March 29, 2011
I started out on Tuesday morning hoping to salvage part of this trip by finding a new and unique way back to Manteca where I live. I made my way into the oil country of California. My first stop was at the restored Ritchfield Gas Station in Coalinga. Coalinga is in the heart of oil country and along with the gas station they are building a Baker Museum to go with it. I don’t think many people equate oil production with California but there is one heck of a lot of it going on near Coalinga.
I took Los Gatos road out of Coalinga which surprisingly enough would end up in Hollister if one could travel it. It is a deserted road and I soon found out why as I had to cross one stream after another. The recent rains had made the road pretty bad and the only people I saw were the workman cutting trees that had blocked the road. But it was twisty and I had it to myself so I had some fun.
But alas this too came to an end when I hit the ‘road closed’ sign. It was there because the road was covered by a pretty aggressive stream. I thought about going across it but the little red clown car would have probably been washed out to sea. I could not risk that so I turned around and had to retrace my last two hours of driving. But it was fun going that way too.
As I made my way back there was one other chance to have some fun on a lonely road but that one was blocked by and even larger stream. I guess it was just not my day for adventure. At least not for that much adventure. Maybe I should have bought a Jeep.
So I took the back road through the San Joaquin Valley back to Casa Bob in Manteca. Luckily the scenery on this spring day was beautiful but all of the roads are at right angles. Not my cup of tea but at least I got home with my little car safely. By this time it looked like a North Africa rally car with all of the mud on it. But it cleaned up nicely and I will be able to use it on some other outing.