The drive up Highway 101 from Oceano to the turn off to Hollister is a very pretty drive. The Salinas Valley offers vistas of miles and miles of lush vinyards and various other green fields. The traffic was mild until about Salinas and then it got a little heavy. We took the turn off at San Juan Batista and the GPS took Joel through down town Hollister. My GPS provided a different route, but the radio went dead and I couldn't warn him. The the next few miles through Tres Pinos and Paicines were beautiful and unexpected. There was an abundance of ranches and vineyards. I thought most of the area was cattle ranches but I guess I was wrong. Of course it has been at least 35 years years since I have been to this area.
My son Justin's birthday is today. He is the ripe young age of 42. Where did the time go! Unfortunately, Justin didn't have a very pleasant birthday. The following photos are a graphic and a warning why you should always use sun screen. Although Justin is religious about using sun screen, he did get sunburned a few times as a child, even though I did apply sunscreen to his body. He has had several suspected moles removed over the past few years and one was very early stage melanoma so now he is checked every three months. He won't know the results on this one for a few days. It sure looks ugly, and he won't be jogging or riding his bike for a few weeks. Ouch!!
Please use your sun screen and check any suspicious new moles !! Oh, and according to recent articles, NO sunscreen is waterproof. Always apply after being in the water AND every 2 hours for best results.
Enough of the bad stuff. The San Benito Thousand Trails is very large and half the sites have non working power. It is obvious the Preserve needs a lot of TLC. Due to the drought the grounds are weed ridden and everything is brown. Not all of the restrooms are functional. Fortunately, after reading several reviews I was prepared to not expect too much. The upside is that it is off season and the preserve is not real full and I was able to get Joel do a few loops around the park until the perfect site could secured...some shade, not near a dumpster or bathroom, not on top of a neighbor, and of course right exposure for Joel's satellite.. LOL. It CAN be done!
Hopefully, there weather will cooperate some and not get too hot so we can explore Pinnacles National Park about 20 miles down the road.