hills on Hwy 1 reminded me of some of our scenery back home before the summer
heat turns the hills brown. Anytime we’ve
been in this area has been in the spring so these hills may well become brown
as the summer progresses, too, but they’re a luscious green today.
We were on
the road again and enjoying the sights of California. We were following the Pacific Coast Highway
for most of our travels on this journey and heading north to and beyond San
Francisco this morning. Today we were
the followers and although we had all talked about which route we were taking,
we were following our friends wherever they may go!
|Hills around Monterey Bay, CA|
considered continuing to follow Hwy 1 but chose to follow another route, hoping
to avoid any toll booths in this maze of freeways and bridges. The GPS offers the option of no tolls so we were
following those directions and our friends.
Thank goodness for two-way radios.
|Freeway choices on Hwy 880|
|Cityscape in Oakland, CA|
Hwy 880 was
the GPS chosen freeway. We sure were not
avoiding any of the big city scenery on this route which included Oakland and
Berkeley. Other than needing some
navigating skills to keep us on the right freeway at times, there were no
problems as we moved through the Saturday morning traffic.
|Toll bridge receipt|
enjoying the view which includes a very distant sighting of the Golden Gate
Bridge across the San Francisco Bay. We
continue until the next freeway change, which moves us onto Hwy 580. I would not recommend you follow my
directions but if it feels confusing, you’ll understand our feelings on that
lovely morning. The next thing we know,
we are approaching a toll booth!
point we have no choice but to pay the toll and cross the bridge but as it
turns out, there really is no choice in this part of the state. We would have been a long way inland and a
very different route in order to avoid a toll and that was not part of our
|Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, San Francisco, CA|
As it turns
out, the bridge we are crossing has some interest for us. The Richmond San Rafael Bridge was built in
1956 and was the second longest over-water bridge in the world when built. It is 8.9 km (5.5 mi) long including the
approaches. The longest was the San
Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge which we had crossed on a previous trip. The third longest is the Chesapeake Bay bridge which
we had crossed when touring Canada and the U.S. a few years ago.
|Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, the John F. McCarthy Memorial|
do not show the full scale of the bridge but it spans over two ship channels
and is often referred to as the “roller coaster span” so that will explain some
of the ups and downs of the bridge surface.
|Roller coaster span of bridge|
the bridge we realize we are looking at San Quentin, which is the oldest state
prison in California. It was built in
1852 and is still being used today. They do offer tours but that just isn’t on
my bucket list and thankfully not on anyone else’s today, either.
|View of San Quentin State Prison|
|Green views on Hwy 101|
The rest of
our day, back on Hwy 101, was sunny and green.
We passed green fields filled with resting cattle; we saw some wine
fields before their spring growth; we stopped for groceries in the nice town of
Willit then drove through some of those great California redwoods we’ve all
We spent the
night at the Benbow RV park, talking about the great day we’d had and looking
forward to seeing more of the Redwoods that we will see on our
next day of adventures.