Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 26 - Highway 1 revisited - or - Our Coffee Adventures in Subsidized Street Performance.

We rolled off the futon at Chris’s place slightly hung over. We had a short ride in heavy traffic ahead of us. The gig this day was 11am-1pm at a tiny coffee shop in San Francisco. With a few wrong turns and a few corrections, we got ourselves onto the Bay Bride, and were on our way.

Soon we arrived. Coffee Adventurers is a tiny and clean little coffee shop with unique drinks and a large and mysteriously placed toy racetrack in the middle of it. Bob and Nicole greeted us warmly and got us set up with some coffee and breakfast. After eating, and soaking up a moment of golden sunshine on the sidewalk, we set up just outside the door. We were essentially playing to the street, though the conceit was that we were there for anyone who wanted to sit outside.

We play for 2 hours to passersby. We made a little in tips, but the real payment was the pleasant time playing a very casual set. At the end, Bob complimented our music and sent us off with another set of drinks. We loaded out, and pointed the car toward the Golden Gate Bridge.

The bridge had us out of town in no time, and with a few turns we were on Highway 1 again, rolling across dramatic mountain tops over looking Muir beach, and the Pacific stretching to the horizon. For 3 hours we soaked up the scenery of tiny coastal towns tucked next to little bays and mammoth green hills. Soon our empty stomachs made us turn in toward civilization.

We stopped at a Costco for a pizza and some cheap gas. Here we discovered that our little adventure on Highway 1 had increased our total drive time by hours. We had only come a little more that fifty miles from San Francisco. We pointed the van eastwardly to catch I-5 which zips up a much flatter section of northern California. Unfortunately it would take us nearly sixty miles across a treacherous mountain range. Fortunately though, the route did take us though sections of Napa valley and through parts of a petrified forest.

Before we were out of the hills, the sun dropped out of the sky, and we were left to twist through the mountains in a very dark night. With a final hairy descent from the mountains, we found ourselves on a scrubby plain, dappled with lakes. We hit the highway and drove until our eyes began to droop.

Nearly 200 miles in we were approaching Redding California. We saw signs for Alamo Motel and RV park. We HAD to stop. Perhaps some of our friends can elaborate in comments as to why, but it has to do with a very strange adventure in Ocean City Maryland, also involving an Alamo Motel.

An energetic little man with a Jesus T-shirt, hat, and poster greeted us in the office and quickly got us set up with a room. We were asleep by 11.

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