Here's what I know: We're not in San Fransisco, we're two days behind schedule, and I'm not altogether sure that we didn't spend the entire afternoon going in circles around a mountain.
How did this happen, you may ask? I don't know. Just like Uncle Billy said when Jimmy Stewart asked how the run on the bank got started in It's a Wonderful Life, "how does something like this ever happen?"
Theoretically, I shouldn't be posting this now. If we were on schedule, we'd be deep into the heart of Yosemite. But the poorly marked roads, dangerous conditions, and lack of infrastructure throughout Oregon brought us into California a little later than expected last night.
Some in our number felt it would be possible to make up the difference today and still make it to Yosemite tonight. That would have required a quickie drive-through style tour of the Redwood forest and blowing off the Pacific Ocean entirely, not to mention meals and San Francisco to boot.
We chose, however, to stop long enough to stick our toes into the Pacific.
Next we walked a 1/4 mile trail through the Redwoods and attempted to take some family pictures.
After that, we found a Target and remembered all the things we kept saying we'd "pick up next time we see a Target."
Then, we spotted a Marie Callender's--a California favorite--(best potato soup in the world!)and of course we had to stop.
Now, here's where stories might diverge a bit, depending on who you ask. But since I'm the only one blogging, you have no choice but to embrace the events I will present here as the official version of what transpired.
Shortly after we departed Miss Marie's establishment, feeling all full and warm inside, my husband said we had to choose between two routes: a fast and direct path to San Francisco, or a scenic trail that hugs the coast. I said it kind of depended on our goals. I quizzed him a bit on what it was realistic to accomplish under the circumstances, and I asked him if we would see the ocean any more if we strayed from the coast at that juncture. We both concurred that we'd meet up with water again San Francisco, and he said, well, we've at least seen some of the coast line today anyway, and he made a decisive turn.
Now, just following the decisive turn, I saw a sign that said San Francisco 199. I know I saw if, because I used the information to calculate the likelihood that we would at least make it to San Fransisco by nightfall, and, it being around 4 PM at the time, I felt pretty good about our odds.
Fast forward a couple hours. We're on this path that outtwisted Hell's Canyon, just without the scary cliffs. It's all scenic and pretty, and at first it's just this little path through the woods--Redwoods, actually, that suddenly reappeared.
Well, this just went on and on--kind of like this post--when suddenly, everyone started feeling pretty wibbly-wobbly, which is a fun quote from one of my favorite movies, but not a fun way to feel at all.
I ask why this quick and direct route was so remote and my husband says in shock, "Because you want to stay by the coast!" So much for what I misinterpreted as a decisive turn.
The route I aparently picked was, hands down, the longest, twistiest road I've ever been on. It made us dizzy. I really didn't think we were going anywhere, and I still don't, for two very important reasons. The first reason is that there were these white mile markers on the side of the road, and every time we passed one, it had a number in the mid-eighties.
The second reason is because after about an hour of this, I saw a sign that said: San Fransico 208.
These facts are not accepted in all circles for two reasons. The first reason is no one else will admit to any knowledge of the post-Marie's sign.
The second reason is, Brad keeps pointing to where we are on the map now and where we were then, and there's, like, and inch of difference that he finds significant.
All I can say is, we started the day three hundred miles from San Francisco, and after nine hours of driving we're about a hundred miles closer. You do the math.