Williams, CA: Rules Of The Road

Center map

Well, my rules!

rulesoftheroadSpent the night in the Dunnigan, CA rest stop, a couple hours north of SF. 45º at daybreak. T-Shirt weather!

There are some things that just have to be said. And here they are!

I am still miffed about bridge tolls in the SF area. All bridges into the city have $5.00 tolls (no tolls leaving though). The Golden Gate takes a photo of your license plate and mails a bill to you (see previous post for hair raising worries about that).

Carry some cash!

As I’ve already mentioned, there is a nice little scam being perpetrated by the California state government on our nation’s free interstates! Although I did okay in SF, I was out of cash by the time I left after paying all of those tolls into the city. And then, I came across the Carquinez Bridge on I-80 an hour outside the city. Although the other bridges charge only going west, this little bastard charges only going east! Didn’t have another five dollars in cash with me!

(Snidely) “You don’t have any money?”—Toll booth worker

I was cited for not having cold hard cash (they wouldn’t take a debit card or a check) and they’re going to send me a “toll violation” for $30. That motivated me to do a little research on the Carquinez Bridge.


carquinezbridgeIn 1927, a bridge was built to span the Carquinez Strait. California didn’t care for it for many years and it was deemed unsafe following a survey of bridges after the Loma Prieta earthquake. So, using a regional bond measure and money from the Federal government’s “Accelerated Bridge Construction” plan, a new span was constructed in 2003.

My federal taxes helped build that bridge California was lax in caring for—and I think it’s part of the U.S. Interstate system so, a toll is totally bogus! We know a bill can be sent to me (like the Golden Gate) and with a person working the toll booth, they should take a debit card in the middle of the night if needed. The guy wasn’t even nice about it, either!

Let’s get the Golden Gate take-a-photo-and-bill-you system on that bridge—and let’s fire that jackass being nasty to travelers on the Carquinez Bridge!

And we move on.

Zero trash footprint.

notrashSince the start of my trip, I have not left a single piece of paper behind. I’ve noticed the rest area guys show up every morning at 6AM to pick up crap others have left on the ground. Not me! I even offered to make coffee for that poor soul.


Into every life, there will be some rain! That means something is going to get wet. Gloves dropped on the ground. They’ll take forever to dry out! And I always put my hood over my head—because leaving it down for a second will ensure a wet head when you do!

McDonald’s WiFi vs. Burger King WiFi.

mcwifisucksMcDonald’s Wifi in Williams, CA sucks. You can get to Google and nothing else! Didn’t even buy coffee there. Next door, at Burger King, WiFi is excellent. And they have 89 cent stacks of pancakes! Win-win.

There is NOTHING in Arbuckle, CA. Nothing.

Merging onto a freeway.

My new pet peeve: getting onto a freeway requires you to match my speed and not the other way around! The worst offenders race to place themselves in front of you (making me slow for them) and then slam on the brakes—because the car that was in front of me is too close to them!

I think I’m going to start keeping a count of how many times I say “Jeez, where did you learn how to drive!?” I doubt if I can count that high, though. Sidenote: In Oklahoma, traffic on the highway must yield to those entering the highway (I know, who does that?) but, unless all of these people in California are transplants from Oklahoma, they are just really bad drivers! 

Back to the forest!

mendocinoI am heading north, about an hour or so, to Stonyford, CA, where the Forest Ranger’s office at the Mendocino National Forest is located. I spoke with Diana who was very helpful in helping me choose a campsite (more on that in my next post).

The ol’ Lifetime Senior Pass gets me in for free and the 50% discount on campsites will run me only $2.50 a night there. Hmm. I am thinking five or six days surrounded by trees! And so, I’m back on the road (after the pancakes, of course!).

Happy trails, my friend!

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