Just this side of the San Andreas Fault, south of the SF exurb of Hollister (which, btw, is almost entirely devoid of fashionable teens on skateboards), is the lazy man’s Yosemite National Park, Pinnacles National Park. This National Park received its designation less than 3 years ago, and it is just an hour and a half south of the Western Outpost. It is fairly uncrowded, entirely off the grid, and they have about 30 walkup RV spaces available. So at 2 p.m. Friday afternoon, we had no idea what the weekend was going to involve, and at 4 pm we were parking the Conestoga in space 93 ($36.00 per night plus $10 National Park Admission Fee), desperately trying to get a cell signal and Dish network signal.
This park is nestled in a volcanic area that long ago created the spires which give the park its name. At night the light pollution was limited to the beam of flashlights scanning for marauding raccoons, allowing a spectacular view of the stars, constellations and gases of the Milky Way galaxy. We caught about 7 meteors in our periphery, 2 of them actual meteors, the others the lights of airliners headed south from SFO, SEA and Asia into LAX. Apparently the Park lies below the path of a popular jetway.
Saturday morning, we set out to hike toward the Pinnacles.
We hiked 4 miles round trip, up almost 1,000 feet. Being on the San Andreas Fault, we came prepared with Bear Spray in case of an earthquake. The only wildlife we saw on the hike were lizards. Driving around the park we did see about 7 deer. Being California, we aren’t entirely sure they weren’t animatronic.
We reached high enough to see vistas to the east. Next trip, perhaps next Spring, will involve hikes higher into the range to see views to the West.
We had to get back to the Conestoga to head back to the Western Outpost to watch Texas demolish Kansas, or vice versa. We stopped on the way out and spoke with a couple who had just bought a silver 2016 Winnebago ERA70X. They were taking their unit out on their first trip. I told them about this blog, so hopefully we have a new reader.
Heading back, the smell of garlic reminds you that where Highway 25 joins 101, you are in Gilroy, CA. Hollister = Artichokes, Gilroy = Garlic, Napa = Grapes.
We returned just in time for the Texas kick-off, and fortunately, Texas did the demolishing.