The ninth day of our road trip was mainly a lot of driving. Originally, our idea had been to go from wherever we would end up on day eight (which turned out to be Klamath Falls in Oregon, after visiting Crater Lake National Park) roughly down to San Francisco or maybe a little bit further south, staying inland and using I-5 as much as possible.
We briefly stopped at the Lower Klamath Wildlife Refuge (already back in California) but there wasn’t much to see, so we proceeded on Highway 97. There was an inspection point for fruit, vegetables and such as we entered California. The inspection was: “Hi, do you have any fruits or vegetables?” – “No.” – “Thank you, have a good day.” In other words: pretty much pointless. We passed Mount Shasta and continued to Weed (that’s the name of the town, really), where we entered I-5. Then, after passing Shasta Lake, Redding and Red Bluff, the drive became incredibly boring. California’s Central Valley on I-5 is not exactly exciting!
Somewhere along the road we noticed that one of our laundry bags was missing – I thought Shuwen had it in her luggage, and Shuwen thought I had it in the car. It must’ve been missing for a couple of days already. We called the places where we stayed, and while waiting for some of them to call us back, we thought it might be better to swing west towards the coast so that we could easily stop by in case the laundry bag was found. We also told ourselves that it is maybe a sign to go back and try our luck again at the Big Sur coastline. 🙂
Needless to say, no one found our laundry bag. We reached Monterey in the late afternoon, stopped at Carmel By The Sea for some coffee and cake, and continued to drive, destination McWay Falls and Cove, for sunset. 🙂 What can I say – it’s so much better to drive down south on Highway 1 in the afternoon instead of driving north! It might have been because there was hardly any fog either, of course. The views and light were beautiful, and we reached McWay Falls just in time for sunset (around 7pm).
After sunset we continued to drive south and stopped at Gorda to have dinner and put on some (really expensive;-) gas. Driving further south the moon illuminated the coast so beautifully that we stopped for another night photo session (just like we did above Half Moon Bay). It was getting later and later, and the thought that we would be able to find lodging somewhere south of San Simeon was perhaps a bit naive and/or optimistic. 😛 The only availability was a smoking room for $99 – no thanks! In San Luis Obispo, we finally found a nice suite when we arrived around 11.30pm, and even got a discount because it was so late. 🙂
On day ten we continued home to San Diego, not much to say about that. 🙂 Below are some impressions from the drive on day nine: