Day 11 – Seaside, CA – Fremont, CA
Another day of coastal adventure ahead of us! Leaving Seaside behind we drove to Pacific Grove. We checked out Point Pino Lighthouse – the oldest operating one on the Pacific – before we went to the beach, to see Asilomar Dunes natural reserve. The crusty surface we walked on reminded us of Badlands in South Dakota that we visited a few years ago – looking like a rock formation from a distance it is more like brittle sand that is kept together by salt and moisture.
Enjoying our slow cruise along the coast, passing by many lazy beach resorts, we have stopped in Capitola Beach, known for its colorful Capitola Village resort. We should plan to stay here next time, looks like a great place to relax. Not today though!
Continuing North, we stopped in Santa Cruz to take a quick picture of Natural Bridges. We also stopped at Seymour Marine Discovery Center. There’s a real blue whale skeleton on display – its size helps to put things in perspective.
On the way to Pescadero we have stopped at Swanton Berry Farm. Besides organically grown fresh fruits and delicious berry pies readily available for sale, you can also pick your own fruits. Just grab a container, enter the designated lot on the farm and pay a fixed amount per pound of fruits you collected. Great fun for the whole family! If you consider to visit, make sure to wear proper footwear and dress in layers – the weather there can change quite drastically from a pleasant breeze when the sun is out to chilly, gusty winds when the fog sets in.
Pigeon Point Light Station can be seen from afar. If you have a camera with telephoto lens you should be able to take some nice shots from a distance, right before entering Pescadero. There’s a hostel near the lighthouse, which seems like a great spot to stay for the night if you are interested in exploring Pescadero Marsh, see the breeding site of elephant seals or admire the redwoods in Butano State Park.
Reaching Half Moon Bay marked the end of our drive along Highway 1. From Huntington Beach where we started, we have covered almost 500 miles on this beautiful coastal road. It is also true that the scenery only gets better as you travel from South to North. While we had a fair share of wonderful experiences on all of our trips across the United States, the Pacific Coast Highway brought it to another level. If we could only pack our bags and come back tomorrow, we would not hesitate! There’s so much more to explore further North too, through the coast of Oregon and Washington. Hopefully we can plan for such a trip soon.
Leaving the coast behind we drove through Silicon Valley, stopping in Mountain View to charge the car. Nothing beats getting stuck in a traffic jam on 101. It probably took us 1,5 hours to travel just a few miles. Thank goodness for TACC and autopilot!
Interestingly, the supercharger in Mountain View has an attendant, who helps to guide arriving Tesla drivers to next available stalls (considering that this is one of the busiest superchargers in the country). Rather unique experience, first time I’ve seen it.
Surviving the rush hour traffic we arrived in our hotel in Fremont. We were too tired to venture out for dinner, so ordering a pizza did just fine.
The name of the conference room close to the lobby gives a hint of what was to come the next day. I could hardly contain my excitement!