Monday, October 31, 2011

Road trip fever

A pic I took driving out of the California Redwoods
I'm actually writing an essay about Korea more than two years after the fact.  I'll post more about that later.

However, right now, I want to write a quick update.

I've got road trip fever now.  Last month I moved back from NYC to the SF Bay area.  I did that via a cross-country drive.  I got lucky and was loaned a minivan from a couple that was doing the move a few days after me.  After spending a month in East Hampton with friends, I packed it up and on Labor Day, I headed west.

It was a great trip.  I stopped in Cleveland, Ohio for a couple of days.  I visited the Rock N' Roll Hall of Fame.  I then drove to Chicago and spent three days with some friends I'd not seen since my university days at UCLA.  En route, I also stopped at Notre Dame because how many times have I ever been to South Bend, Indiana?  From the Chicago area I moved west as quickly as I could.  I spent one evening in the Lake Tahoe area at another friend's and then drove from there back to the SF Bay area on September 14th!

However, the road trip bug is back. I did a few road trips with friends around California and Arizona after I graduated from college. However, times changed and that ended.

What inspired me to hit the road? Well, I went to Fleet Week in San Francisco to see the Blue Angels. I always went to see them fly when I lived in San Francisco. I went out on Sunday. The fog rolled in over the Golden Gate and they had to cancel. The announcer said that they were scheduled to fly that next weekend in the Central Valley at Lemoore NAS, and I decided why not? Initially, I wanted to drive an RV across the country but between the rental fees, mileage charges, one-way penalty, and gas, it was just too expensive to do. However, a weekend round trip? That I could do, and I did.

I drove from to Fresno and had my first experience in an RV park. It wasn't bad. I then drove to the base. Lucky me and the other RV types got special parking. It was so good that I didn't need to unlock the bike or walk to where the main entrance was. Instead, I moved the RV back to give myself a bit of shade, pulled out the lawn chair and watched the Blue Angels soar. From there, I skipped a meet the Blue Angels event because I'd made a reservation to tour the Hearst Castle the next day at 11am. I drove to San Simeon and camped near there. That wasn't as fun as it was a primitive camp and I had no idea what that meant until I got there. (If you expect it, no problem. If you don't, well, yeah.) The Hearst Castle was amazing. I'm so glad I went. From San Simeon, I drove up Highway 1 to Monterey and camped there for the evening. I'll NEVER drive on Highway 1 again with an RV. I had a very small one but I already don't like driving winding mountain roads in a car.

This week I'm driving an RV to Tacoma. It's a cheap one-way deal. It's great because I'm literally spending a week and a half on the road. This really is a crash course in RVing. The gas is killing me, but gas isn't cheap.  The scenery is absolutely beautiful.  I do regret that I ended up driving through part of the Redwoods at night, so I'll have to do that again.  The goal was to get myself up to a campsite before night.  What I should have done now that I'm in Oregon with way too much time on my hands was simply not been so keen on getting to that site.  I could have explored from there but, yeah, I ended up being just pooped from the intense drive and got bogged down with work.  Oregon's landscape is beautiful though.  I went up to Silver Falls and ended up driving through what seemed to be the Christmas tree capitol of the world!

Now I'm getting a crash course in boondocking (just Google it as there are so many links on what it is). It's exciting and a bit scary too.  There definitely are different types of RV campers. I'll take Amtrak back because it's easier to travel via Amtrak with my bike than by plane.

The trip is still in medias res, so more later.

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