After studying the map last night, I still wasn't sure what route I would take to get home. The only way I could do it in two days would be to take I-5 all the way, and there was no way I was going to do that. I don't like driving odd-numbered (north-south) interstates, and I really, really want to see the Oregon Coast.
I figured I could take US-101 all the way. Three days of driving, some nice scenery even before Oregon. But getting around San Francisco looked pretty complicated. I'd have to take several different highways before getting back onto 101.
Then I looked at Route 1 out of Monterey. I could take it along the coast and right through San Francisco and across the Golden Gate Bridge and then get on 101. That's what I would do. (Pretty much the same route I took 7 years ago.)
With that decided, I started looking longingly at Route 1 all the way up the coast after San Francisco. Google Maps doesn't make it easy to figure the mileage on Route 1. Can't always find it. So I hadn't computed the mileage and travel time going that way and wasn't sure how much it would add to the trip. I began to negotiate with myself: If I get to the other side of SF by around noon, I'll take Route 1. A little before noon, when I was stopping for lunch south of SF: If I get across the Golden Gate Bridge by 1 and the fog has cleared, I'll take Route 1.
Lunch took longer than planned. By the time I was driving through SF it was almost 2PM. Then I thought about the trip 7 years ago. I had driven through SF and across the bridge during rush hour. The highway (101) was packed with cars all the way to Santa Rosa. Driving earlier in the day was smoother. Then I remembered something else: I had stopped for the night in Santa Rosa, and it took me the whole next day to get from there to Garberville by taking Route 1 -- and I didn't stop much along the way. OK. The super scenic route was out of the question.
But it wasn't a bad day of driving. I made an unplanned final tour of the Monterey Penninsula when I couldn't find Route 1 North and ended up going the wrong way. Except for the stretch around Santa Rosa, the traffic wasn't terrible. I did get a few peeks at the ocean through the fog, and the "wine country" landscape north of Santa Rosa is pretty. I'm spending the night in Ukiah. Tomorrow I will go through a redwood forest and back out to the coast. Then Saturday it will be Oregon Coast most of the way.
Gawd, I love the ocean. I don't know which I love more, chimpanzees or the ocean.
Maybe THIS will be my last post from the road. Maybe not. After tomorrow night I get to sleep in my own bed!!!