From Kernville (last post) we drove up Hwy 99 to Sequoia National Forest and over to the Great Divide Highway and the Trail of 100 Giants . Here we followed the walking path amongst these amazing trees. This place is a cathedral and just like the 4th movement of Beethoven’s 9th it brought tears to my eyes. We were especially lucky in having the place almost completely to ourselves. Put this on your MVL (Must Visit List) and renew your soul.
From the there we continued on to RT 190 which is fairly wide but wins the nonstop twistie-windie (Ed’s new word) prize. It took us almost three hours to cover twenty-seven miles. His arms and shoulders hurt at the end, but it was beautiful!
Driving the San Joaquin Valley which is the middle and southern part of California’s Central Valley where a great deal of our food comes from, we landed in Paso Robles, CA where a good bit of our good wine comes from. We even stayed at the Wine Country RV Resort! One of the resort’s offerings is an almost private tour of local wineries with a knowledgeable driver. So after going on our own to visit Wild Horse for tastings, the next day we joined Buzz (I kid you not) for a tour of three small wineries, Halter Creek, Opolo, Whalebone and then back to Wild Horse. Yup, we were buzzed (and broke) when the day was done, but our evening selection of wines has gone way up in variety and quality. 🙂
From Paso, it’s an hour or so drive over beautiful 46W to US1 and the Hearst Castle at San Simeon. We did the general tour and the upstairs tour and while the famous view was mostly fogged-in we could still tell the location was worth the effort.
The house and grounds however did not impress us near as much as the Biltmore in Ashville, NC nor Winterthur in Delaware. However, that being said the State Parks system which operates the place did impress us with the closing of all restrooms in favor of port-a-potties. Nice to see some folks in this state acknowledging the drought! FYI, we asked and Patty is doing fine and was just up a couple of weeks ago for a family wedding.
Staying in the Central Valley we moved up to Yanks RV Resort in Greenfield. From here we did a day trip and drove over to Monterey to walk around Old Fisherman’s Wharf and Cannery Row. Most of the wharf is restaurants and almost all have someone out front hawking their place with clam chowder samples. We tried each and the Italian restaurant Domenic’s won us over for lunch. They had gorgeous prawns right off the boat that morning that were huge! The day’s special was seven of them steamed, in a garlic, basil, red pepper and light butter and wine sauce over pasta that was to die for!!! Our waiter, Pablo put bibs (origin: Late Middle English: probably from Latin bibere ‘to drink’.) on us… YUMMMM!!
The next two days we headed on down the famous Pacific Coast Highway US 1 from Monterey to Big Sur and on down to just below San Simeon and back across 46 to Paso.
The coast line, where we also saw a pod of whales, is just incredible with huge cliffs, towers of rock in deep and astonishingly blue water where the large waves just keep coming and coming and coming. It is mesmerizing and makes one feel so small and yet so alive all at the same time. Absolutely put on your MVL!
NOTE– We are fascinated by the agriculture (and the reality of this drought) in the Central Valley and spent several days just driving around and looking at it. I know we said last post we’d write about “where our food comes from” but you’ll have to wait please.