Roadtrip: Part 1/Oakland, California to Fortuna, California

It’s been a couple of weeks, and so much has happened. I feel tired just thinking about it. Here are some highlights:

  • I flew back home to Alexandria to help my Mom recover from surgery. There is nothing like having your parents going through months of tests and a serious medical procedure to scare the living shit out of you, so I was relieved to be home, to see her with my own eyes. She also called me the drill sergeant, which, with my need for control in all situations was quite fitting. She is doing better week by week, and I know that she’ll fully recover. If she can just take it easy.
  • I flew home for one night, and then………..
  • B. and I were off on our week-long roadtrip through the Pacific Northwest.

The roadtrip. There was no plan, no hotel reservations, no specific points to stop, just 2,037 miles of road. I had my trusty 2007 atlas, Brandon had his not-so-trusty Garmin (it failed around Seattle), and we were off like a couple of prom dresses. It was one of the most wonderful trips we’ve taken. And here’s part 1 just for you.

We started by driving through San Francisco, across the Golden Gate and up the 101. The weather was perfect. After lunch in Mill Valley, we made our way to Highway1 through Sebastopol/Guerneville/Jenner. We stopped  in Duncan Mills to go to an antique shop where we’d bought a piece of furniture on our honeymoon. We were sad to see that it was closed, and that the shop had been taken over by some completely inane store that sold plastic picture frames and ugly t-shirts that no one should wear. So we moved on. We were trying to end up in Jenner at a reasonable time so that we could eat at the River’s End, but no such luck. Three o’clock just isn’t the time for lunch or dinner. We decided to just keep driving…

Our first real stop was right after Jenner, when we stopped at one of the many vista points on Highway 1. We couldn’t help ourselves,  because this is what we saw. And this. And it was just plain beautiful.

Moving on. Have you driven up Highway 1? If not, let me give you some friendly advice: don’t eat before you go, make sure your driver is completely lucid and not too high on caffeine, and don’t – under any circumstances – shout out a little when said driver is going slightly too fast on the hairpin curves because he thinks he totally has it. Instead, ask politely for said driver to slow it down so you can take in all the scenery. This does not always work like a charm, since said driver knows you like the back of his hand and knows you are just wanting him to slow down, because you can see the scenery just fine at the speed you’re going. I’m just saying, you may need to take part of the drive with a Xanax and a couple throwbacks of whatever hard alcohol takes you down a notch.

So moving on…from the views of the ocean, to farms, rolling hills, eucalyptus trees shaped by the wind, curves and winding roads, it was beautiful. We watched the fog roll in from the Pacific, saw cows sunning themselves perilously close to the road where there was no fence to protect them (or us), came upon an old, beautiful cemetary where the fog continued to blanket us and we saw this, this and this. It was getting dark, so we decided to head inland to Ukiah to eat and regroup. We took another long and winding road, Highway 253, that took us through a scattering of small towns before we hit the 101 North. We landed at Subway in Ukiah, where the guy making our sandwiches was too cool for school. We figured out we would continue on, even though it was already pitch black out. We got back on the road after a quick Safeway pit stop where I had to gently talk Brandon out of the large container of spice drops. That man is a fool for spice drops. At 10:00 that night, we decided to call it a day and ended up in Fortuna. 

And that was only day 1, my friends. Stay tuned for day 2, including an oversized Paul Bunyan, his blue ox, and magical trees. 

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