Thursday, August 19, 2010

From Gilroy, the Garlic Capital

We rolled into our space at the Gilroy Garlic USA RV Park at 5:35 pm after 10 hours of driving. Nail biting, downright frightening driving. For the first 4.5 hours. You see, we made a rookie RVers mistake. We took a 40' RV on what is called a 'black' road about 10 miles out of Benbow. My friend Peggy said they never drive a black road, only red and gold. Black roads are not to be trusted as worthy roads for hunkin' big RVs. Okay, she was right. In my desire to see Fort Bragg and Mendocino, which are perched right on the rugged CA coast, we took Hwy. 1 from Leggitt. Check any map and it appears to be the shortest route to those towns. But, it is a 'black' road, the thinnest of black roads. Needless to say, if I am writing this, then you are assured that we survived it.

So here's what it was like for over 22 miles: avg speed 15 mph; width of road - bare minimum, absolutely NO shoulder, white lines on the side adjoined steep cliffs or giant redwood tree trunks; linearity of road - nary a straight line the whole way; curves? mostly hairpin. Ascent and descent? treacherously steep; Traffic? Logging trucks tearing up and down the road. Bicyclists here and there. NO ONE IN THEIR RIGHT MIND would want to EVER drive this road again, not for money and certainly not to save time. It took almost 3 hours to drive 40 miles.

Once we hit sea level, we saw awesome camping spots and lots of campers and I knew we were out of the woods, even though the road was still narrow. I thought. Many miles later, I wondered about the mental stability of those campers with their big rigs. You see, we encountered more curves and shoulderless roads as we made our way through Mendocino and back to the 101 by Cloverdale. In my opinion, the road less traveled should stay that way! And Fort Bragg and Mendocino didn't even measure up to my expectations! Poor Big Mac accquired a few new scratches from this adventure, meeting a guardrail on a curve that was too close for comfort. Just a scratch, but darn!

Upon rejoining the 101, we had to find a place to stop for lunch so Jerry could rest after that grueling drive. No rest areas so we found space in a Costco parking lot where we could R and R. Then, on to San Fran and the Golden Gate! As grand as that remarkable structure is, one needs to be able to SEE it to enjoy it. What you see in the photo is the best we got. It was still quite foggy even though it was 4 pm and the sun was shining somewhere in the world!

It took us another hour and a half to wade through the SF traffic and pull in to the Garlic Capital. Yes, we could smell a whole lot of garlic goin' on. That's what we expect when we drive through Gilroy.

So, friends, this ends this blog probably. Tomorrow, we go home. I want to drive on and on, but duty calls and we must return to reality and leave our dreamy two weeks behind, to exist mostly as a memory. It was a great vacation. Thanks to the excellent good nature and driving skills of my husband, Jerry, and the equally good natured and generous little sister of mine, Leslie. The trip was a rousing success. I can't wait to get on the road again. I have gained more than a good time. I have learned that if Jerry can drive Hwy 1 from Leggitt to Fort Bragg and then back to the 101 in Cloverdale, then he can also walk on water!

Happy trails to you all, and may we meet again........ (Dale Evans and Roy Rogers!)
Bonnie Jerry Leslie Lucy

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, sounds harrowing. How does Dad feel after all that? Tell H to fire up the jacuzzi so dad can have a long soak when you all get home.