Day 56 of our Road Trip
It was the 12th September 2017, Day 56 of our two months Road trip in the USA. My Sister and I were preparing for our trip to San Francisco early in the morning. We were staying in this Motel near Lake Tahoe, California. It was a standard hotel, basic room, amenities, and Breakfast. In fact, this basic hotel attracted a lot of other Budget travelers from around the world. Every Morning, the breakfast area would full that we had to eat breakfast in our room.
The past few days have been very relaxing as we were taking an ample amount of rest in our little Motel Room and enjoying the small town of Lake Tahoe in California.
Leaving to San Francisco, California
We left early in the morning at about seven plus, having breakfast on the way in the car. We wanted to ensure that our campsites & accommodations were secured for the night. We have never encountered a problem with the other campsites in the USA. As our car arrived at the outskirts of San Francisco, we could feel the vast difference in the environment. We were greeted with many cars running on the highway beside us, the long bridges which we have seen in Magazines, and Social Media.
I was excited that we were finally here in San Francisco. It was a destination loved by Asians & the drive here has made my legs and hands feel sore. Though I was tired from the long journey, I kept my mind focused on our final destination, the beautiful campsite with a magnificent view.
Diana did her research on the campgrounds & she said we could see the San Francisco Bridge from the campsite! It was exciting and much better than staying in Hotels or Motels.
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco
We arrived at the Golden Gate National Recreation Park. It was a hilly National Park that was winding up and down. We were driving around, trying to locate a Visitor Centre or a place that we could get information on the campsite or to register for the night. After 5 minutes, I felt a little panicky and worried. We were not able to find the Visitor Centre. The Google Maps that brought us here was not navigating further. We just kept driving, looking at the appropriate directions, hoping to get some help from the park rangers.
Finally, we found the Visitor Centre. We Parked our cars & started our walk into the building. We sought help from the Park Ranger at the counter asking her about the campgrounds and where we could find them.
“I’m sorry, but Kirby Cove Campgrounds are full. They need to be booked three months before. There are no other Campgrounds available here. You would have to find it somewhere else.” The first thing she said tumbled my heart. I was tired of driving around, searching for the perfect campsite to camp for the night. We tried to ask the Park Ranger if there was a way to squeeze the two of us into the campgrounds but it was not possible. With that, she recommended China State Park campgrounds, and we decided to go with it.
China State Park
Well, we didn’t have many choices & decided to make our way there. We drove for about 30 minutes from Kirby Cove Campgrounds to China State Park. When we arrived there, it was bare land. There weren’t many people around the State Park. We found the Visitor center & looked around. It was an abandoned old land, surrounded with old run down boats.
It seemed like the Chinese fishermen were here in the past. The structures of the buildings were rundown & there were no cars at all. We saw 1 or 2 people around and asked them about the campsites. They guided us in the direction and even said that we could stay near the run-down and abandoned structures. Well, we just needed a tent anyway.
It didn’t feel right. The area was not emitting a perfect vibe. Well, we have thought through it many times. If in the day, it is emitting such a vibe, what would happen in the night?! It would be much worst. We decided to find the real campsite in the State Park where other campers would stay. We started to drive out of China State Park, and we saw the signs pointing to the campgrounds. It was a small sign that we missed while we were navigating our way into the park.
It was lonely. It was scary. There were signs of warning about Bears being around. There was no one else around. When we arrived at the campsite, we were astonished at its state. It was a bare land, and we were told that we could set up our tents anywhere, everywhere. We sat in the car, devastated.
Our two months road trip was coming to an end in a week or 2, and we had to be faced with this? We started searching for other campsites and campgrounds around San Francisco City. We had a SIM card that was on data passport which we brought from Singapore . Both of us didn’t have a local sim line for making calls. It has not been essential in the past few months, but at that moment, we needed one very badly. We wanted to make calls to the campgrounds to check if they had availability.
We sat in our car, not knowing what to do, feeling hungry. It was 1 pm at that time, and we were still frantically trying to find a place to stay for the night. There were no restaurants nearby. It was just grass and massive space of bare land surrounding us.
That Weird Sound from the Woods
All of a sudden, we heard a loud sound from within the forest. My little sister & I looked at each other real quick. We sensed that something was nearby & it was dangerous. The warning signs of the Bear flashed through my mind at that very instance. We were both scared. I frantically pulled out my car keys, started the engine and drove off, out of this weird campsite and out of this empty State Park. We were feeling lost again, not knowing where to go next.
A Bowl of Vietnamese Noodles
We drove around, looking for a nearby restaurant to have our lunch. We were so exhausted and hungry. We have been running around since morning, trying to find a place to stay for the night. We stopped at the Noodle House for Vietnamese Noodles and Soup. I slurped the entire bowl down, wolfing my noodles. I was famished.
After having our delicious lunch and feeling our empty stomachs, we started looking through the different hotels in San Francisco. As we scroll through the hotel options, our mouth jaw kept dropping further. Hotel prices ranged from SGD 300 (minimum) to SGD 1000 per night. A 2.5-star rating hotel that is not of an excellent state cost about SGD 300 – SGD 400 per night. Why would I choose to pay 300 – 400 bucks for a 2.5-star run-down hotel? It just didn’t make sense. We thought it was dumb and decided to stick back to staying in campsites.
Suddenly, we thought of a campsite that was reliable and Trustable! We have stayed with them quite many times and found them in the other states of USA. We decided to try our luck by finding a phone line to call them and check for the night availability. Though it was a little too far from the city center, it was better than staying on the streets! We went to the nearby supermarket and asked the ladies at the cashier if they had a phone line in hand. They disappointed us by saying they did not. Well, we had to find someone else for the phone call. As we strolled out of the Supermarket, one guy called out to us and said he was willing to lend us his phone. I was delighted by his offer and started punching the number.
We called KOA campgrounds, and they told us that there were extra spaces available for the night! I was thrilled when I heard that. We went straight to our car, planning our route to KOA campgrounds. At the same time, we decided to look for one of our Mom’s close friends who was residing in the city of San Francisco. We thought it would be easier since it was on the way to KOA campgrounds. This would help us save time and effort. It has been tiring running around, finding campsites. We were dead tired.
Finally, We found a Home
Finally, we arrived at out Mom’s Close friend house. We made our greetings and had tea and Bread. He openly welcomed us to stay in his home since he had extra rooms. We tried saying no, but he insisted. He told us to go for a tour around San Francisco City, and when we are back, the rooms would be more than ready. He welcomed us openly and offered us to stay here till we head back to Singapore.
During our stay in San Francisco, we had a great time at his house! We learned to make so many things like Traditional Noodles, Roti, Tea, Dumplings and many more! The food here was also delicious. Till today, I remember how comfortable it was to stay in that house. We did enjoy ourselves.
Well, I guess all of these things happen for a reason. I still believe that till today. If we stayed in campgrounds, we would be freezing. It got freezing in the night!! Air-conditioner was not necessary for San Francisco. In addition to that, we usually had an easy time finding campgrounds, but In San Francisco, it was tough. I guess we were made to stay in his House! I am grateful for that. I will never forget his kindness for accepting us so openly with warm hands on that very day.
To your Happiness and Success!
Bunny Hop Travels with Charmaine
Follow me on Social Media Below!!!
Facebook: Bunny hop travels with Charmaine
Youtube Channel: Charmaine Leow
Love You All!