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50 States, Day 357

  Marina to Willits,   278 miles

"The most beautiful thing in the world is, of course, the world itself.”
~Wallace Stevens

We gave a wide swath to San Francisco, looping around on 680 to avoid the chaos. Good move, however,  because even at a distance, we found ourselves on freeways until we got North and jumped on 780 to 29 and headed to Napa. Aah. The road wound through the hills, with vineyards on either side, just leafing out after a thorough pruning and winter. The rows zipped by, the grapes planted neatly like soldiers. 

It's funny, because people put up with heavy traffic all week in San Francisco, San Jose and Oakland, then get away for the weekend and endure snarled traffic in Napa. Go figure. But the wineries looked magnificent, and the cities charming. Of course, Napa was a bit too snotty for us, a little bit full of itself. But Oakvillle, St. Helena and Calistoga appeared more tourist friendly and less crystal stemmed wineglass. The ride from Calistoga to 101 on 128 (except for the cities) provided the most excellent of rides, with narrow two lanes roads flanked with grass, grapes and trees. Accelerate to forty or so, then slow and turn, slow to as low as twenty miles an hour, then run up to the next turn again. Some of the road ran under a canopy of trees, with the sunlight dappling the pavement. And without a seven hundred foot drop to the ocean, QG enjoyed the ride today. 

The day turned out to be long, as we got some miles under us, then found the KOA campground and set up the tent. Next we returned to town and shopped and dined. As we pulled up to our campsite, I remembered we had no flashlight. Back to town, and three stores later and two conversations ("What state are you on?") later, I rolled into the campsite at 8:30. It was good to get away for a bit however, as QG and I spent the last few hours biting and snapping at one another. Once we ate and settled in, we were once again civil to one another. Some days are like that.

I love California with it's beautiful beaches, lovely hills, quaint little cites and rolling hills. but the cost of living here (both monetary and non) is stupid. A high price to pay for a nice life. For example, we stopped at a shopping center and wrestled with traffic, both in the parking lot and in the store, and bought cheese and fruit at a natural foods store for ten bucks. Organic. Personally, I don't care if the ranchers put their cows into drug induced comas, beat them about the flanks with sticks to tenderize them and play The Beatles' 'Revolution Number Nine' at a high decibel level, if the meat is tasty and reasonably priced. Okay, maybe not. Play Ozzie Osborne's 'Crazy Train.' 'Revolution Number Nine' would be cruel.

And now, having gone the distance and survived, Quilter Girl!

Today is my turn to rant.  We took 680 to avoid the Bay Area craziness, then at the very northern end there was a toll bridge.  We were not prepared for this, but how bad can it be?  Really bad, cars were $5 but we had 3 axles so it was $15 for our little bike and trailer to cross the bridge. Talk about excessive.
I took loads of pictures today, the areas were so photogenic.  I tried to take every winery we passed, but this proved impossible as there were way too many.  The rolling grassy hills with patches of trees were so pretty.  Next we'll be heading to the real trees, after our Sunday rest day, we will be headed for the redwoods and the Northern CA coast.


See you tomorrow for the Weekly Wrap-Up and Church Surch. Thanks for following.



Mel said...

QG sounds to be feeling more like her normal self, even taking a turn at Kevin's job... ranting. If I had to pay those toll rates, I'd rant, too, so rant on!

................................ Kevin Parsons said...

Okay! 50 bucks for a campsite! 4 bucks for fuel! 80 bucks for a cheap motel! (Let me catch my breath here).