The Occidental Road Trip

road flooded sign

road flooded sign

Road Trip

Pilot and navigator headed out of Sac ~10:15 a.m. with high expectations. The Occidental road trip soon earned the name of the accidental road trip. That is how we finally did end up in the small town of Occidental – by accident.

Pilot, navigator, google road map

Nervous about driving so far by myself I enlisted the help of my friend Mikey. She is a good companion on trips. Not the best map reader but can go with the flow – hey you can not have it all LOL. I do not think the two of us have ever taken a trip and not had something go wonky. This trip was no exception. The rain just kept coming down hard more often than not until we reached Fairfield where it let up a bit. We were prepared – or so we thought. We had our google directions, or little google map, and a general idea of how to get to Occidental. What is that saying – the best laid plans . …

Chatting and occasionally video recording our merrily way along Hwy 12 we came to our turn off onto 121. Very proud of myself that I indeed did not miss the turn we motored happily, although cautiously along. Then the dreaded sign – road closed ahead due to flooding. OK. We decided to go on and hoped that the closure was after our next turn off. Not to be. There was a nice orange detour sign and we like good little pilot and navigator followed it’s instructions. Now paint me green but usually the detour signs (yes signs not sign) lead you back using alternate routes to where you were headed in the first place. Umm – another not to be.

Eventually it dawned upon our silly willy minds that something was amiss we were not being directed back toward the direction we should be headed. Before you even dare to think that perhaps it was our error I will inform you that we were not the only vehicle lost. I spotted a couple cars pulled along side the roadway and stopped to ask the occupants if perhaps they might know which direction we should go. Nope they were lost also. I then decided (and my navigator having given up the title of navigator offered no resistance) to take turns that looked like they might get us somewhere. And it did work. I found a nice couple who actually drew me a map that would place us on the route past the closure. Well, worked darn good until the next soaked roadway. I stopped again and I honestly would love to telll you where but I have not a clue and got some more directions that would bypass what they knew to be flooded road. Seeing a theme here?

Somewhere in all this I made a point of crumpling up the google directions and tossing them into the backseat. The Napa and surrounding area map I had in my glovebox did not cover the area we needed. My California map is – well who the h e double toothpicks knows where – and so it went. It actually was for no particular reason funny.

Occidental Road

All in all it was a fun adventure and we did eventually find our way to the outskirts of Sebastopol and found Occidental Road. A fast discussion and we turned onto it headed toward the ocean. Seems the best choice we had. I was so burned out on asking folks for directions – not something I usually do – that we went for it. The road was winding and narrow and had many patches of water flowing over it but it did eventually end up in Occidental. We came in on the back road I guess just made sense that if going to Occidental that Occidental Road was a good choice. We accidentally found the Bohemian Hwy that we were planning on taking into town in the original plans. So we found Occidental accidentally and just in the nick of time as my bladder . …

Here is a video of bits and pieces of our trip.  The navigator stopped filming when we came upon or first road closure. I did try and get here to record a mud slide cause it was cool looking but we were well past it once the camera came back out. Watching the road was a tad bit more on our minds – along with a lot of  not so G rated language :)

My parents had a good time, we had my brother draw a simple direct route for us back to 101 and to Hwy 80 and headed merrily east toward Sacramento. We did temp the flood Gods once more a took a short trip around the hills between Fairfield and Vacaville just because – well we could. We arrived home well after dark and made the mad rush to the facilities.

Well that is the story how we got lost in the wine country and a suggestion to the detour sign folks – not everyone knows where the heck the are or alternate road to use. One sign to the right does not get it ok!