“Yay! Another new state! And we’re going to be here a while.”
This is what I said as we entered California, which is our 20th state on this road trip! Twenty! Can you believe it!? I’m having a hard time letting that really sink in myself. WI, IL, IN, KY, TN, NC, GA, FL, AL, MS, LA, TX, NM, CO, WY, MT, ID, WA, OR, and CA. Part one of the Alexander Supertramp phase (road trip) is nearly done… and we’re pretty anxious to move into the hike stage of this adventure.
California has been pretty special already. I kind of sorted it in my mind into three parts.
#1. Road tripping
Oregon chased us into California with its snow storm, and we found ourselves in the weird little town of Weed. Weird and ‘highly’ popular due to the name of the town… I regret not asking locals the real meaning behind the name. There’s gotta be a story other than the drug association.
Anyway, Adam requested a date night with me during our stay in Weed, so we took a walk to the Mt. Shasta brew pub for beers and a pizza appetizer. We had a really great talk with the brewer/bartender. He’s a backpacker and is planning on hiking the John Muir Trail this year… the JMT and the PCT share the same trail for quite a long stretch. He also let us taste a few of his brews. One was a jalepeno beer… and it tasted A LOT like the actual pepper – spicy and all! I enjoyed the ETW the most, which kind of tasted like a milkshake!
Our date night concluded with cream pie and coffee at the cute little cafe that was attached to our cute little motel.
From Weed we travelled to Sebastopol where we met up with Karen and Jerry, who welcomed us into their home. It was so awesome that I’ve given the stay its own category. More on that in a bit.
We drove across the Golden Gate Bridge, then head down the incredibly winding and overwhelmingly gorgeous Hwy 1. At one point we were about 500 feet up from the bright teal and deep blue Pacific ocean, no guardrail, hairpin turns and a straight-down cliff out the passenger side of the car. I had a bit of a tummy ache, but I couldn’t tell if it was from all the turns and vertigo, or just the sensory over-stimulation! White, crashing waves and ragged, dark rocks contrasted the blue shades in the water down below… and the sky was cloudless and blue. I didn’t realize it would be SO much prettier than what I’ve seen in photos. But it was.
We camped the next two nights very close to the ocean. The second ocean campsite was just a stairway from the beach so Rachel and I took a walk and watched the sun set while surfers silhouetted themselves in the bright golden glow. What a scene!
Adam kept busy back at camp putting a new video together showing what it’s like to be in the car with us… which you’ve probably already seen!
From there we head into San Diego. More on that below!
#2. Karen & Jerry
I met Karen and Jerry at Point Reyes National Seashore in October 2006 when my mom and I took our last steps on our thru-hike on the American Discovery Trail (ADT). They just finished thru-hiking the ADT last year, so we had a pretty strong connection. Karen contacted me when she learned we were taking the coast down through California, because we’d be very close to their home.
We stopped in and Karen and Jerry opened their home to us as if we were family. They put together a fabulous, fresh dinner of chili, salad, bread and Zinfandel. We ate outside on their back porch with sunshine, palm trees and redwoods all towering over us. Flowers were in bloom all over their beautiful yard and it reminded me a little of home and the flowers my mom grows in the summer.
After dinner we all went for a nice walk, and when we got back, Rachel and I took a soak in their hot tub outside under the stars and half moon. Back inside we shared all kinds of great conversation, lots of reminiscing about ADT adventures, and then… ice cream, cookies and tea. They offered for us to do laundry, we enjoyed a shower, slept in a bed, and left the next morning after a great breakfast with smiles, feeling very relaxed and completely satisfied from a great stay with fellow hikers. Thank you, Karen & Jerry! You sure know how to rejuvinate a few road-trippin’ hikers!
#3. San Diego
Hello, Motel San Diego. Comment if you’ve ever stayed here… what an interesting, quirky, homey little place… with a medicinal marijuana dispensery in the parking lot, a chihuahua named kiwi, a super-friendly owner, and a strange room. It was half the price as other hotels in the area, and I think the experience alone has been worth it.
San Diego has been our planning and organizing grounds. We’ve shopped, fixed a few more things on the pickle jar and gave it a new set of tires, sent things home, organized and packed backpacking gear, sorted our first 5 day’s worth of food, and even soaked in some sun on the beach. We have been BUSY!
Adam and I got new phones yesterday, too. It took up half the day, but we are both really happy with the decision to switch from US Cellular to Verizon. It’s amazing what a difference we already noticed in the speed of… just about everything smartphone-related!
Tomorrow we pack the pickle jar and head to Lake Morena campground. We will camp there tomorrow night and have Adam drive us to the Southern-freaking-Terminus of the Pacific-freaking-Crest-Trail! Ohmygosh!
We. Are. So. Close. Oh boy ohboyohboyohboyohboy!
Sorry it was such a long entry! I got a bit behind with the whole phone switching thing, and… well, California is a long, amazing state! So I guess that forces me to write a long entry. :)