GAR: Day Six – Half Moon Bay CA to Eureka CA (356mi)

Teased by the mileage and GPS as being a short driving day, we moseyed around this morning, getting our fill of free breakfast from the Comfort Inn (the chain we’ve elected to try to favor during the trip), and reloaded the Jeep. A week of only pulling/replacing a few items at a time had made for a very unruly interior. With Sio’s stuff all over the backseat, it looked like a teenager exploded back there. A reload was definitely in order!

Part of that timing was around the Apple Company Store at Apple HQ, which opened at 10am. We arrived a little early, but found the doors open, and started wandering about inside. Generally, the hardware/software choices were the same as what was available at other Apple Stores — and the same price! — but half the store was devoted to trinkets…. hats, shirts, cups, pens, pencils, pocketknives. The three of us frolicked in the aisles for almost an hour before finally landing on a basketfull of goodies. A few photos, and we were on our way.

As we left San Francisco, we crossed the Golden Gate bridge. This was a cool trek! I was really surprised at how much pedestrian traffic there was. It seemed like the pedestrian walkway was stuffed with walkers, skateboarders, and cyclists. It was a great way to cap our stay in San Francisco.

The drive through the interior of California on US 101 was pleasant, although uneventful. However, in Petaluma, we did eat at our first In-N-Out Burger. This is a western chain I’d heard of, but never nibbled at. Essentially, it’s a fast paced, short menued hamburger joint with pretty good food.

Also in Petaluma, while refueling, I had a couple of folks asking about the Jeep. One of them had never seen an Unlimited, which was a surprise to me. After some good conversation, we continued on up the road.

After a little more driving, we saw a sign for a drive-through tree. We figured we had to take a look. As it ends up, that was a very, very cool deal. In the bottom of a giant redwood, a 6′ x 6′ 9″ square was carved out, just big enough to drive a vehicle through. Guess how big the Jeep is? About an inch shy of those dimensions all the way around! It was a neat experience, and I’m glad we took the new Jeep through it.

We saw tons of motorcycles today. From what the folks at the drive-through tree told us, there was a big biker party going on about 70 miles south of Eureka. Seems like that’s about when we started seeing fewer in the rear view mirror, and more in the oncoming lanes. Fun to see all the bikes, but they sure must’ve had a big ol’ place to gather so many folks!

We jaunted the rest of the way to Eureka, found our hotel, and slept well after hitting the hay!