Monday, September 5, 2016

California: June 28, 2003

A continuation of the cross-country adventure I shared with Ben in the summer of 2003....


Day 21--Saturday, June 28, 2003


After a good night of sleep, I felt completely rejuvenated and recovered from my mood the day before.  I must say that the showers at Jed Smith were by far the grossest I have seen during the entire trip--well, maybe not as bad as the ones with all the moths at Cherry Creek, but still  pretty icky!


Our trip to the Visitors' Center resulted in our hike down the Simpson Reed Grove Discovery Trail.  It was an easy half-mile loop, and while the bugs were vicious, the trail was beautiful.  As Ben put it, "These trees are probably the oldest living things in the United States today."  Some of the giant redwoods were over 360 feet tall--as I pointed out, that's roughly 60 times the size of Ben, and even more of me!


In addition to the huge and towering redwoods, the trail also contained lots of ferns, some of which were taller than people!  I think the most impressive part for me was seeing the trees which had fallen and had their roots showing.  They were simply immense!



Back in the car, we settled in for another roasty-toasty day.  The temperature was again above 100, and when we stopped in Ukiah, CA, for an oil change, I was pretty sure that we would be fully able to fry our lunch on the pavement.  We got the much-needed oil change, which took about 15 minutes--very efficient!  We figure that we're doing so much driving that we'll end up needing one every week, instead of the usual every three months at home!


It was almost 4:00 before we managed to find somewhere to eat lunch.  We pulled off at what Ben described as a "completely solar powered hippie house," which is actually pretty accurate.  We set up our camp stove on a picnic table near a gorgeous and peaceful little pond with plenty of fish and lillypads floating near the top.  We had another round of pasta salad because it was simply too hot for anything else.  We then did a brief tour of the grounds, but I couldn't handle the heat and turned us back to our nice air conditioned car.


Our long drive eventually took us to San Francisco.  Unfortunately, we couldn't see much of the Golden Gate Bridge as we drove over it (and paid the $5.00 toll!) because the fog was so thick.  On the up side, the fog cooled the city beautifully, and instead of experiencing boiling temperatures, we were actually a little chilly.


I must admit that I kind of freaked out while navigating busy, narrow streets and trying to find our hotel.  We got lost twice on the way there, and by the time we pulled into the Travelodge parking lot, I emphatically declared that I would not be driving in the city again.


Our room was tiny and kind of grubby, with all the colors fading to gray, and not in very good condition, especially for the price Dad was paying for it.  But it's all about "location, location, location," because we were located right on Fisherman's Wharf.  I changed into jeans and was set to go out and explore the city, but the TV monster had sucked Ben in.  He had found "Can't Hardly Wait" on USA, and he convinced me to watch with him for "just a little bit."


Well, I'm a sucker for cheesy teen movies, so several hours later, we decided to order in from a local pizza place.  We watched the end of that movie and all of "She's All That" while munching on an excellent large pizza with pepperoni, mushrooms, and copious amounts of both mozzarella and feta cheeses.  By the time our movie marathon was over, it was nearly midnight and definitely time to go to sleep.



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