Gorgeous place! Tough drive.
I’m not exactly sure what I was thinking when I planned this. I believe I did not fully appreciate the road conditions between Mill Creek and the coast. When we went north, we took Highway 1 all the way until it intersects 101 at Leggett. Been there, done that, didn’t really want to repeat. So heading south, we stayed on 101 all the way to Willits and took 20 over the coastal range to Fort Bragg. We tried really hard to get as much data as we could before committing to this and it seemed like a reasonable plan. And really, it’s about equal I guess to the other route. I’m not sure. To directly compare the two, I guess I’d say Highway 1 is a little harder only because, in addition to the constant hairpin turns, there are cliffs of death. 20 didn’t have quite as much death and it seemed maybe like a wider road and didn’t go on as long? Let’s just say, either way, it’s going to be an intense drive. We saw the recent remnants of a head on collision along the way and it looked like a sports car took a turn too wide into the oncoming lane. The good news is that no on was hurt and that is probably because even sports cars can’t go that fast there. Coming from where we started, it was a six hour day and I was oh so ready for a very strong margarita by the time we pulled in.
We haven’t been taking as many pictures because we’ve already been on most of this route and I figure at this point, you get it; big trees, beaches, very nice. You might occasionally wonder why we have a Dory balloon still living with us. She is now our pet and we crate her in the bathroom while towing. We have not yet introduced her to our Dory wind sock pet. We’re taking it slow and letting them establish their territory.
A fun item of the day was that we were apparently camping in Mill Creek with another post-rally Altoiste couple and didn’t know it until we were both at the dump station. Later, going through Eugene, I think they took the only photo of Dory actually rolling down the road that I’m aware of, and posted it to the group. That prompted Richard to look in the rear view camera (because he checks Facebook while we drive when there’s service). There they were! Now that’s real time social media for you. We spotted them later from a rest stop passing us. Fun!
Richard drove back into town to get dinner so that I could not drive for a while. He found a place called “Cafe del Mar” and we give it thumbs way up. We had fish tacos and chicken tacos and it was awesome. Then we took a lovely romantic walk around a trail and boardwalk going around a little lake. We ended up at the beach in time for sunset. Pretty nice. Richard is feeling a bit better, but the nose spray we had stored in the medicine box seems to have slowly leaked all over everything inside. Ew.
A bit on the battery/solar front: After spending two nights in the sunless Mill Creek redwoods, we knew a third night with no hookups might be iffy. We were at 56% on the battery the morning after the second night in Mill Creek and the 6 hour drive got us back up to 79%. Recharging the battery from the car while driving is very slow. This particular site in Mackerricher was good for solar and we kept charging after we’d pulled in, so no worries. As we discuss energy options, the thing we are keeping in mind is that when you are off grid in the redwoods, it really doesn’t matter how many solar panels you have.
We’ve been running the fridge on “2” and we put a tiny fan in there to help regulate the temperature. We think that has helped and the fridge seems to be running its duty cycle less frequently. Ice still frozen, milk still cold. It also looks like if we can rebound to 70% before the sun goes down from any kind of solar input, we’re ok for the night and won’t go below 50%. Charging from the car won’t bring us back up that much, unless it’s a long drive. So… if we want to go for more than two nights, or we want to hop from one shady off grid place to another, we may need to either up our battery capacity and/or look at a generator. Research continues…
Total miles: 250.6, 16.4 mpg, 6 hours, 20 minutes. Site 131, nice. Also sites 125, 127 would be nice with perhaps ocean views, 133 and 141 might have lake views. +1 point for LTE cell service for both of us.