A tricky back-in approach after sundown.
Hello darkness, my old friend. You may think you’ve got me beat with my declining nighttime vision and with your tricky back-in sites. But you have been bested this round, with a combination of the Avoid Highways feature, and my expert level online shopping skills. I’ll put my “Add to Cart” ninja-like reflexes up against your sneaky darkness moves any day! Can’t see a thing while backing? *does quick search for collapsible traffic cones with blinking LED lights* BAM! Now we have a runway! My next level-up move really needs to be getting new glasses, optimized for darkness distance viewing. But this was a satisfying win. It really helps to take frontage roads and get off the highways whenever possible. We stayed off 101 all the way through Gilroy and Morgan Hill. That reduced traffic stress and driving fatigue by a lot and didn’t even add that much time.
It’s better when you can’t see the ground.
Now that it is approaching the shortest day of the year, we are almost guaranteed to arrive at our site after sunset. I was pleased with how not terrified I was climbing the road up to Fremont Peak. When we came before, I thought to myself I sure wouldn’t want to do that steep, narrow, windy, cliffy, 10-mile drive at night. But actually, it didn’t faze me. It may have to do with the fact that steep drop-off roads are less intimidating when you can’t see the way way down below views. There was also a lot of fog as we drove up too, so it was all about just staying on the road. I do not have pictures of that, as you can appreciate. The only part that really caused me consternation was in the campground itself when I couldn’t quite believe the super narrow section that disappeared over a hill was the way I was supposed to go. Richard got out and walked it until he found our site and waved me forward.
I had a hard time believing this was a route intended for cars.
Driving past the site so that I could back in, I had to take a turn to the left and start going downhill. That meant I’d be backing uphill after straightening out. The site was on the edge of a pretty steep hill. My memory from being there before filled in the far, far below valley views. So I did not want to overshoot. Exciting! Enter our new collapsible hazard cones, with blinking LED lights. Richard set them on either side of the front of the site, and at the back two corners, to form a flashing red rectangle that I could see perfectly in Dory’s rear view camera. All I had to do was steer. Richard guided and encouraged over the walkie talkies. Piece of cake. I honestly do not think I would have had the guts to pull that move without those blinky lights. So now they are an essential part of our gear.
San Juan Bautista valley with Lick Observatory way over atop a mountain in the distance.
We woke to a bright blue sky, high above the solid cloud layer hundreds of feet down below. We had a friend camping down at the coast who said it was overcast there. We got to look at it from above. Pretty cool. Fremont Peak is a very chill and quiet campground. No big rigs would dare that ascent, so it’s mostly tent campers. The most prevalent sounds are the woodpeckers going at it on the Valley Oak trees. It is very peaceful.
10 miles, straight up
Richard (for reasons I don’t get) wanted to do the ride up the road on Saturday. For reasons I did understand, he did not want to do the descent. So I drove him down and dropped him off at the bottom. It is a fun drive when you know it a little, and you’re not towing, and it’s not nighttime. I sent him back beta as I returned to Dory (like letting him know at 5.8 miles it starts kicking up, and at 8 miles it calms down).
Fancy. Like I could impress people with this as an hors d’oeuvre. Except they take forever to assemble. So people would probably end up being more irritated than impressed. But maybe that is what “fancy” is all about.
The rest of the time, we napped, and sort of read a little, before napping more. I enjoyed my fancy marinated mozzarella toasts, on a leaf of basil, with roasted red pepper, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, and a bit of salt and pepper for good measure. And then a Blue Apron re-creation for dinner. That inspired me to look for a better tortilla toasting solution, as many of the recipes are tacos or tostadas. I tried just warming them up in the frying pan, but it was not great. Any suggestions?
It was a beautiful weekend in a chill location. There are no services there, so we stopped at Betabel RV Park on our way back to dump. It is a $15 fee and well worth it. Uneventful drive home. All is good.
PS, we definitely have a raccoon pet now. He/she was spotted numerous times over the weekend, coming right up to the sliding glass door.
Total miles: 107.8, 16.3 mpg, 3 hours 53 minutes (taking backroads through Gilroy and Morgan Hill). Site 7 no hookups. None of the other sites are as trailer friendly or have as nice a view. Good LTE for both. Some solar, but not great. No dump, so go to Betabel just up the highway.