Monday, September 13, 2004

Random Coastal Thoughts

San Francisco is a long one-day drive from Seattle (850 miles). Mt. Shasta is big and beautiful. Road trips without AC are not ideal, especially if it is 97 degrees. Oregon is a big state. There is a reason we haven’t been to KFC in years.

Traffic volume always seems heavy in SF. Palo Alto is nice, but expensive. Stanford has an amazing campus. Tahoe is far from the city, and even farther in traffic. Truckee is cool, and Rick’s house there is fabulous. It is awesome to have running, hiking, and biking trails out your back door, and even more so when deer are meandering nearby. The M3 convertible is, as they say back East, wicked-fast. A one-day trip to Tahoe is too short. The Bay Bridge toll-traffic sucks. The saying “the coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco” doesn’t always hold true.

Santa Cruz is funky, odd, and rather cool. Fish Tacos are yummy. Bruce and Alinka are unbelievably great people, superb hosts, and wonderful friends. As expected, their house is exquisite. Bart and Izzy are huge, mellow, and super-cool. Trail running in the Redwoods is pretty damn cool too. The Patagonia Outlet Store in Santa Cruz – wow. Carmel and Monterey seem fancy. There is no limit to how much sand can be accumulated in a bathing suit. Beaches and boogie boarding are better with seals and dolphins frolicking just offshore.

The Golden Gate Bridge is impressive. Marin County seems nice. Parking in SF is tough. In-N-Out burgers are great. The burgers at Taylor’s Refresher in the SF Ferry Building might just be better. The Hummer was in the shop (sorry Andrew). The sea lions at Fishermen’s Wharf are astonishing. Sausalito is touristy. The Vietnam Consulate was crowded. Surprisingly, the Indian Consulate was not. Track workouts are more fun now than they were in high school. Rick is a top-notch brother / brother-in-law.

Highway 101 is much more pleasant than I-5. Redwood forests are mind-boggling . 365 feet is a damn tall tree, and 2,000 years is a damn old tree. The Avenue of the Giants is totally worthwhile. Roosevelt Elk play too close to the road sometimes. As far as we can tell, people in Eureka do not walk around town yelling “EUREKA!” I-5 is much faster than Highway 101.

The Oregon Coast is stunningly beautiful. Bandon, Oregon is a quaint, if non-descript, town, and worth a stop. There are lots of California plates in Oregon. The World's Shortest River and the World's Smallest Harbor are both in Lincoln County, Oregon - coincidence? Two days is better than one if you have to drive 850 miles.

We are tired of driving. 2,544 miles in eight days is too many. Road trips are still fun, but 4,600 miles in three weeks is a little much. It is time for us to fly.