San Francisco to Pescadero Redwoods

Determined to get a nice sunrise shot of the Golden Gate Bridge, we got up early and headed to Fort Point but were greeted by the infamous fog. instead of letting it ruin the shot I tried my best to get a moody photo of the bridge instead.

Golden Gate Bridge covered in fog
The rolling hills of the Pescadero Redwoods State Park

As we drove across the bridge and emerged on the other side the fog began to clear, revealing the golden grassy hills and the azure blue waters of the bay. It is fascinating how the bay’s microweather works, one second you’re surrounded by cold and grey weather and the next you’re drenched in the most beautiful sunlight.

It was time to stock up on supplies and as we were approaching one of the many superstores along the highway near Richmond, we took the next exit and drove up to Walmart.

As we drove into the parking lot a security guard confirmed that we could actually stay at Walmart overnight in one of the green-marked parking lots. A big plus for our thrifty RV travel options for the future.

We must have spent at least two hours in Walmart and it was definitely time to move on. We took the 580 and then 880 south straight into the heart of Silicon Valley. The leafy four lane roads and small but immaculately kept homes didn’t really scream ‘tech’ to us but the geek in me couldn’t be more excited to be driving through Cupertino. “There it is” I shouted and pointed to the construction site on our right. “Let’s pull up here and fly the drone!”

Apple’s shiny new Campus in Cupertino

As the drone went up I could see the entire extent of Apple Campus 2 on the live feed of my controller. A massive perfect circle surrounded by a park and beyond it Suburbia of Silicon Valley.

Instead of taking the highway I found a small road that led through the mountains on Google Maps and directed Fanny to drive towards it.

Alpine Road was much smaller than we anticipated but it was a stunning drive up the winding roads into the rolling hills of Portola Redwoods State Park. The treeline began to lift and we found ourselves on the top of a ridge overlooking the entire landscape below. Russian Ridge was the name of the little rest stop, where we left the Beast, and flew the drone once more for a perfect shot of the surroundings.

Alpine Drive from the air

The sun was beginning to disappear when we took a small road down the hill without checking the map. The trees grew taller, and the forest thicker. “Are you sure we are on the right road?” Fanny asked. “I’m not really but let’s just continue on it for a bit”

It was already dark when we spotted a sign for a campground followed by the visitor center for the Portola Redwoods State Park. “Let’s stay here I asked Fanny.” “I think this is great!” She looked very relieved.

Our RV surrounded by Redwoods

We paid our 35$ fee by dropping a self-payment envelope into the Iron Ranger (it’s a metal box) and put our name down on the reservation sheet. The campground was set right in between the trees and you could hear the laughter of the families having a great time around their campfires. We set up camp and called it a day.