Day 17, October 27, 1997: Fort Bragg to Sunnyvale, CA

If I discovered anything today, it is that I am probably ruined for driving in heavy traffic by too long a stay in the boonies of Alaska. The drive down through San Francisco really bothered me this afternoon as it never has before. The radio traffic reports were calling traffic light and waxed eloquent about how well everything was going. If that was good, I might never survive bad.

Good news was that the weather was so beautiful that I put the top down for the majority of the drive today. I did the same yesterday and toughed it out without any sunscreen since there was a bit of haze. Today the sky was perfectly clear so I stopped in one of the little resort towns along the coast and found a bottle of something to keep my tender bod from being parboiled.

The road down from Fort Bragg was pretty typical of the northern coast with some extremely twisting slow sections interspersed with coastal towns. One of the prettiest little towns is surely Mendocino even though it has become a tourist trap as outrageous as any in the country. Even the yuppification of the old town hasn't taken the shine off of it for me.

The last section of the coastal highway, from Stinson Beach up to the juntion of 101 could be used as a stress test. The road is as twisty as what comes before but adds the thrill of clinging to a virtual cliff with almost no protection. Make a slip there and you get a very quick lesson on the aerodynamics of your vehicle in free-fall as you hurtle downward.

The picture for today is, well if you don't know I'm not going to tell you. I understand that there is a new law that requires every tourist coming to the city take this exact picture or purchase a suitable postcard containing same under penalty of law. Being a law-abiding sort I did my duty.

Right now I have no idea what will come tomorrow. Obviously, having come this far to visit someone I don't want to leave without doing it. I can probably stand one more day bumming around Silicon Valley (and I have yet to make it to the Afghani restaurant) and then I will head over to Pacifica to see what develops. If nothing else, Pacifica is in a pretty area of the coast just south of SF and I can poke around there until something develops.

Thus goes our 12,000-mile tour of the edge of the USA.

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