We got on the road at 3:00 am.  I was afraid to go straight for 101, as Highway 20, would pass too close to the Redwood fire, which was gaining in size.  It was a calm night, which is one of the reasons we were traveling now.  The other was that there are three trouble spots on the way to Carmel, the Petaluma narrows, San Francisco commuters, and Silicon Valley commuters.  What was billed as a 5 hour trip at midnight, could easily be an 8-hour trip, if I left at 6:00 am.

We took Coastal Highway 1 and 128 to Cloverdale.  It took an hour and forty-five minutes, and we met only 10 oncoming vehicles.  Within the first ten minutes, we saw fire.  It was in the distance, but it was lighting up the sky, and I knew for sure why we were doing this.  I was glad it was dark when we drove through Santa Rosa, because I am not sure I am ready to see it.  We were chuffed by the fact that there were still lights on at the power plant, and many businesses, like Coddingtown Mall and the auto dealers, were still ablaze   with electricity.

Between Santa Rosa and Petaluma, we met a convoy of police and fire vehicles going North.   Their flashing red, white and blue lights are almost blinding.  “That was something”, I remarked.  “Twenty-three of them”, said Elvon.  I was flabbergasted.  He counted them.  He hasn’t done anything mathematical for a good three years.  The adrenalin rush that lets me drive all night is sharpening him up, too.

Google directed me over the Richmond Bridge and on to the Penninsula, without touching San Francisco, and we continued to make good time. Around 8:00 am, 60 miles from our goal, I had relaxed enough to be seriously sleepy, and the Coke I had a half-hour before hadn’t touched it.  So, I pulled over and we dozed for 40 minutes.  I didn’t know where we were but we were past the worst of the Silicon Valley traffic, and we sailed through stinky Gilroy, garlic capital of the world, and on to Salinas.

When Google took me off 880 and on to 101 going North for 16 miles, I figured I had a problem.  I called the hotel and got help, plus the info that we wouldn’t be able to check in until about one-thirty.  I tried the HI Express that we were aimed at, which is the one I had booked for when the Scalbergs get back from Hawaii.  They couldn’t take us, so back to plan A, until the phone rang and it was Candy.  She said to just come there, for heaven’s sake.  I had not wanted to be in their way, when they were getting ready to leave, but, here we are.  Rested and well.

There are no bars here except wine and alcohol.  If you need to reach me by phone, it’s 831-626-4516.

I haven’t seen a news report all day, nor read an email.  Mananya.  The day of rest has been wonderful.  God bless our dear, dear friends.