.
In the Sonoma wine country, the hills and fields were covered with tidy, neat rows of grape vines, many wrapped around the hills, others marching across fields.
|Vines at Imagery Wines|
|Miles of Vines|
Since by now, we were into December, and we were becoming conscious of needing to get down to our friends' in Barstow. So we travelled over the Golden Gate Bridge,
as we headed south again. Looking through "Camping in California", "The Good Sam Camping Guide", "KOA Kamping", and on line, we discovered a unique campsite just outside Monterey.
|Along Hwy 101 to Monterey|
|Standing on this Cliff, we saw Pelicans at play|
|Pelicans catching the updrafts and gliding up the coast|
|Then, playing follow-the-leader, they soared back|
It is a Monterey County Park, located at the Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway.
We were in luck, firstly- there was lots of room,
|We had our pick of sites|
|Looking toward the coast from the campsite|
|Top of "The Corkscrew", around turn 1, into turn 2|
|Into turn 3 of "The Corkscrew"|
We drove into Monterey to get info on the district, and around Carmel, then headed down to Big Sur.
|Looking over the edge of the cliff|
|Interesting, sculpted hills|
|The road, looking back towards Monterey- I am now on the inside!|
On our next visit to town, we drove into Monterey,
|An Inn, just outside Pebble Beach|
|A typical home- tile roof, windows facing the ocean|
|Monterey Visitors' Centre|
|One of the unique homes|
|Most homes were more on this scale, though|
|One of the beautiful beaches|
Lone Cypress, Seal Rock and the 5,300-acre Del Monte Forest of Monterey Cypress trees.
|Seal Rock, right off the coast|
|Home on a cliff, overlooking the ocean, beside the Cypress trees|
Carmel-by-the-Sea, often known as Carmel, is a delightful, small city. It has many quaint cottages and shops, from Coach and Tiffany to smaller shops selling souvenirs, interesting restaurants and artsy boutiques for both men and women.
|A Local Church|
|A typical store|
The next day we headed south to Paso Robles, then east on 46
|Hwy 46 is straight|
|with just a bend or two|
|Just a few of us enjoyed this level Campground.|
The next sets of orchards we knew- oranges, then oil donkeys, back as we could see, on both sides of the highway.
Then it was up and over the Pass,
|Climbing toward the Pass|
|Getting closer to the snow|
|Snow at 4000 feet|
|The Tehachapi Summit, 4064 Ft, and town exit|
|Desert -not all flat- look at that Big Blue Sky- warm too...|
Soon we were in Barstow, turning off on Route 66 to our friends' house.
|Run-Around-Sue in the back yard|
While there we drove into LA twice, once to see Sue's sister in Torrance, and to check the Dealer in Corona where we were having the leak looked at and a couple of other warranty issues fixed. Since it has been colder than normal in Barstow, going below zero at night, we decided to store the Airstream at the Dealer's while it was being fixed, and we were up in Canada. The landscapes continued to fascinate me going along Hwy 15 from flat, cacti and sagebrush covered desert,
|On Route 66, on the way to LA, bottle sculptures of every kind|
On the way in, we passed a "Total Wines" store. John had not been in one, so we noted where it was, and stopped in on our second trip to deliver the trailer. He was like a "kid in a candy store"- so many choices, such good prices, and a knowledgeable staff!
|There were many tight corners in the drive through the Basin|
|Owl Campground, each with its own sun shade|
|Greens and reds mixed with beiges and greys|
|All the shades of beiges, taupes, browns, and green|
|Buckled, Folded rugged rocks, with light and shadows|
Calico is a delightful ghost town. 129 years ago, it was a mining town, bustling with prospectors searching for mineral riches. Silver was king. In 1881 Calico had a population of 1200, with its 22 saloons,
redlight district,and over 500 silver and borax mines in the area.
|House of Bottles|
When the price of silver dropped, it became a ghost of its former self. It is now one of the few remaining original mining towns, thanks to Walter Knott, of Knotts Berry Farm, who donated Calico to San Bernardino County.
|Display hanging from the rafters in the General Store|
|The General Store's shelves are well stocked|
|Flat desert roads|
|Fields of Judas Trees in the Desert|
|Heading over the Halloran Summit towards Nevada|
|Ivanpah- mirrors concentrating sunlight on Solar Receivers|
|This is what you see from Highway 15|
Once we checked in tot he hotel, we spent the evening driving The Strip, and exploring our hotel, [ok and gambling at the one and five cent machines].
|Our Hotel- the Rodeo Championships were just finishing as we arrived|
one last sleep in the warmth, before flying
|Las Vegas from the Air- The higher buildings in the centre are "The Strip"|