It is our 2.day at the Olema Ranch Campground. Since there is wireless Internet I do my "homework" and update the web-site. Meanwhile Bea makes the run to the laundry. After 2 weeks on the road there is quite a bundle to wash. The morning is beautiful with bright sun, so I make plans for the afternoon to explore the surroundings. We drive to Point Reyes, the little village only a couple of miles away from Olema. The place has only one little main street but there are plenty of little stores and they have nice street fronts.
The landscape is hilly and formed by the dunes. The road follows most it's narrow valleys. The sides are grown with myrtle trees, some willows and dogwood. When getting into the outer area the tree are more sparsely, and dairy farms are lying besides the road. The cows are grazing the hilly land and there are many of them. These farms are from the 1800's and they are numbered alphabetically. The grasslands with it's rocky coasts out here remind us of Scotland or even the Norwegian coast. Whipping winds keep vegetation low and into protected places. On a day like today with wallowing fog you might forget that you are in sunny California at all. But from the parking lot 4 miles from the Lighthouse we catch a view of the long beach far down under. We also check out the Chimney Rock Road. Here, on the south side of the peninsula, the coast is so steep, that you hesitate to approach the edge.
We find a beautiful spot of fall-colors on a cacti species when we drive down to south beach
Back home at the campground we download all the pictures we've taken and do some e-mails.
Today we leave Olema and are heading farther south. We avoid the City of San Francisco and choose to drive the Richmond Oakland Bridge which leads us over to the Oakland side and onto Hwy 580. From Oakland we take Hwy 880 through Alameda until we come to San Jose. There we return to Hwy 101, which will be our main road connection all the way down to the Los Angeles Area.
On our way south we cruise through one of the biggest vegetable gardens and vineyards on earth, the Salina Valley and Monterey County. The fields seem endless as they stretch across the wide bottom of the valley.
Workers are to be seen on the fields and huge machinery is parked besides or in active use.
What we noticed in San Francisco is getting more and more obvious: We've come into the spanish speaking part of America. Mexican-style radio stations offer Mariachi music all day. It fits the landscape though and I feel on real holiday for the first time since leaving home.
We stop for the night at Pismo Beach and have to wait in a long line in front of the reception office.
When we finally got registered and drive through the gate we realize that this is the most luxurious upscale campground we've ever seen. And upscale is also the mixture of camp guests. The biggest and most expensive rigs up to the 500,000 Dollar mark can be seen in this ocean-front resort. For the overnight price they offer a complimentary WIFI and a heated pool. There is a store, laundry and washroom nearby. A security guard watches the entrance. All roads paved and full hookups on every site.
But the best here at Pismo Beach is --- the beach. It seems endless and huge waves are rolling ashore. But that we first get a chance to experience tomorrow morning.
After breakfast we do a beach walk.
At noon we reach the town of Solvang in the Santa Ynez Valley. Since Solvang is known as the Danish town we turn off Hwy 101 and go the three miles on Hwy 246 into town, where they have an RV-Parking lot at the far east end of town.
Already on the drive through we recognize the Danish construction style of the houses. The side walks are flanked with red brick. The houses have a typical Danish style frame construction. The names of the store owners ar mostly Danish or at least Scandinavian and there are several Bageri (bakery) and Danish flags are hanging out everywhere.
On our stroll through town I enter the tourist information office and have a chat with the lady behind the counter. She directs us to the Bethanian Church which is behind the Danish-style school.
After saying farewell to Solvang we are now heading towards Santa Barbara on the coast.
Reaching the Pacific again we discover Refugio Beach State Park down below. Spotting the huge Palm trees and a few RV's, make me change plans and spontaneously I decide to look for an overnight campground. And we are lucky, as the park is almost empty. We back the rig into a nice spot and settle in.