Wednesday, March 12, 2014

San Juan Bautista to Santa Maria, California via Hwy 101

We had a short driving day.  We've driven this section of 101 many times and it's an easy drive.  Why is it that when you've had the extra cup of coffee, you can never find a rest area.  And inevitably, you finally pull off and jump in the 5-er to use the head along an easy off ramp, get back in and go about 2 more miles, to find a rest stop.  It never fails!  I'm sure there is a rest area app, but I find many of those phone apps are a challenge to read while motoring down a sometimes rough road.

Nothing of real interest to talk about.  We left Betabel at about 10:30 and arrived at the Santa Maria Pines RV Park about 1:45pm.  Easy access from 101 was nice.  Unfortunately, the office was closed and we had to call and then wait for someone to come sign us in.  The gal was a bit scatter-brained, and perhaps she had started Happy Hour at lunch, but we got checked in, and walked around to pick out our site.

This is a relatively small park just off Hwy 101, and you will hear traffic noise.  The sites are dirt/grass but are relatively level.  There are plenty of long term residents, but everyone seemed friendly.  The park is not located in the "newer part" of Santa Maria, but it was fine for an overnight.

They do have a pool, a hot tub, and a play area for kids.

We went out in search of diesel fuel, a WalMart and a US Bank.  I must say, I found this town to be very confusing in the lay out of their streets.  Lots of twists and turns.  Also, big shopping centers without adequate signage, IMHO.  We happened on a US Bank in an Albertson's store.  The teller directed us to the Walmart.  You could not see the store or a sign from the surface street.  It was in behind the Home Depot.  And I do not even want to describe how hard it was to find a gas station that had diesel.  Gas Buddy directed us to quite a few, but they were either closed or no longer carried diesel.  I think we finally found an AM/PM Mini Mart and paid $4.15 a gallon.

With errands done, we looked for a place to grab a bite to eat.  We settled on Subway.  Feeling adventurous, I tried the new Chicken Enchilada sandwich with Fritos.  It was really quite tasty and not to spicy at all.  Kim has his regular turkey, bacon and avocado.  There is something to be said about chain fast food know what you are getting.

I'm writing this a few days after the fact.  Kim slept fine that night.  I was bothered by the traffic noise.  And for whatever reason, I felt I had to worry about the ant hills that were plentiful around the sites.  Santa Maria Pines was not my favorite park by any means, but it was adequate for a one night stay.  If you make a reservation, make sure you they have your full name, and that you get the name of the person you talked to.

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