Day Ten: Down at the docks…

Regretfully leaving Tahoe the day before, we made our way towards Sacramento and ended up staying the night in Vacaville, CA. We started early after breakfast to make our way to San Francisco. It was a pretty easy drive over to the bridge by the way of San Rafael and touring a little on the outskirts of Sonoma.

We came up on the bridge in the colder foggy late morning, which I guess is pretty normal in SF. It was 80s before coming to the city, and the temp just fell to 64 within a few short miles.

The bridge is pretty awesome. The tops of the beams vanishing in the fog made for the drive over the bridge really amazing – even if Whitney doesn’t think so :)

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We parked down by the Warf and started playing tourist around Pier 39. My immediate take away was that I didn’t realize how “close” Alcatraz was to the piers. It was pretty nice being able to see if clearly without having to hop a boat to go check it out.

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We ended up grabbing lunch at Grotto’s where fish and chips and clam chowder bread bowls satisfied our hunger. We had to meander through a few city blocks after lunch to find a Walgreens since supplies were running low… gave us an excuse to see more of SF anyway.

We heading out of SF towards LA, with no real plan in mind other than I wanted to drive the Pacific coast highway at some point. I also wanted to see Mazda Laguna Seca raceway as well. We decided to find the raceway first. The navigation thought it was better that we see a private gated community instead so we turned around and using just plan maps and road signs, found the track far more easily.

This track is AWESOME. Best facility I’ve ever seen honestly, and I’m not just saying that because I’m a Mazda geek. It is actually in a park with camping, playgrounds, etc. It is far better maintained then some facilities I’ve been to. I went not really expecting to be able to see the track, but we were able to get in and drive all around the grounds. No event was running, so we had pretty much the run of the place. The only downside was the store closed 30 minutes before we got there!

 

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We left Salinas (where the track is) towards Monterey to pick up HWY 1 and ride the Pacific coast for as long as we could.

I have been on some amazing roads in this country, but this one is up there if not number 1 to me now. The only thing that would have made the drive better is if I was in a two seater, rotary, rear wheel drive sports car or at least a roadster. A little more sun wouldn’t have hurt either, but still… what a site. Even Whitney had a blast while fighting a bit of a bridge and cliff “issue”.
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We stayed on the 1 for over a hundred miles… snaking through small motel towns and resorts along the way. Drove out past the Hurst Castle (closed by the time we got there) and ultimately finding our way back to the 101 to grab a hotel for the night. We decided we’re going to extend the CA portion of the trip an extra day so we can have a full day at the zoo on Friday.

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