Solvang, Kevin, Pacific Coast Highway (10.8)

After leaving the campground, I drove the Pacific Coast Highway a short bit before starting to work my way inland.  I planned to meet an online friend for some food and beer.  On the drive, I took a different route than recommended and ended up going through Solvang, California.  This looks like a very cool little town.  The buildings are Danish style.  There is an old motorcycle museum in the town, and there was a wine festival going when I drove through.  I’d like to return someday as I think it could be a romantic and fun place to spend a few days.

I stopped in Buellton, just West of Solvang, to charge.  The charger was next to a hotel, so I went inside to use the restroom.  On my way in, I noticed wedding attire and flowers.  The hotel was under construction so I was directed down a floor to restrooms.  As I walked to the restroom, I heard music from a ball room.  The door was open, so I looked inside.  There was a fashion show going.  On my way out, I passed some people heading to the fashion show.  Like watching a movie stereotype walk by.  🙂

On the way over to meeting Kevin:

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Kevin and I met up at Firestone Walker Brewery a bit North of Atascadero.  I had the turkey burger and the 805 beer.  Both were quite good.  Were I not on the road, I would have bought some of the beer to take home.  Bartender grabbed a pic of us.  Didn’t turn out so great but…

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Afterwards, I decided to head West on 46 to get back to the Pacific Coast Highway and drive that up to SeaSide.  This stretch of the PCH contains many of the cliffside driving and hair-pin turns seen in movies and pictures.  It’s also a long stretch without cell service, so don’t run out of charge or have any problems. 😉  Near the end, I drove through Big Sur, which seems to be a log cabin resort similar to ski resorts I’ve seen elsewhere.  I didn’t stop so that’s just a driving-by impression.  Some of the better pictures from that stretch:

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I was tired from the drive by the time I reached SeaSide.  While charging, I looked for a place to sleep for the night.  I considered the Tesla charger location since this one is next to a Tesla Service Center, but decided against it.  I picked out two camp grounds, and hoped the first would be open since the second was further away.

The first campground was completely full.  Not even a place to squeeze a car into.  I left and headed to the second campground, further on.  This one had Redwoods in the name so I was hopeful to sleep with a very cool view in the morning.  I arrived at the second campground to see a Campground Full sign near the entrance.  I noticed there was plenty of space for my car behind the welcome hut.  I started to park there but then saw a sign stating that all campers must be registered and the fee was $35 per night.  I didn’t feel like spending $35 to sleep in my car, so I left.

I wandered the surrounding neighborhood for a bit before giving up and getting on the 17 Northbound from Scotts Valley to Los Gatos.  It was late and I had no idea how mountainous this drive would be.  After the mountains, I realized I was coming into San Jose and the Silicon Valley area.  I found the next charger and decided to go there and figure out where to sleep.

The Mountain View charger is close to the Google collection of buildings.  I didn’t count all of the buildings on the map, but I think it was over two dozen.  While charging, I noticed a large parking lot next to me with plenty of trees providing shade.  I drove over after charging and learned I was behind the Computer History Museum.  Exhausted from the PCH drive and the additional 100 miles after that looking for a campground, I decided the parking lot would do.  There was even a port-o-potty just across a small road on the side of the Museum.  I set up the car and was asleep in about 20 minutes.

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