I’m off on a 2-week road trip through California and Nevada. The early darkness of daylight savings time and approaching winter frustrates me as I need to start hunting for a place to sleep early.

11/9/2016 @ 2pm
Ferndale, California

My first stop on my journey south. My plan is to stick fairly close to the coastline taking 3-days to get to Claremont. This means I need to make less stops as I can easily take a whole month for the drive with so many back roads to choose.

Ferndale is the northern gateway to California’s lost coast and has done an absolutely beautiful job at branding itself as an old world Victorian. With a population of approximately 1,300 people it has every kind of locally owned shop one would need. I walk down the streets admiring the ornate colorful houses, then grab a cup of hot chocolate and watch the locals greet one another and talk about their day. It’s comforting to know these towns still exist.

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11/9/2016 @ 7pm
Fort Bragg, CA
Miles 524

Today is my “YES DAY”, a quarterly self-made holiday where I say yes to myself without having to rationalize anything or feel guilty.

One of my YES decisions has me in a hotel room with a bathtub for the night. You might be thinking that isn’t anything major, but since I usually sleep in cars, tents, horse trailers, barns, and abandoned buildings, a hotel is a major luxury!

I picked up about 6 audio books from the library for my trip south. After listening to “50 Shades of Grey” all day today, I need some serious relaxation. Yes, the book had some nice steamy bits in it, but mostly I got a headache from all the immature ridiculousness going on. All those one word or one sentence emails back and forth between Anastasia and Christian. Ugh! And all their eye-rolling was causing my *eyes to roll*. I think the ability to speak should disappear between the ages of 16 and 30. I can dream.

11/10/2016 @ 10am
San Francisco, CA

Made it to San Francisco! I have a couple hours to check out the Golden Gate bridge, its scenic steep streets and the oh so wonderful trolleys.

Drats! There’s a toll for the bridge heading south. They image your licence plate and the toll bill is invoiced to you rather than paying it immediately. The last time that happened I had a late feel equal to the charge by the time the invoice reached my mailbox. #PainsOfEfficiency

11/10/2016 @ 6pm
???, CA
Miles 764

Not quite sure where I am. I know I’m about 100 miles from San Luis Obispo somewhere up in the hills. I took off in a random direction and enjoyed the view so much I forgot where I am. No cell service #DamnSprintNetwork. I found a cute little country shopping area that had a grocery store, gas station and bar that I thought would work well for a car camping stop.

I bought some ham to add with my staples and had a peanut butter and ham sandwich for dinner and a angry orchard hard cider to wash it all down. Good prep for a restful sleep in the back of my car. I had to sleep in the front of my car (gear-shift, manual transmission) during my cross country trip last year, and learned that yoga poses come in handy to fit in (blog: KeepOnTruckin’). So compared to that, the back seat is oh so comfortable.

11/11/2016 @ 12pm
San Luis Obispo, CA

San Luis Obispo is about half way between Los Angeles and San Francisco. One of California’s oldest communities, inhabited by the native Chumash Indians.

I had a couple hours to walk around and check it out and grab some much needed ice cream.

My Travel free-kick DOMO thought it would be a great place to break out my “Exchanging Smiles” cardboard sign and share a little happiness with the locals. We had a great time and shares smiles with lots of people. Children were the most fun.

Steve, a man who was out shopping with his daughters, took a break to rest his feet and sat next to me. We had a great time talking about California and all the sites I should see during my visit. His daughters looked warily at me when they returned, but smiled when I held out my sign.

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11/11/2016 @ 8pm
Claremont, CA
Miles 1064

After 2-hours of sitting in California traffic, I finally made it to Rima and Isaac’s house!!! Yay! This is my stop for the next 4 days. Time to soak up positive vibes with these two amazing people! Rima and I met in Graduate School back in 2008 and became fast friends. She is am amazing person full of love and kindness, a talented artist and brilliant writer.

Rima and her Joshua Trees!

Previous Blog: #MonkeyMind

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3 thoughts on “#CaliforniaDreamin’

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