Thursday, March 6, 2014

We Made It Through The Bay Area Yesterday!

And I'm pleased to have decent internet connections again!

Now, people say Seattle traffic is bad, and maybe it is because I grew up learning to drive through it all, and perhaps it is because we do not typically spend a lot of driving time pulling a rig through big cities, but I would avoid large cities any way I could.  Unless of course we were dealing with snow or ice....and then honestly, we probably wouldn't be driving it anyway.  But I get ahead of myself.

We had a lovely nice at the Golden Rule RV Park.  Very quiet and very peaceful.  And apparently a good night's sleep makes one view the world a little differently.  As we departed the park, the road in from Hwy 101 wasn't nearly as narrow as I thought it was the day before.  We left the park at about 9:15am.

Most of the drive down 101 was pleasant.  There are a few rough and bouncy spots in the right hand lane.  The left lane looked much nicer, but there was traffic so we did not pull over.

This trip, while I determined the driving distances and picked the parks where we would stay, Kim took over the actual route planning.  Now we've been married for 35+ years, and I should have known better.  He would pick the route that is the quickest/shortest, whereas I would pick the route that looked the easiest - especially when going through big metropolitan areas.  We knew we did not want to take Hwy 101 through San Francisco.  We had done that in the car last year and that was stressful enough.  So we had decided to go over and around the Bay Area.  Between Kim and Roundabout Rhonda (the GPS), they had some crazy route that maybe a local person would attempt, but pulling a rig and not knowing exactly where we were going, well lets just say I voiced my concern.  That plus we were getting down under a quarter tank of fuel and I knew we would have to stop somewhere.  As I mentioned in the Crescent City blog entry, its not always easy to find a place to fill up when you are not on major roads.  At any rate, Kim must have felt my stress building, and at the last minute adjusted our route.  Should I mention that I'm not always good with last minute changes?  However, I adapted and overcame and made an executive decision.  I'm much better when it is my last minute change that is taking place.

We decided to pick up Hwy 37 at Novato.  We had driven this 4 years ago on our way home so it was somewhat familiar.  Then we took I-80 to Fairfield and picked up I-680 S.  It was a little bit out of the way, but the pavement was good and the traffic not too bad for mid-morning on a Wednesday.  We found a great place to get fuel and grab some lunch.  Of course, I didn't pay attention to the exit name or number when we took it, but I think it was exit 61 - Lake Herman Road/Goodyear Road.  There was a freeway sign for diesel fuel and food signs.  It was easy on and easy off.  We used the Chevron Station, which is on the left if you are headed southbound.  There was a Jack In The Box that shared the minimart space.  My only caution is that the diesel pumps are separate, and one way.  Be sure to take the second driveway if you have a diesel truck or MH.  Also, there is not much parking for big rigs so it appears that many just leave their rigs and go in to get there food.  Patience was the word of the day here.  We paid $4.09 per gallon here.  That's the highest we've paid so far, but the easy access was worth it, and the Bacon Cheeseburger didn't hurt.  Unfortunately, all the slow driving with the inclines and declines along Hwy 101 only netted us about 8 mpg.

With both stomachs and the fuel tank filled, we continued on our way.  As we headed down through Walnut Creek, San Ramon, Pleasanton, Fremont and San Jose, let me just say - prepare for a bumpy ride.  I'm not sure what a pin-box actually is, but we got a new one before we left on this trip.  And I have noticed a smoother ride, but Good Lord In Heaven, what would this have been like with the old one?  The good news was there were at least 4 or more lanes in each direction on this section and we felt like it was okay to be in the second lane, which was just a little bit better.  It was not a comfortable ride for about 45 minutes.

I was surprised to find out that San Jose had a population larger than Seattle.  And that it is the 10th largest city in the United States.  San Jose has a population of approximately 980,000 compared to Seattle's approximate 635,000.  I will tuck that little piece of information away in case it comes up on Jeopardy some day.

I-680 came to an end and we picked up Hwy 101 again.  Slowly but surely the lanes whittled down again to two going in each direction.  We drove through Gilroy making note of the shopping districts and arrived at Betabel RV Park in San Juan Bautista at about 2:30pm.

This is a very clean and nice park.  It is only about a half mile off 101, but I cannot hear the traffic at all from inside the rig.  I imagine when we set off for our walk this morning, it will be a little more obvious, but nothing that distracting.  Mostly I am hearing morning doves.  I heard the rumble of a train go by last night about 9pm and again a little while later, but nothing after that.  And certainly no blowing of horns.  However, I may be acclimated to train noise which we hear at home, even though we are good 3 miles from the tracks, but they do have to blast their horns at intersections/cross roads. Anyway, we weren't bothered by the train noise last night.

Can I mention that we are glad to finally be experiencing some warmer weather.  As a life long resident of Western Washington (minus 6 months on the big island of Hawaii and 6 months in Mobile, AL), 70 degrees with some sunshine is darned near perfect IMHO!  There may have been some sprinkles last night because the pavement appears wet, but I see sunshine and some blue sky with scattered clouds.  Just delightful.

We are here for five days.  And my body must be thrilled because I actually slept for a good 7 hours last night.  I had been averaging between 4-6 since we left home.

Here is a photo of our lovely little site and an empty site next door:

Today we have some exploring the area to do, a trip to See Grins for a sewer extension, a refrigerator roof vent/lid (which apparently caught a low hanging branch on the drive down the back roads between I-5 and Hwy 101 on our way to Florence, and who knows what else we will find.  And then there is laundry to do.  Over the weekend we will be visiting with out dear friends in Royal Oaks.  Can't wait to see them and to see who can out-brag the other in the grand baby department!

No comments:

Post a Comment