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Tuesday 15 Oct 2013
Fort Bragg, USA

The journey will be legend... wait for it... dary!

Bill and Donna kindly put me up for a couple of days and allowed me to catch up on the practicalities of travelling, such as washing, sleeping, sorting photos and updating diaries.  They fed me, watered me (kept topping up my wine glass), exercised me (until my new shoes caused an enormous blister on my toe) and helped me decide where to go while Yosemite was still off limits.  I had an invite to the Pumpkin Festival in Half Moon Bay, but it meant looping back to San Francisco for the middle weekend in the two weeks I had before my next travel buddy arrived.  The main frustration was not knowing if or when the Parks would reopen.  I wanted a few days in Yosemite, but I’d already seen as much as I could while things remained closed.  In the end, Bill and I planned out a route heading north on Highway 1 that gave me the option of returning via Sacramento if I came back for the pumpkins, or carrying on across to Lassen Volcanic National Park and Yosemite if the Government Shutdown finally lifted. 

On that note, the Senate and Congress are now bickering about the Debt Ceiling and the possibility of the US defaulting on its loans, rather than the implementation of Obamacare, so who knows what will happen next.

Armed with my instructions from Bill, a map of California and a new stash of ice in the coolbox, I set out to explore Northern California.  I crossed yet another bridge across the Bay, the San Rafael bridge, which was an older but equally fascinating trestle bridge.  I stuck the camera on record and left it on the dashboard as I crossed under the latticework suspension towers.  (For those among you who’d recognise the reference, it reminded me a lot of the opening scenes of One Tree Hill, where Lucas bounces the basketball across the bridge – every day in America is like a film set, it seems). 

After reaching the north shore, I turned left onto Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, a long cross-country road which winds its way across the hills and wooded valleys as far as Olema on the Point Reyes headland.  The first part of this road goes somewhere very near to George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch, but it is very well shielded from public view, so I didn’t see anything.  At Olema, I tried to reach the Point Reyes lighthouse, but as this is located on the National Seashore, I was once again turned around by the Rangers at the gate.  I was very tempted to follow the signs down to Stinson Beach, just for the fun of getting a ‘How I met your mother’ style clapperboard photo.  It would be legend – wait for it – dary! (Apologies for all the TV references in this blog, they made me chuckle.  In America, there seems to be a film or TV reference everywhere you look...)  But it was a lot further than it looked, so I stopped at the deli and continued north instead.  I found myself in the tiny little town of Inverness and ate my lunch overlooking the water near Tomales State Park. 

I spent the afternoon following the coast on Highway 1.  In places, the road hugged the cliff edges, weaving in and out of the many coves and beaches, twisting and climbing above the crashing waves.  It was a fantastic bit of driving and I really missed Verity, not least because I couldn’t take photos and drive at the same time!  I eventually reached Mendocino in the late afternoon.  This is a pretty little town full of well-maintained Victorian wooden houses, art galleries and museums, but I couldn’t see a lot in the way of motels, so I decided to carry on up to Fort Bragg.  I enquired at a cliff top hotel, but they were unsurprisingly well out of my price range, so I cheekily watched the sun set from their terrace – creating some beautiful shapes through the pampas grasses and reflecting off the ocean – before moving on to find a cheaper motel a mile up the road.


Mileage: 330

Running total: 3,120

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Zoe's Big World Adventure Part II - #1 America

Travel blog by zobeedoo



Here I go again! After the incredible experiences of my first Big World Adventure, I'm off again for part two, starting with a classic American Road Trip through California, Nevada, Utah and Arizona...

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    Half Moon Bay


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    Half Moon Bay


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    Half Moon Bay


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    Half Moon Bay