Route 1 and other tough driving…

Since we left Kingman, Arizona we have had some challenging driving experiences. Doing them in a 35 foot RV has made them that much more. The first was strong wind for three hours straight. It was so bad that it blew my side view mirrors out of position. If they were once automatic that part no longer works. We pulled over to a stop sign somewhere out past Needles and my arm wasn’t long enough to reach the mirrors. So we parked at the truck stop to work on them. After a relatively easy fix we were back on the road.

Another thing I learned was that with our very big gas tank we can’t fill it up in one go. We need to start pumping all over again with a new transaction. Annoying, long waits and we have to be smart about which station we pull into. We are so long we take up two or three pumps when we are at the station!

Driving the LA area was fine, starting up the coast on Route 1 was beautiful, but once the road started to get tight I was scared. James was an excellent driver staying calm from Pismo Beach to Monterey. Once we were on the 1 in that section there was no turning back. The campsites we planned on staying at did not allow RVs as long as us to stay and the forest roads were not recommended for campers longer than even 25 feet. It was really frustrating. We stopped in Lucia for advice before sunset. We were told about an ocean lookout that was big enough to rest at for the night. It was beautiful. We parked and under the light of the full moon we could see the waves still crashing into the rocks down below. In the morning we saw humpback whales swim by!! Then, we started back up again.

We never should have driven the 1 in such a large vehicle. The turns were too tight and the the corners were too blind, but we weren’t the only RV out there and it was beautiful. I mean REALLY beautiful. I can’t say it was a mistake. It just added to the adventure.

Then after one night in Monterey we went to the San Francisco area. This was when we not only started counting down to May 1st which was when we planned on heading east for my friends’ wedding, but when we decided to leave California earlier than planned. I drove us up a steep mountain to our campsite for the night and James finally understood why I had been so scared and even cried on the 1! He said it was very different as a passenger not being in control. 🙂

We had a good night camping and then we were headed to Marin RV Park just outside San Fran. We ran into traffic and an accident just before our turn onto the 580 and ended up taking the 80 directly into San Francisco! We paid the toll and I said to James, “Well, we are getting the $4 tour of the city”! We drove past the big piers and then up a few hills and then back towards Presidio and then onto Golden Gate bridge. I was so careful to stay in the tiny lanes and by the time we got to the RV park after a 30 min city detour I was ready for James to park it for me. The host was a mother of 7 and happy to watch all the kids for us while we eased the rig into it’s spot for the next two days. The kids were so wound up and playing loudly that we really appreciated her help.

Now we are in Sacramento and planning our path out east. We want to see family, friends, boondock and avoid bad roads as much as possible. Enough of this white knuckle driving for awhile!


Windy at John Wilkie rest stop in California.


Driving through LA


Our stop on Route 1 that was breathtaking


Oops! Driving over Golden Gate


Arthur Chabot Campground


Me, moments before crying on Route 1


Pismo Beach! We’ll be back


Elephant Seals breeding ground


The steep hillside over looking the lake below at Arthur Chabot campground


These Eucalyptus trees creaked like rocking chairs in the wind.


4 thoughts on “Route 1 and other tough driving…

  1. So beautiful, how exciting. You will look back and laugh because you had driving anxiety😳 By the end of the trip you will be an old pro.


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