Wednesday, November 23, 2011

North Coast Travelogue: Nov. 20&21

Headed to the Bay Area again Sunday morning.

I was surprised at the Van Duzen and Eel Rivers. They looked like it might have been summertime. The water was fairly low and very clear. I would have expected them to at least have some mud from the recent rains but driving over the bridges I could see right through the water to the bottom of the river. Weird. Looked good enough to go swimming in.
I guess people aren't really as bad off as they like to complain about. At least they don't seen interested in saving gas by lowering their freeway speed to around 55 mph. In the past I've had a few similar minded people seem to follow me as I drove south- the result of keeping roughly the same speed. This time the only vehicle that I saw for any length of time was the Amtrak bus.
A remarkable first, once we got south of Cloverdale. For the first time ever I managed to stay on cruise control at around 56 mph almost all the way to Novato. I didn't know that was possible but, with the new lanes added and most cars seeming to keep a fairly consistent speed, I was able to sail right on through the area.
We stayed at the Villa Inn in San Rafael again and were pleasantly surprised by our room. It was good from the start: As I drove in to the parking lot I saw a bottom floor room, Room 15, I thought would be perfect. "That room would be perfect", I thought to myself. Easy to get to and real close to anything we might need. I didn't say anything when I went to check in but the guy gave me room 15, anyway. A stroke of luck.

The room was nice, too, with no water stains on the wall paper as there were last time we stayed and some of the missing amenities from last time were there this time, including the TV remote control. It was cool with a light rain falling when we arrived and the room's heater worked quite nicely in keeping us comfortable.

Overall, a nice stay. We'll be back.
We left UCSF close to 3pm, Monday which was a bit later than usual and I figured we only had a couple hours of daylight left. I hate driving at night, although it does make the time seem to go quicker for me. We made fairly decent time all the way through the Santa Rosa area, although I wasn't able to repeat my feat of using cruise control the whole way. Not even close, in fact.

By the time we were passing Ukiah it was dark. I wasn't hungry so was thinking of not making our usual dinner stop at the Willits Taco Bell. Instead, I picked up a Toll House ice cream cookie when we stopped for gas at the Willits Safeway. Connie picked up some other ice cream goodie for herself and off we went.
Stopped at the Legget rest stop to use the bathroom. I'd been wanting to do the #2 for hours but couldn't get myself to do it in a public restroom. There wasn't anybody at the Leggett rest stop but those places are so creepy at night I didn't want to spend any more time there than I had to so I did my #1 and raced out of there.
Heading north from Leggett, we got into that curvy road section. I actually drove about my normal daylight speed and was surprised to see headlights far behind me closing up on me rather quickly. They must have been going 50 mph, or so. Seemed fast even for daylight conditions. As they pulled in behind me I'd wait for a turnout and let them pass. I had to say to Connie, "No matter how fast I go there always seems to be a bunch of people that have to go faster". What is it with you speed freaks? And there was more than just one or two of them.
As we got a bit south of the Humboldt County line a light rain started up and my wiper blades were dirty or something. They squeeked real loud and didn't keep the windshield very clear. Now that could be a problem, but we weren't too far from Piercy so I figured I'd stop there and see what I could do about it.

We stopped at the Renner cardlock in Piercy and I tried wiping the wiper blades clean. That was about all I could think of doing so we started to leave and I felt a tummy ache from not doing my #2. I didn't think it a good idea to drive the last hour and a half feeling like that. I'd seen a porta- potti on the far side of the Renner cardlock and figured as disgusting as it was, I'd best try and relieve myself there. I did. It was disgusting, but I did feel better.
My work on the windshield wipers seemed to help (need to remember to use Rain-X on the windshield next time) and we drove straight through to Eureka, parking the truck at 8:28pm. About the same time we usually do. I guess forgoing the Taco Bell dinner stop made up the difference for leaving late.


At 2:26 PM, Anonymous skippy said...

Be safe and take it eeeasy, Fred. It's pouring cats and dogs here, expected wind gusts between 30-40 mph tonight, and absolutely miserable out. You really don't want to be out driving around here, you know how that goes. Hope the 101 is still free of slides by the time you return.

Have some fun for us... but don't have too much fun.

At 2:28 PM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

Thanx. We got back Monday night.

At 9:20 PM, Blogger Kristabel said...

If anyone ever complains to me again that I share too much information on my blog, I'm linking to this post.


At 5:43 AM, Blogger Fred Mangels said...

I'll always be interested in your #2s, Kristabel, so feel free to blab about it.

At 10:53 PM, Blogger Kristabel said...

Um....gosh, Fred. Thanks. I think.


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