Western USA and Canada Adventures – Part One: California Coastal Cruising

In June I took three weeks leave and travelled to the USA and Canada to visit friends who live in various cities.

My trip began on a wet Wednesday morning in Sydney with a 15 hour flight to Los Angeles, followed by a one hour flight to San Francisco. With the exception of getting quizzed about my travel plans by various airline staff and border agents both in Sydney and Los Angeles the trip up with Delta was smooth and after being upgraded to Economy Comfort quite enjoyable.

On arrival in San Francisco I was picked up by one of my best friends and as I was surprisingly awake we explored the small city area of Redwood City, pretended to be students at Stanford University.

The following morning, after a small sleep in we drove from Redwood City across the hills of the San Francisco Peninsula to Half Moon Bay. Joining Highway 1 we travelled, in the fog and the rain down the coast to Santa Cruz.

As we arrived in Santa Cruz the drizzly rain became much heavier, not letting it bother us though we had lunch at a local cafe and walked along the famous Boardwalk.

Santa Cruz Boardwalk
Santa Cruz Boardwalk

As the rain showed no sign of easing we rejoined Highway 1 and headed towards Monterey. This decision saw us get stuck in one of many infamous USA traffic jams and the route that should have taken less than an hour took well over two.

Fortunately the rain had eased as we got to Monterey, and we stretched our legs exploring Cannery Row.

Cannery Row, Monterey
Cannery Row, Monterey

Although it was getting late we continued down the coast to where the road is closed at the start of Big Sur. Along this portion of the road I got to drive a left hand-drive car for the first time.

Finally, to round out the trip we managed to pull over and take photos of the wrong famous bridge, mistaking Rocky Creek Bridge for the more famous Bixby Creek Bridge which we then failed to stop at.