Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide)

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Scott_R
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2004/07/27 22:24:52 (permalink)

Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide)

Well, some time ago, I posted about going on a nationwide trip... driving in a circuitous route across the country.
< http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3007&SearchTerms=nationwide>

Well, it's come to be, albeit in a less-ambitious way. I head out tomorrow, Wednesday. Due to family medical problems, my trip will be abbreviated, to the point of saving the American South-East for a future trip, as well as leaving out some states that had been on my originall itinerary. As is, I'll be heading west from New York, zooming through New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana. Depending upon how things go, I'll stop for the night in one of the two latter states.

The weather looks to be pretty bad hereabouts tomorrow; if it's still pouring, I'll grudingly get a motel room rather than pitch my tent.
The day after, I'll start off for Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Washtington, Oregon, and California. No specific plans on where I'll be staying each night... that's up to whim and fate. My aim is to camp as much as possible. After California heading from north to south, then east), oh, I'm not sure. Grand Canyon, then east, maybe--Arizona, definitely Colorado. Maybe then south to NM and Texas. Still figuring out the rest.

I have a few places to eat mapped out... from the Roadfood book, from the forums here, and from other recommendations.

I put an 802.11g card in my laptop, which I'll be taking with me, so I can hopefully write periodic updates. Well, time to do some more packing, then early to bed.
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    1bbqboy
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/07/27 22:42:39 (permalink)
    Scott,wondered where you'd gone.. Give a call or email, or report your progress here when you get near Oregon, and we'll direct you to some cool local places.to camp, sightsee, and eat. There's been 2 other Oregon threads since you last reported in. Check ' em out.
    Bill in SW Oregon
    #2
    danimal15
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/07/28 11:40:30 (permalink)
    Scott,

    I'm very jealous. I'd love to do a trip like that, but with a 4-year-old, a one-year-old and a wife who dislikes long car trips, I have to wait a few years. Hope you find some good places to eat.
    #3
    Scott_R
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/07/29 22:37:21 (permalink)
    Whoo, boy!
    Well, I headed out early Wednesday morning. Traffic was fine--which, I suppose, should have tipped me off as a bad omen. I went across the Cross-Bronx Expressway when....

    For those of you unfamiliar with the CBE, the potholes there are also known by many as "basements." Well, I hit one such pothole, >bam<!

    Filled with dread, I nevertheless headed over to this really good camping store, Campmor, then, on the way back, remembered to check the tire. It had a big bulge in the sidewall. Oh, crap. So, I jacked the car up in a parking lot and took the wheel off. Now, I've changed a LOT of tires, and have never had a problem. This time, something happened to me that had never happened before. The car rolled off of the jack and fell onto the brake rotor. *)&*@#&^#,

    I stared at it in disbelief. I managed to jack it back up (don't ask), and put the spare on, then tested things out. The car made a grating noise when driven. I was able to find a Toyota dealer (thank goodness for my GPS).

    So, about four and a half hours later, and $630 dollars lighter, I made my way west again. I stopped in the western portion of the middle of Pennsylvania, far short of my goal for the day, and camped for the night. Food was leftovers I had packed.

    Thursday, I left the campground at a quarter to eight, and started out. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin. Whew!

    Foodwise: I made it to Mustard's Last Stand, mentioned in the Roadfood book. For those interested, I took a photo of the place:
    http://homepage.mac.com/scott_r/mustard.jpg
    I'll keep that up for a while. Unassuming looking, isn't it? Anyway, the hotdogs (redhots) are indeed quite good. I should have gone for the jumbo.

    Since the hotdog was all I'd eaten alll day, I decided to also go to Real Chili in Milwaukee. I found my way, but there just happened to be some Event in a nearby park, and the area was JAMMED. After looking around for parking for about 15-20 minutes, I gave up.

    It was getting late (after 6 PM); the campground I was going to go to was over an hour away, and traffic was much worse that I'd anticpated, so I said the heck with it and stayed at a Quality Inn west of Milwaukee. Dinner was a pizza in the hotel bar--a frozen pie put in the toaster, but decent enough (had I known in advance, I'd have passed). I covered about 600 miles today--it would have been about 100 more if I hadn't been sidetracked by Real Chili (and the godawful traffic).

    Oh, and one thing: I went to a rest stop in Elkhart, IN, off of Rt. 80/90 to get some gas, and happened to wander inside the main building. I found a stand for "The South Bend Chocolate Company." On a whim, I bought a hot chocolate. It was VERY good! Reminded me of melted Callebaut milk chocolate, plus some subtle flavor I can't quite place. It should have been hotter, but, since the ambient temperature was in the mid 70s, not a big issue. Aside from that, it was probably one of the best hot chocolates I've ever had.

    <Yawn> I should be in Minnesota tomorrow, and I'll poke around Rochester for a bit; there's some good BBQ there, surprisingly enough.
    #4
    stricken_detective
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/08/01 16:26:31 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Scott_R

    Since the hotdog was all I'd eaten alll day, I decided to also go to Real Chili in Milwaukee. I found my way, but there just happened to be some Event in a nearby park, and the area was JAMMED. After looking around for parking for about 15-20 minutes, I gave up.

    It was getting late (after 6 PM); the campground I was going to go to was over an hour away, and traffic was much worse that I'd anticpated, so I said the heck with it and stayed at a Quality Inn west of Milwaukee. Dinner was a pizza in the hotel bar--a frozen pie put in the toaster, but decent enough (had I known in advance, I'd have passed). I covered about 600 miles today--it would have been about 100 more if I hadn't been sidetracked by Real Chili (and the godawful traffic).


    Our Harley Owner's Group Festival was this weekend.

    Hope the rest of your trip goes better!
    #5
    Scott_R
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/08/05 23:41:17 (permalink)
    OK, I'm in Tacoma, Washington now.
    Where to begin? Well, as far as Roadfood knowns go, I've been to Waldorf A' Story. At first, I blew right past it, in part because I'd forgotten that it was inside the Piney Creek Grocery Store. After winding up on a dirt road, I turned back to look at the store, and sure enough, there it was:
    http://homepage.mac.com/scott_r/story.jpg

    I had banana pecan pancakes, soaking with butter and very good. Nice, friendly place; if I had stayed in the area, I might have made it into a habit.

    After going to Yellowstone (beautiful, but crowded and very commercialized, and the tenting site wasn't very good), I stopped at the Sport Restaurant, almost straight north from Yellowstone's North entrance.
    http://homepage.mac.com/scott_r/sport.jpg
    Ownership has changed; Cynthia and Jim Kohler bought it about six months ago. The menu is not quite the same (not quite the same diversity of burgers), but there are still some interesting varieties. I had the El Diablo--a burger with jalapenos, pepper cheese, a splash of habanero sauce, and some guacamole on it. It was a five-napkin buger--so juicy that at least five napkins were required to keep my hands relatively clean.

    Traffic getting to Seattle was terrible--massive constructions delays on Rt 2 (I should have taken 90). I stopped at the Aplets & Cotlets Factory (Liberty Orchards). These are sort of a Turkish Delight-type confection, Aplets made with apples and walnuts, Cotlets apricots and walnut--those are the "most famous" flavors, but they have many other varieties:
    http://www.libertyorchards.com/
    I'm not much of a sweets eater, but these were quite good--the factory store had samples set out, and discounted candy. I'd have purchased more, but I have only so much room in my car (shown in the Story pic).
    ...anyway. Terrible traffic; I-5 was backed up so far that I gave up going to the campground I'd set as my destination and went to a motel. I'd wanted to go to Espresso Vivace, but for some reason, I absolutely couldn't find it (the E. Denny address).

    I'm debating taking 101 (the coastal route) in Northern California; maybe I'll chance across something interesting.
    #6
    mayor al
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/08/06 00:33:21 (permalink)
    After many years of the summer roadtrips, I am eternally grateful that we now have the opportunity to do our trips after school starts and the summer traffic jams are pretty much over. If you have ever visited the Yellowstone area for Halloween (or about that time of year) you understand the difference. Temps in the single digets at nite, steamrising seemingly everywhere, and you are alone much of the time. It is a different world than August 5th in the same place.
    Keep those reports coming in Scott, We are reading every word with memories projecting like a slide show.
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    BT
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/08/06 03:10:39 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Scott_R


    I'm debating taking 101 (the coastal route) in Northern California; maybe I'll chance across something interesting.


    Don't let the Sasquatch get you! And don't stay on 101 south of Leggett. Get thee to Highway 1 so as not to miss the quintessential California road trip (or the great towns of Ft. Bragg and Mendocino). This part of the coast is, IMHO, every bit as pretty as Big Sur and, during the week anyway, a lot less crowded.

    In the roadfood category, what you should chance across that's interesting is someplace to get some fresh caught salmon because it's that season and that's the place (esp., I would think, Eureka or Ft. Bragg though I can't name a restaurant because it's been years since I was lucky enough to get up there). I also recommend a side trip to check out the lovely little Victorian town of Ferndale (just south of Eureka).

    If you should get as far south on Highway 1 as Tamales Bay (in or near the town of Marshall) you should come upon someplace to get wonderful Tamales Bay oysters--my recollection is there being a couple of places beside the road which runs along the water serving them "barbecued".

    But actually, if it were me, I'd head inland at Jenner and up Rt. 116 through Guerneville and Sebastopol--up the valley of the Russian River which is champagne (grape) country and you might want to visit a winery tasting room. Guerneville is a resort town with a number of places to eat on both sides of the road as you go through it. Or you could cross the bridge at Monte Rio and visit the little crossroads of Occidental which has a couple of roadhouses serving Italian meals "family style" to city folk who drive out there to get them.

    Where you go at this point depends on whether you want to visit San Francisco, but if you do you aren't far--just get back on 101 and cross the Golden Gate.

    Have fun!
    #8
    Maynerd
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/08/06 10:00:04 (permalink)
    Hey Scott, just a suggestion m8, but since you have a laptop, why not search road conditions before you head out on your next leg? Mosts states have road conditions (construction, bridge out, etc.) posted on their Transportation web sites. Might help with some of the road problems you are having. Might help you with some alternate routes.
    Good luck and keep the reports coming!
    #9
    Scott_R
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/08/06 11:11:38 (permalink)
    BT,
    thanks for the suggestion. Actually, I had intended to go down through Ft. Bragg, et al. I went up that way about 20yrs ago, but I hadn't remembered about the 101->1 transition (so THAT'S why I could never remember whether the coastal road was 1 or 101)

    Maynerd,
    I am spendng most of my time tent camping, so I can only go online every few days (and I'm often not sure where I'll be in a day or two).
    #10
    tiki
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/08/06 15:32:01 (permalink)
    Scott--hope you get this in time--since your teent camping you MUST stay at Patrick's Point State Park---just north of Arcata--fabulous beach--you can pick up pockets full of opals while you picknic and play--a great village of native buildings--incredible scenery--big trees with great walking trails through the woods and along the cliff over the Pacific-and good campsites with excellent restrooms.You'll love it.
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    Scott_R
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/08/08 22:35:08 (permalink)
    Well, now....

    I decided to see Mount Saint Helens. First, i stopped at the state visitor center, right off I-5. The weather wasn't good--visibility was poor. I thought it would be a bad idea to go on (the actual site was abou 47 miles away), but a bunch of people told be to go.

    Now, in the mid-90s, I had the chance to hear Ray Bradbury speak at a book signing; he gave a wonderful speech (I asked him afterwards if he ever gave out copes; he replied that he couldn't as he made it up on the spot). Anyway, he mentioned that as a kid, he had a comic book collection that he enjoyed. When he was an adolescent, everyone belittled it, told him he was too old for such things, so he gave it away. Some time later, as a teen, he came to regret his actions. It was then, he said as best as I can remember, that he resolved to never listen to "damn bastards."

    I should have taken his advice. It did indeed seem to get sunnier as I drove close, but the clouds started to move in. But I was committed (and should have been), but--and I mean this literally), as I approached within the last several hundred feet of the summit, visibility became zero. It was a totally wasted trip. Somehow, on the way back south, I ended up on Country Road 213, and pulled over when I saw this farm with a stand out front marked "berries." I picked up a package of blackberries the size of small strawberries, and some cherries. They were excellent; I ate most of them in the car (and, I confess, I spit the cherry stones out the window.Hey--they'll decay).

    That was Friday. Saturday, I saw Crater Lake, which was, indeed, impressive. Nice, sunny day for it, too. I wound my way through county roads again, this time Route 62 in Shady Cove (I think--that's what my mapping says, but it doesn't sound right) and came across the Back Porch BBQ
    http://homepage.mac.com/scott_r/BBQ.jpg
    iwhich, I believe, is actually based in Jacksonville, OR. I had a BBQ Brisket sandwich, which was $6 with a drink. It was good--I like my brisket a little smokier than this one was, but the Back Porch brisket had a nice slow-burn heat to it. I'd go back (assuming I wasn't thousands of miles away, that is).

    I went to Patrick's Point State Park after bending some speed regulations, and they were FULL!!! Argh. So, I went on a search, and, as daylight was dying and my gas was running very low, stopped to camp at the Redcrest Resort. HAH! Here's the view next to my campsite:
    http://homepage.mac.com/scott_r/redcrest.jpg
    Yes, I'm literally right next to the road. Note the rusted out truck at left-center. This is the first time camping that I actualy used earplugs.
    Anyway, south. I went onto Route 1 where it converged with 101, and made it south to the various tourist traps. Confusion Hill, one of those "where gravity works differently" places, was a rip-off. Setting the $5 bill on fire would have been more entertaining (I saw nothing amiss, really).
    I did one of those drive-through redwoods, whichw as neat (in Leggett), and pulled over for an early lunch at Jenny's Giant Burger
    http://homepage.mac.com/scott_r/burger.jpg
    The burger was pretty good, not amazing. I accepted it with "the works" (except for tomato). However, I hadn't realized that this meant the unholy West Coast combination of *mayonaisse* on the burger. My god, you people! Either ketchup or mustard on a burger, NOT mayo!

    Anyway, afters some more abysmal traffic (it was getting late, so I went back to 101), I arrived at Samuel P. Taylor State Park in Lagunitas and... they were full! D'oh! But, that may have turned out to be a good thing, as I wound up at the Olema Ranch campground, which has wifi access (which you PAY for, per day, on top of camping fees). Dinner was a foil package of tuna, and some apples and peaches (which i picked up at a farmstand about a half-hour away from the "berries" place).

    Tomorrow, I'll probably skip taking my Coleman stove out for breakfast/coffee, and shoot in to San Fran for that. My coffee preparation is the best I could do: my home-roasted beans (which are on the edge of freshness by now), with a blade grinder (bleh) hooked into a DC inverter in my car, prepped in a French press.
    #12
    Scott_R
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/08/08 23:02:12 (permalink)
    Oh, I should mention: I made it to Otto's Sausages in Portland, and had a chicken sausage fresh from the grill. It was indeed very good. For those who'd put down chicken sausages, they've never had one of these!

    http://homepage.mac.com/scott_r/sausages.jpg
    #13
    BT
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/08/09 00:26:09 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Scott_R


    I did one of those drive-through redwoods, whichw as neat (in Leggett), and pulled over for an early lunch at Jenny's Giant Burger
    http://homepage.mac.com/scott_r/burger.jpg
    The burger was pretty good, not amazing. I accepted it with "the works" (except for tomato). However, I hadn't realized that this meant the unholy West Coast combination of *mayonaisse* on the burger. My god, you people! Either ketchup or mustard on a burger, NOT mayo!

    Anyway, afters some more abysmal traffic (it was getting late, so I went back to 101), I arrived at Samuel P. Taylor State Park in Lagunitas and... they were full! D'oh! But, that may have turned out to be a good thing, as I wound up at the Olema Ranch campground, which has wifi access (which you PAY for, per day, on top of camping fees). Dinner was a foil package of tuna, and some apples and peaches (which i picked up at a farmstand about a half-hour away from the "berries" place).

    Tomorrow, I'll probably skip taking my Coleman stove out for breakfast/coffee, and shoot in to San Fran for that. My coffee preparation is the best I could do: my home-roasted beans (which are on the edge of freshness by now), with a blade grinder (bleh) hooked into a DC inverter in my car, prepped in a French press.


    Mayonnaise on burgers only works with good tomato you stupid New Yorker! (just kidding)

    Fear not. The weekend will be over tomorrow and that should mean a lot of the traffic on Highway 1 (and some of it on 101) will go away too. As to camping spots, one of the first things I learned when I came west was if you want to find a place to sleep along the north coast (or anywhere else desirable) on a weekend, make a reservation ahead of time.

    Do not plan on "shooting into San Francisco" at morning coffee time (or as the working world calls it, "rush hour"). You will be travelling down 101 through Sonoma and Marin counties along with about 100,000 suburbanites and they will eat you alive. Get out the Coleman, have a liesurely cup and consider trying SF for LUNCH--but be out of town by 3:30 unless you plan on sleeping here.

    And then there's the question of where you plan to go when you do leave town because while the traffic normally isn't too bad on I-280 to the south (DON'T TAKE 101 SOUTH FROM SF!!), eventually you arrive in San Jose and the traffic there, and on the eventual necessary reconnection to 101, is terrible. I recommend you decide between the scenic route, Highway 1, and the horrid/awful/boring/nasty but FAST track to LA, I-5. Should you choose Highway 1, which you should, you can pick up 101 again at Castroville, but then, of course, you'll miss Big Sur, which you shouldn't.
    #14
    1bbqboy
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/08/09 00:45:09 (permalink)
    Hey scott, glad you had a good time here in the sunny part of Oregon.
    Hwy 62 is correct. Hope you stopped at the gorge at Union Creek. Backporch is based in Jacksonville, first started in Ashland.
    I didn't know they had that Wagon(?) up there. Cool .All seasonings in the NW tend towards the subtle rather than vivid, whether it's Q, or curry or what have you. When you come over the GGB, head south on 1(19th Ave), and consider public Transit in SF. you could park in the Avenues along Clement or California, and take the bus in, or park out along Ocean Beach and ride the K or L streetcars into the Downtown etc., then when you head back out, you'll be right along Hwy 1 and ready to motor south to Santa Cruz and Castroville.If you don't park in one of the neighborhoods, you'll spend all your time searching for some place to park .You've gotta' stop at one of the Artichoke barns along there. The baby ones are great eating.And BT's right: the stretch of coast south of Monterrey to San Luis Obisbo is simply world class.
    If you don't want to descend into the LA basin, you can head east at Paso Robles and zoom onwards towards Northern Arizona, missing a whole lot of people.
    #15
    BT
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/08/09 00:47:05 (permalink)
    PS--You're in luck. Pretty good weather expected for the first part of this week (not too foggy).

    Monday . Areas of morning low clouds and fog. Clearing to the ocean by midday. Otherwise sunny. Highs in the 60s coastside to the mid 80s in the warmest inland areas. Afternoon seabreeze 10 to 25 mph.

    Monday night . Areas of low clouds and fog at the coast and locally near the bay. Otherwise clear. Lows in the 50s and lower 60s except as warm as 70 in the hills. Evening seabreeze 10 to 20 mph.

    Tuesday through Wednesday . Coastal fog and low clouds. Moving locally into the bay night and morning hours. Otherwise clear. Highs in the 60s coastside to around 90 in the warmest inland areas. Lows in the 50s to around 70. Warmest in the hills. Afternoon seabreeze 10 to 20 mph each day.

    #16
    BT
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/08/09 01:12:49 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by bill voss

    When you come over the GGB, head south on 1(19th Ave) and consider public Transit in SF. you could park in the Avenues along Clement or California, or out along Ocean Beach and ride the K or L streetcars into the city, then when you head back out, you'll be right along Hwy 1 and ready to motor south to Santa Cruz and Castroville.


    Uh, Bill. 19th Ave. will be nowhere in sight when you cross the GG Bridge--that's the fast track through the Sunset District, but north of Golden Gate park it's just a neighborhood street. What he would want to follow that route is Park-Presidio Dr. (which is actually Highway 1). That connects from the bridge access road through the Richmond District and Golden Gate Park and emerges from the Park as 19th Ave. Also, the "K" line loops around through the Sunset but comes nowhere near Ocean Beach. It's the "N Judah" and "L Taraval" lines that end at or near Ocean Beach.

    But Scott's original plan suggested he was going to spend a couple days here. If so, I'd suggest he find himself a motel on Lombard St. (easily found by following the signs after crossing the bridge) and park there--this is about the cheapest decent lodging in town. If he's going to only be here for the day, or a few hours, parking out by the beach would take up a lot of time because that's a long ride on the streetcar into the areas of town popular with visitors. If it were me, for a few hours I'd either bite the bullet and drive downtown and plan on paying to park if I couldn't find a space (there's a garage near Fisherman's Wharf) or park in the Presidio near the Marina Blvd Gate and call a cab to go downtown (or at least to Van Ness where there's plenty of public transit, although I doubt Scott would know which bus to take where). Once parked, though, if he plans on sightseeing, public transit is the way to go and, for 3 days or more, it's worth buying a transit pass and a "Muni Map" (officially, San Francisco Street and Transit Map--I think they're about $2 these days; mine's kind of old and was $1.25)
    #17
    1bbqboy
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/08/09 02:33:09 (permalink)
    BT,you're right; I meant the N line, (K goes down by SF State, doesn't it?) and I shortened the Park Presidio route.On a bigger note, though, I wouldn't want Scott to waste a visit to one of the world's great cities doing the Fisherman's Wharf/Coit tower/Haight Asbury/Chinatown thing to the exclusion of the rest of the city .The neighborhoods of SF are what make it such fun. What I described is pretty much what I do whenever I'm down that way. There is usually free parking to be found somewhere beyond Van Ness, and the neighborhoods along Clement, Geary, and California hold lots of interesting stores, foods, books, etc + a motel or two.Golden Gate Park and assorted attractions are worthwhile fun. I'd tell him to walk Mission and Valencia from 16th to 24th or so, and take a ride on the 30 Stockton for the experience,hit the Columbus/Broadway intersection, do some of North Beach. 2 days means taking BART over to Berkeley, walking Telegraph up to the Gate, walking up N. Shattuck. These are things that I have always enjoyed. Plus, I always look for any excuse to ride the streetcars or other rails for that matter. That's why I like to park at the beach and ride 'em in.
    Bill
    #18
    BT
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/08/09 13:12:47 (permalink)
    Just be careful parking in residential neighborhoods during the week because to park longer than 2 hours (I think it is--not sure because my building has a garage) you have to have a permit and they WILL ticket or tow you. That's why I suggested parking in the Presidio. There's plenty of parking there with no restrictions and, since it's Federal territory policed by the US Park Police, your car is likely to be safe there. In the long run, it might be worth the price of a cab ride ($5-10) or, if you park near a bus route (the 28, 29, 43 and 76 busses do run through the Presidio on certain routes, mostly along Crissey Field and near the old site of Letterman Hospital, now the LucasFilm complex) or the Lombard St. Gate you can take a bus (30 Stockton bus runs on Chestnut St., 41 and 45 busses run on Union St.)

    Oh, and by the way, for the ultimate in SF Muni sociological experiences, I always recommend the "24 Divisidero" bus: starts in Bayview/Hunter's Point (probably SF's most crime-ridden neighborhood); runs through pleasant, middle class Bernal Heights; then crosses the Noe Valley (upper middle class/professional families); up Castro St. (internationally known gay neighborhood); through the Western Addition (ethnically diverse now but with a historic African-American soul and the attendent food places); up the slopes of Pacific Heights (mingle with the Gettys, Larry Ellison, Mayor Newsom and Danielle Steele), down the other side into Cow Hollow (high end shopping and food) and the Marina (ultimate yuppieville) and on to the Bay.
    #19
    bhorn
    Junior Burger
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/08/09 13:54:07 (permalink)
    I would agree with the post recommending that you stay on highway 1 when possible. 101 is okay outside of the main population centers but not spectacular. Above all else, stay away from I-5 unless you like a lot of flat featureless scenery.

    If you are able to go highway 1 south of SF, there are lots of great places to eat in Santa Cruz. My top choices would be:

    Davenport Cash store in Davenport a few miles north of SC for breakfast or there is a great Mexican restaurant and a pastry shop in Davenport. I dont know the names but they are on Hwy 1 and the town is only about two blocks long so you can't miss them.

    Sabieng Thai on Hwy 1/Mission st.. Riva Fish House on the wharf (right on Bay off of Hwy 1, follow signs to wharf and boardwalk, grat wooden roller coaster too). Mobo Sushi on Front street in downtown SC. El Palomar restaurant (or taco bar if you are in a hurry) on Pacific downtown.

    In Capitola, a little further south, right on 41st a couple miles, right on Portola about a mile, Cole's Barbecue is great. It's up on the left around 26th st.? Hwy 1 to 41st, a mile or two down are Taqueria Vallarta and Pink Godzilla sushi.

    In Moss Landing, take the first right, over the bridge and first right again, a few blocks up is Phil's Fish Market , 7600 Sandholdt Road, Moss Landing (on the island) 831.633.2152. Great seafood!

    Around Big Sur, you have to stop at NEPENTHE (831) 667-2345. Great view. If you are not up for expensive food, at least stop there for a drink.

    There is also a thread up on SF through Santa Cruz. Fortunately people who know the area around Half Moon Bay (maybe 30 miles south of SF?) better than I have started adding listings for that area to that thread.

    Plenty of beautiful scenery in the SF to Big Sur area. Pigeon Point lighthouse, Ano Nuevo for the elephant seals, Natural Bridges park, Santa Cruz lighthouse surfing museum, the Boardwalk,, and many state parks are right on the coast. If you have a little more time to spare I would definitely get to Big Basin state park. Henry Cowell and Nisene Marks are also great.

    Have a great trip!
    #20
    Scott_R
    Cheeseburger
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/08/09 21:12:30 (permalink)
    Well, y'all are going to be disappointed... as was I.

    I left the campground around 7:30 AM and drove in to town. I found cheap parking, a $10 early bird special, and went wandering.

    Now, I knew I wouldn't see very much of San Fran. My main reason for including it in my itinerary was that I''d been there about 20 years ago, and my recollections were hazy. I'd hoped to revive some of those memories but... 20 years is a long time. I'll be darned if I remembered anything. Not even deja vue. Most of the time back then was spent around Fisherman's Wharf, and that's where I spent much of the morning. I'd swear that Pier 39 was just being built then--or, at least, I have virtually no memory of it (by the way, there's a crepe place there that does very nice crepes. I had a "breakfast crepe": eggs and cheese.
    Oh, and I went to Sears Fine Foods (in the Roadfood book) and... it was closed for renovations. D'oh! Again (the Noon Break Café in Cody was also closed when I showed up).
    Anyway, I wandered around the city rather aimlessly. About fifty blocks, winding up around Japan Town, then back to the Chinatown gate (my car was in a garage not too far away). All all, a disappointing trip. San Fran (like some other towns) will require a dedicated trip, staying in-town. The problem with trying to see EVERYTHING is that you often miss a lot.

    Tomorrow, I'm off to pick up some unroasted coffee at Sweet Maria's, then... I don't know yet.

    (I received a lot of the above SF suggestions to late, I'm sorry to say). I don't know when I'll have Internet access again, after today).

    Say, is this typical SF weather? It was COLD this morning, with a fog/mist you could almost climb. It didn't clear up until the afternoon.
    #21
    BT
    Filet Mignon
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/08/09 22:23:40 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Scott_R


    Say, is this typical SF weather? It was COLD this morning, with a fog/mist you could almost climb. It didn't clear up until the afternoon.


    Short answer: Yes, in July and August.

    I was thinking today, while I kept my eye out for a red car with NY plates, that I probably owed you an apology because I said the weather the next couple of days should be less foggy than usual. In fact, it was about the mid-summer norm. As I look out the window, the fog bank hangs over Twin Peaks (where the TV tower is) but downtown is clear.

    Should you want a dedicated visit with good weather, late September/early to mid October is probably the most reliably warm and sunny (we call it "earthquake weather" here--seems that earthquakes, like terrorist attacks, occur on beautiful autumn days).

    I first moved here from Florida in August. Nearly froze until I went out and bought a down parka which I wore the rest of that summer. But you've got to admit, weren't the tourists shivvering in their shorts funny?
    #22
    1bbqboy
    Sirloin
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/08/09 22:54:11 (permalink)
    Yeah, we're all wishing we we riding with you, Scott. When I brought my wife to the NW the first time on a chowder tour, we drove from SF to Victoria, B. C., and then came back into Seattle. We lasted 6 hours before we hi-tailed it out of town, over Mt. Ranier, and ended up in Yakima. After you've been in the middle of nowhere for a while, big cities can really grate on you. Consider Ca 58 to Barstow and miss LA entirely, or at the least, go through Palmdale and over to San Bernadino, and reattach to I-10 there. Having lived in Scottsdale for 4 years, I'd say: take I-40 and miss the lower desert since it's burning hot.
    Bill
    #23
    Scott_R
    Cheeseburger
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/08/09 23:41:47 (permalink)
    My thought at this point is to start heading east from SF. I was going to visit a friend in LA, but the extra mileage, plus finding a place to stay down there.... Of course, heading east at this point will be no picnic. I'm wondering if I can find a place to stay in the Grand Canyon area.. Everything big seems to require reservations, and since I don't know when I'll be in any particular place....
    #24
    1bbqboy
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/08/10 00:15:56 (permalink)
    Scott, Plan B: Go see Yosemite, continue over Tioga Pass Rd. and come out on 395, eat at the renowned gas station cafe there and see Mono Lake. Then you could find US Hwy 50(the lonliest road in America) or head up to I 80. If you make it to Winnemucca, go to the Martin Hotel for a family style Basque Meal. My favorite route East is to pick up US50 and head through southern Utah, to Grand Junction, then on to The Black Canyon of the Gunnison.
    http://www.nps.gov/blca/
    I've always preferred it to the Grand Canyon. It's not so developed, and just changed from National Monument status to National Park. I know you can find places around there to camp. Check out Gunnison(the town)and Crested Butte. It's a tremendous drive across Southern Colorado, and you can wind your way down to Taos and Santa Fe from that route.
    Bill
    #25
    BT
    Filet Mignon
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/08/10 02:07:27 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by bill voss

    Scott, Plan B: Go see Yosemite, continue over Tioga Pass Rd. and come out on 395, eat at the renowned gas station cafe there and see Mono Lake. Then you could find US Hwy 50(the lonliest road in America) or head up to I 80. If you make it to Winnemucca, go to the Martin Hotel for a family style Basque Meal. My favorite route East is to pick up US50 and head through southern Utah, to Grand Junction, then on to The Black Canyon of the Gunnison.
    http://www.nps.gov/blca/
    I've always preferred it to the Grand Canyon. It's not so developed, and just changed from National Monument status to National Park. I know you can find places around there to camp. Check out Gunnison(the town)and Crested Butte. It's a tremendous drive across Southern Colorado, and you can wind your way down to Taos and Santa Fe from that route.
    Bill


    Now I'll agree with that, but one caveat. I don't know how OLD Scott is, but this old-timer has a little trouble sucking O2 on the Tioga Road which hits 10,000 feet or so (too many cigarettes in my youth, I think). Still, it's worth seeing if you can breath well enough.

    I also agree with your other suggestion. That's the way I drive between SF and AZ: down 5 to Bakersfield (though Scott could go at least part of the way on Highway 1)-->58 to Barstow-->40 east. But I assure you it's still plenty hot in the Mojave even on I-40 vs. I-10.

    I-40 takes you through prettier country than I-80 once you are east of the Sierra IMHO: the country around Flagstaff and then the Petrified Forest and the Navaho/Hopi Reservations; and it's not much of a detour to the north rim of the Grand Canyon. I-80 just goes through desert in Nevada (unless you've got to get to the Mustang Ranch).
    #26
    Scott_R
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/08/17 21:59:59 (permalink)
    Well, I am... on Long Island. Had some news which required that I return, so I did about 2500 miles in abvout 3-1/2 days. Didn't get much by the way of roadfood, or sights.
    The few updates since my last post, and before the start of the return trip:
    I stopped at an In-N-Out Burger and was mystified about the big deal. The drive-thru was SLOW (I turned my engine off to wait), and the burger was unexceptional. Best burger on trip: Sport Restaurant in Livingston, MT.
    That night, I stayed in Barstow, CA. You know, they say "it's not the heat, it's the humidity," and that is true to a large extent, but when it hits 110, the lack of humidity is somewhat academic. Anyway, I ate at "Los Gueros" in Barstow.
    http://homepage.mac.com/scott_r/gueros.jpg
    Apparently, there's a Los Güeros Grill in Pasadena and a Los Güeros Sports Bar in Monrovia by the same owner. I had the taco and chile relleno combination. The chile relleno was very good; and, though I'm no taco expert, the taco was the best I’ve ever had. It used shredded meat (beef) rather than ground, had a light spiciness, and was very tasty.
    Then, two nights at the Grand Canyon. Should have been one--there wasn't enough time to go down to the bottom of the Canyon, so it was rather repetitious, otherwise.
    I only made one stop on the way home: Rick's Ribhouse in Van Buren, Arkansas--I just had to try one southern BBQ place. It was very disappointing. I ordered a combination plate--ribs, pulled pork, brisket (or at least it looked like brisket--I forget what the menu said). The ribs were OK, the other meats very dry and not especially flavorsome. The sides, cole slaw and, uh, fried okra, didn't stick out in my mind. I found MUCH better barbecue here on Long Island:
    http://www.smokinals.com/
    I when to Rick's on a whim; I wish I'd tried somewhere else.
    I was going to stop at Mrs. Rowe's Restaurant in Staunton, VA, but I ran through another timezone, so the lost hour killed that. I ended up losing about 10 pounds over my not-quite 3 weeks of travel--many skipped meals, or meals of a cracker or two of peanut butter, or a packet of tuna fish (the foiled sealed ones). Hardly the travels of either a gourmet or a gourmand.

    Lesson for trip: it should have been longer of shorter. Longer so I could have actually seen half the places and things I wanted to (instead of rushing through or skipping places), or shorter, and spent more time in only a few places.

    Oh, well, thanks, everyone, for your feedback. I'll start detailing my (better) food travels here in the Northeast.
    #27
    BT
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    RE: Where the heck am I? (was... going nationwide) 2004/08/18 11:25:41 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Scott_R


    That night, I stayed in Barstow, CA. You know, they say "it's not the heat, it's the humidity," and that is true to a large extent, but when it hits 110, the lack of humidity is somewhat academic.

    Barstow is one of those places where, if you aren't from there, you wonder why anybody lives there. I have always assumed it's got to do with the Marine Corps Supply Depot, but there aren't any other obvious reasons. The rest of 'em can't all be there to sell tacos and rellenos to passing motorists.
    #28
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