Day 4

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3
Day 4
Day 5 & 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9
Day 10
Day 11
Day 12
Day 13
Day 14
Day 15 (Last)

Day 4

(July 27, 2002)

8:28 am (948 miles)
Ft, Bragg, CA

Sadly (from Robert's point of view), the compass is still working this morning, so either:

o It needs to spend the night near a microwave and refrigerator, or

o There really is something to this "Oregon Vortex" that we've heard about from Robert's sister. Perhaps it messes up electronic compasses...

11:22 am (1,063 miles)
Santa Rosa, CA

The geography buffs in the audience will notice that we have now crossed a series of hills called the "Coastal Range" (twice).

In practical terms, this means that for about an hour you drive up and down winding, twisting roads until you're ready to throw up. In a reasonable state like Washington, they would have straightened out the road by flattening the mountains, but in California they're into "natural" things, so they didn't.

Anyway, the reason we're in Santa Rosa is because that's the home of the World's Largest Charles Shulz Museum (okay, it's also the World's Only, but we're on our way to the World's Largest Comic Convention, so it fits).

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Unfortunately, the museum will be Opening Real Soon Now (which we knew, but we were hoping that maybe they had gotten ahead of schedule). In fact, it'll probably miss its scheduled opening date of Aug 17, but it sure looks like it's gonna be a neat museum. We stand around in the parking lot looking at the construction equipment and peering through the fence topped with barbed wire (barbed wire? well, this IS California...) and then we go eat lunch.

[It did open on time, although the announcement muttered about how the grounds were still a little rough...]

2:01 pm (1,117 miles)
Golden Gate Bridge

This is the World's Largest Something or Other (Suspension Bridge?), but it's jam packed with tourists (imagine!), so we don't stop and get the details.

It's big. It's orange. Terrorists did NOT blow it up while we were on it. It costs $3 once you get across (Robert wonders what happens if you don't pay--do they make you drive BACK across it?)

2:54 pm (1,132 miles)
Cartoon Art Museum

Here we are at the World's Largest---okay, we have no idea if it really IS the World's largest. Since there are only two Cartoon Art museums in the US (and the one in Florida is closing), it's probably right up there.

But we're just going so we can look at the comics! The museum includes an exhibit on Edward Gorey (one of L's favorite artists), along with exhibits on Underground Comix, Wimmin in Comix, and a brief history of animation.

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And THEN for a bonus, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts right down the street also has a comics exhibit! It includes a display of Bay Area artists, including one of our favorites, Keith Knight ("The K Chronicles").

By the time we leave the museum, we feel like we finished a huge appetizer course in preparation for the entree in San Diego!

6:09 pm
Howard Johnson, S. San Francisco

Robert notices that the smell from all those redwoods we drove through sure did linger. When we unpack, we discover that, in fact, it isn't the odor of redwoods, but an entire bottle of Bay Rum aftershave we bought this morning. Seems the top came loose and six fluid ounces of highly concentrated smell dripped onto Astro's upholstery and our maps. (This might make Astro the World's Largest Air Freshener...)

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