New Brighton (4)

VWm89TyjQkKzEbUacF7zpgNew Brighton is turning into a nice yearly winter tradition. And this is the second year where I’ve been able to connect with my Altoiste pal, Annie, during our stay. In fact, we had so much fun paddling on the Elkhorn Slough, that I plum forgot to take any pictures of Dory in her campsite. Oops. It was site 87, one of the premium ones and the same place we camped last year. So you can use your imagination.

We could not have been more lucky in terms of weather Saturday. It was sunny and mid 60s with no wind at all. We parked by the launch by Monterey Bay Kayaks, where Annie got a rental and I set up my Advanced Elements inflatable. The fee for a park and launch is $11, so be prepared with cash or a check to put in an envelope by the public bathroom.

xD2o8kOASJmPG6HTS905zQWe saw lots of otters and pelicans, and even some seals. The current from the tide going out was strong enough that we didn’t get very far up the slough, but we also didn’t really care. It was a lovely day. Afterwards, I got to use the wash facility at the rental place. I always really appreciate this because it means I can give Squirt a good power spray down. I took my first lesson at this place and bought pretty much all the gear I use from them on the spot, so they told me at the time that if you’ve taken lessons there, you are henceforth welcome to use the boat wash. They’re a great outfit and I highly recommend taking a lesson.

IMG_2789While we were out on the water, Richard tried a hike in the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park. Because of his highly predictable disability, he of course got lost. Luckily, he was able to turn himself back toward the way he came and got back to the entrance without needing a helicopter rescue. We both met up back at Dory around 3.

After taking in the sunset scene, we met up with Annie again for dinner at Zameem Mediterranean Cuisine. Afterwards, we headed to Marianne’s for ice cream. A lovely time was had by all!

Total miles: 89.0, 17.6, 2 hours 39 min. Site 87, huge premium site with ocean view, but no hookups. LTE for both of us and a tiny bit of solar. Bathrooms are nice and have showers. Good dump station.

Doran Beach (5)

yLEdQ1wvRGG6ak6fhBHKjgYes, this is one of our favorite spots, and this time we even tried a new loop and discovered we liked it better than our stand by favorite site. There is a beautiful view from the first loop and we spent the laziest possible day Saturday, just staring and not doing much.

It was a wee bit chilly and it had rained all through the night Friday. It was windy and sporadically rainy outside, which enhanced the desire to be lazy where it was warm and heated. I got a report written and Richard did some work related thinking, but mostly we just talked and snacked and watched the tide go in and out.

6sj7Ei6cSy+h9jdDY5ipjgNot much of a report, but I can say that I experimented with scratch repair the past couple of weeks. There are lots of tiny beauty marks all over Dory, mostly from road rocks. They don’t really bother me and I figure they’re like wrinkles in that they are the physical evidence of a life well lived. There is this one scratch though. It happened when I was washing Dory with a microfiber cloth head thing attached to a long, expandable pole. It’s the kind that screws onto the pole like a mop head. On one of my forward pushes, the cloth head fell off and I put a big swipe right on the front that left a dark streak. It’s the kind of thing that pulled my eye to it every time I went in the garage. And that is just a terrible feeling. So I looked up a bunch of YouTube videos on scratch removal and bought some stuff. I experimented with a small scratch on the outside storage door and all I can say there is that it looks no worse after all the work I put into it. No better. But at least I got to go through the steps with the products.

cMT2banKQ2+by2pvNuOG6wBefore starting, Dory got a nice bath to get all of the smoke filled rain residue off. While I was at it, I gave the rugs a good hosing as well. Then it was time to nervously attempt the touch up, hoping not to make it worse. The scratch on the front had clearly gone past the clear coat layer, so I had to use touch up paint. And I had to use sand paper. That’s the scary part and once you’ve done it, you’re committed because it looks awful until you get to the polishing stage. I spent a lot of time getting the touch up paint to not be globby. It is not a perfect color match either, but all I was after was to take away the dark area. 8O4jsvM7SL2CqShdilbpTAThe process I used was: clean, wet sand with 3000 grit paper on top of a sponge, precision dab the paint, dry, wet sand, repeat, until it looked acceptable. Then stop. That was probably the most important step. Accept it won’t be invisible and move on. Then wet sand a larger area with 5000 grit to blend in, polish, wax. At the end of the day, I’m not unhappy with it. I can see it, but it doesn’t draw my eye the way it did before.

5YZekV3LTGuusKMvN312LwSuper lazy weekend in one of our favorite spots as winter kicks in. We officially like this loop better and the bathroom there gets far less traffic, making it cleaner. Doran has nice bathrooms, but they can get sandy when they’re near the day use areas.

Total miles: 82.9, 15.5 mpg, 2 hours 50 min. Site 14, very nice and super level. Lots of solar and strong LTE for both.

Morro Bay SP (2)

QEpopStSiZNNMQy6l4AWhat do you do when your town gets engulfed by smoke so thick it causes all Bay Area schools to shut down? If you answered: abandon your home and adult children and head south, you are our kind of people. Actually, the heading south plan was a happy coincidence because I made reservations months ago. It just timed out nicely as an escape plan.

fullsizeoutput_121cOur district got word Thursday that we’d be shutting doors the Friday before Thanksgiving Break. That was a very good call, as smoke from the “Camp Fire” 150 miles to the north was creating officially hazardous conditions. Of course, all we had to deal with was the air, so our hearts are with the thousands who lost their homes or loved ones so suddenly. We left around noon and kept driving until we’d covered about 180 miles. It was then that we could say the escape was a success. That is just a huge area to be affected, so it gives a sense of how bad the burning has been. Also, it’s hard to deem a situation like this “lucky,” but it did mean we got to start the 5 hour drive at noon rather than 3, so our arrival caught a nice sunset, as opposed to darkness and cranky time.

t9WFzZi2Soy260ticzSN%QWe got to enjoy 5 straight nights for this trip, which meant we knew we’d need the generator as well as the Barker (portable grey water tank). Both worked quite well I must say, which means there are no limits to stay length providing there is a dump somewhere on site. The Barker is our third portable tank. The first was too small. It had two wheels and was heavy enough to be difficult to drag. So we used it once and gave it away at a rally. The second was huge and towable. The hugeness made it very annoying to bring along and the disconnect always resulted in a bit of spillage. So we used that one once and gave it away to new Alto owners. I think I can say this one represents a happy medium. 88sRS13GTgeo%0GrWe7w9ADon’t get me wrong, dumping the tank this way isn’t fun and Dory’s plumbing is so low to the ground that you have to slosh and snake the water through the hose and up into the tank. However, once it’s there, you are in no danger of spillage, unless the hose pulls clean off the connector fitting, which it did. But now that the clamp has been very, very tightened down, it’s not a bad system. It has a floating thing to tell you when it’s full and it looks like a full dump of Dory’s grey tank pretty closely equals a full 16 gal Barker. The generator worked as expected and kept us topped up even though we were in full shade.

fullsizeoutput_1216We got in a couple of hikes around Morro Bay. The first was at Montana Del Oro State Park and is a beautiful stroll along the bluffs. Richard rode there and says that was a beautiful ride with not too much climbing. We checked out the sites at the Islay Creek Campground, which is described as “primitive.” There are vault toilets and some water tanks, but definitely no hookups. It was ok, but not so pretty that I’d go out of my way to stay there instead of Morro Bay. It does feel a little more removed though and there are a couple of sites nicely spaced apart from the others. DK9xI6SHTzesFV0aPaT1sgNo view of the river, but a short walk to the beach. Also, the Visitor Center is a preserved museum of the Spooner Ranch House with lots of antiques and artifacts nicely displayed.

Another hike was up the Quarry Trail whose trailhead is on the road to Los Osos. This one offers views of the bay, but you can’t get all the way to the old quarry. You can see it though and the scenery is pretty along the way. Except for the little climb in the beginning, it is a short and gentle trail.

H8tXwrbgT9iTjwtgPDyODgOn one of the warmer days, I was able to get in a paddle. Morro Bay is a lovely place to bob around, but one does have to be careful because the whole thing is very shallow. If you’re not careful (like on my previous trip), you can get yourself stuck in a bog. Many times I tried to paddle over to flocks of birds floating on the water, only to realize they were not floating so much as standing. It wasn’t too shallow for mammals though and I spied several otters adorably munching mollusks and rolling around in the ripples. fullsizeoutput_1217At one point, I got an eerie feeling I was being watched. The feeling was confirmed when I heard the unmistakable sound of heavy breathing coming from behind me. I spun the boat around and saw an entire gang of seals right behind me. There were at least six, maybe more, creepily following in my path. They didn’t even seem terribly embarrassed or apologetic when I pulled out my phone and told them I’d be posting their faces on social media. Cheeky.

Rd7P6WeFSLS9mKf5BzSBvgAnother set of mammals we were delighted to spy were a pair of Altoistes who have gone above and beyond in their search for the ultimate Alto solar set up. They’re impossible to miss if you know anything about the group and Richard texted me excitedly when he was out on his bike and saw them drive by. If it’s an Alto 1743 covered in solar panels, pulled by a Tesla, it’s got to be these folks! We had a great time chatting and later went out for dinner at the nearby Bayside Cafe. I’ve said it before, but I absolutely love meeting Altoistes in real life.

EyZXapkAQJq1bZcYGgEv%QOn our last day, Richard got in a longer than expected bike ride and I actually got some work done. It was lucky he had service, because he had neglected to factor in the earlier setting sun. It was serendipitous though because after I drove out to pick him up on the road, I made a bee line for the sunset. And what a glorious sunset it was. The sky dazzled with deep oranges and yellows over the ocean, and suddenly, as I was basking in the scene, I spotted what could only be dolphins (or perhaps porpoises) hopping along the horizon. The moon glowed overhead and someone on the beach quipped, “Man, it’s like a Disney movie!” It was. All it lacked was inspirational background music, but it brought happy tears to the eyes nonetheless.

We would gladly have spent another week down there, but Thanksgiving called and we were already topping the Worst Parents of the Year List for having ditched our offspring in the smoke. So home we came and by that time, it had started to rain. We totally pulled an air quality cheat and have no regrets. We again recommend one of our favorite restaurants: House of JuJu by the Bay, where Richard got to spend his birthday dinner.

tm9SUrQhQf6ttqzGBWQPtgHere’s a note on perfect Omnia birthday cupcakes: wait for the steam. Set the timer for the upper end of the cooking range (like 25 min at “medium”), but don’t turn off the flame until you see steam start to come out the vent holes. That took an additional 8 min after the timer went off and will vary depending on what you’re cooking, where actually the “medium” flame level is, and the weather (seriously). But once that steam happens, you can be pretty sure it’s gonna be done. Turn off the flame but keep the lid on for another 10 min to finish the job. As always, start the cooking with 3 minutes high flame for just the base. Then put the oven on the base and start the cooking timer. Leave it on high for the first 1 min of cooking time, then turn it down to “medium.” Cupcakes and muffins work really well in silicon muffin cups set on the wire rack.

Kof2EiHmTPuDoZi%6N9jdwMorro Bay remains one of our favorite areas for extended stays. There is so much to do and explore. With the addition of a generator and the Barker, we basically have no limits and it sure was nice to not pack up and move for a while. Note to future self for next year’s Thanksgiving travels: really think hard about driving back on Wednesday. You will not be the only one with that plan.

Total miles: 236.3, 17.6 mpg, 4 hours 52 min. Site 122. No hookups and in the shade. The sites in the upper loop are more woodsy, but not really private. The dump is easy to get to with a portable tank. LTE for both of us all around the area. At Montana Del Oro, some of the more private(ish) sites: 27, 28, 1. No running water in the bathrooms. Spotty or no cell service, but wifi at the Visitor Center.

Pinnacles (3)

img_2549I am brave, and I am strong, and I have new shoes. Some of you may recall my mantra when I got myself in a spot of bother at the top of a ladder in Badlands. Far fewer of you will recall the first time I visited Pinnacles National Park and had a panic attack whilst trying to clamber up a tight cave passage. Well this visit was my chance at a rematch with prior defeats, only now de feets have much better shoes.

img_2526Friday we abandoned town, hoping that by heading south we might escape some of the smoke coming from the “Camp Fire.” Poor California is getting battered again, proving that nowadays even November can bring a summer blaze. It was a long drive and the last hour or so was in the dark. We did see a clear sky full of stars when we got there, so we knew the air quality was at least “better.” We got the same site we’ve had in the past, under a huge old oak tree. This time of year was a little exciting because we kept getting bombarded by an artillery of acorns creating huge thuds on the roof. I’m surprised there was no damage, considering how loud they were.

img_2536Saturday we took the shuttle over to the Bear Gulch Visitor Center and caught the trail through the Bear Gulch Talus Caves. This is a pretty easy way to go cave exploring. There are stairs and hand rails and the trail is very clearly marked. Along the way, you can see groups of rock climbers scaling the various peaks and we stopped to watch one of them attempt a particularly dangerous looking maneuver. It turns out the sound of colorful language carries quite far in a rock canyon and the guy got an enthusiastic ovation from the audience below when he made it to the top.

In the afternoon we both had nappy time, Richard indoory in Dory, me in my Nemo chair, wrapped in a blanket. It is getting chilly outside and the high technology of adding extra blankets is coming in handy. We tend to forget about technology around this time of year until one of us goes, “Oh yeah!” It’s always a joyful realization when we remember we can solve the chilly problem with things we already have.

img_2558Sunday we headed out early and confronted the Balconies Caves. I still vividly remembered the place where I really didn’t think I could make it up over a big, slippery boulder. It was after that hike that I invested in good hiking shoes. That was three yeas ago though, so I had to re-buy those same shoes in advance of this trip. This trail is about 5.5 miles round trip and the cave part is far more rugged. We liken Bear Gulch to a “Disneyland” cave experience. img_2553The Balconies feel more like the real deal. There is a section where it is truly light-less and it genuinely seems like the glow in the dark arrows painted on the rock wall are leading you into a dead end. But I remembered those parts and that made this time around more fun. In fact, even when I got to the place I had previously gotten stuck, I think the sheer knowing anticipation made it seem like no big deal. It was a good feeling to have vanquished the beast, and I rode that high all along the Cliffs Trail that took us back.img_2568

Of course, our eyes were drawn to the skies as we walked, on the lookout for Condors. I think it is entirely possible we spotted one. We’d been told by other hikers that there were two in the area and we definitely saw a Condor-like bird slowly circling around the peaks. I took a bunch of blurry pictures and showed them to the ranger when we got back. He wouldn’t fully commit since my pictures were so small, but my description of flight patterns and where we’d seen it did earn a nod and a “Yeah, that could definitely have been one.” So I’m going with it.

img_2579Monday was Veteran’s Day and we needed to find a dump station on our way home. The dump at Pinnacles is closed for maintenance and we had two options: the Tres Pinos Fairgrounds, or some place called Casa de Fruta. For some reason, Richard seemed excited about the latter, though I had no idea why. Once we got there, I realized it was well worth the side trip. Casa de Fruta is a whole little self contained RV “resort” world, out in the middle of nowhere, about ten miles to the east of Hollister. img_2586The place has got the branding game down. Before having lunch at Casa de Wine and Deli, we filled gas at Casa de Diesel. And ya gotta have dessert at Casa de Ice Cream, of course, where I picked up a gift of a Casa de Adventure Sluice, where you search for treasures in what is basically a bag of sand. I spent $5 on that and have no regrets. None. We never actually made it to the Casa de Fruta building, but we did enjoy watching the Casa de Train making its way through the outdoor …. gallery?… of old rusted out farm equipment. I’m telling you, this place was way more than I expected, peacocks and all. It was Casa de Crazy and I would give it five stars just for fully committing to whatever the hell that was.

Wonderful three day weekend!!

Total miles: 128.1, 17.4 mpg, 4 hours 16 min. Site 87. Electric hookups. Water spigots nearby. NO cell service, even boosted, though Verizon got just enough to make a phone call. Parking lots at the trail heads can fill up and rangers will close the roads to all traffic when that happens. The shuttle can take you to Bear Gulch, but not the Balconies trailhead. Get out early if you want a parking place and it’s crowded.

Glory Hole Recreation Area

img_2505I know. Listen, I did not name the place. I refer you to etymonline.com for the historical meaning of the term, before it acquired its urban dictionary entry:

glory hole (n.) 1825, “drawer or box where things are heaped together in a disorderly manner.” The first element probably is a variant of Scottish glaur “to make muddy, dirty, defile” (Middle English glorien, mid-15c.), which is perhaps from Old Norse leir “mud.” Hence, in nautical use, “a small room between decks,” and, in mining, “large opening or pit.” Meaning “opening through which the interior of a furnace may be seen and reached” (originally in glassblowing) is from 1849, probably from glory (n.), which had developed a sense of “circle or ring of light” by 1690s.

With that out of the way, I will say this is a fun place in the Sierra foothills, close to boating and attractions such as Angels Camp, which hosts the annual “Calaveras Jumping Frog Jubilee.”

img_2490For us, it’s about a 3 1/2 hour drive on Highway 4 East, all the way until you hit 49. This is the Gold Rush highway and there are all kinds of fun places to visit out there. New Melones Lake has 2 Bureau of Reclamation campgrounds: Tuttletown, and Glory Hole. The water level in the reservoir can vary dramatically, and there are times certain loops are either closed or have porta potties only. So be forewarned that you might need to check ahead to see what the status is. I had reserved a place in the Ironhorse loop and was notified that we’d been moved to Big Oak, due to refurbishment work. I can’t say porta potties are our favorite thing, but it wasn’t that big a deal and we have our own shower. We also had most of the place to ourselves, making for a nice getaway.

img_2502Our site gave us a nice view of the marina down below, and the door side of Dory was completely private. There wasn’t a lot of flat space near the driveway area, but there was a small level ledge with a picnic table below. There were water spigots running but I’ve seen reviews stating that sometimes the water gets shut off.

img_2500Saturday we ventured out on one of the hikes by Angels Creek. I’m pretty good at finding my way on trails, but I will say the signage out of the parking lot left me thinking we were on the Buck Brush trail, when in fact we were on the Angels Creek trail. It didn’t take me too long to figure it out, but Richard would have been lost forever over that kind of inadequate trail marking if he had been on his own. It was lucky Richard had downloaded a map on his phone ahead of time. It turned out to be a 2.5 mi hike when we were expecting more like a mile. It was easy though and mostly shaded.

img_2498Plus, we spotted what I initially thought was a fox, but turned out to be a squirrelus giganticus. I’m pretty sure that’s a new discovery and I hereby claim all rights, privileges, and wealth associated with the find.

New Melones Lake seems to have fingers that spread out forever. One of these days I’ll put my kayak in the water. I think the best place to launch would be from the “beach” at Angels Creek. With the water levels low, it would be an ordeal to get the boat down, so this was a hiking weekend only.

img_2508As we were sitting in our swing chairs, a friendly camper came over and started chatting. He began with questions about Altos, but ended up sharing a lot of good lakeside campground recommendations. He even wrote down the information to a reference book that he brought over later. Very friendly.

In all, this was a really nice place in the foothills. The weather was neither too hot, nor too cold, and we had a good view of the water from our site. We also got a nice sunset over the water, which is always one of my favorite things.

Total miles: 122.0, 3 hours 28 min, 15.4 mpg. Site 130 Big Oak loop. Bathrooms and showers temporarily closed. Water spigots working. No hookups but good solar. LTE for both of us. Good dump, but $8 fee, even for campers.

Butano (2)

img_2473I’m catching up on this post from last week. Butano State Park is a perfect little fairy wonderland of a place. The campground is one of those deep redwoods places where you are enveloped in a blanket of cool, quiet, peaceful forest beauty. The drive there hits one of the most impressive sections of the California coastline. It’s difficult to reserve and the campground is closed in the winter, but it’s well worth the effort to snag a site.

img_2472Some of the sites are quite unlevel, and now that we’ve ditched the BAL, we’ve come to appreciate the Lynx levelers a lot. We do need to invest in a tongue jack stand of some kind though, because we were a little tippy even with the jack cranked up to its max. Most of the sites are spacious and offer privacy on at least one side. Some are clearly only suitable for tent campers because they’re so steep.

img_2477For this visit, we checked out the Little Butano Creek trail, which was pretty easy and entirely shaded. There were some climbs, but they were short, and the natural air conditioning of the redwoods kept it cool the whole way. At the end of the trail, there is a power station of some kind. That was a mystery we have not yet solved. I suspected it was for some kind of water pump to supply fire equipment, but that’s just a guess.

Sunday we sat and talked with our morning coffee, but then strangely veered off course and headed into the stupidest argument ever over some Facebook video. What a silly waste of time that was and a ridiculous way to close the weekend. Upon reflection, we think we may be experiencing “wtf is wrong with the world” tension, which is seeping into our reactions to mundane posts in unexpected ways. Dory gives us blissful respite from world events just long enough to keep us afloat and escape the madness one weekend at a time. But there is no denying it’s out there. Yes, we recovered and yes, it’s all fine, but it was one of those times that makes you go, “Wow, what was that all about?” Happily, I get to follow this post with a fully normal weekend report. We did keep checking in with each other though on whether or not we should argue over things like- how do house boats dump their tanks, or do we like the actress in “Downton Abbey.” Don’t worry, it’s all good.

Total miles: 75.8, 15.9 mpg, 2 hours 25 min. Site 2. Other good sites: 1, 2*, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10 & 11 (next to bathroom), 13, 14, 16*, 20. NOT good: 3, 15, 17.

Coloma Resort (2)

img_2456Well this was the perfect do-over, I must say. Last time we came, we had to cut our visit short unexpectedly. So we reserved the very same site, and even got to cash in the rain check with a fabulous friend. All good!

Traffic all along Interstate 80 on Friday was slow going, so we ended up pulling in after dark. Score a point for the exterior port side light with the external switch. img_2432We even felt confident enough to use the CM and spin Dory for the nice river view we knew we’d get in the morning.

After getting set up, I got to bask in the darkness of my new and improved Sad Room. I have found that there are some weeks where the intensity of the world is just a little too much for me. Especially in the past two years. In those moments, what helps the most is being out in Dory, staring through the big glass windows, listening to music, and sipping a margarita or cold glass of wine. Richard always kindly offers to deal with dinner, but that requires light in order to see, and escaping the horrors of the universe is an activity best attempted in the dark. img_2408I tried pulling the privacy curtain to create a Sad Room for me, and a Happy Room for him. The problem was that the factory installed curtain only goes as far as the shower, so way too much light is able to creep in. My latest project has been to finish off the curtain, thus blocking the entry of all forms of happiness.

img_2410The hardest part of this project was finding exactly the right parts online. I admit this is a challenge I enjoy, and I was ultimately able to get precisely matching supplies. The aluminum curtain track needed to be cut down from 4′ and I simply attached it to the ceiling with strong double sided sticky tape. The fabric for the curtain is actually a blackout curtain liner (53″x58″) and comes with a strip of velcro pre sewn across the top. All I needed to do there was cut that part off and sew on a length of snap tape.img_2414 This section required 8 matching snap glides and fits nicely in that space. To close off the small gap around the corner, I decided to leave an extra flap of fabric with a small velcro square at the end. This then sticks to the shower curtain rail mount. And voila! I can now settle into total sadness while dinner cooks. What is kind of amazing is that creating two separate spaces has the effect of making Dory actually seem a lot bigger. I’m very happy with the results of this Sad project.

img_2445Saturday we walked around the historic part of Coloma. This is the site where gold was first discovered by James Marshall in 1848. The California Gold Rush followed and forever changed the history of the west. Many of the buildings and structures are restorations from originals that have long since perished. But some of the buildings are originals and most of the artifacts on display are either from the site, or from nearby historic collections that match what would have been used by the people in Coloma at the time.

img_2441The Visitor Center is new and very impressive. There are multimedia displays telling the story of the miners, the immigrants, and the Native Americans who had been living in the area before the vast migration. We spent a good hour there and then went and looked at the outside exhibits. They have a monument marking the original location of Sutter’s Mill, and a recreation of the mill farther away from the river’s edge.

img_2452Again, we enjoyed a meal at the Argonaut cafe/restaurant and chatted with our friendly server from before, who even remembered us as the “happy campers”! She is awesome, as was the turkey sandwich and side salad. For dessert, we got some gelato to go and headed to the blacksmith shop, where we got a nice history lesson from an actual blacksmith making actual things. One tidbit he shared was that the historic bridge we drive across to get to the RV park is listed somewhere as one of the “most dangerous bridges in CA.” This, because of its age, the lack of expertise of the people who built it in 1915, and the frequent river floods that threaten to wash it all away. We figured, as long as we’re not *on* the bridge when it collapses, we’d be ok if we have to just live by the river in the RV resort from now on.

img_2455After lunch, I got to enjoy a really wonderful afternoon talking with my long lost friend. She lives not too far from Coloma so I was super glad she was able to come over. She’s probably the nicest human I know, so of course she thought to bring snacks and wine. We talked and talked until we realized it was dinner time. Richard was out on a bike ride in the afternoon and returned with a nasty bee sting on his face. It looked red, but luckily he does not appear to be allergic. Ouch though!

img_2433Sunday we headed home and took Lotus Road to Shingle Springs rather than Highway 49. That is a good call and how we’d get there next time. I will note that the dump in the RV park is one of those annoying raised concrete pads with a high curb. For little trailers, this makes dumping unpleasant and you have to kind of snake everything through the hose to get it over the curb. Yuck. Besides that though, this is a great place to hang out. You’ve got river side sites with hookups, fun things to do that are walking distance, and a great restaurant. We’d return for sure. Next time, I’d really like to know if there’s a kayak put in spot up river. That would be fun.

Total miles (way off because of traffic rerouting and detours): 131.2, 4 hours 7 min, 16.0 mpg. Site 72. Electric and water, nice solar. No service for ATT, but pretty good free campground wifi. LTE for Verizon. Walking around the park, there is CA State Park wifi too.