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Old 04-09-2007, 05:26 PM   #1
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In July we will be traveling across California from southeast to northwest. We plan to spend our first night at 29 Palms Marine Base (about 50 miles southeast of Barstow). After an early start, we plan to drive about 600 miles north on 59 & I-5. We would like a scenic place to camp that night. By the map it looks like we would stop somewhere between Chico and the Pacific. My initial search looks like Hendy Wood State Park would be a good stopping place. Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks, Tom Trostel
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Old 04-09-2007, 05:34 PM   #2
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What's your route through the state?

I find the fastest way to get up to Arcata is to cut through Oakland/Richmond/San Rafael and up 101. But a more peaceful route is to go across 12 from 99 or 5 and get to Santa Rosa that way. I hate the route across Clearlake; hot and long. And I've never done the one down from Redding.

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Old 04-09-2007, 06:09 PM   #3
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Come up N. on 101 from San Rafael. You'll go past my house. Want an electrical hookup?
Yall come!
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Old 04-09-2007, 07:53 PM   #4
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Here was our route up to Bullards two years ago. Zoom up CA as fast as possible to get to the good stuff!
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Old 04-09-2007, 10:43 PM   #5
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Talking

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But a more peaceful route is to go across 12 from 99 or 5 and get to Santa Rosa that way.
That's the route we took to Bullard's last year. From San Diego, we sprinted up I-5 and made it to the 5/12 junction, north of Stockton before dark. We stayed at Stockton Delta KOA the 1st night.

[ATTACH][/ATTACH]

Continuing on route 12 the next day was a very pleasant drive.
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Old 05-27-2007, 07:20 AM   #6
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Hi Tom,
we like rest stops.
are originally from chico and know northern ca pretty well.

there are rest stops on I-5 n bound at dunnigan, maxwell, artoise, corning, n of redbluff, and if you take 299 w to the coast one of our favorites is a few miles before you get to willow creek .
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Old 05-27-2007, 01:39 PM   #7
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Thanks to all for the ideas. It looks like we are going to take I-5 to state 12 then north on 101. My wife's cousin heard we were planning the trip and insisted that we spend a night with them. Since they live in the SF Bay area (Pleasant Hill) it's not much of a detour from our route. Hope to meet many of you at the Oregon Gathering.

Tom Trostel
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Old 05-27-2007, 09:58 PM   #8
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Tom, From 29 Palms it would actually be easier and faster for you to zip up the the 395 to the 58, then west to the 99, then up to the 12.

Depending on when you travel, it could take you 3-4 hours just to GET to the grapevine, if you go the backway, you could be in Bakersfield already.

I am actually leaving on the morning of the 14th, and staying at one of the State parks just south of Modesto, then traveling over to the 101 from there.. with two dogs with me, I am limiting my driving time to around 6 hours a day.
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Old 05-27-2007, 10:35 PM   #9
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Here was our route up to Bullards two years ago. Zoom up CA as fast as possible to get to the good stuff!
I agree...If possible, just stay completely out of California. It's a horrible place!
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Old 05-27-2007, 11:46 PM   #10
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Thanks to all for the ideas. It looks like we are going to take I-5 to state 12 then north on 101. My wife's cousin heard we were planning the trip and insisted that we spend a night with them. Since they live in the SF Bay area (Pleasant Hill) it's not much of a detour from our route. Hope to meet many of you at the Oregon Gathering.

Tom Trostel
I don’t know how much you know about California, but the route you are taking is like taking I-40 to cross Texas and thinking that is what Texas is.

I-5 is boring and full of 18 wheeler trucks. Hwy 58 is desert. Hwy 395 is also desert. SF Bay area can have a lot of traffic.

If all you want to do is cover ground fast, you might consider Navada to go north. Take I-40 to Kingman, AZ, then north to Las Vegas and on to Reno, NV. Go west to your relatives, etc. Gas prices will be a lot less and there will be a lot less truck traffic.

Enjoy.


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1,300 mi (about 20 hours)
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Old 05-27-2007, 11:57 PM   #11
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If you go to 29 Palms, it is 958 mi (about 13 hours 40 mins).

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From 29 Palms to Pleasant Hill, CA is 495 mi (about 7 hours 37 mins).
PS: The time is probably way under estimated going thru Los Angeles, CA. freeways.

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Total Mileage is about 1453 (depending on where you actually start from). An additional 150 miles, give or take (about three hours additional).

FYI:
Today’s gasoline prices for Oakland, CA is 3.468 regular.
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Old 05-28-2007, 10:00 PM   #12
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No No No!!! You don't want to go Highway 12 as it goes nowhere near Pleasant Hill

You should either take 580 W from Tracy to 680 N and on into Pleasant Hill.
-OR-
You should go north further on I 5 and take Highway 4 W to 680 S and Pleasant Hill.

Personally, I'd take the 580/680 route. I had to detour last week on Highway 4 as Highway 12 had a section closed. Let me tell you I'll not take that route again pulling my trailer. Highway 4 through Brentwood & Oakley is just horrible. Lots of stop lights and the road surface is in terrible condition. Also highway 4 is a winding levee road, slow travel with lots of big rigs-trucks.

Now when you leave Pleasant Hill, for Oregon, go north on 680 staying in the left lane as you go over the bridge and enter the toll booth. The highway splits at the toll booth with highway 780 heading west. Continue on it until you get to highway 80 take it towards Sacramento. You'll go just a mile or so and exit on Highway 37 west, I think it says Novato. Anyway highway 37 is an easier route to take to get to 101 than highway 12.

If you forgo a stop at Pleasant Hill, then take the highway 12 route which merges onto Highway 80 but don't take the highway 12 exit a few miles down the road. Rather, stay on 80 another 6 to 10 miles and turn off on highway 37 W. It's a much better route to 101. That's the route I always take. Highway 12 can be confusing between Napa and Petaluma.

My two cents.
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Old 05-28-2007, 10:13 PM   #13
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If any of you are really looking for a fast route through California to Bandon then go straight up I 5 into Oregon. Take the Winston exit highway 42 W into Coquille where you can turn south on 42S to Bandon or go onto into Coos Bay then south on 101 to Bandon.

That's the route I'm taking, not for speed, but because I've being doing the coastal route quite often and need a change. In addition, I'll see lots of ocean after Bandon as I'll continue on north arriving on Vancouver Island about a week later.
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Old 05-28-2007, 10:30 PM   #14
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PS: The time is probably way under estimated going thru Los Angeles, CA. freeways.
Precisely. It is downright unpredictable. Cutting up the 395 from the 15 (In Victorville) is an hour to Hwy 58, and then another hour and a half (Give or take) into Bakersfield. All desrt, except for Tehachapi, but bareable for the short time on it.

I-5 doesn't even begin to become semi interesting until Redding. The 99 is no prize either, but at least it curves every once in awhile and you will never run out of "Fresh Produce".

As often as I drive to Portland from here, I have managed to avoid I-5 for years and actually save time.

If you are looking for spectacular scenery, the 395 is hard to beat once you get out of the Mojave/Death Valley Corridor, but.. that also does not help the Pleasant Hill quest...

I had actually forgotten how boring and painful I-5 was until I went up near Mike a couple weeks ago. I opted for the Grapevine/Central Valley I-5 route and was bored to tears and had a sore butt to beat the band. There is NOTHING, and I mean NOTHING, no rest stops, few gas stations.. nothing for hundreds of miles. And that includes curves. You change lanes just to stay awake.

If going to the north, Oregon, I will always take the 99 to at least the Bay area. Sometimes to Redding, even tho it adds a little more time. It's 99.9% freeway in Southern/Central Cal, and a very fast road north of there. (Except thru Sacramento)
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Old 05-29-2007, 08:18 AM   #15
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I agree with Gina....the 99 is a little more interesting than I-5.

At least on 99 you have some towns that you can view from the freeway or even stop at it you choose. Like raisins??? Never been to Sun Maid factory, well there is one just off the highway near I think Selma. Any way there are large signs telling you the exit.

Then there's Kingsburg is a Danish community. If you like pasteries it'll make a nice stop. Be sure to take note of the town water tower, you may want a picture, also quite a few of the mail boxes are cute so drive around town.

That's all that just to my mind but there's probably more along 99.
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Old 05-29-2007, 11:22 AM   #16
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99? Hmm, I find it boring but I drive it far too often!

But if it is open, check out the Forestiere Underground Gardens in Fresno (Shaw exit.)

http://www.forestiere-historicalcenter.com/

Right now they are renovating but might be open by July.

Personally I would go up 101 from SF anyway; too hot on 99/5 in July.

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Old 05-29-2007, 09:04 PM   #17
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My route into Bandon will take me that way.

My first nite out from So. Cal will find me at Caswell Memorial State park just outside of Modesto from the 99, then on up to Leggett on the 101 via the 12 to Redwoods River RV resort (I tried to stay here on my last "Big" trek with the 13 in the winter, but it flooded and there was no power) then on up to just south of Cresent City at Del Norte Redwoods SP.. I have one more day free, may just head on into Bandon and get my site a day early.or not.. haven't decided yet. Anyone else going to be there as early as Tuesday?

As most coming from the south know, getting to Bandon from I-5 is an adventure in "You can't get there from here"
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Old 05-29-2007, 11:33 PM   #18
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I find this thread interesting from a couple of different points of view.

1) From a “What others think of California”. Yes, California is a Love/Hate state. Many people see California only from what they see on TV or Eastern Network News. One out of every eight Americans live in California. If California was a country it would have the 5th largest economy in the world. California has more people than Canada. Given that many people, many people don’t want to get caught up in all the traffic and combat driving.

2) And from “What people miss and don’t know about California”. What non-residents miss is all the National and State parks and the Redwoods, High Sierras, Beaches, and Rivers. Also there are all the tourist attractions and surfing, hiking, sailing, mountain biking and on and on.

So when I see some say, how can I get through California fast and get to the good stuff, it makes me ask, “Why would anyone say that?” They just don’t know the California I do. Don’t get me wrong, I also like the other states that members of this board have shown me of their states. ie New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Canada including Victoria Island.

My route to the Oregon Gathering...

First leg, my Dad’s 92nd birthday.

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Second leg, On to the gathering.

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Third, Back home.

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We need to get back to work...
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Old 05-30-2007, 03:22 AM   #19
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Mike, I also think California is wonderful. The people I know that want to whiz through are people who find the cost of everything higher here. It's like my Alaska trip, I didn't have sticker shock up there because most things were comparible in price to here. But the folks from the mid West thought Alaska and Canada were horribly high. They couldn't believe the prices.

Also it can be daunting to travel and try to camp in our campgrounds without reservations in the summer time. Especially since most SP's have Reserve America handling them. Neither seem to talk to one and other consequently there are a lot of vacant campsites when you are told they are full. We are forced into reservations in some circumstances and then people don't show and the site are vacant. I personally like first come first served. The State and Reserve America really don't care because they've got there money, we're just out a campsite. Oops, on my soap box!!!!

That 1 out of every 8 people causes folks to think that we are very over crowded. Not so, just in certain areas. People tend to think of LA area and the freeways/people. They don't realize how much of our state is sparely populated. Even tho we complain up here in Sonora complain about the influx in recent years we still have a very small population unless you count our whole county which is very very large with most of it very very sparsely populated.

Gina, I'll be at Bandon on Sunday July 15th, am staying a week leaving on 23rd. I'm in A31 come on by when you get in.
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