Ok, my fault. Not such a good idea to use the GPS on my phone instead of the one in the RV to plan our route for the day.
You see, the RV GPS has parameters regarding the height and length of the RV that are taken into account when it plans out our travel route from point A to point B. Today, point A was Manzanita Lake Campground in Lassen Volcanic National Park and point B was Redwoods National Park on the northern California coast (or at least somewhere in that general area).
Using my phone’s GPS, I got a route that indicated just over five hours of drive time, not too bad. So, off we went. No issue for the first three hours or so. Then, “BEEP, BEEP, BEEP, – RVs NOT ALLOWED ON THIS ROUTE” starts blaring from the RV GPS. By then, I’d kinda forgotten it was even on since we were following the phone route that day. Never heard this type of warning before either. We agreed it must be serious so we pulled to the side of the road to evaluate our options.
Ok, picture this. Its a two-lane country road with twists and hills and mountains ahead. Basically, farmland all around. Absolutely no place to turn this 45 – 50’ rig (RV plus Jeep) around. We came upon an unpaved driveway leading to a farmhouse and pulled over just before it. Figured we could disconnect the Jeep (can’t back up the RV with a vehicle attached to the back) and back into the driveway so we could turn around and head back to an RV-friendly road somewhere.
As we were unhooking the Jeep, we were able to flag down another vehicle (first one in ten minutes), hoping to get their local knowledge of the roads. Turns out this couple lived not too far away and frequently traveled the route we were on. They felt we would be ok to take the RV toward the coast for awhile but that the road got far too narrow closer to the coast for us to make it all the way. They provided an alternative to turning back that had us going ahead for another 35 miles or so before heading north to intersect with a more suitable road to the coast. We thanked them for their advice and followed it.
Ouch. Big mistake. Not so much following their advice as getting ourselves to this point to start with. The route mapped out by the phone was not even offered by the RV’s gps. And the route suggested by the “locals” was crazy steep (both up and down) with hairpin turns that were not designed for RVs. Right on the edge of the cliffs, sometimes wondering if the rear outside tires were even on pavement?
Well, after a NINE HOUR DRIVE, not five as indicated for a car, and a lot of miles that could have been avoided if I simply used the right GPS, we arrived on the coast in Trinidad, CA and checked in to the Emerald Forrest Campground among the redwood trees just south of the Redwood National and State Park. We considered it a success – we arrived alive – even though it was our (oh, alright, mine) first major navigation blunder of this entire trip.
We only stayed in Trinidad for one night but it was a pretty cool little sea-side town. Here are some pics you might enjoy.
Oh, we did get to do a good deed in the morning before we departed. As we were running out to get gas in the Jeep, we noticed a Dad and his young Son getting warmed up for an early-morning run. After getting the fuel we stopped at the nearby beach to look at the ocean. Sure enough, there was that same Dad/Son team running up the beach, right toward us in the parking lot. I thought, what a great picture that would make and how happy I’d be to have it if that was me running with Ericca. So, I snapped a few shots and then flagged down the Dad to let him know I’d “Air Drop” them to his phone when he returned to the campground. He seemed excited about the idea, let me know what campsite he was in and I caught up with him later. That was fun!