Santa Rosa to Pinnacles, CA
Pinnacles National Park
Route: 101 to 19th Street (S.F.) to 280 to 85 101 to 25 to 146
Distance: 186 miles
Duration: 2 nights
Cost: $40 per night
Weather: Sunny and hot (80s)
This was our first day of stressful driving, but nothing we didn't expect or couldn't handle. After an easy trip down Highway 101, freeway driving in and around San Francisco was not the most fun, especially in an RV. I also had to fight some wind near Hollister and the winding road from there to Pinnacles is very long, making for a tedious journey. The campground entrance is on the east side of the park and it feels like it's out in the middle of nowhere. Probably because it is! It's pretty, in a central California way, but so isolated that I can't imagine making a return visit. There weren't a lot of campers when we arrived, maybe a half dozen or so, which made for a peaceful stay.
Our site was fairly level with power, but no water. (There were spigots scattered around the park for those who wished to fill jugs or top off their fresh water tanks.) We had a picnic table and fire ring and plenty of trees for shade, which we were thankful for since it was quite hot. There wasn't any cell service (Verizon or Sprint) and the WiFi was $10 per day (which we decided against), so we spent our mornings riding bikes and the hot afternoons reading in the shade. We even had a few visitors roaming past several times a day and got lucky and spotted a California condor high in the sky!
Thankful for the shade.
Off season camping.
This is actually a road, not a bike path!
Wild turkeys hiding in the brush.
A California condor!
This is retirement!