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Ryan and Megan's Northern California Itinerary
Thursday, April 19, 2007 - Monday, April 23, 2007

Howdy, folks! We've earned another Southwest Airlines free flight, which is due to expire during the first week of May.  So, it's time once again to take another long weekend trip.  This time around, we will be exploring Northern California - and trust me, it was not an easy decision.  Originally, we were going to fly out to Phoenix and make a long trip through the desert to see Arizona and New Mexico.  But, we were not able to get the exact flights we wanted, so we decided to go to St. Louis.  In fact, we booked a flight to that city and expected to take a long trip around Kentucky, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri.  Then, we would go to Phoenix in the fall and Northern California in the spring.  However, we soon realized that our next free flight would expire in early March 2008, so we would have to go to Northern California now.  Some roads would still be snow-covered, but it's better to go at the end of April than the beginning of March.  So, we cancelled our St. Louis trip and re-booked it for Sacramento.  A few weeks later, it became apparent that we would be spending too much time on the planes to get out there, so we re-booked the flight again, this time landing in Oakland.  We spent a lot of time since then trying to plan out each of our stops and finalizing our route.  Without a doubt, this is going to be one of the most exhaustive trips we have ever taken - almost 35 hours of driving time to travel 1,800 miles.  That's the same distance as it would be to drive from Connecticut to Denver (or from Baltimore to Megan's parents house, 6 times over).  Oh, yeah, and this is over the course of 3 and a half days.  Oh, boy!
~ Ryan

All times are local to the particular city.  The entire trip is in Pacific Time, which is 3 hours behind Eastern Time.  If you cannot do that math, I've added Eastern Time in [brackets].

Emergency Contact Information:
Phone (Ryan's Cell): 410-259-4180
Phone (Megan's Cell): 443-564-1301
E-mail: (will be checked as often as possible)



Flight #1: Thursday, April 19, 2007 - TRACK IT!

Southwest Airlines - Flight 451 (Baltimore to Chicago)
DEPART Baltimore, MD (BWI) at 4:05 PM [4:05 PM]
ARRIVE Chicago, IL (MDW) at 5:05 PM [6:05 PM]

Flight #2: Thursday, April 19, 2007 - TRACK IT!
Southwest Airlines - Flight 451 (Chicago to Oakland)
DEPART Chicago, IL (MDW) at 5:35 PM [6:35 PM]
ARRIVE Oakland, CA (OAK) at 8:15 PM [11:15 PM]

Flight #3: Monday, April 23, 2007 - TRACK IT!

Southwest Airlines - Flight 133 (Oakland to Kansas City)
DEPART Oakland, CA (OAK) at 1:40 PM [4:40 PM]
ARRIVE Kansas City, MO (MCI) at 7:05 PM [8:05 PM]

Flight #4: Monday, April 23, 2007 - TRACK IT!
Southwest Airlines - Flight 133 (Kansas City to Baltimore)
DEPART Kansas City, MO (MCI) at 7:30 PM [8:30 PM]
ARRIVE Baltimore, MD (BWI) at 10:50 PM [10:50 PM]

Hotel: Night 1, April 19, 2007

Travelodge Golden Gate
2230 Lombard Street
San Francisco, CA 94123
Phone: 415-922-3900

Hotel: Night 2, April 20, 2007
Best Western Bayshore Inn
3500 Broadway Street
Eureka, CA 95503
Phone: 707-268-8005

Hotel: Night 3, April 21, 2007
Best Western Timber Cove Lodge
3411 Lake Tahoe Boulevard
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Phone: 530-541-6722

Hotel: Night 4, April 22, 2007
Vagabond Inn Merced
1215 R Street
Merced, CA 95340
Phone: 209-722-2738


Car Rental: Apr. 19 (8:00pm) - Apr. 23 (1:30pm)
Dollar Rent-a-Car
Oakland International Airport-OAK
In-terminal/Oakland Int'l Airport
Oakland, CA 94614
Phone: 866-434-2226


Note:  The numbers in the itinerary correspond to the map at the bottom.

Thursday, April 19:
Click for Metro Oakland International, California Forecast

Most of today will be spent at our respective workplaces, but shortly after lunch, we will be cutting out early to get to Baltimore Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport (boy, that's a mouthful)!  Our flight heads out around 4pm and includes a brief stopover in Chicago.  But, we'll be staying on the same plane with the same flight number, which makes the total time from Baltimore to Oakland, 7 hours and 10 minutes.  But, at least we arrive a bit before midnight this time around!  From the Oakland airport [1], it will be a quick trip across the bay to San Francisco [2], where we will be spending the night.

Friday, April 20:
Click for Napa, California Forecast

It's time for an early morning rise!  At the crack of dawn, we will be checking out some of the city's well-known locations, including some spots where the opening credits of Full House was filmed [3, 4, 5].  But, by 9:30, we have to be at Fisherman's Wharf [6] to take a ferry ride over to Alcatraz [7].  We'll take a tour of the prison for a couple hours, and by noon we will be headed out of the city [8, 9, 10].  Time to get drunk!  Our next stop is Napa Valley [11] to sample some wine - yummy!  Then, we have a long drive up the coast, stopping wherever we can until the sun sets [12, 13].  Our final destination for the night will be pretty close to the Oregon border, just south of Redwood National Park [14].

Saturday, April 21:
Click for Klamath Falls, Oregon Forecast

Considering that I (Ryan) do all of the driving for these trips, I am certainly not looking forward to this day.  Without a doubt, this will be our longest one-day's trek since we've been taking these kinds of crazy trips.  Our first stop, early in the morning, will be Redwood National Park [15].  We've only got an hour, so we have to make the most of our time.  The next stop is kind of iffy - Crater Lake in Oregon [16].  This will be one of our only chances to see it, but it will add a couple hundred miles to our trip.  Whether we go there or not, we still have to snake into Oregon at least a little bit to avoid snow-closed highways in the mountains of Northern California.  Another possible stop is Lava Beds National Monument [17].  Not incredibly interesting, but it may be a good stop for our drive.  Eventually, we will make our way to Reno, Nevada to grab a bite to eat [18].  Out hotel is just south of there in Lake Tahoe [19].  Well, not in the lake, but you know what I mean.

Sunday, April 22:
Click for Yosemite National Park, California Forecast

I hope we still have our energy about us today because we will be doing lots of hiking.  First, we have to take a highway back towards Sacramento, which is a little out of the way [20], but again, there are still lots of snow-closed highways in the Sierra Nevadas, sometimes through June or early July!  Our first real destination will be Yosemite National Park [21] - hopefully this will be the highlight of our trip.  Most of the park will still be closed due to snow, but we had to use up our free flight before May.  The good news is, the valley will be open, and most of the waterfalls will be flowing at full capacity.  After a few hours, we will head South towards Kings Canyon [22] and Sequoia National Park [23].  More hiking will ensue.  Once we are worn out (and assuming we were not attacked by bears), we will start heading back North, stopping for the night somewhere between the parks and Sacramento [24].

Monday, April 23:
Click for San Jose, California Forecast

It's already time to go?  Sure enough, it is.  But we still have one more stop.  We will head over to San Jose to see the Winchester Mystery House [25], take a quick morning tour, and then head up to Oakland for our early afternoon flight home [26].  Once again, we stay on the same plane the whole way home, but this time our stopover is in Kansas City.  Around 11pm, we make it back to Baltimore, head home, and get to bed.  After all, it's time for another day of work on Tuesday!


Don't have time to read all my nonsense?  I don't blame you.  Just check out the map below to see our guesstimated route.


Flight Tracking:

As before, these are some links where you "might" be able to track our flight.  With all of these sites, be sure to hit refresh (F5) and click "Retry" as applicable to view the latest information.

  • (

  • FlyteComm (

  • Flight Explorer (

  • RML Software (


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