Olema to Bakersfield, CA

Olema RV Park to Half Moon Bay, CA

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Overcast, 55 deg with fog early, then clearing and beautiful

We started the day by driving the last twenty miles of Rt 1 to Sausalito. The southernmost dozen miles were amazing. Narrow roads clung tenuously to the cliffs with frequent, steep ups, steep downs and tight switchbacks. To boot, there was lots of traffic. (Many of the cars had surfboards on the roofs.) And, there were also hordes of bicyclists riding those twisty, steep, narrow roads. Add to that heavy fog and, well, you get the idea; cool, yeah, but kinda scary!

We finally crossed the Golden Gate Bridge which was beautifully draped with a high layer of fog. The walkways were crowded with walkers and bicyclists. It seems the Golden Gate Bridge is the thing to do on a weekend.

Fog Shrouds Peaks of Golden Gate Bridge
Fog Shrouds Peaks of Golden Gate Bridge

We eventually arrived at Rohit and Maya’s apartment right in downtown San Francisco. Since there was no place to park our car/camper rig in the city, Rohit took Sandy’s place in the car and he directed Bill about fifteen minutes south to a suburban Target store parking lot where we left the camper for the afternoon. Returning to the apartment, we found an empty parking place almost right at the apartment building.

Parking meters in San Francisco now have to be fed, even on Sundays. “No problem!” said Rohit; “There’s an app for that!” We dropped in quarters for a couple of hours (1 quarter gets you 4 minutes) and Rohit was able to add to that time, later on, from his smart phone. Pretty cool!

Joining Sandy and Maya in the apartment, we got the “grand tour”. They’re in a nice building that was recently completely renovated. So, although it’s not large, they have a very nice apartment, complete with a great guest bedroom.

We walked to a local café for a brunch that was excellent. Then it was time to get a cab to the waterfront to see an America’s Cup race. How to get a cab? Well of course, there’s an app for that too!

We arrived at the waterfront just as Team Oracle USA won the first race of the day. There would have been no second race if they had lost since New Zealand was only one race short of winning the series. We watched the second race and were thrilled to see the 72 ft catamarans, used for these races, streaking along, up on their hydrofoils, at nearly 40 mph! We were thrilled to see Team Oracle win the second race, too, keeping alive their hopes of winning the Cup.

Up on Her Foils, Oracle Team USA's Catamaran Screams Across Bay on Way to Her Win
Up on Her Foils, Oracle Team USA’s Catamaran Screams Across Bay on Way to Her Win
Sandy, Bill, Rohit and Maya Celebrating Race Win and Being Together
Sandy, Bill, Rohit and Maya Celebrating Race Win and Being Together

After walking the waterfront a bit more we returned to the apartment and said our goodbyes. It was too bad that we had such a short time with them but the whole visit was pretty last minute and there were other obligations to be honored. Meanwhile, it was a delight to get to visit with them at their home!

We then drove south, picked up the camper and headed to Half Moon Bay and a visit with Dave and Barb. Dave and Bill met in an Armstrong sales training course 33 years earlier and hadn’t seen each other since. But Dave’s a real relationship kind of guy and kept up with members of the class over the years. When he found out about our trip he’d invited us to stop by. And we did!

Half Moon Bay is a small, cozy seaside town nestled in an agricultural area full of small farms. It has a delightful downtown area and Dave and Barb have a beautiful, second home near the beach. Dave was waiting in the driveway as we pulled up and, after “long-lost” hugs we got to meet Dave’s wife, Barb.

Hugs with Dave and Barb in Front of Their Lovely Home in Half Moon Bay
Hugs with Dave and Barb in Front of Their Lovely Home in Half Moon Bay

That evening we shared the stories of our lives, drinks and a delicious dinner. Barb and Dave hosted an exchange student with celiac disease years earlier so they already knew the gluten free drill. (Pretty cool of them since it was a lot harder to know what to prepare back then!) When we finally said goodnight, we turned in to sleep in our third real bedroom since we left home June 1!

What a day! What a delight!

Half Moon Bay to Bakersfield, CA

Monday, September 23, 2013

Another gorgeous, sunny day with temps in the 80s

Sandy started her day with a beach walk while Dave and Barb were at their morning deep water exercise class. Bill worked at the computer, still giving his knee as much rest as he could. Afterwards we headed to town for brunch at the delightful Moonside Bakery & Café. Seems California is just full of delightful cafés! It was kind of hard saying goodbye. Although we’d never even met Barb and hadn’t seen Dave for so many years, we felt as though we’d known them for a long time. Nice, generous folks; easy to be with!

We were beginning to head east, toward Las Vegas, with a plan to stay near Bakersfield along the way. Again, we passed mile after mile of huge, irrigated fields of crops including still more grapes along with miles of nut and citrus groves. This is California’s Central Valley where corporate farming is alive and well! Bill wondered how one even began to approach the task of harvesting a field of grapes when it is several square miles in size. The logistics seemed staggering!

Approaching Bakersfield we suddenly began to see lots of oil wells mixed in with the crops. Since it was late, we stopped at a local Wendy’s for a quick dinner of baked potatoes, chili and a salad. Then we parked our rig for the night at the local Walmart. This Walmart lot was noisy, not so much due to highway traffic but from late night construction projects and early morning lawn mowing. Not the best conditions for restful sleep but, otherwise, it suited our needs.