The drive from Ashland to Pleasanton was the longest of our journey. We try to limit our travel days to 5 or 6 hours max. The beauty of this road trip is that we really aren't in a hurry to "be" anywhere and there is just no point in being exhausted when we get there. This leg, however nearly took us 8 hours partly because of the distance, partly because of the urban traffic we experienced going through the Silicon Valley and San Jose during peak traffic.
Pleasanton is kind of out of the way, and that's exactly the reason why we wanted to visit. It is truly a special town that preserves its heritage unlike any other town in the Bay Area. We heard that a stroll downtown was like walking into a time capsule.
Pleasanton was founded by Spanish families that were granted land in 1850 as a result of the abandoment of the California Mission system. It became a mercantile stopover for goldminers and was quite a prosperous community as a result.
During the first half of the century, when many original buildings in many towns were razed and rebuilt in the name of progress and modernization, Pleasanton was spared because it was off the beaten track and there was no need as there was no market for services in downtown Pleasanton.
The result is a perfectly preserved historic district which boasts beautiful architecture from the mid 1800's with a few examples of cool 50's and early 60's storefronts mixed in.
The town was very friendly and clean. The park were we stayed was at the Alameda County Fairgrounds. While it was nothing fancy, the lots were generous and were all grass. Believe me, after experiencing many gravel, dirt and thorny spaces...This was a real treat...Especially for Buddy!
Next stop...Santa Barbara and Ocean Mesa RV Resort.