Day 22 – Santa Cruz -> San Bruno CA

We had a little time this morning while we waited for Martin and Vicki to meet us for breakfast, so we started the day downtown doing laundry at a place that was a cafe, Internet cafe, and laundromat all in one. We hadn’t done laundry since Colorado, we hadn’t checked email since Santa Barbara, and we needed coffee anyway, so this let us accomplish a lot in one place.

Obbie used to travel to Santa Cruz several times a year, and his favorite breakfast place was Zachary’s, on the southern end of downtown’s outdoor mall. Their main menu item is a “build your own” omelette. You start with a cheese omelette, and add ingredients for a few quarters per ingredient. Our omelettes were huge and rich, the home fries were real, and the coffee was as good as it gets.

Once we finished breakfast, we drove up highway 9 to Vickie’s place in Happy Valley. Martin and Vicki have their eye on a piece of property in the redwoods they hope to acquire for a land trust to demonstrate alternative living techniques. We went up there together to take a look around. Whether or not this deal works out, it was a great chance to spend time in the forest.

At sunset, we said our goodbyes to old and new friends and continued up the coast. We were told there was a hostel in a lighthouse at Pigeon Point, but when we stopped to inquire, there was no room at the inn.

That’s where we happened to see a notice about an “electric surcharge.” It seems that California has been going through some sort of weird electricity shortage, so the rates are insanely high. To compensate, places with tight margins (like hostels) have been adding surcharges to their bills. In spite of this “shortage”, we’ve seen empty parking lots bathed in street lights, wasting this supposedly scarce commodity.

At Pacifica we found a road that took us to the other side of the coastal range, where rooms were plentiful and reasonably priced. We landed in San Bruno on El Camino Real… the “real road” established by the missionaries centuries ago that eventually became Route 101… until 101 became a freeway a few blocks away.

Highway history aside, we’d finally found a room to get a good night’s sleep before we spend Fourth of July in San Francisco.

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