28 days. 8838 km.
day 11 we walked to the foot of Flat Iron Mountain, Arizona at our campground then drove towards Yuma, California. it is insanely hot. i hate this kind of heat!! it’s 34°-36° and not much to see here. we drove till dark, camped at a seniors facility with a campground we drove by near dark and slept with the A/C on. El Centro $37 power, clean bathrooms + shower.
day 12 it was already 30° when we left El Centro at 10 am. heading to San Diego. got lost all through the city and finally found a place to stay at Pio Pico. here for three nights. pretty nice well maintained campground with secured gates since we’ll be leaving the boler here during the day while we are in the city. $60.
note the campground comments which i’ve included for most nights. we learned that when camping in California the cost is a lot higher than we’ve found across Canada and other states, especially when you are in or nearer to a city. this early in the year it’s cool at nights and we wanted to plug in for heat so we often chose a campground with power available, but some places are worth sacrificing for and there is always a roaring campfire and snuggling under the covers to make up for the small discomforts of “dry camping”. (dry camping or boondocking, is RV camping no electricity or water).
day 13 22°. brunch and a walk at the Gas Lamp Quarter downtown then the beach at La Jolla in the afternoon. awesome $1.99 tacos for dinner.
seems we found the quintessential California beach and we decided to make a stop there. as it turned out it was a dog beach and we were immediately approached by many friendly dogs. we had planned a lunch of leftover pizza but hadn’t really thought it through. dog beach – pizza – not a good combination. we ate our lunch in a hurry, then sat and enjoyed the feeling of sand in between our toes and the warmth of the sea air while watching the dogs and their antics.
ah, the endless miles of beaches!
day 14 we took the trolley to San Ysidro and walked into Tijuana. crossing the border there was easy but it took us three hours in a line to cross back. no photos since we didn’t want to carry a camera – it was a fun day visiting with mark’s brother and family. we got home late exhausted back to our campground at Pio Pico.
day 15 it’s 18°-20° and cool by the beach. we have a great campground at Encinita and then went to town to see a movie at a vintage theater “La Paloma”. the theater is amazing – like going back in time and a must see. camp 50$ night right by the beach. downfall is the ugly chainlink fence between us and the water.
this trip is turning into quite the adventure for us. yesterday we spent the day in Tijuana with mark’s brother and family who live there. being in the country where i was born, if only for a day, always tugs at my heartstrings. there will always be a part of my heart in Mexico. driving around we saw a lot of poverty which i think is especially true for Tijuana because of being a border town. today as we travel around pretty California towns we found a great ocean side campground and I’m loving the whole experience, but i can’t help seeing the contrasts and thinking how only by some accident of where someone is born, or where they happen to grow up, or the colour of their skin they either have a lot or they have nothing, and the unfairness of it all. and then tonight we went and saw the movie “Lion” which just hammered the realization home even more. there really is no solution to it but i keep thinking there must be some small thing i can do and I don’t want to fall back into my fortunate life and forget and do nothing.
day 18 drove to LA coast near Malibu. slept on a windy beach on the way there. it was a cold night but then there was the sound of the waves all through the night. it seems always that the uncomfortable experiences turn out to be the unforgettable ones that we will talk about years later. $33 Thornhill Broom campground by the beach. no utilities (just outhouses and shared taps for water) but one of our favourite places on this trip.
day 19 Malibu and Santa Monica. blue skies and 20° – camped at Malibu RV resort $44. clean, great little campground with the cleanest warm showers and bathrooms right near the city.
a walk on Venice Beach as the sun set.
day 20 Santa Barbara. pizza for lunch at Penny Pinchers, Stearns Wharf. camped at El Churro $35. it rained but not for long. we’re not going to complain since we hear at home it has done nothing but rain incessantly since we left home.
day 21 scenic hwy. 1 is closed due to a bridge that washed out at Ragged Point as we found out from a sign on the counter when we stopped for a coffee. so we detoured took hwy. 101 to Monterey. and then doubled back south to Big Sur to the point where the road had washed out. this winding stretch of the drive was hair-raising with big drop-offs and tight curves, one of us might have been digging her fingernails into the seat the whole time. we got to experience and see it’s spectacular views again on our way back!
day 22 up early then waited in line for breakfast somewhere along the way. eggs benedict and mimosas worth the long lineup and wait. campground at Pacifica just outside the city – San Francisco RV.
some random pics from our phone. amazing hot sauce i wanted to remember, me under a train trestle, sign at a coffee shop.
San Francisco was both hot or cold, and with little warning changed from blue skies and heavy rain. we were prepared and we loved it all.
Fisherman’s Wharf and crepes at Pier 39. we only saw Alcatraz from a distance as we couldn’t find a tour at the last minute. as much as we hate to plan and prefer to just do things as they come, next time we’re here we’ll book a tour to the island in advance.
strawberry, banana and nutella crepes.
San Francisco, i fell in love with it’s street cars and old buildings.
we left the boler at our campground and drove into the city.
the steep streets are so much more fun to see and experience in person.
we stopped for a rooftop lunch in chinatown then drove to see one of the steepest road in the city along with dozens of other curious tourists.
getting our hippie on at Haight Ashbury.
day 24 leaving San Fran we drove through the Napa Valley, Doran Park and then Sonoma County Regional Park where we spent the windiest night surrounded by sand dunes and beach.
our campground here was one of our top spots from this part of the trip. $32 dry camping and beautiful.
knowing we are getting closer to the end of our trip we took every chance to breathe in the air and explore every path we could on the long and winding road as we head further north.
day 25 lighthouse near Fort Bragg. campground $45.
day 26 12° – as we get further north it gets progressively colder. again the road closed due to a washout up ahead so we diverted to hwy. 20 east.
we are surrounded by the tall trees of the redwood forests.
day 27 on our last day in California we drove through a tree. a good way to say our goodbyes-for-now to beautiful sunfilled California, with it’s pastel blue skies and soft sand beaches. we will be back again.
day 28 home after 8838 km!