Friday, May 27, 2011

Big Trees and Big Coastline

The first leg of our trip was Portland to San Francisco.  We took the scenic route, and then the scenic route off the scenic route. Meaning that we drove on State Route 1 on the Pacific coast for a while.
Our first view of the Pacific Ocean at Crescent City, California.
 In Grants Pass, we parted ways with I-5 to make our way to 101 and to check out the Redwood National Forest.  Driving through the redwoods was an amazing experience.  We drove through the forest with these gigantic species rising up above us and the road was curvy with switch backs and would get narrow to fit between the trees.  Then we came around a curve and the trees opened up into a vast coastline.  Redwoods continued on our left side and the coast ran along our right.  I can not fully describe the feeling of this moment; it made me realize the grandness of this earth.  Just before sunset we drove through Elk country and saw two sets of Elk grazing in meadows next to the freeway.

Kristina with the friendly kitty
 at Anderson Valley Brewery.
That night we stayed in a hotel in Eureka. We felt a little spoiled since we had originally planned to camp.  The weather was dry, but cool and very windy on the coast so camping would have been difficult. The hotel worked out nicely since we were able to get more driving time in. 

Jarrett by the Anderson
 Valley Brewery hops.
After a ways on Highway 101, Jarrett and I decided to take State Route 1 to the 128 to drive through Anderson Valley.  Highway 101 had a few narrow moments, but was mostly a freeway.  State Route 1 was very narrow, with many switch-backs.  It got pretty nerve racking at times and we drove about 25 mph or less most of the way.  I have to say, with all of that I am very glad we took this route.  The views of the coastline were spectacular!  We were able to drive through more of the Redwood forest and see lots of wine country.  The 128 had so many wineries, names I recognized, and a couple of breweries.  Jarrett’s very favorite brewery is Anderson Valley Brewing Company in Boonville, the main reason we took this detour.  We walked around the property and Jarrett got to try some great beer.  It was a nice break from the crazy driving. 

After the brewery, we continued on the 128, which met up with the 101 and took us across the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco!  We did have 1 set-back on this part of the drive.  The driver’s window in the Prius decided to no longer roll up.  This had been fixed last November, but decided to break on day 2 of our 2 month road trip.  Now we were in quite a pickle, we could not park the car (full of camping supplies) with a window down in San Francisco.  After many calls, and a random stop at the Kendall Jackson winery (my favorite winery – but we didn’t stop with so much going on), we worked the window into the up position in time to park on a hilly street in San Francisco.  We tried to take the Prius to a Toyota dealer in San Francisco, but they were too busy to look at it.  We are now in Ventura, where a dealer replaced the window belt.  We are back on track without a whistling window and ready to head further South tomorrow.

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