Day 24: 01/19/2016 – Half Moon Bay State Beach

Day24RouteDestination: Half Moon Bay State Beach

Route: CA 1-N

Mileage 57 miles

Our lightest mileage day by far! Why not push on to Davis and get into our rental? We had an additional visit built in to our itinerary, but it was cancelled at the last minute. Rather than inconvenience our landlady, we opted to stay another night on the road. We have stayed in the area previously and wanted to come back. And the nice thing about a short drive is we can have a leisurely morning.

Water action shot!
Water action shot!
Happiness is running through a puddle.
Happiness is running through a puddle.
Dave enjoying the rain while breaking camp.
Dave enjoying the rain while breaking camp.

It rained rather vigorously overnight and we woke up to lots of puddles. Alex had a wonderful time splashing in puddles and just enjoying the morning. As always, good things must come to an end and we need to leave before we overstay check out time. But, we also need to kill time before we can check in at Half Moon Bay State Beach. And it has started to rain again. So what to do with a toddler and rain when all you have is an RV?

Alex at the Santa Cruz Children's Museum of Discovery.
Alex at the Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery.

We decide to go to the Santa Cruz Children’s Museum of Discovery, located in the local mall. We are there about 15 minutes before the museum opens, so we wander about the mall while avoiding the walkers. Alex discovers that a mall is a fabulous echo chamber, much like Carlsbad Caverns and really exercises his lungs while practicing his screeches. After an eternity, the museum opens and Alex settles in with the kinetic sand and Lego cars and has a really great time. 90 minutes occupied, we head back to Abby and grab lunch. We get to witness two gentlemen yelling at each other in a travel lane after what seems to be a minor fender bender. Nothing like creating a risk of a larger accident so you can chew some one out in traffic.

We arrive at Half Moon Bay State Beach and find our campsite. Be sure to have your reservation number handy, the park ranger actually asked for it upon check in. We get settled and discover that the beach is just on the other side of the dune. Unfortunately, no pets allowed so the pups stay in the RV while we take Alex to the beach. He really does not like sand in between his toes and insists on being carried. We head back to Abby to get Alex’s wagon and take the pups to the dog beach. There is a coastal walking trail that dogs are allowed on and it is about a 20 minute walk to the dog friendly beach. But what they don’t tell you is the coastal walkway is on along a cliff edge that with recent rains, has erode. Nothing to undermine the path, but getting very close to the path and is not safe with a curious toddler that doesn’t want to stay in his wagon. We decide to head back to Abby and play the fun game of ‘Identify the Source of the Dog Urine Smell’. Which just happens to be Buster’s bed.

Day 4: 12/30/2015 – Ye Olde Brother’s Brewery

Destination: Day of rest

Route: None

Mileage: 0

Calling today a day of rest is incorrect. It is a day of rest for Abby’s engine and transmission and we are not looking to make time on the road. We did learn that the reason we haven’t been able to escape the rain is a stationary front that is hovering right over our route. Thank you competing pressure systems. So the question is, how do we entertain a toddler in a RV without watching the movies Cars and The Incredibles ad naseum? Take Alex shopping of course!

The area map provided by the campground shows a Camper’s World just down the main drag. We figure a few gifts for Abby would help our girl feel appreciated. The scale on the map is a wee bit off and Alex falls asleep on our way over. We manage to get him out of his seat but as soon as we cross the store threshold, he wakes and wants to run around. He just happens to be barefoot, but ah well. Off he goes.

We find a nifty little collapsable broom to help keep the dog hair from taking over Abby, a new outdoor rug, a water filter, a dishwashing scrub brush, a Good Sam membership, and a Good Sam towing package. The towing package would have come in handy during our Acadia trip, and purchasing it feels a bit like shutting the barn door after the horse has already run away.

For lunch we went to Ye Olde Brother’s Brewery. Talk about a pleasant surprise! Despite the slightly unappetizing name, their seasonal ‘Turd Furgeson Lives Weizenbock’ was fantastic. Even more surprising was the pizza. Looking at the price per topping it seems a bit steep. But when they serve the pizza the topping layer is almost an inch thick. The crust and sauce were fabulous. Absolutely delicious. We leave with a growler of their porter because the seasonals are not available for growler fills.

Tasting flights at Ye Olde Brother's Brewery. One flight per beer drinker. Great pizza!
Tasting flights at Ye Olde Brother’s Brewery. One flight per beer drinker. Great pizza!

We head back to camp and begin planning our right turn.

Day 1: 12/27/2015 – Harrisonburg, VA KOA

Destination: Harrisonburg KOA, Virginia

Route: County Roads to 15S, to 81S, to more county roads

Mileage: 330

2016-01-20 02.20.05

 

Prior to departure, we spent 3 frantic (Why? Check out this post) days repacking our 6′ x 10′ trailer that contained our brewing equipment, Alex’s crib, clothing, bicycles, and Alex’s little red wagon. Unfortunately, Dave’s motorcycle did not make the cut for the trailer based on weight and the space it occupied.

We wake up to a gray and rainy (no surprise here) departure day. We had also been cautioned by snow bird friend of Jess’ parents that Sunday was a bad travel day because everyone started their journey south on Sunday. Throw in a very emotional good-bye with Jess’ parents, this day is going to be tough.

10584013_10205116431260653_1156864616514025895_n

With tears in our eyes and a catch in our throats, we hit the road around 10 am. We are hoping we made the right decision for our family. We try and comfort ourselves with the idea that while Alex will see his Mimi and Grandpa less frequently, we hope the longer duration of the visits results in a net positive in regards to time he spends with Jess’ parents. Fortunately, we have problem to solve and therefore can’t dwell on the sadness that comes with moving away from family and friends. Simply, how are we going to get our cargo trailer to New York?

As we slog through the rain, we decide to stop in Liberty, PA for our halfway mileage break. Dave pulls us up to the diesel pump and notes that we are sitting next to a truck and goose neck trailer combination. After initially laughing off Jess’ suggestion to ask him if he is for hire, Dave does just that. The gentleman, Gary, just happens to be for hire. We leave with his card hopeful that we will finally get the trailer moved out of Delaware. Time is especially critical because closing is being moved up from February 1st to an unknown date in the middle of January. What can really go wrong with hiring a stranger to move your household goods?

We continue on south in the drizzle thinking that our luck is turning around. The drizzle continues until the Virginia border where it stops and we enjoy gray clouds. And we see the sun! For approximately 15 minutes before it was overpowered by clouds. At our exit for the KOA, we fill Abby up. The next day is going to be long and we will need an early start.

The Harrisonburg KOA is very nice. Dave has stayed here years ago on a motorcycle trip. Clean rest rooms, spacious shower stalls and sites that are roomier than what you tend to see at commercial campgrounds. The campground is wooded and had a nice atmosphere. The hot water is plentiful with excellent water pressure. The playground is great for Alex to burn off some energy and there is even an area for dogs to be off leash.Not a bad first stop. Dave de-winterizes the water system, fixes the bathroom faucet, and we settle in for the night.