For Wednesday, September 14
I woke up in Folsom, California actually having a schedule for the first hours of the day. After I got mostly packed up, turkeys came to visit looking for any leftovers. I left the turkeys and headed for car repairs.
In the auto dealer customer lounge, I had a nice visit with a retired police officer from San Francisco. He now lived outside Sacramento. His new home sounded like a nice area. He had some good stories from his experiences with the police.
When I came in, I had to laugh at the signs that warn you to remove all valuables from your vehicle. My car was packed nearly to the ceiling. And I had no other place to put it. But I did disguise and hide some things that were valuable.
The car repairs went fairly well. It turned out that when I tried to save a few bucks by changing my own air filter, the cowling/big tube from the filter to the engine had been flexed a quarter inch too far. Plastics get more brittle over time. It had cracked. And that is why the engine light only came on starting from idle, with rougher engine movements. And then it usually ran just fine at normal operating speeds. So that was about $400 I had not expected to spend. But it could have been much worse.
As a Mazda dealer, they were also able to take care of another problem that can also cause the engine light to come on. I knew, and Mazda mechanics know, you can fix this with very careful cleaning. Other auto repair shops would assume you needed a $200 repair. This place did it for free. And that is why I was fairly persistent in trying to locate a Mazda dealer for repairs. Sometimes the dealer is cheaper than the generic places, especially for less common cars.
Leaving the car dealer before noon, I decided to head west old man. I had very little interest in San Francisco. But just north of there is Point Reyes National Seashore. That sounded interesting. Perhaps I would get a better ocean experience there.
One of main ways to get there is via California highway 1. It is extremely curvy for many miles. Passengers do get car sick on that road. I got good practice with 20 M.P.H. curves without slowing down the locals too much. Zoom zoom.
Point Reyes is a peninsula along the famous San Andreas Fault. The visitor center and brochures made it pretty clear that sunshine inland may not mean that you can actually see the ocean along the shore. It is frequently foggy over the cold water.
At this point, an earthquake moved parts of the peninsula 16 feet. This fence demonstrates
the way a fence actually did break along the fault line. While I was there, the
peninsula did not fall off and into the sea. But it was kind of cool to revisit
the earthquake zone once again (briefly) after over 25 years being away from California.
Along the way out to the point, I passed a few dairy farms. And I saw a field of
antennas. They were somewhat similar to ones I knew from Virginia. The communication
signal bounces off the atmosphere to reach many miles. There are both civilian and
military uses for this technology.
Out on the point, it was very windy and cold. Even with a tripod, it was a challenge to keep the camera still. The trees growing sideways give an indication of what weather is like here. I did not see any sea lions while I was there. But I did see some deer and several dairy farms within a couple miles of the coast.
Some interesting rock out on the point:
They collected fresh water from the fog and rain by collecting water running off the rock (and concrete):
But even in the barren areas designed to collect water, some flowers found a place to grow:
On the one side especially, I mostly concentrated on trying to keep the camera still in the winds. But I decided to zoom in as much as I could just in case there was something down there. I saw nothing. But later, on the video, I noticed that there actually were a few sea lions down there on the rocks.
Unlike most places, the lighthouse here is actually down several steps. Its reach is shorter across the horizon. But it can shine under the fog this way.
On the way out, I stopped down by the beach. It was cold and windy. But some flowers had chosen to bloom anyway.
I took another way home (back towards Nevada, I can't believe I called that "home", although heading east is towards home - eventually) and went through a bunch of country not too terribly different from the rolling hills of much of Wisconsin and Minnesota. I made it most of the way back to Reno. But when I saw signs warning of road closures ahead, I joined dozens of other vehicles in pulling off at the rest area on Euer Saddle in the Donner Pass area near Truckee, California for the night.