On November 7th we sadly left Santa Rosa. It was really a nice park with friendly camphosts. However the weather forecast was getting cooler and we wanted to get further south.
We only ended up about 10 miles south that night. We stopped in Rohnert Park to do some shopping at Walmart and figured this would be our only chance to do some free camping for a while, so we parked in the lot for the night. Now there isn’t a whole lot to do when you’re in a Walmart parking lot other than people watch, and boy did we have a good show that night. A lot of people park in the lot overnight, some in their cars, other people in campers and motor homes. Some guy pulled up in a compact car pulling what looked like an oversized casket. He put the jacks down and crawled in for the night. When the police came knocking on his door, he didn’t answer. Either did the couple who had a trailer dropped in the middle of the parking lot. They had a sign on their door that said their truck broke down and they would be back to pick it up, but their car was right next to it and they and their two dogs were inside. But they pretended not to be there and the police finally left. The police never bothered us or the other motor homes who stopped for the night.
The next morning we headed out. We were less than an hour away from the Golden Gate Bridge. We saw Alcatraz. The bridge was ok but not worth $26 to cross. Had there been another way around it, we probably would have taken it. However Hwy 101 took us right through down town San Francisco and that was definitely worth it.
Below is Alcatraz.
Cable cars everywhere.
We ended up stopping in San Juan Bautisa at a campground in the middle of no where but right off the highway. Nicely landscaped park. Sites were close but 6ft hedges between the sites gave us some privacy – you can’t see by the pictures, we didn’t get a picture of where we were, but you can see the great views. It rained on and off that day and the next but we were treated to a beautiful rainbow. There were also hummingbirds everywhere. We stayed 2 nights and left to go to Santa Maria on Saturday.
Stopped for lunch along the way. Can you believe this is a rest stop? No wonder the state of California is broke! The bathrooms were as big as a house and they had vending machines and a visitor information center. Some guy Steve talked to said that there was a tarantula in the parking lot. I am glad I didn’t see that. The pet area had warning signs for rattlesnakes.
We drove through Pismo Beach, it looked like a really nice place and very touristy.
We arrived in Santa Maria..where to begin…well the park we planned to stay at for a week, didn’t exist. It was at their county fairgrounds and there was info on the internet, I talked to the office a few days before but when we got there, there where no campers and all the lots were fenced up and locked. It was 4:30 and we only had a little daylight left so we went to another park we saw on the way off the highway. The office there kept odd hours, they were closed for the weekend, so we just picked out a site, paid by envelope and camped for the night. It was next to some kind of go cart race track park and not really in the best of areas. We packed up the next day and headed south.
Sunday we decided to head to Ventura.
South of Santa Marie, it was mostly agriculture that we saw. Again, lots of vineyards and onion fields. Many times tractor trailers passed us on the highway filled with onions, sort of like what we see in WI with corn.
We passed through Santa Barbara, it was really beautiful, even the drive on the highway. There were palm trees and flowering trees everywhere. Most of the hwy at this point followed along the ocean. We could see the channel islands and oil rigs in the distance.
Coming into Ventura, we notices all these RV’s dry camping along the beach. We checked it out, it’s $20 to dry camp there. We may look at doing that while we are in the area.
Pulled into Ventura Beach RV resort. Since it was a holiday, the regular price was jacked up $20 more than the regular rate and. Then, they tacked on $4 per day per dog!!! Really….for $16 they should be following us around when we walk them and pick up the “accidents”! Ha ha!! But it is a nice park and we are going to check out DT Ventura and the beach today, supposed to be in the upper 60’s.
Next post we’ll post some pictures of Ventura.