Return to Anchor Bay

3 Apr

Hurrah! An Internet connection for 48hrs!!! So you should find the photos now updated, lots of interesting pics to look at, some still need captions though.

We have spent the last few days mainly on the road, we left Big Sur on Monday and took the road up to Monterey and around the bay heading off for San Jose. From Santa Cruz we took highway 9 through the Big Basin Redwood Park and whilst a little twisty and narrow it was well worth it for the views and sight of the huge old trees. Our overnight stop in Saratoga Springs was reached around 3pm and we walked in the sunshine around the grounds whilst waiting for the day users to move their cars so we could get in. The site was not very level and despite blocks we spent a very lob sided night followed by breakfast dishes slowly sliding across the table! We managed to get an hours free demo of a Internet site and read an e-mail from Christopher asking if we had felt the earthquake of 4.5 near San Jose, he was as unaware of our location (about 20 miles from the epicentre and 5 hours after) as we were of the earthquake and quickly mailed back to say all fine and we did not feel a thing! News sometimes goes the long way around!


A campground in the San Francisco delta area at Brannan Island was to be tonight’s stop but on the way I thought I saw a good route which took in Mount Diablo State Park. Hmm, spectacular yes. narrow yes, twisty, very, but worse still there were low trees to contend with. Robert enjoyed it, I wasn’t too sure. I would be happy to return and take the route to the summit but in a car please (we only went up 2200 of the 3860 ft). It’s bad enough having to watch the width of the road without having to contend with height restrictions too!

The State Park was very quiet when we arrived and also very warm, the cold wind which plagues the coast was not apparent here and we enjoyed time sitting outside and taking in the sun. The better weather unfortunately means a constant battle to keep haRVey clean, the front and windscreen being continually splatted with flies and butterflies then baked on with the wind and sun. An hour scrub down got us back into a presentable condition!!


Today’s route was to cross to Santa Rosa; into Napa across to Sanoma and then take the road out to Guerneville for our over nightstay. Somewhere along the way we missed a turn (driver calls foul at this point and wants to put on record that he only goes where “navigator” instructs – well sometimes unless driver decides to go his own way ) and were almost in Bodega before we realised our mistake, too late to turn back and too far to go around we decided to have another night at this lovely harbour village. This time however we chose the State Park and a great spot sheltered from a stronger than usual wind behind some trees in the dunes.

A walk on the dunes proved to be very bracing and we were glad to be back and sit in our sheltered spot. One of the things we are learning fast is how to chose the best position, the requirements being flattish, sunny sheltered from the prevailing wind and not overshadowed by trees which either dump branches, cones or lots of drips on the roof.


After a quick call to Linda at Anchor Bay to confirm they could fit us in we drove highway 1 again through Jenner, Fort Ross and up to Sea Ranch. The high winds had felled a tree on to a power cable near Salt Point and started a fire in a large area of the State Park land, a large contingency of firefighters had been working hard and the fire was out, they were clearing some of the debris as we passed but it will be a long while before the area looks green again.

The sea and coastline along here which is following the San Andreas fault line is just as spectacular the second time around, the blue green water and crashing waves with white foam make for a constantly changing view which we are sometimes high above and other times on a level with, we drive deep inland around U bends to head back out to the edge of the bluff and then through wooded glades up and over the brow of the hill just to twist in the opposite direction. The spring flowers are now pretty on all the roadsides where the first time we travelled this way the grass was barely sprouting new growth.

Anchor Bay nestles in one of the steep ravines which run back from the ocean edge, the road turns 90 degrees to the right, heads downhill sharply to an apex bend marked 15mph before rising steeply the opposite side. The entrance to the campground is on the apex of the tighter bend and steeply downhill so makes for an interesting arrival. We had site 57 a pull through but as we were at completely the wrong angle Robert pulled down the campground to turn around.

We were greeted by Linda and Mark who six weeks ago had encouraged us to go south from here not north, how grateful are we that we took that advice! Greetings exchanged Mark informed us he was already preparing tea and we all toasted our friendship and chatted far to late into the night.


We have walked the bay today both ways, enjoying the rock pools and the fact that a very low tide gives extra access to this beautiful spot. The wind as ever was strong and cold but pure blue sky’s have followed us here and again I feel sun scorched on my face.

We have now been living and travelling in haRVey for two whole months and it seems a natural point to reflect on that time. We feel very comfortable in haRVey (especially now the fridge is working) and feel we could not have made a better choice, he works hard, does his job well and gets rewarded with a gallon of gas every 8 miles or so! We miss the family of course especially when we have no Internet for our regular updates but have ideas to resolve that before too much longer hopefully. We have met some great people along the way and swapped stories, gleaned information and passed it on where we can. We have learnt so much about the US, its natural history, geography, topography and climate we never dreamed existed, it has changed our perception of California completely. Hopefully the journey from here on will be just as good, but, whatever it may be we will make the most of it because we appreciate more every day how lucky we are to have this experience and glad we made it happen.


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