Winter is getting in a mid February push here in California, but we know we can’t complain. The long Presidents Day weekend was mostly sunny, though brisk, and though we didn’t feel much like hiking in the chilly wind, we were still happy to take in the gorgeous scenery. We just chose to do some of that from inside Dory, or Bruce, with butt warming on.
Friday was not a holiday for Richard, so he got in a solid morning’s work before we headed out midday, with him continuing to work for much of the drive. Once you hit the coast and go northwards of Bodega Bay though, cell service all but disappears.
From Jenner northward for 13 miles, Highway 1 becomes what is known as “The Rollercoaster.” This is not a part of the highway I would ever want to try at night. We were fine though, and got to the campground around 2. The reservations there are non-specific, so you get to scope out what’s available before choosing your site. We were in the Gerstle Cove loop and chose a site under tree cover because there was a bit more privacy (and we have a generator). It was closer to the highway, but from inside Dory, we couldn’t hear the cars much. After getting situated, we drove a couple miles back south to check out Fort Ross State Historic Park. I highly recommend it, and it is certainly an interesting time to be learning about Russian attempts to colonize North America, no?
Saturday was the first of two full days and Richard went on a spectacular bike ride while I wrote a report. I know, it doesn’t sound that fun, but when you combine it with music, and a cozy spot, and the baking of cornbread muffins, it’s actually a very pleasant way to get work done. By 1:00, I’d finished and was just deciding that I was bored when Richard pulled up. We walked down to the cove and gawked at a couple of scuba divers who were braving the frigid waters. Both Friday and Saturday nights I cooked Blue Apron indoors. I had been thinking of grilling one of them, but the wind had turned decidedly chilly. Entertainment was rear-projected, big screen versions of “Wonder” and “Stranger Things.”
Sunday we were cold. We get it, in other parts of the northern hemisphere, you are under snow. But we were chilly and rather than go on hikes of any length, we chose to drive up to Gualala and make little tiny viewing stops on the way back. Then, when it started to drizzle, we got cozy with the heater and nappy time back in Dory.
Monday was really really windy and temperatures were going to be dipping below freezing, so our timing worked out quite well. I had made reservations for the same area a few weeks from now, and we’ve decided to cancel that. For a four day weekend, this area is gorgeous and the drive is doable. For a weekend though, I think it’s too much for me to attempt after a day of work, worrying about hitting darkness on those deathy curves. One thing I’ll say though, they have made tons of improvements to the road since we last drove it. The paving is clearly new and smooth and there are guard rails in all the places I really wanted them. Last time I drove it, I was pretty …. “alert”…. for thirteen solid miles and probably aged a couple of years. This time was much, much better and I attribute most of that to the addition of nice, solid looking guard rails between me and certain death. So, thanks to whatever municipal public entity funded that. Infrastructure spending rocks.
Total miles: 111.4, 14.9 mpg, 3 hours 27 min (it’s 3 hours to arrive there, then setup time, but that would be ok in the dark). Verizon had occasional service, but not in the campground. There was nothing for ATT between Bodega Bay and Gualala. Site 27. No solar, near the highway, but spacious and more privacy. Other nice sites with solar: 16, 11, 10. We still haven’t checked out the Woodside loop.