Pacific Coach Highway, San Francisco, Napa Valley, Redwood Forest, Portland
Sorry we haven’t updated the site in a few days. We’ve been in some desolate areas with very little reception and have stayed in some pretty crappy hotels that obviously don’t have wireless.
We had some problems with the map not showing our progress ever since Los Angeles I believe. Ends up, the database that stores all the data for the website (including blog postings, comments, etc.) was basically full and you may have even seen some problems with the blog. Thanks to Matt Russell for helping me out and fixing the problem as he has done several times on this trip since he is back in Orlando and I rarely have good enough internet. The map itself has some problems in the big city areas where the tall building cause the GPS to lose reception. I can clean up the data when I get back, but it at least works the majority of the time and I’ll cleanup the data when I get back. Anyway, everything should be back up and running fine now, but call me if you experience any problems.
We left Venice Beach and headed toward San Francisco up the Pacific Coast Highway. It’s an amazing and beautiful drive, but we never made good progress because of the mountainous terrain. We camped in Big Sur before making our way to San Francisco. Apparently Big Sur is a real rich area that has two of the nicest resorts in the United States (one starting at $1,500/room). We went out to grab some food and that night and needless to say, the prices were pretty steep.
The following morning, we got up and made our way into San Francisco. It’s pretty amazing how they built the city on such big hills with such high grades. We got some pretty cool Pictures and video, including that one famous windy road (Lombard St.) that you apparently always see in commercials and stuff. I’ve never seen it myself, but it was pretty insane. We took some great Golden Gate Bridge shots that we’ll get uploaded hopefully while were in Canada. Unfortunately for me, Alcatraz tours were sold out for the next six days. Due to the nature of our trip, here just would have been no way for us to know when we would be in San Fran. Alcatraz was the thing I was most looking forward to on this trip, but I guess I’ll just have to do it another time.
After San Francisco, we headed to Napa Valley to take a tour of a winery. We basically randomly picked Beringer and it ended up being a great choice. It’s the longest running winery in the US because they were one of two wineries allowed to stay open during prohibition (to make sacramental wine). The tour was pretty informative for us all. I think the thing that stood out the most was the fact that it takes 1,000 pounds of grapes to make one barrel of wine (59 gallons).
From Napa, we headed north into the Redwood Forest. The redwoods are pretty incredible. We’ve all agreed that Pictures just can’t really do it complete justice to understand how tall and wide the trees are. We did get one really good shot that helps, but you’ll have to check out the album to see. We drove the Acadia through one of them and if the car were an inch wider or two inches taller, it wouldn’t have fit and we’ve got the Pictures that prove it. We camped in the redwoods at a pretty amazing camp site. Slept right under 300 foot tall trees, had a nice camp fire (something that has been prohibited all over California up until then) and even got showers (well, Dan and I did).
After camping in the redwoods, we headed North into Oregon. We ate at this really cool all you can eat cookhouse in Oregon. It was definitely the closest thing to a home cooked meal we have had on this trip, so it was pretty refreshing. We ended up stopping in Portland for the night and stayed in the crappiest hotel on this trip so far. They only had a smoking room available and the sheets, comforter and towels all had burn marks in them. The sheets weren’t big enough to cover the bed, the towels had brown and black marks on them and the shower drain barely worked and filled the tub with water during each shower. Not to mention the stench of smoke in the room.
We just finished seeing Mount St. Helens and are now headed to Seattle and then into Vancouver (eh). I don’t think I ever mentioned when we changed up driving teams, but it’s now Ryan and I as one team and Dan and Sean as another. Since the driving isn’t real long range, we’ve been doing a day of driving per team. For the past week or so we’ve had the roof rack and all of its contents crammed behind the two captains chairs in the back allowing us to all have seat belts and be able to see all the sights easier. That’ll change when we turn around to head back home after Vancouver. Poor Sean is still sick as he has been the whole trip. He’s taken countless medications and just can’t shake what he’s got. Other than that everyone is doing well. We’re all looking forward to some poutine in Canada! We won’t be in contact while in Canada because of cell charges.
Just ate a place called Burgerville in Washington. If you’re ever in the area DO NOT EAT there. It literally took more than 30 minutes to get our food. Horrible service and the food was nothing special.
Thanks again to all of those visiting the site!