Stats to Date:
Total Miles:3106
Total States:5
Total Oceans Touched:1
Car Problems:1
Total Times Lost:4
Day: 7 Location: Manteca, CA
I passed through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest, through the sea of swirly twirly gum drops, and then I walked through the Lincoln Tunnel.
-- Buddy the Elf, answering "How did you get to NY from the North Pole?"

When I think about all I saw today, I feel like most people would not believe it even if I told them. So I guess I can understand how Buddy the Elf must have felt when he was explaining his magical journey. Yea, that's right -- I've made an emotional connection with an elf.

Anyway, today started with me waking up in an unsuspecting neighborhood in Mill Valley, CA. I opened my truck bed, climbed out and saw a 30-something woman staring at me in disbelief. "Good morning," I said. She held up a rubber shoe that was laying near my truck. "Ummm, its not mine." She smiled and kept walking... wierd. I then headed through the thick (and I mean thick) fog up to Muir Woods. This park is home to the tallest living organisms in the world -- Red woods. These trees were Gianormous! Some had at least a 10 foot diameter and it hurt my neck to look to the top.

After I had seen enough trees, I drove back over the Golden Gate bridge to the Pier. I bought my ticket for Alcatraz and boarded the ferry. I HIGHLY recommend this tour if you enjoy prison/military type stuff -- it was a great self-guided tour, narrated (recorded) by former inmates and guards, detailing escapes, famous inmates cells, riots and prison life. It was very, very impressive.

I then explored Downtown San Francisco, saw the most curvy road in the world (whoever designed that must have been smoking the ganja -- its completely impractical), hung out in China town, saw the Ghirardelli factory, and tested my patience in traffic. I left to go to Napa Valley for some wine country, but got stuck in life-draining traffic and didn't make it there until the sun was pretty much set. I got to see a little of the vineyards, but not much else. So, I sat down at a local coffee shop to type this journal entry and plan the schedule for the next couple of days. I originally planned on staying til the next morning in Napa, doing a wine tour in the daylight and then leaving for Yosemite. But after a little planning, I soon realized that in order to give Yosemite, Lake Tahoe and Salt Lake City the time they deserve, I really need to leave tonight and stop at a midpoint. So, before my tea was finished, I packed up my computer and left the cafe. As I was leaving the cafe, I realized something else: I have no idea where my truck is. Because parking was so hard to find, I stuck my truck on a random street and walked to the cafe. After wandering downtown for about 10 minutes (Napa is not big), I found my home and left Napa without even a drop of wine. Bummer. But I figure I've been on wine tours before and I'll get another chance at Napa someday, but Yosemite is something else. About an hour and a half later I made it to Manteca, CA, wrote my journal, talked to friends online and went to sleep at the local Walmart.

Some of you have asked whether I am cold in my camper. The answer, surprisingly enough, is no. I am very warm and comfortable -- as comfortable as my bed at home! However, the "no showering for 5 days" thing has really made for a horrible case of dandruff. Seriously, I walk in to a gas station and people wonder if the first snow has fallen. I'm sure you all wanted to hear that -- what can I say, I aim to please. Tomorrow is gonna be a great day!
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