I was up early on our fourth day, my day, a bucket list day.
Growing up I became a Beach Boys fan, not just Surfin USA and Help Me Rhonda, but the great harmonies of the late sixties and early seventies like Trader and California Saga. They sang about John Steinbeck and places like Salinas, Monterey and Big Sur. Places I had only dreamed about as a teenager.
After learning I would have a day to kill in California, I got on Google Maps and started mapping out a trip to Big Sur and putting all my Beach Boys songs on my phone.
Jennifer needed to be at Tesla at 7AM and I was on the road by 7:01 heading south on I-880 towards Santa Cruz via San José.
San José was only 20 minutes from Fremont where I-880 turned into California Highway 17. I went from an 8 lane interstate to a rural 4 lane divided highway. I could have taken interstates all the way to Monterey, but what fun is that. Highway 17 goes over the mountain range between San Francisco bay and the Pacific Ocean into Santa Cruz. I had left the brown grass-covered foothills of Fremont and was traveling on a curvy winding road through redwood forests with California Calling blaring out of the Kia Soul’s tiny speakers. The color change from brown to green was quite distinctive and calming.
Santa Cruz was a quaint small town on the ocean and was not on my original lists of places to visit, however it was on the scenic route to Monterey. I visited their Municipal Wharf and was there way before any of the shops opened. I browsed for a short period, checked out the amusement park on the beach and then drove south. Continue reading California Dreaming (Day 4)