Not only are some San Francisco streets pucker-time narrow, especially in a full-size pickup truck, the roller coaster angles add to a sense of adventure.
Nikki, Nate and Bennett live on the 17th steepest street in the city, in an enclave named Noe (“no-ee”) Valley.
As our truck glides into their driveway, the change in angle between the street and horizontal apron causes our poor truck to twist on its suspension.
The view from inside is more radical. Unloading is easy… just open the downhill door and let everything roll out.
We do all this, of course, so Stella can be amused from her viewing angle above.
Since our arrival there has been a LOT of wind.
I love wind. I love sailing. I love windsurfing. I love soaring in a hang glider or sailplane. I love flying kites. I love playing with the wind.
But I especially love leaning into the wind, being supported by an invisible force, the wind pressing against my angled body, almost able to take flight and join the birds. (I’m not sure how much birds love soaring, but it did seem a couple were trying to line up and drop poop on me!)
At nearby Pacifica, the holiday decorations were angling to leave California and be blown to Mexico.
Trees nearby have taken on an angular, aerodynamic shape from the prevailing ocean breezes.
The high wind whips up sea foam and sprays it along the shore.
At Pacifica, swell conspires to wear away the pilings, while sensible birds pack into a wind shadow next to the boardwalk.
All the while, the strong Pacific swell is doing its best to wear down the shoreline near our RV park. We are really hoping our site remains horizontal and not suddenly vertical.
We’re still here!
Specifically; the Pacific was pacific enough that our specific Pacifica spot stayed where specified.
With dawn came the sun, a somewhat settled surf, and the reopening of Peg’s Seabird Cafe.
Traveling involves redirection. Redirecting a route, for instance, or refocusing on a new set of goals as the trip progresses.
Or redirecting provisions into ever-shrinking containers.
The first two we do together… the last is all Peg.
My darling delights in repackaging our provisions into salvaged containers to save space in the travel trailer fridge. Like putting Sunny D in a Mountain Dew bottle, tequila in a mouthwash vessel and rum in an emptied water bottle.
Even the ketchup and peanut butter are fair game.
This practice of hers occasionally brings surprising experiences, like gargling with tequila. Effective maybe, but not the expected taste.
So far, so good, but I’ll put my foot down when she does something like putting hemorrhoid creme in the old toothpaste dispenser.
As we headed off on our 2018 snowbird trip we also did a fair amount of route redirection.
Sub-freezing temps at home meant we planned to scurry south to Kansas City; usually a latitude warm enough to allow staying at Walmart without running a heater.
With a cold front sweeping the midwest we had to refocus our goals on staying warm and not destroying the trailer’s water system. With the water system still winterized, we rerouted to an RV park south of Kansas City where we could plug in and run the heat.
Likewise, the next night we redirected from a Walmart in Liberal, Kansas to a local RV park. Other than calm nights at anchor, this was the flattest surface we’ve ever slept on. A herd of cattle next door and distant freight trains rounded off the cowboy ambiance.
That night the temperature dropped just enough for icicles to form on the slightly leaky city water connection. No damage.
Making our way southwest we cut through the Oklahoma panhandle and the town of Hooker; home of the Hooker Bank, Hooker True Value and other Hooker related businesses. I made a road trip through the town 40 years ago and snickered like the teenager I was. I apparently haven’t matured much… the names still made me grin. I’m not alone: the city’s motto, referring to the negative connotations of its name, is “It’s a location, not a vocation”(Wikipedia).
We also redirected onto historic Route 66 for a while in search of lunch. The area we passed was every bit as kitschy and run-down as we expected.
Once clear of the plains we rolled up and down various mountain ranges, all the while very happy to have diesel power and exhaust braking to ease the way. Don’t know how much brake pad we saved but our minds were relieved.
With the cold front still going, we skipped yet another Walmart. The third night we stayed at the Sky City Casino RV Park in Acoma Pueblo, New Mexico. We had stayed there during our 2016 trip and at $22 night it is a bargain. Waking to a gorgeous sunlit mountain range out the window is another plus.
There was a forecast of strong winds, with gusts up to 60 mph, forecast for the next day so we left early and burned through the Flagstaff area on to Kingman, Arizona. Doing so we were able to make our westing far enough to avoid much of the wind: 60 mph cross winds while towing a travel trailer is not fun.
At Kingman we once again headed to an RV Park, a quiet 55+ place with a large number of snowbirds.
With 10-12 hours of driving left to San Francisco, we split the difference the next day and stopped at a Walmart in Bakersfield, California. Finally warm enough to sleep without running a heater.
The last day brought us to Pacifica, California, on the coast just south of San Francisco. Shortly before our 2016 trip the park lost 30+ sites to the cliff eroding into the Pacific Ocean. During that trip we stayed in the site shown in green below. This time we’re in the red site.
Fortunately they have not lost any sites since we last visited and the fence along the cliff has not been moved further inland.
So all is well… except for the weather forecasts today!
The surf has been steadily building this afternoon and should really be rocking tonight. Pictures never do justice, but be assured those waves are huge. So if y’all don’t hear from us again…
The main goal of this trip, one that we haven’t redirected, is spending time with our grandson Bennett, his parents, and our son and his fiancé for the holidays. His smile makes all the driving and butt-freezing worth it!