After leaving the KOA in Otis Oregon we continued the trip onto U.S. Hwy 101 (Pacific Coast Highway) south towards our next KOA location at Westport Beach in Mendocino County California.
The drive was extremely nice the expected sights and scenery were not disappointing to us, even though the weather was terrible and the rain did not seem to let up. The US 101 highway is certainly not the fastest route but it is definitly the most BEAUTIFUL !!!
We had promised ourselves that we would drive through to California without too many major stops, but both Jeff and I just couldn't do a straight 10 hour drive so we pulled over and took a break from the stare of the road. 45 minutes later and a quick cat nap we were off again, I would have figured that the road along the coast was relatively flat, but again the story of my life would prevail and that hope was not to come true.
Having made it this far without any major situations made me quite happy, but that was about to an end. Travelling at 55 miles an hour towing a 5700 lb travel trailer going down hill does not make stopping easy or fun, so you try to make sure that you leave lots of extra room to stop.
Apparantly the Oregon driver in a Pontiac Sunfire in front of me didn't see the problem of stopping dead in the road for a very unexpected left turn out of nowhere. Hammering the brakes, horn and locking the electric brakes on the trailer all whilst trying to keep control of truck and trailer and praying to God this wasn't going to be the end of our trip (and our lives) wasn't easy but when I realised that they had no intension of moving out of my way and avoiding a collision I squeezed the truck in between the guard rail and the end of the Sunfire while Jeff and Dana (who were behind us) watched the whole thing transpire. Dana said later there was about 1 inch to spare between the guard rail and the side of my trailer.
After I came to a stop the Pontiac driver just drove away like nothing had even happened, ignorant or just plain stupid I don't know, but had I not had the trailer attached I would have followed them and ripped them a new one. A good driver when they stop unexpectantly would at least watch the rear view and ideally get the H&LL out of the way when a massive truck is about to crawl up their tailpipe. Had I hit them, it would have been their end for sure !!!
After re-starting my heart and calming down a few minutes we drove hard and fast and we managed to get to California with daylight to spare, then came the fun into the mountains of the Highway of the Giants, very old redwood trees that are a necessary sight to see if driving into California.
We had heard for years from Mel (Poppa) that the Avenue of the Giants and the drivethru tree and one log house were a must see, and we had dedicated this portion of our trip to his memory. Unfortunately for those who know me well, you are aware that I am waaay too ambitious and I seriously underestimated the driving time and distance. The redwoods will have to wait until next time on a shorter trip where we have more time, because night was falling and we still had 85 miles to go.
At last we were approaching the last 35 or so miles until the campground and we were getting excited. But again fate intervened and we found ourselves driving 22 miles up into one of the windyest roads I have ever driven, picture yourself driving in a pilon rodeo with a 20 foot truck and 30 foot trailer thru tree lined roads where there was hardly room to spare, up into the mountains and down again only to have to climb again before actually coming to our destination at 10:10 PM.
But as usual, we weren't done yet, we entered the campground in the pitch dark and found our way through to our sites. Turning the corner from one road onto another heading into our site I felt a tug and heard an awful grinding sound (much like the sounds resonating through the Titanic must have sounded like). YUP YOU GUESSED IT !!! I hit a big friggen rock !!!
Just like me right, everytime we camp with Jeff and Dana I gotta hit a rock, it scraped the rim on my trailer pretty bad, it's still holding air but I will be seeing a RV tech before we hit the highway again to Lake Tahoe.
Now it's the morning of July 1st (Canada Day!!) and I am drinking at 11 am and relaxing before we head out again tomorrow.