Ocean view…. or would be if not for the fog
Happy Labor Day weekend! We did something weird for the long weekend. Way back in March or April, I started to see advertisements for the “Immersive Van Gogh” exhibit in San Francisco. At the time, things seemed way too COVIDy to consider it. So I got tickets for a date so far out, I was certain we would be over this by then. Oh well. Once again, I have underestimated the general stupidity of a significant portion of the population. Still, we had tickets and they were mandating masking and proof of vaccination for entry, so we decided to go.
Who you calling small?
There are not many places to stay with an RV in the San Fransisco area, but I found a private place in Pacifica. I knew it was likely to be a big rig fest, and boy howdy, was it ever. For the most expensive place we’ve ever booked, it was one of the least scenic. It didn’t help that there was dense fog obscuring views and sunsets, but at least it masked the smoke. You’d never know the air quality was bad unless you looked it up. Shame Richard is obsessed with looking that stuff up.
Even premium sites eventually return to the sea.
You can tell there used to be more land here, and that much of it had fallen off into the ocean. I looked at pictures on the website and it shows another ten to twenty feet of former premium sites with a nice bluff trail that all got wiped out a few years ago during a big storm. Those might have been nice, but everything else is a tightly spaced sandwich shop. The rig that pulled in later along our passenger side was so big, it hit the electrical panel when it tried to open up the slide outs. And when people are getting things out of their outside storage compartments, they have to make a conscious effort not to brush up against neighbors. We were the smallest thing there by a lot, but you know what they say: location, location, location.
Nice backroads for a ride or drive.
Saturday we decided to head down the coast so Richard could get in some riding. The air was good enough and the skies were clear and blue. In fact, traveling just a couple of miles north or south exited the fog bank. Temperatures were mild and crowds were not bad, at least not in the places we went. I got to sag his route: up Higgins Canyon, down Purisima Creek, then to Verde and up Lobitos Creek, down Tunitas Creek, and finally a short jaunt on Highway 1 to Stage Road all the way in to Pescadero. Be aware that these roads are very narrow, often no more than a single lane, but they are pretty. Once in Pescadero, we completed our mission, which was to get pie and takeout from Arcangeli. We had a pulled pork sandwich, plus freshly made potato salad, Italian orzo salad, and Cherry Berry Pie that was still warm from the oven. We took it all to Pescadero Beach to eat in the car while we watched the waves. That sufficed as dinner and we headed back for shows and bed.
Sunday we drove into The City. It was only about five miles, but took over a half hour and lots of confusing highway interchanges. We are country mice and do not enjoy city driving. We found a parking lot a block from the venue for $15, which I think is normal.
The exhibit itself was way cool and worth the expense, imho. The hour long show consisted of animated images cast onto four walls of a large empty room. They used something like 44 ceiling mounted projectors running in sync with a score that included classical music, jazz, and even some Edith Piaf. The images morphed and changed constantly, building pieces of some of his most famous works, revealing and growing them, bit by bit, so you could watch the details come to life. Sometimes there were compilations of themes culminating in wall to wall irises, or portraits, or hayfields. I’ve been a fan of Van Gogh for a long time, so the show was quite enjoyable for me. I think even if you were not familiar with his work, the visual feast would be worth the rather hefty price of admission. I have since learned that there are at least five different exhibits like this one, traveling from city to city. Each is slightly different, but all of them seek to bathe you in the vibrance of this artist’s unique work.
Back when I was on my junior year abroad in Italy (where Richard and I first met), I took a side trip up to Arles specifically to see the place Van Gogh had immortalized in person. That was thrilling. Many of the subjects of his work, like the little town square, or the draw bridge, are still there. One can imagine him sitting there, hour after hour, day after day, trying to capture the essence of what he saw and felt. Nothing tops seeing his paintings in person, where you can see the texture of the globs of paint, mixing and swirling colors together in frosting like peaks. I could stare at these little globs for hours. “Punti di bellezza” we called them – little points of beauty.
Apparently, people who are used to this kind of campground find this completely normal.
Being a three day weekend, we got to enjoy an extra night out. We had originally thought to make it a city night and go to some fancy restaurant, but between feeling COVIDy and sensorily overloaded, we opted for parking lot campground grilling. I cooked up a delicious Blue Apron steak and panzanella salad dinner while we sat in our chairs, feeling chilly, looking out at a wall of fog.
I hope your weekend brought you some punti di bellezza. We enjoyed ours.
Total miles: 35.0, 17.0 mpg. Site 136. Full hookups but sewer on wrong side. We waited for the people next to us to pull out and drove over to theirs. Great LTE for both. Not gonna lie, this place is just a tight parking lot. But if you’re trying to do SF, it is a safe place that is close by.