While much of Route 1 up the California coast sustained damage during the winter rains, the section from Monterey Bay to Pacifica was open so we took it, stopping along the way to admire the view and buy some huge strawberries.
We got to Pacifica and camped at the San Francisco RV Resort, which was effectively a parking lot next to the coast, but it had grocery and hardware stores nearby, was close to the city and had a laundry (always nice when you’re on the road).
We change our water filters once a year and decided to buy the top of the line, which was to remove nearly everything, except pure water. We found out the pressure drop across the magnificent filter was too much for our water pump so we replaced it with the basic water filter once again.
Between Uber and the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) we didn’t need to drive the Roamer anywhere once we got to Pacifica. We met up with Tom for four days of fun in the city. Pam is now an Uber expert.
The first day, Tom taxi’ed us just north of the city to Muir Woods National Monument for a nice hike through the redwoods there.
We then drove up into the hills above UC Berkeley for one of the many incredible views of the city we had during the trip. He lives just south of there in Oakland. We had a nice dinner on the Berkeley pier – more seafood.
The next day we met Tom in the city and rented bikes. We had breakfast at Mel’s Drive-In and rode past the Palace of Fine Arts.
We then made our way by Crissy Field and to the Golden Gate Bridge.
We rode across the bridge. It doesn’t look it, but it’s uphill nearly the entire span going north – into a headwind. We rode all the way to Sausalito and took the ferry back into the city.
We then grabbed a bite to eat and then took another ferry to Alcatraz Island. We had the “behind the scene” tour, which provided a lot of interesting history of the island, and we got to see some cool places.
After the tour we were supposed to do an audio tour, but blew it off and got another informal tour around the island with one of the park rangers. There are a lot of birds on the island, which makes sense since its name was “La Ilsa de los Alcatraces” (Pelican Island in Spanish). We stopped at a place that had Snowy Egrets, which make a very funny noise while roosting.
We also caught the sunset from the island looking towards to Golden Gate Bridge.
We also got a great night time view of the city from the island on our way back.
The next day we walked the city. That’s when you appreciate how hilly the city really is. We started near the Peace Pagoda and had a great lunch near there – more seafood. Pam had crab-stuffed grilled artichokes, possibly her favorite meal.
We headed to Union Square, where Macy’s was having a spring flower display in the store.
We then made our way to Chinatown.
.. and the Cable Car Museum, which is where all the engines that run the current cable cars reside.
We ended the day with a nice Korean BBQ dinner with Devin, who now lives in the Bay Area after graduating from U of A.
Our last day there we met Tom for some clam chowder in a sourdough bowl at Boudin’s to start the day. They had their own version of “bread beasties” on display. The thought of eating the sourdough teddy bear was pretty grizzly, almost unbearable – lol.
We ended the day with drinks in one of the tall downtown buildings looking out over Alcatraz for a great city tour.
We headed home the next day, but blew another tire outside San Jose. Luckily AAA was nearby and the change-out went smoothly. New tires are in our future. We stopped at Pacheco State Park for lunch and all of the reservoirs in California seem to be near capacity.
We got a tip on a great place to camp from a guy who stopped while we were changing our flat tire. It was Red Rock Canyon State Park, just north of Mojave, CA. He was right, it was a great place to camp.
We drove the next day back into the Valley of the Sun. The Roamer needs a new pair of shoes and its yearly service call before he head out for the summer. It was a great trip and a good Roamer shakedown for the upcoming summer.