Saturday, December 27, 2014

Onward to California

This story is a continuation of our travels in 2004. We started out in Texas and went east for a spell, making stops in Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida. After visiting friends in Florida we headed north for a loop back to the west. We stopped in Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri and finally Nebraska at the end of April. We trudged on to South Dakota, Montana, Idaho and Nevada. Next we planned a stop near San Francisco to visit our oldest son for a couple of weeks, then planned to meet our youngest son at the Marine base at 29 Palms, California, as he returned home from a tour in the far east.

On June 24th, we departed the Valley View RV Park in Elko, Nevada and drove to the Desert Rose RV Park in Fernley, Nevada. Fernley is about thirty five miles east of the Reno/Sparks metropolitan area. Traffic was very light moving west on I-80 but we were still tired after the 260 mile drive. We parked our RV, then went out for Mexican food before returning to the RV for the evening. The highlight of the day was the beautiful sunset that turned the sky turquoise, pink and red. We were so tired, I neglected to get pictures, but I can still remember the colors.

The next morning we took a drive into Reno to find a Walmart store to pick up a few supplies. The mountain views and the sky made beautiful sights. Traffic was really congested in Reno and unfortunately we found the Peppermill Casino before we found Walmart, so shopping had to be postponed. The casino had a lot of blue lights and a lot of chrome. We had a good time there, but stayed only a couple of hours to conserve our money, as we anticipated California to be expensive.

We continued west on I-80 into California and across the Sierra Nevada Mountains through the Donner Pass. The mountains were covered with evergreen trees and we saw a lot of wild flowers along the roadways. I missed a road sign somewhere along the way and we ended up driving down some residential streets in Sacramento. There was no convenient place to pull over so we just continued west until we got out of town. Too many stop signs and street lights for me. I planned to be more wary of my travel plans on out next trip near Sacramento.

It was noticeably cooler as we entered the San Francisco Bay Area. We drove across the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge into San Francisco. We managed to get off I-80 onto U.S. 101 south to get to Trailer Villa San Mateo in Redwood City, which would be our home for the next few weeks. We were anxious to see our oldest son, A.J. so after we got parked we drove back into San Francisco to pick him up. He looked healthy and happy, which made Kathi and I happy, too. It was nice to see him, but we were really never out of contact with him, because we talk on the phone every day. He is living in Austin, Texas now, but A.J. still considers San Francisco home.

We went to Fisherman’s Wharf to eat dinner. We had seafood, but I do not remember the name of the restaurant. It is certainly not the same quality of seafood we get in the Houston-Galveston area. Most of the restaurants are for tourists and atmosphere seems to have a higher importance than food quality. That is probably just my impression -- I knew for sure I was not in Texas.

We went to look at A.J.’s apartment and made plans for a shopping trip the next day to get a few furniture items he needed to make his apartment more livable. It was a long tiring day, but we were in California and thrilled to be with our son, who we had not seen in nine months. 

A view of a rainbow as we looked east out of the Trailer Villa San Mateo RV Park in Redwood City.

People waiting in line to catch one of the boats to Alcatraz.

Bubba Gump seafood restaurant sign

Flowers at Fisherman's Wharf

Golden Bear -- one of the boats to Alcatraz

Seals live on the platforms just outside a restaurant area. The seals really smell bad.

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