West Coast Road Trip Day 3: Monterey to Willits

Day 3 of the road trip was kind of a bust. The morning started off grey and drizzly, and I departed the Pacific Inn in Monterey around 9:00am to head toward downtown for a coffee, as is my tradition, stopping into a cute little coffee shop/shop shop called Bright Coffee. I grabbed a raw almond milk latte (hey, when you can) and a blueberry scone, along with a rye chocolate chip cookie for later. 

That might've been the highlight of the day. My first stop for the day was the Winchester Mystery House, undoubtedly a huge tourist attraction that would probably be cheesy af, but, I didn't care. After another grey, wet morning, and the traffic to go with it, I arrived for an 11:40am tour to the tune of $36.00. A tremendous rip-off? Most definitely, but if I didn't do that tour, I would've always wondered, so, money well-spent. Unfortunately, no photo or video was permitted in the "mystery" house, but it's easy enough to Google. Nothing creepy or outstanding happened on the tour, apart from our overly theatrical tour guide's almost inexcusable puns and jokes. 

My next stop was San Francisco for lunch, and more traffic awaited me on both sides. Getting there took forever, and by the time I finally got to Haight-Ashbury, yet again an admittedly touristy stop, that chocolate chip cookie was long gone and I was so hangry that I just didn't care anymore. I grabbed some thai food in a hurry and got back in the car, heading for the Golden Gate Bridge.

This was my first ever visit to SF, and for an inaugural trip, I feel like I might've broken a speed record. I was in and out within two hours, back on the highway and cursing my life as I sat in even more traffic most likely caused by the heinous rain and fog. By this point, I was so behind on time and frustrated by the traffic that all I could really focus on was getting as far up north as I could before it got too dark and dangerous to continue driving, so the next day I'd have plenty of daylight to check out the redwoods in Northern California. 

With darkness descending by 5pm and the incessant pouring rain, the roads were pretty perilous and while I had planned to do route 1 for as much of the trip as I could, the possibility of flooding or careening off a cliff seemed too great so I stuck to 101. And even then, I had to get off the road around 8 or so because it was just too dangerous. I got off in the nearest town which happened to be Willits, and checked into a Super 8 Motel for the night.