It's off to San Francisco and up the California coast!!!
WOW! Look at the green grass!! I now have a clear understanding of what it must be like for people who visit the Northwest that have never been here before. After spending weeks in the desert where a tree is out of the ordinary and grass doesn't exist, I can smell the plush, moisture in the air.
As I worked my way towards San Francisco, I passed a city all of its own. A windmill city. Blow wind blow!! I am such a huge fan of wind energy. It intrigues me for some reason and I would love to see us use it more. What about using it in cars? I have a design in my head that would allow a car to start on gas and run off the wind generated as the vehicle moved forward. Hmmm... Oh, I think I'm getting close to the city...
Yep, not only through this sign but through the driving techniques. I am from a state where old lady driving is the norm, and I was way out of my comfort zone here.
Let's go over a few techniques I learned while driving in California:
1- Speedometer? What speedometer? Throw that thing out the window. It's useless!!!
2- Maintaining a speed of 4 mph over the speed limit will only get you killed. Just keep up with traffic and make sure not to be the fastest one on the road.
3- Blinkers? Who needs those? Simply push your way in. A blinker only gives the neighbor driver the signal to speed up so you don't get in their way.
4- Whatever you do, don't drive in the left lane. Speed demons don't like you very much and will flash their lights at you and honk to make you move quickly!!
5- know your lane before you get close to your exit because you will have to refer to the pushing your way in technique at 70 mph. Easier said than done!!! And yelling, "Aaaaaaaaaa, help me!!!!" Doesn't make them want to let you in!
After sitting in traffic for what seemed like days, I reached the toll booth. I don't have fond memories of toll booths, so I was praying this was not going to become a norm. I asked the toll lady how many of these things were left and she spoke music to my ears, "This is the only one!"
Typically, when you leave a toll booth, the traffic opens up and picks right back up to speed in no time. Not the case here...
And you must be a musician to read these signs and know where to go...
In an short voice, the man in the passenger seat said, "Can I help you?"
"YES!! What lane do I want to be in to go north on 101?"
They proved to be really nice and we ended up getting a whole conversation in while waiting for traffic to move. They were my new traffic friends that got me all straightened out and headed in the right direction!!!
You know you are in a large city when the Goodwill is designed like Gap...
The wait to get into the parking lot was about 30 minutes and the bathroom line was just as long.
There were tour buses and people from all nations crammed into a parking lot that totaled maybe 3 acres!!
Silly me, put 50 cents in the meter at my parking space assuming I would only be there a few minutes. WELL, I used up 20 in the bathroom line and then had to wait another 20 to get this picture. Goodness gracious alive, it's time to get out of here. While the people watching is wonderful, lines don't soothe the soul when you have 300 miles to drive and the clock just passed 1:00.
I headed north on hwy 101, thinking this would get me out of traffic and into some beautiful country.
Well, it got me into some beautiful country...
Ah-ha!! Highway 128 cut over to the coast and looked like a nice red road on the map. I'll take that!!
So I hung a left at Cloverdale and headed for the ocean.
That's some curves.
But it was worth every turn. The scene changed each mile from a canopy of moss covered trees...
Here is just a little bit that I found interesting about making wine:
The wine they made here was called cool climate Syrah. The cool climate part means it is not as peppery as hot climate.
I see red wines and white wines, but I had no clue where the color came from. The nice lady said that they leave the peels in during the first fermenting stage and that creates the red color. She said the longer you leave the peels in, the more dry the wine will become. Huh!!!
For some reason, I thought the grapes were only picked by hand in movies. I figured there was a machine that did it in real life. I was wrong!! People actually pick every grape and the average crew of 6-10 men will pick about 20 tons a day!! WOW!! That's a lot of grapes!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My favorite tid bit of information I learned was about the bungs (corks) in the large wood barrels the wine ages in. She said that so much pressure builds up in the barrels that the bungs shoot out. They have to allow enough room for them to fling about and then they go along and pick them up and replace them.
What a new world to me. I just love learning new stuff. That brings me to think of another road trip I must take to learn about how things are made and created!!!
For now, it's time for this tired body to sleep!!! Good night!!!