Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Gorillas in the mist (or maybe just mountains)....

When you are courting a nice girl an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That's relativity.
Albert Einstein

Well, first, a little update.  We have an extra rider!  12 years ago, another girl (at that time we were girls), and I spent 2 years moving around the country together.  She worked with dogs, I worked with horses, we both got along well.  The last couple of years, we've been keeping up via Facebook, but it's been 12 years since we last saw each other.  She happened to be in San Francisco, looking for a ride to Oregon, at the same time I was passing through San Francisco, on the way to Oregon.  So, what do you know?  It's been great catching up and having a fellow traveler for a bit.

Secondly, a little bit on CA driving and directions.  There have been many times now, when we are on a one lane road, and the car ahead of us is doing more than 5 miles per hour under the speed limit.  But, as soon as you get to a "passing lane" area, number one, half the time they don't move over, and two, even if they do, they speed up to 5-10 miles OVER the speed limit.  Don't worry, if you don't pass them, they will slow back down as soon as it goes back to one lane.  :P  Now, if the drivers don't get you, the signs will.  There are 2 types of signs (both are meant to confuse).  The ones that refuse to give you directions, and the ones that give you wrong directions.  The former refers to CA road signs that say Hwy 101 and then point in 2 directions.  Now, they don't tell you which way those directions are (north, south, etc), they simply tell you which cities are in the direction you would be traveling if you follow that arrow.  Which, I'm sure is not an issue if you live in CA and are familiar with the area, but can be confusing otherwise.  Thankfully, I have studied the CA map enough times, that I'm usually aware of where one of the cities is, and can figure out which way I need to turn.  As for wrong directions, picture this.  You are traveling on a 3 lanes in one direction road.  It will be going down to two lanes.  You pass a sign saying "Left lane ends merge" or something along those lines.  So, you are in the far right lane, and so continue on, as normal.  And then, your lane ends.  I think they ordered their signs wrong.  I think they meant to say, lane ends, merge left.  What's funny is, this has happened several times, it was not a one time occurrence!

What have we seen the last 2 days?  Well, after leaving Yosemite and stopping for the night, we headed back to San Francisco, where we met up with my friend.  We then headed out to Pier 39, to watch the sea lions that lay around the docks there.  There were a LOT of them.  Piled on top of each other, swimming in the water, making noise.  Lucy was a little nervous of all the noise of the sea lions, but she continues to do well in public spaces, and loves to be petted by everyone.  We are still working on convincing her that not everyone wants to pet her, but that's a different story.  We spent most of the afternoon, chilling outside of Jamba Juice, playing Bananagrams, and drinking Starbucks.  Getting out of SF was interesting.  We went in circles, passing the same streets 15 times before finally making it out across the Golden Gate Bridge (great moment in history), and over to one of my friend's friends' house.  We had a great visit, but when we were standing outside saying our goodbyes, I noticed a car idling at the stop sign across the street.  Now, this was not the best neighborhood, and there were no other cars stopped at the stop sign, so I kept my eye on him.  As Miss Lucy and I went to cross the street to the car, the car took off as fast as he could from the stop sign, heading right for us.  Thankfully, I had been paying attention, and was able to *barely* get us out of the way.  I wish I had gotten his license plate number to give to the police, but all's well that ends well, and we headed out again.  It took us a bit to get back to Hwy 1, driving through the mountains at night.  James (my GPS) had decided to take us the long way round (scenic route), which made it more interesting.  When we were unable to find a place to stop for the night, and finally were back on Hwy 1, we pulled over and slept.  The next morning was wonderful.  We woke up to clouds and mist, and as we drove along the ocean on Hwy 1, and pulled into an overlook, it was like being in an airplane, looking down from above.  You could only see the edge of the shore, everything else was covered in clouds from the shoreline, all the way out into the ocean.  Further along, the clouds had pulled back, just a bit, and you got to see the ocean that it was hiding.  This was not the ocean from the previous days: calm, tranquil, light blue to turquoise.  This was an angry ocean, dark and broody.  It was grey and somber as the clouds hovering right above its surface.  Full of foreboding and despair, it put lie to the promise and hope of the light that was, literally, just around the corner.  But, if you kept going, "just around the riverbend" (tribute to "Pocahontas"), the clouds parted, and the light shone down.  The fog covering the ocean rolled back, and the water became blue again.  It's amazing what a change a short drive can make.

Today, we head out once again, driving to southern OR to drop my friend off with some of her other friends, before Miss Lucy and I continue our journey up the coast.  The plan is to be in Seattle by Friday for a square dancing weekend, and then, off back across the country to VA.

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