Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Another Day, Another Detour

The allure of the Russian Gulch and the Devils Punchbowl was simply too much. After taking a brief tour of Willits (a cool alternative type town) we headed West on Hwy 20 to the beach. As we approached the coast we could see, in the distance, overcast skies...or more to the point, our destination (of course). We first went to the beach access at the gulch. It was about 4 degrees Kelvin - that 4 degrees above absolute zero for you non science nerds. It was freezing. I was surprised to see waves as I thought surely the ocean was turning to ice. Ainsley promptly sat down and started making sand castles. She wasn't going to squander this moment out of the car.

After about 30 minutes of frost-bitten fun, we headed back up to the bluff and the home of the actual Devils Punchbowl. It was a pretty cool work of nature. I will have to say though, the views from the remainder of the bluff were just as spectacular if not more. We spent quite some time walking around this area. Ainsley decided that we were good "rock climbers" as we scaled a small grouping of rocks. That's us, real outdoorsmen. You'll be seeing our reality show on OLN in a couple of weeks.

Next up, California Hyw 1. That is one, as in one highway that is cool to drive...once. This road provides some fantastic views and images of a coastline that neither of us expected to see in California. It was very reminiscent of the Oregon coast. The downside is that it is a very, very, very slow road. We had to travel this road for about 75 - 90 miles. This took almost the whole day. Before I continue, I must give credit where credit is due. My mother-in-law warned us about this road. She said we would be tempted to take it, but to avoid it because it was so slow. Well, after visiting the gulch we were essentially at the point of no return and had to take it. I cursed her for being right many times as I took some of the hairpin turns at 5 MPH. So we didn't get to our next destination until 7PM. Luckily, this destination was my buddy Tim's place in Livermore. So there was no tent to setup, no dinner to prepare, no major unpacking.

We had a good dinner out with Tim and Steph (his girlfriend) followed by an excellent stop at a Cold Stone. We had a grand time and shared a lot of laughs. Some of them we are my expense, some were at Tim's. He's a good sport about that type of thing.

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