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My Summer Vacation to Northern California The Complete Story

by Chris Guenzler

8/12/2014 My mother wanted me to join her on a trip to Northern California. I talked with the Santa Cruz, Big Trees & Pacific and the Roaring Camp Railroad and all was then set ride their trains. After the California Western never responded, I broke down and bought tickets for those two trips. My mother set up the Cambria motel and I did the Marina, Fort Bragg, Ukiah and Gilroy ones. She purchased tickets for us on the Otter Boat Tour out of Moss Landing and we would stay at my brother-in-law Henry's house in San Rafael one night and then the Harris Ranch and Bakersfield on the way home.

We left Santa Ana with my driving on this trip Interstate 5 to CA 57 to Interstate 210, then back to Interstate 5 to CA 126 to Santa Paula where we made our first stop.

The Santa Paula Southern Pacific station built in 1903. We drove west, planning to stop for the Saticoy station, but that highway exit was closed. Our next stop was for my mother in Ventura at Larrianne's Small Wonders where she purchased a few things to work on in the future. We stopped at Arby's to get lunch to go then drove north on US 101 to Solvang where I bought my mother a Kringle at a bakery there. We took US 101 north to Santa Maria where we looked at the Santa Maria Railroad tracks then continued to Betteravia and stopped by the Santa Maria Railroad there.

Santa Maria 70 ton switcher 70, ex. Fort Dodge, Des Moines and Southern 411; nee Arkansas & Ozarks 900 built by General Electric in 1950. I noticed that al the Amtrak Express cars were gone as we made our way to CA 1 at Guadalupe. We saw the southbound Coast Starlight then the Oceana station on the way to Pismo Beach, where we returned to US 101 at San Luis Obispo where we filled the car with petrol. From here it was CA 1 north to Cambria where we checked into the Fireside Inn on Moonstone Beach. Once we got into our room, I went for a walk and will now share my pictures.

Views from Moonstone Beach in Cambria. I returned to the room and wrote the story to this point then afterwards we went by the Cambria Post Office then had dinner at the Main Street Grill before returning to the motel and went for another walk.

Some post-sunset pictures from Cambria. I returned to the room for the night.

8/13/2014 We woke up and after I packed the car before having breakfast, I started my first driving north on California Highway 1. Our first stop was the Elephant Seal overlook north of Cambria.

Views of the Elephant Seal overlook north of Cambria.

Point Piedras Blanca. Now views as we travelled north along California Highway 1.

Views along along California Highway 1. We stopped in Carmel for a break then took the 17 Mile Drive.

Views along the 17 Mile Drive. We went to Denny's for lunch then drove to the Ramada Inn in Marina. Later we went to the Kula Ranch Island Steakhouse at the Sanctuary Beach Resort and returned to the Ramada Inn for the night. Tomorrow, the Santa Cruz, Big Trees & Pacific Railway and the Roaring Camp Railroad.

8/14/2014 We arose and headed north on CA Highway 1 to CA Highway 17 and made our way to Felton and Roaring Camp for our two train rides here.

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