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Vacation Horrors

fear

Well now that myiq2xu has scared the bejeebus out of me regarding my vacation this summer to the West Coast I’m sure to have nightmares for weeks.  We’re traveling to Yosemite and the coastal areas of Northern California and it seems that we’ve inadvertently picked the location of the infamous Cary Stayner serial killings (not too bad till I heard they think there was an accomplice that is still on the loose) and two of the most frightening death-drop drives in the country – Pacific Coast Highway through Big Sur and Highway 140 from El Portal to Mariposa.  Nothing like sleeping with your eyes open while being tranquilized.

Anyways…what vacation stories or horror story experiences do you have?  – Ghost Stories welcome too! — I can’t sleep now, why should you?

Open Threadie…

Big Sur Bridge - So beautiful...but scarey as hell for me!

Big Sur Bridge - So beautiful...but scarey as hell for me!

80 Responses

  1. I was also “fortunate” enough to be in Daytona Beach during Hurricane Charley. Top floor of a 15 floor Condo, 100 MPH winds, the patio door was blowing in and rain was coming in from all seals in the patio door and all windows.

    We were holed up in the bathroom while the condo swayed and a swirling wind noise was coming from the toilet.

    Thought I was a goner that night.

    • You gotta remember this is California.

      Wait’ll you’re doing 80-85 mph in bumper-to-bumper traffic and when you look at the driver in the next lane he is eating a bowl of cereal while reading the paper or she is putting on mascara (using the rearview mirror) while talking on her cell phone.

      Easterners call it “multitasking”

      We call it “evolution in action”

      • We slow down to 70-75 mph for tule fog and dust storms (but only when visibility is less than 25 feet)

      • I still drive like a Californian, and I fit right in, out here in the Boston area, I just have not added “asshole” to my driving repertoire, yet. Out here, they read paperbacks and text while driving, so I try to stay out of the commuting driver time window.

        I still won’t cut into the oncoming lane when I make a left turn ~ out here you are asking for trouble if you pull up to the line at an intersection, Mass. drivers will plow right into you when they are making their left turn onto your street, or give you a DIRTY NASTY look if they have to go around you, like YOU are doing something wrong, and not them. I have concluded that a lot of drivers out here have issues with depth perception…

  2. Oh I’ve seen pics of **that** bridge before. There is no logical reason for that bridge to stay sorta hanging there. And don’t give me any nonsense about arches. That bridge is just stuck on rocks on either side.

    • Thank you! {{{ feels better now that she knows someone else sees the insanity of it.)}}}

      • It doesn’t look that bad when you’re driving over it. Unless you get close to the edge you can’t see down.

        • That would not be a problem. I wouldn’t be driving so I’d be on the floor of the car. 😯

          (laughing) when we lived in KY, I’d drive those back roads sliced off the side of a mountain with no problem. You could see the drop off and the only problem I had was when those big damned coal trucks would be on the other side of the road. You’d think it would either squash you into the side of the mountain or run you off the road into the valley below. Back then, I don’t recall guard rails being on the side.

        • When I was in Tuscon AZ I shot my mouth off and volunteered to drive up the mountain in Seguaro Canyon. What a mistake! Sheer cliffs, no guardrails, twists, and turns 10K feet up. O. M. G. What a horrifying experience.

        • The difference between a coal truck and a tour bus is the tour bus driver has a license.

        • Sheer cliffs, no guardrails

          “unobstructed view”

        • I’m not so worried about hitting bottom…it’s the 10 secs of so of “aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa” that worries me.

        • Just long enough to make your peace with God/Buddha/Koresh

        • There’s a haunted house at the foot of that bridge. Honest. A famous writer used to live there; I forget which one.

          And did I mention the Grey Watchers…?

      • It’s not really “hanging there”. It’s actually tucked into the land side a bit, and not all that scary to cross. Haven’t been down there in a long time – it’s a beautiful drive.

        Wouldn’t worry about Yosemite, except you might have to wait in line to get into the park. Go on a weekday, and get there EARLY. Stayner’s in the big house, and there isn’t any real evidence of an accomplice. His victimes were from here in Eureka. If you get up this far to see the redwoods, get in touch – I can give you daytrip & food recs.

        I’ve been out her 20 years (originally an East Coast girl), and it still seems like a different planet sometimes. ENJOY!!

        • Eureka is in “Way Up North” California – it’s practically another state.

          California is actually about 6 different states – Southern (LA to SD) Northern (SF Bay) Desert (Mojave and Owens Valley) Central Valley (Bakersfield to Sacto) Central Coast and Way Up North

  3. That’s beautiful KB. Is that on the way to Napa?

  4. If you’re gonna be in SF you MUST take the Alcatraz tour

  5. You gotta remember this is California.
    Wait’ll you’re doing 80-85 mph in bumper-to-bumper traffic
    ***********
    And the speed limit is 55…A few years ago I was driving on I-8, coming into San Diego, staying with the traffic at 110 Mph and being passed by Hummers.

  6. myiq2xu, on May 30th, 2009 at 11:05 pm Said:

    The difference between a coal truck and a tour bus is the tour bus driver has a license.

    Well the coal trucks had those lopsided cabs on them that looked like there was only room for the driver. And he sat up sooo high on the thing! I guess knowing he was sitting up that high should have made me feel better-he could see me. But then there was the question of whether he cared. 🙂

  7. My other scarey vacation story. In 2005, the year after Hurricane Charley, we went to Sanibel Island on the gulf coast of FL. My daughter and I were wading in the ocean and we saw these beautiful rays. HUGE — about 4-5 feet across. We kept getting real close to take a whole bunch of pictures.

    When we got back to the room, we found out they were deadly poisonous rays.

    Duh

  8. most frightening death-drop drives in the country
    *********
    If you like death-drop drives, then I recommend Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier NP and the Million Dollar Hwy in CO.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Going-to-the-Sun_Road

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/U.S._Route_550

    • I’ve seen that Going-to-the-Sun road. We were actually considering going to Glacier Nat’l Park, but after 2 years at Big Sky/Yellowstone I was ready for a bit of a change.

      And no way would I survive that drive. It gives me heart failure just looking at it.

      • I actually did that one in a 21″ motorhome when it was slushy snow and light fog at the pass. Really proud that I made it out alive and didn’t maim the old girl (aka Mom) in the process. I wouldn’t trade that experience for the world.

  9. Here’s my therapeutic anti-aversion therapy

    • Jeez, whaddya want?

      Paved roads with 10-12ft lanes on each side – no cops chasing you – sunny and dry.

      If you’re gonna go under 90mph then pull over to let the old ladies pass.

      • Jeez, whaddya want?

        Paved roads with 10-12ft lanes on each side – no cops chasing you – sunny and dry.

        Yes…and?

  10. and this one helps me understand why doing it on a motorcycle is REALLY out of the question

  11. I’ve seen that Going-to-the-Sun road. We were actually considering going to Glacier Nat’l Park, but after 2 years at Big Sky/Yellowstone I was ready for a bit of a change.
    ***********
    You will like Northern CA and the PCH.

  12. I’ve actually driven in California several times but nothing like these death drops.

    I was scared to death in Yellowstone at Washburn Mountain. Couldn’t even go out to the Waterfall lookout. I have a problem with heights….and dying.

    • It’s not as bad as it used to be. The really hairy turns have steel guardrails these days.

      Most of them anyway.

      • If you hike up to Bridalveil Falls (and there are no rangers around) you can slip under the barricade and there is a pipe sticking out of the cliff next to the falls – you can hold onto it and look down over the edge of the cliff. It’s only a couple thousand feet but still impressive.

  13. I couldn’t sit in the front seat when we had to drive each day down Big Spur Rd in Big Sky. Drop-offs, no guard rails, twisty windy, and make-shift memorials every 100 yards or so.

  14. If you’re gonna go under 90mph then pull over to let the old ladies pass.
    ************
    If you like driving like that, I recommend Rt 50 (Loneliest Road in America) from Ely, NV to Tahoe.

  15. I just realized those mosquito bites on my arm are actually a braille novel.

  16. I’m sure I could. I could share all of my tales of horror and upload pics.

  17. We’re doing the Mondavi, ClosPegas, and Rubicon wineries — touring Mondavi, tasting at the other two. My daughter is turning 21 so this is how we’ll celebrate her newly minted “legal” status.

    • There a LOTS more – try some of the ones you’ve never heard of. The Sonoma places are generally mellower, and often don’t charge for tasting (most of the Napaplaces do). There are also AWESOME reds being made in the Paso Robles area if you’re that far south. YUM!!

  18. Stateofdisbelief, on May 31st, 2009 at 12:12 am Said:

    I’m sure I could. I could share all of my tales of horror
    *************
    No horror..It’s going to be a great trip!!! Drop by Bodega Bay, where Alfred Hitchcock filmed “The Birds.”

    • The Birds!!! aaaaaahhh!

      {{{ did see some beautiful pics of Bodego Bay. Hopefully we’ll be able to check it out between San Fran and Napa }}}}

  19. overnight post up

  20. I stayed at Cedar Lodge in El Portal a few years ago. It was the only place available when I decided at the last minute to go to a Yosemite Association event. The name rang a bell, but it wasn’t until after I reserved that I remembered why. It was creepy being there. There’s another motel complex owned by the same company that is closer to the entrance to Yosemite, which has really good vibes. That one was booked. More expensive but worth it since I made friends with class members who were staying there.

    The bathtub faucet leaked loudly at Cedar Lodge, but I wasn’t about to call the office to have a handyman come in.

    • The other place is the Bates Motel

      • I stayed at what I think was a franchise of the Bates Motel once. Big snow storm and I had to get off the highway in some godfersaken little podunk. The only hotel in town was booked but they sent me way back in the boondocks to some shanty motel. The lady gave me a key and said “follow the trailers around back and you’ll find your room.”

        I slept with one eye open all night praying that there were no windows in the bathroom. I was scared shitless.

    • CB — how did you like Yosemite?

  21. I love Big Sur. It used to be my home away from home.

    Keep your eye on the road and you won’t join the “South of 101 Club.” The highway is easy — you should try traveling down one of the private roads in that area. We’re talking about twisty, turny one-lane dirt roads on which one needs to take about an hour to travel two miles.

    Down one such road is a private residence containing an original Cannon wall mural. I wish to hell I had a photo of it.

    I no longer recommend eating at Nepenthe’s, the famed tourist spot in Big Sur. Far too pricey; not very good food. The curio shop there is worth a visit, and the back patio has a spectacular view.

    You might want to consider Deetjen’s Inn, which is very quaint and romantic — everything was hand-made by a strange Norwegian mystic. Behind the Inn is a creek which runs through Deetjen’s canyon — absolutely gorgeous. At the end of the trail is “the emerald room” where Old Man Deetjen thought that the treaty of eternal peace would be signed.

    I had a friend who worked there. He insisted that Adolf Hitler once stayed in cabin #8 — in 1963. Deetjen claimed that he knew Hitler back in the old country, in the 1920s. “I”m very sorry,” Deetjen once told my friend, “but I think I may have started World War II. I’m very, VERY sorry.”

    When you’re in Big Sur, you start to believe yarns like these.

  22. You will LOVE Big Sur! LOVE IT! and Yosemite — there is nothing to be afraid of! Eat at Nepenthe!

    hugs, from a native….

    ps: don’t miss Hearst Castle if you come south — Ahhhnold is ………..

    gee visit before all our stuff closes….

  23. ps: don’t miss Glacier Point and Tenaya lake in Yosemite…

    Glacier point is our “Grand Canyon” —

  24. I lived in San Jose CA for several years and just went back for a wedding. I drove myself from Monterey to Big Sur. Drop offs scare me, but it was not bad, even with the fog hitting every now and then. (I drive the speed limit on such roads.) They had construction on part that was shut down to one lane so they were letting one group of cars go at one time (waited twenty minutes going south and 10 minutes going north on the way back). Stopped for lunch in Carmel heights at the the Highlands Inn in the less formal California Market restaurant so I could sit outside. Lovely. Truly lovely.

    djmm

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