October 8, 2012
Our original plan was to stop at Hearst Castle and then head up the coast on Highway 101, towards home, with the last day’s stop being at the casino in Coos Bay, Oregon. We had a change of heart, which became a change of plans. I think the prospect of driving through San Francisco, and the thought of missing a chance to see Marion, my mother-in-law, was too much for both Craig and I. Additionally, by heading up I-5, we could take Dad to the Train Museum in Sacramento. So, plans changed and we headed inland for an uneventful drive up Interstate 5.
Early this morning, it was suggested (by Craig) that he make breakfast for he and Dad and I go for a walk on the beach with Wiley. I think he was hoping that communing with the ocean might “brighten my spirits.” I took him up on his offer, and the dog and I left the Hag. It was a beautiful, clear, warm morning with a flat ocean and an outgoing tide. The dog ran, I ran, and life was good. We pretty much had the beach to ourselves save for a couple of surfers. I love the ocean. It is my bliss.
I returned ready to tackle another day. With my latte and peanut butter toast, we headed out of the campground and towards Sacramento. Again, we passed vineyard after vineyard plus a few olive and avocado farms on our way to I-5. The crops changed as we cruised down I-5. We saw fields of orange trees, lemon trees, mandarin oranges, olives, and tomatoes. We have truly driven through the west coast’s “bread basket” or maybe I should say, produce aisle. We stopped for gas around noon and somehow, we were miraculously at the exit for Anderson’s Split Peas. We stopped, went inside, and ate pea soup for lunch.
I mention this, as it was a two-stop day. Dad had gone to the back to lie down, and I moved to the front seat to co-pilot. This never happens – no one ever naps when we are driving. I don’t know why. So, we were cruising down I-5 at 60 mph, when off to the right I spotted a Ghirardelli Chocolate Outlet and Ice Cream Shop. Craig said, “Do you think we should stop?” My response: “YES.” And so, we stopped, for the second time today. We each enjoyed something different; Dad had ice cream, Craig had a milkshake, and I had an iced mocha. Dad, of course, did not want anything chocolate. He had strawberry ice cream, as he is the only German I have ever known that doesn’t like chocolate. My Mother believed, and I concur, that chocolate is something that needs to be eaten, in some form, EVERY day.
At this point, we were about 45 minutes from the campground and Dad strategically positioned himself NOT in the co-pilots seat. I told him that it was a rather chicken move, but I would “take one for the team,” and give Craig the directions to the rv park. The GPS was set for the general area where we needed to go, but the specific directions (which are never much) were in the campground directory. These are always the worst times of the trip. We found the place, and I was able to give the verbal commands that only a spouse can do. I am now wondering if this is the way we should have orchestrated all the end of day campground searches.
Again, we managed to stay at a KOA. It is a decent campground, but………the Internet, is, of course, less than desirable. Our site was about 20 feet from the router, and still we had very little luck checking email, posting blogs, etc. The good news is that the laundry room was close to the Hag, cheap, and fairly clean, so I spent the evening doing the laundry.
Miles driven: 179 miles
Today’s gas price: $4.67 per gallon