Our premature departure from Joshua Tree meant that we could take our time driving up the coast of California with Marie-Claude and Nick, and then spend a few days in San Francisco before heading to Yosemite.
Nick kindly took on the role of tour-guide and our first stop was an ocean-side, (delicious) seafood cafe in Santa Barbara. The next day we checked out an awesome little bouldering crag in the region called ‘The Brickyard,’ where we met a really nice group of scientist grad/post-doc students climbing with their supervisor (which basically makes him one of the coolest supervisors ever). Next on the agenda was a tour of 3 California wineries (Beckmen, Zaca Mesa & Cambria), which was excellent fun. That day ended with a bit of a story… which involves me breaking down in tears as I explain to a park ranger that all campgrounds, cabins and hotels in the area were full and that we couldn’t keep driving to the next town because we needed gas but all the stations were closed, so basically we were stuck in the Big Sur forest with no where for us and our baby girl to sleep. She took pity on me and let us camp (for free!) in an empty camp-host campsite. I guess it serves us right for not having a reservation in a very popular camping destination on a Saturday night. In our defence, we have no idea what day of the week it is most of the time…
In San Francisco, we stayed with a good friend of Mig’s from McGill. We visited some of the sites (shopping and coffee shops on Haight street and Golden Gate Park were highlights), had some Clam Chowder in a Sourdough bread bowl, caught up with Jean-Sebastien, and checked out a couple of the mega climbing gyms that S.F has to offer (Mission Cliffs and Planet Granite). In addition to showers and saunas (for which they provide soap, towels and hair dryers), they have yoga studios, weights, cardio machines, and tonnes of climbing; they are really *mega* gyms. I have to admit that I wasn’t super psyched at first to climb on plastic but it turned out to be really fun and good for staying in shape while we did the tourist stuff.
It was definitely a fun time, but being in transit and sight-seeing are both quite tiring with a baby (interestingly, much more-so than climbing with a baby), so we were more than ready to head out and set up camp in the Valley for a couple of weeks when the time came. Our next post will tell you all about it! For now, check out the California coast + San Francisco album below.
* click an image for larger size (cliqué sur une image pour la voir en grand format).