OUR October 2012 CA Coast Trip
Dorothy wanted to see fall foliage (no change in color here in the BMW Desert) so we headed up the coast toward her relatives and mine. And good food along the way.
Déjà vu as we raced up the 5 (stopping only for smoothies and a pit stop) from Huntington Beach to Tracy where we turned west toward San Francisco. The west bound Bay Bridge is a toll bridge; I reached in my pocket for change, but the 50 cents I remembered had changed to $5.
Dorothy had heard about a bakery in the Castro district. It was Sunday; how bad could the traffic be? Bad. And the bakery was a hangout for every young single in town. Breadless, we drove on past a rock concert in the nearby park to our motel near the G.G. Bridge. We were joined there by Pete Ross a friend from college. Together we drove to the G.G. Bridge, parked nearby in the Presidio and then walked half way across bridge. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60713-d104675-Reviews-Golden_Gate_Bridge-San_Francisco_California.html
Afterward we shared a dinner at Katya’s, a Russian restaurant near G.G. Park.
Day 2: After a morning stroll through the Presidio, we drove to Santa Rosa to have lunch with my daughter and grandson. http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowUserReviews-g33055-d1576159-r123417875-Jeffreys_Hillside_Cafe-Santa_Rosa_Sonom_County_California.html
Then it was north through the giant redwoods. We reached the drive-through tree as the temperature reached 105. Then we headed for Ferndale where the temperature was 72. Ferndale offers many a photo-op for those who wish to photograph Victorian houses. On the down side, the air is scented with slurry of water and cow manure farmers spray on the surrounding fields.
Day 3: Breakfasted in our room on matza and peanut butter. Drove up the coast in view of a very rough ocean (4 people were killed at one state beach since 2004 by rogue waves washing them away from where they stood not watching.)
Headed inland up through the coastal redwoods. Ate tri-tip Bar-B-Que in Grants Pass Oregon at the SmokeHouse. Spent the night at the Wolf Creek Inn (a wasted side trip). http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g52146-d272029-Reviews-Wolf_Creek_Inn-Wolf_Creek_Oregon.html
Day 4: Headed back to the coast. Took a side trip through Oregon wild animal park, keeping an eye out for the white rhino who had wandered far out of his enclosure.
Drove several hours up the coast to a Newport Best Western where a convention of Catholic priests was in progress. Our next door neighbours must have spent time with Father Ted.
Ate supper at Local Oceans Seafood as it seemed everyone else in town was trying to do that evening at 5:30 pm. No fresh oysters on half shell—boo. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g51992-d643438-Reviews-Local_Ocean_Seafoods-Newport_Oregon.html
Day 5: Up the coast where there were so many tempting diversions. Stopped twice in Tillamook for cheese samples. Ate supper with Dorothy’s cousin Pete. We weren’t going to, but his Greek wife wouldn’t take "no" for an answer. Spent the night at Cousin Beth’s in a twin bed cuddling.
Day 6. Dorothy and I visited with her cousin Beth, George and delightfully quick-witted and sharp-tongued Auntie Ellen. I drove to Olympia for oysters and a tour of the capital, while Dorothy visited her old homestead in Yelm.
Day 7: Had 2 dozen oysters in Olympia for brunch, http://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g58653-d464218-Reviews-Oyster_House-Olympia_Washington.html
then off to Suquamish and stayed a night with Dodie’s Cousin Rich and Sally. Rich prepared the best grilled salmon I’d ever tasted that night at Aunt Carol's for us and many of her family. So nice to see them all!
Day 8: Today we took a ferry, and then drove to Anacortes where we parked the Jetta. A second longer ferry ride took us among the San Juan Islands to Friday Harbor and a B&B cabin a short walk from the harbor.
Day 9. Tucker Inn marvelous and the complimentary breakfast memorable for both quantity and quality. We borrowed 21-speeds from the Inn, the cycled up and down and up and down hills to the American Camp. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g60957-d83107-Reviews-Tucker_House_Inn-Friday_Harbor_San_Juan_Island_San_Juan_Islands_Washington.html
Day 10: Inn had packed a breakfast for us that we ate in room before catching the 8:05 ferry back to Anacortes. We headed south and east then, stopping in Kirkland to have an enormous breakfast at the Brown-Bag restaurant with a childhood friends of Dorothy. Then on into the wheat and onion fields and vineyards of central WA. We stopped in Pasco, had a large ale and a burger with Dorothy’s brother at a brewhouse in Richland.
Day 11: One way divided highways with few exits send us on a six mile back and forth goose chase through Kennewick in search of as gas station.
We head east through the Washington prairie. Cross into Idaho and follow the Snake River Canyon (the land drops rapidly in the opposite direction from the northward flowing river. Our motel room has a balcony that looks over the rivers and rapids.
We dine on elk tacos and a pumpkin milkshake. Milk and cookies at the lodge before we’re off to bed.
Day 12: We begin with an 18mile detour over a dusty gravel road into Hell’s Canyon, continuing up and up till we reach Heaven’s Gate at 8400ft, hopefully well above shotgun range of the many elk hunters out that morning.
Returning to the main highway, we headed toward Winnemuka NV. We made a pit stop along the way in a restaurant in a small Idaho town. The place was packed with two dozen booted ranchers and their overweight wives; so naturally, we too bellied up to the ample buffet.
The highway took us into Oregon and then into Nevada.
Day 13. The
highway went up and up into the Pines, then down to Lake Tahoe.
We hiked in the sugar pine forest and stayed the night in a casino. Dorothy is
crazy about slot machines, only the new ones (far more complex than craps
though without any visible rules) defeated her attempts to play them;
nonetheless, she was $3 ahead when she quit.
Day 13. The highway went up and up into the Pines, then down to Lake Tahoe. We hiked in the sugar pine forest and stayed the night in a casino. Dorothy is crazy about slot machines, only the new ones (far more complex than craps though without any visible rules) defeated her attempts to play them; nonetheless, she was $3 ahead when she quit.
Day 14. We headed for home along the eastern edge of the Sierras via the 395.
Driving past Mono Lake