We drove north on Hwy 101 to San Juan Bautista on Friday, a small historic town about 50 miles east of the Monterey coast. SJB is not considered a destination area for the holiday weekend, which is why they had room for us. We've learned that Californians love to camp within their state. Most of the license plates in every campground we've stayed at are from CA. We have had the same weather phenomenon every day we've been here. The 'marine layer' as the locals call it, rolls in every afternoon. It's actually a very dense fog. I've decided that it's very much like a window shade. It rolls down the mountains in the evening, and rolls back up the mountains around 10am each morning. You can always see it rolled up just above the mountains during the day. When it's here, there is mist in the air, and it's quite chilly (like a fall morning). When it leaves, it takes most of the humidity with it, and mid-day is very comfortable. This area is full of fruit and vegetable farms. The crops that are currently being harvested are romaine lettuce and broccoli. While we were driving up here, I saw a farm machine that pulled the broccoli out of the ground and pulled the outer leaves off the heads, before throwing them into a holding bin. Too bad it doesn't also cut off the awful stems. I hate the stems. We spent yesterday in town, having a wonderful breakfast at a Mexican restaurant that's been here for nearly thirty years. We then walked the streets, and went into the mission. There must be a dozen or more roosters roaming loose on the streets. They all "cockle-doodle-doo" all day long. The San Juan Bautista mission is the first we've been in. It's one of the largest in the state, and one of the very few that is still a working mission. While we toured it, we saw that there were people in the chapel. We think they were having a wedding ceremony - what a great place to get married! The gardens were wonderful - there are flowers everywhere. I'd love to be the gardener. And, since it's on higher ground, the views are fantastic. The picture of the San Andreas Fault was taken from the mission grounds. We are here at least through Tuesday night. We need to decide if we want to take the car to the coast Tuesday, and see Monterey and (maybe) Carmel, or take the rig over there Wednesday morning, and spend a few days. We figured out a few years ago that Hwy 1 and Big Bertha did not get along. Hwy 1 is too narrow and windy for a forty-foot rig and dinghy (car). So, we'll see if there is a campground big enough for us. "And then there was one..." We had to put Tinkerbell down this morning. It was clear to us that her kidneys and liver were failing, and we promised her that we wouldn't let her suffer. Bless her heart, she barked at the car's back wiper the whole way there (she always hated that wiper, and would beg for us to turn it on for her). The only vet place that was open was in San Jose, about 35 miles north. She always goes nuts at vet places, but today, she was as calm as if she were back in the rig. The rig seems so empty without her. We three are all feeling a bit lost this evening. God bless her.
P.S. Bill got the amber lights working right before dark that same night. The problem had been a bad piece of wire.