We left Ukiah around 11:00 on Wednesday morning. We were in no hurry since we only had about a 2 hour trip and no one would be home at Carol’s house until 4:00 or so. We drove through some really gorgeous wine country and even stopped at the Real Goods store in Hopland on our way through. Actually turned around and went back after we passed it because I remembered that we needed to get a charge controller for our camper-top solar panels and where better than the place that has been selling “solar living since 1978”?
Approaching Cloverdale we saw a sign for “Tourist Information” and a KOA campground. We figured we could get a good California map at the Tourist Information place and a copy of Woodall’s campground guide at the KOA store. So, having nothing but time to kill, we took the exit. First stop: the Tourist Info place. Trouble was, after 2 directional signs, we were left to our own devices. No more signs and the town split off into a number of different streets. I had no idea where the heck the Tourist office was. So, we just said “screw it” and headed back out to the highway in search of the KOA camp instead.
Under the freeway, turn left, follow the signs, go about a mile down the road, turn right, follow the signs, another half a mile or so, turn right again, keep going on the very windy road. Keep going. What happened to the signs? Well, maybe the fact we haven’t seen any in awhile means we’re on the right route. We’ll just keep going. And going. And going. Finally, about 6 miles further we got to a KOA sign that said “Don’t despair, you’re almost there”. Now we started climbing uphill on a road with turns so sharp and steep that I occasionally had to shift down to 1st gear. And still we continued on. After about 2 more miles of this, we finally made the final turn into the KOA campground. Guess what we found on the door of the store. That’s right, “Closed, will return at 4:00“. Argh! Nine miles out of our way (18 by the time we get back to the highway) only to find the store closed. Crappage! Oh well, what are ya gonna do?
Back on the road again, it wasn’t too many more miles before Highway 101 began to lose its charm and turn into just another freeway.
However, after 20 miles or so of freeway tension, we exited at Petaluma. Once we got through town, we ended up back on our favorite kind of road: two-lane blacktop.
This is Skywalker Ranch country. We had to wait a couple times for road construction but that’s a small price to pay to be able to not have to drive on the freeway.
We finally reached the road up to Carol’s house. The windy road up to the KOA camp was great training for the road to Carol’s. Steep, very curvy, and very, very narrow. At one point we met up with a car coming down the hill. Definitely not enough room for both of us to pass each other. I backed up a truck length or so and he squeezed by until he was partway past us. At this point he asked if we had enough room to pull forward, which I did. That gave him enough room to pull forward a little further and we were both on our way. Tight but doable.
Carol’s house is Carol’s house and I don’t feel comfortable publishing a bunch of photos of it. But, I do have to show you this. Lulu gave me a haircut this morning. This was my barbershop:
Tomorrow we head down to Santa Cruz.